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US Embassy: Yorke stopped from entering USA by visa requirement that pre-dates Trump

Former Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup captain and ex-Manchester United star Dwight Yorke appears to have been stopped from entering the United States by a visa requirement that was put in place during the term of former President Barack Obama.

Yorke, who holds a British and Trinidad and Tobago passport, said he felt he was treated like a criminal after Qatari officials advising him against boarding a flight to Miami where he was due to transfer to Trinidad.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago and Manchester United footballer Dwight Yorke speaks at a press conference in Sydney on 10 December 2012, at the announcement of an exhibition match between English Premier League team Manchester United and an Australian A-League All Stars team in a one-off game in 2013. (Copyright AFP 2017/William West)
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago and Manchester United footballer Dwight Yorke speaks at a press conference in Sydney on 10 December 2012, at the announcement of an exhibition match between English Premier League team Manchester United and an Australian A-League All Stars team in a one-off game in 2013.
(Copyright AFP 2017/William West)

Yorke said officials flagged an Iranian stamp on his passport, which they said created a visa issue.

His beIN Sports colleague and former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys interpreted Yorke’s woes to be a direct result of current US President Donald Trump’s recent controversial “travel ban”—although Trump’s executive order was quickly stayed by the US courts.

Keys tweeted: “Well done @realDonaldTrump. Man U ambassador Dwight Yorke denied transit access to Miami cause he has Iranian stamp in passport. #crazy.”

Several British newspapers, including the Sun, Mirror and Guardian, followed Keys’ lead by blaming Trump for Yorke’s visa problem.

However, the US Embassy in Port of Spain suggested, without naming Yorke, that the policy in question came into effect in December 2015.

“As of December 2015, nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iran, Iraq, Syria—and other specified countries—at any time on or after March 2011 are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP,” stated a release from the US Embassy. “These new eligibility requirements do not bar travel to the United States. Instead, a traveller who does not meet the requirements must obtain a visa for travel to the United States, which generally includes an in-person interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.”

Photo: Former United States president Barack Obama. (Courtesy UK Telegraph)
Photo: Former United States president Barack Obama.
(Courtesy UK Telegraph)

The full statement from the US Embassy:

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. A list of available countries is available at www.dh.gov/visa-waiver-program-requirements. Trinidad and Tobago is not part of the VWP.

All prospective VWP travellers must obtain pre-travel authorisation via US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) ESTA system prior to boarding a plane or ship for the US.

As of December 2015, nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iran, Iraq, Syria—and other specified countries—at any time on or after March 2011 are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP.

These new eligibility requirements do not bar travel to the United States. Instead, a traveller who does not meet the requirements must obtain a visa for travel to the United States, which generally includes an in-person interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.

Additional information including ESTA applications are available at www.cbp.gov.

If you are unable to enter the US on the VWP, please visit our website for information on how to apply for a visa.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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71 comments

  1. No preferential treatment where the law is concerned

  2. I know that’s why ballhead responded smh ?‍♂️

  3. Who gives a rats ass abiut this?!
    Kiss my ass…..pay attention to the women being abducted and gang-raped in this country….
    Really, I dont give an ass that you were stopped….please give me a break….n

  4. Excuse for Dwight York to get a break in contract to wine here for carnival ……..after carnival he gone he way trinis stop being jackass nuh

  5. Again, Loop posted the article, and in the same article stated he was stopped from boarding, but headline states he was denied entry. Poor editing or poor understanding?

  6. Why is Yorke saying something else. Can we have both sides sit and talk the truth.

    • Yorke didn’t really say anything else. He just said he got blanked and felt like a criminal. Yorke seems to still be blissfully unaware of the rule. Whose fault is that?
      Either the Qataris didn’t explain it properly or he didn’t listen.

  7. The question remains Wired868, how many times between the proclamation of the refrenced directive in 2011 and the present, was Mr. Yorke allowed entry into those united states? With that info now in the public domain, only then should we proceed to consider intent.

  8. So Yorke has not been to the states since December 2015….hmmm

    • Even if he had been, then that proves they weren’t doing their job properly and are now doing so, which I think is a good thing, not so?

    • Because of who he is and what he does I find it had to believe he did not travel on numerous occasions. I find it a little difficult to believe that the US ICE services are now doing their job .
      We also have to note that most likely travel arrangements for DY will most likely be done by agents on behalf of Manchester United , who because of the international stature of the club will be a where of all the requirements. .

  9. Read todays Sunday Guardian in which PM Rowley commented on this. He used a British passport with no US visa and tried to enter the US. Under Obama, the rules were changed that anyone visiting a “terrorist” country with a previous “visa waver” passport would no longer be allowed into the US. So what the fuck does Trump have to do with this as implied by the “fake news” journalist.

  10. Thanks for clearing up the #Fakenews Lasana.

  11. I always knew this people are really stupid just because he went to play a charity Mach in Iran the think he is terrorist the full of shit ???

  12. Everybody running dey mouth as usual, without the facts!

  13. Trinidad have terrorist according to american news. So if he have a place in the middle east then they will question him

  14. While its cleared up and not directly related to the currently overturned ban (never know what could change considering the state of USA politricks) from the perspective of ICE not being involved directly with Yorke – the fact that Qatar immigration officials suggested he not travel shows the confusion what trump initially suggested causing all over the place, to people who has links those 7 countries and by extension the Muslim world

    Even in the just concluded regional super 50 one of ICC Americas players of Pakistan heritage was told by his lawyer to leave tournament because of it as a precaution

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1080798.html

  15. So wait, Saintfiet cyar pass through de US neither? Look ting!

  16. Look Lasana giving de explanation

  17. Yup…. his story and the truth…

  18. Haha don’t know when ppl gonna realize that Obama laid the foundation for Trump!

  19. So those who thought it was horrendous are now like, ‘Oh it’s Obama; well that’s cool then’.
    Lol

  20. Everything is Trump, Trump, Trump.

  21. Wrong! he has a British passport so he does not need a visa

    • Stacy we can’t help if you don’t actually read the information we find for you. It is precisely because he had a British passport that he got into problems.
      But you would only find out if you read the story rather than comment based on the headline.

      • I do not get the impression that he got into problems because he had a British passport. If his final destination was T&T, it was more than likely he would have used his T&T passport and as the US Embassy Release states, T&T is not part of the VWP.

        It appears safe to conclude therefore that he encountered visa problems because of his T&T passport.

        • Lasana Liburd

          JBA, all I can tell you is all evidence so far suggests that he used a British passport. And I’m not referring to evidence from a Tweet or the Sun. But immigration information–from the T&T Govt as well as the US Embassy.
          Why would he use a British passport to come to Trinidad? Because he incorrectly thought that would spare him from needing a visa appointment.

  22. Did he travel on a British Passport or a passport other than his TT passport?

  23. Well played lasana. Chalk up one for responsible journalism.

  24. So the $6M question is, will he be here in time to partake in the Carnival?? That is the real crisis here!!

  25. Hmmm. The devil is in the details ☺

  26. The officials at Qatar did not do their jobs properly when they appeared to have omitted informing/reminding York of the change in the VWP travel requirements that would have come into effect in December 2015 (under President Obama) .
    The ensuing furore could have been avoided.
    The (British) Guardian carried Yorke’s description of his experience :https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/18/dwight-yorke-felt-like-criminal-denied-entry-usa?

  27. It’s the era of inaccurate reporting. Joy!

  28. Yeah, but that suggests that he has not travelled to the US in the last 15 months. I think his charity game in Iran was long before that.
    This story has too many sides , I will wait to hear all sides, before coming to a conclusion.

  29. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

    …nothing to see here; moving right along!