Travel to the United States without the need for a visa, whether for tourism or business, is a benefit offered by the government of the North American country to some countries through the Visa Waiber or Visa Exemption Program, which allows a maximum to stay for 90 days without a visa, just a passport.
Worldwide, only 40 countries enjoy this privilege, of which only one is from Latin America, which in turn is one of the countries with the best development index in the region. This is Chile, a country that has been granted this benefit since February 28, 2014.
How did he get it?
For a country to be part of the list of countries that do not require a visa to enter the United States, it must meet a series of complex requirements requested by Washington, which may take several years to achieve. When looking at the case of Chile, the only country in Latin America with this benefit, important conditions must be met such as:
- Signing cooperation agreements for the prevention and combating of serious crimes and exchange of anti-terrorist information.
- Implementation of biometric electronic passport.
- Abolition of temporary blocking of stolen and lost passports.
- Reduction of the visa rejection rate to less than 3%.
Even with this program, it is required that the visitor has an electronic travel authorization, known as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which lasts for two years and costs $21. This system determines if a person is eligible to travel under a visa waiver or if they pose a security risk to the United States. The main reason why the North American country continues the visa exemption is because of the low number of irregular migration of Chileans to this country.
But Chile is not the only country in the region that has access to this benefit, historically Argentina and Uruguay were the pioneers in Latin America to enjoy this benefit, but they lost it in 2002 and 2003 due to the economic crisis that they went to. through two countries at that time and that increases the risk of illegal immigration.