08 October 2008
America to allow Israelis visa-free entry
The American government is discussing plans with Israel to allow Israelis to enter the United States temporarily without applying for a visa, reports Yedioth Ahronoth.
Currently, Israelis wishing to travel to the U.S. for purposes of tourism or business must apply for a visa for America to enter the country. The U.S. Home Office Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte met with Israel’s Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, who is on an official visit to the US. The meeting focused on amending the American immigration policy so that Israel could become part of America’s visa waiver programme.
"This is a significant accomplishment," said Minister Sheetrit. "There is no reason for Israelis to have to go through the hassle of getting a visa… Israel doesn’t require Americans visiting it to have a visa and there is no reason for the US to demand that of Israelis."
Already this year, 313,000 Israelis travelled to the US, and the Israeli Minister is hoping his first attempt at requesting to become part of the visa-waiver programme will be successful and will take effect immediately.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in American visa and immigration services.
Article by Jessica Bird, American Visa Bureau.