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U.S. considering adding Israel, Romania, Bulgaria to visa waiver program -Breaking


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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters). – U.S. Alejandro Mayorkas (Homeland Security Secretary) said that Tuesday’s announcement by the United States suggested adding four countries in its Visa Waiver Program. The program allows American citizens to enter America with no visa and can stay for as long as 90 days.

Mayorkas stated Tuesday that four potential candidates are in consideration: Romania, Bulgaria, Bulgaria, and Israel. He said that they are very concentrated on the program and added that it provides important economic as well security benefits.

The United States included Croatia in its visa waiver program in September. Roger Dow, Chief Executive of U.S. Travel Association stated Tuesday that the addition of Croatia was a $100,000,000 boost for America’s economy. Dow stated, “Every time you add one these countries to the mix, travel booms.”

In February, Mayorkas spoke with the European Commission’s Commissioner for Home Affairs and both “expressed their continued interest in maintaining the U.S.-EU Passenger Name Record Agreement and working with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania to meet the qualifications for the Visa (NYSE:) Waiver Program.”

A country can participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program if it meets certain requirements regarding counterterrorism, law enforcement and immigration enforcement as well as document security and border management.

The program currently has 40 members.

DHS last month stated that “These requirements include having an acceptable rate for nonimmigrant Visa refusals under 3%,” issuing travel documents with security and cooperating closely with U.S. law enforcement agencies and counterterrorism authorities.

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