Oct 1, 2021
Croatia Becomes Newest Nation to Participate in Visa Waiver Program
Jonathan A. Grode
Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement on Tuesday announcing Croatia as the newest participant in the Visa Waiver Program. The announcement highlighted the shared interests and continued cooperation between Croatia and the U.S. Secretary Mayorkas remarked that the “designation of Croatia as a new participant in the Visa Waiver Program is an important recognition of our countries’ shared economic and security interests.”
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), with the addition of Croatia, now features 40 designated countries, whose citizens will be able to travel back and forth between their home countries and the U.S., for either business or tourism without having to first obtain a visa, for up to 90 days. Given the lower threshold and requirements for travel between the U.S. and VWP designated countries, participant nations must meet comprehensive security goal posts.
Secretary Mayorkas added, “I congratulate Croatia for becoming the 40th member of the VWP after having met strict requirements, and I look forward to our continued close cooperation on key priorities.” Those countries designated for VWP are required to meet a continuing list of requirements related to national security, including counterterrorism, immigration enforcement, document security as well as border management. The requirements for participation also include that the participating country have a refusal rate for nonimmigrant visas under three percent, issuance of secure travel documents, while continuing to work with the U.S. on issues of counterterrorism.
These changes are slated to take effect no later than December 21, 2022, at which time the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will allow Croatian nationals to apply for authorization to travel to the U.S. under the VWP program.
If you have any questions about this policy, the VWP program generally, or your specific case please feel free to contact Green & Spiegel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Philadelphia Office directly at (215) 395-8959.