The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, recently announced that one more country would be added to the country’s Visa Waiver Program. After consulting with Antony J. Blinken, the Secretary of State, it has been determined that Israel has met the requirements to join the program and promote freer movement between the two countries. If you are attempting to travel between the United States and any of these countries and you have questions about visas or travel-related paperwork, you can talk to our Visa Waiver Program lawyer in New York City.

What Are the Benefits of the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program is designed to make it easier for people to travel between the United States and partner countries. This does not just encourage more international vacations. It can also make it easier for companies to do business and make partnerships across borders.

Starting on November 30 of this year, citizens and nationals of Israel will be able to apply online to receive authorization for travel to the United States. They must go through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, also known as ESTA. This is simpler than ever and there’s even a mobile app that travelers can use to ask for permission to travel.

What Did Israel Need to Do to Qualify for Inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program?

To qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, Israel also has to take steps to make it easier for travelers from the United States to be approved for trips to Israel. Partners in the VWP also have to work closely with American law enforcement and counterterrorism authorities.

Israel and its government put in a serious effort to be included in the VWP. Multiple new laws had to be passed and new entry procedures were developed for United States citizens. The country even established new information sharing systems that could make cooperation with international law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies even easier.

How Many Other Countries Take Part in the VWP?

Israel becomes the 41st country to join the visa waiver program. People who can obtain ESTA authorization can quickly and easily get approval for travel to the United States. The partner countries also have to offer visa-free travel for U.S. citizens as well.

The United Kingdom was the first country to join the program, with Japan following a few months later. Since then, many other countries have joined the program to make it easier for citizens of different countries to travel for business or pleasure.

Talk to an Experienced Immigration Lawyer

If you need assistance securing travel documents for yourself or a loved one, contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David. We are equipped to help you with any and all immigration matters, so reach out to our team today.