US Visa Waiver Program: Croatians Can Now Travel Visa-Free to the US
Croatia became the 40th member of the United States Visa Waiver Programme on 28 September.
Starting from December this year, Croatians will be able to travel to the United States visa-free for up to 90 days at a time, with only a travel authorisation, for tourism and business purposes.
The move has been announced by the US Homeland Security in a press release noting that the final decision has been taken by the Secretary of US Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, in coordination with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.
Today’s designation of Croatia as a new participant in the Visa Waiver Program is an important recognition of our countries’ shared economic and security interests. I congratulate Croatia for becoming the 40th member of the VWP after having met strict requirements, and I look forward to our continued close cooperation on key priorities.Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas
The move has been welcomed by many, including Croatian President Andrej Plenković.
We welcome the decision of DHS on the inclusion of Croatia in the Visa Waiver Program. Croatian citizens who will be able to travel to the United States without visas will benefit the most. By realizing this foreign policy priority, we will further strengthen ties.Croatian President Andrej Plenković’s tweet from official Twitter account
Croatia is the 24th European Union Member Country to become part of the VWP. The remaining three countries that are still not part of the programme are Romania, Cyprus, and Bulgaria.
US Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
The US Visa Waiver Program is a scheme managed by the US Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the State Department that permits travellers from 40 countries to enter the US for purposes like tourism or business and stay in the country for a maximal period of 90 days without being obliged to obtain a visa before the trip.
To become part of the VWP, a country must meet several requirements, mainly related to counterterrorism, law, immigration, document security, and border management, as well as a rate of nonimmigrant visa refusals below 3%.
In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, Croatians must obtain authorisation through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to departure. In most cases, ESTA will be valid for two years.
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