Sunday, October 24, 2021

US includes Croatia in visa waiver program

28 September (WNN) — The Biden administration on Tuesday added Croatia to its visa waiver program, allowing citizens of the Balkan nation to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without requiring any travel documents.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that from December 1 the electronic system for travel authorization would be updated to allow Croatians to enter the country for business or travel for up to three months.

“The designation of Croatia as a partner in the VWP is an important step towards further strengthening the long-standing economic and security cooperation between the United States and Croatia,” the department said.

Croatia is the 40th country to be nominated under this programme.

“We welcome the decision of [Department of Homeland Security] To include Croatia in the visa waiver program,” said Croatian President Zoran Milanovic a statement. “By realizing this foreign policy priority, we will further strengthen ties.”

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, which Croatia is a member of, also welcomed the move. In a statement, he said that he spoke to Mayorkas on the phone who informed him about Croatia’s involvement.

“I am very grateful to you for the update and indeed for the decision on Croatia,” she said.

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The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs also celebrated its country’s involvement, calling it “an incentive” to further deepen ties.

“This process has taken years to build and is the fulfillment of one of the [Croatia’s] long-standing foreign policy goals,” it said via twitter.

According to the Department of State website, a country must meet a number of requirements to be considered for inclusion in the program, including: advanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States, e- Passport use, refusal rate by a visitor below 3%, timely reporting of both empty and issued lost and stolen passports and maintenance of high anti-terrorism, law enforcement border control and document security standards.

In the United States, the State Department’s chief deputy spokeswoman, Jalina Porter, told reporters during a news conference that her department was “delighted” by Homeland Security’s decision.

“Our strong relations with Croatia are based on shared values, shared security and shared prosperity,” he said. meet the eligibility criteria.

“Croatia is a reliable partner and NATO ally, and visits between our countries both enhance and deepen our strong ties,” she said.

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