Croatia became the 40th member of the US Visa Waiver Program today, September 28.
From December 1 this year, Croats will be able to travel to the United States without a visa for up to 90 days at a time, with a travel permit only, for tourism and business purposes.
The move was announced by the US Department of Homeland Security, which indicated, in a press release, that the final decision was made by US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas, in coordination with Secretary of State Anthony J.
“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 on becoming the 40th member of the Visa Waiver Program having met the stringent requirements, and I look forward to our continued close cooperation on key priorities,” quoting About Minister Alejandro in Mallorcas.
The move was welcomed by many, including Croatian President Andrej Plenkovic.
“We welcome the decision of the Department of Homeland Security to include 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 recognizing this foreign policy priority, we will further strengthen relations,” the president wrote. On his official Twitter account.
Others also welcomed the news, including US Ambassador to Croatia Mark Fleming, Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic and the US State Department.
Croatia is the twenty-fourth member country of the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom, which is now a former member of the European Union) to become part of the Visa Waiver Program. The remaining three countries that are still not part of the program are Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria.
The four non-Schengen EU countries – Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland – are also part of the Visa Waiver Program.
Previously, TheSchengen.com reported that Croatians could be eligible for visa-free travel to the United States by the end of 2021.
The US Visa Waiver Program is a scheme run by the US Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the Department of State that now allows travelers from 40 countries to enter the US for purposes such as tourism or business and stay in the country for a maximum period of 90 days without having to obtain a visa before the trip.
To become part of the Visa Waiver Program, a country must meet several requirements, mainly related to counter-terrorism, law, immigration, document security and border management, as well as a nonimmigrant visa denial rate of less than three percent.