Croatians allowed to travel to US sans visa

 Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Croatian citizens will no longer need a visa in order to travel to the United States for purposes such as business or tourism, as the latter’s authorities have confirmed that Croatians can now enter the US visa-free, as soon as they obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).


The recent decision has been revealed through a statement published by the US Embassy in Zagreb, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.


“That day has come! Congratulations to Croatia on officially joining the Visa Waiver Program. If you are planning to go to the United States for business or leisure, you need to fill out an ESTA application form,” the Embassy has emphasised through its statement.


Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic also welcomed the decision.


At the same time, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Davor Božinović, stressed that Croatia needed to meet very demanding criteria in order to become a participant of the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) while he considered the finalization of such a program an important achievement for Croatians.


Croatia became part of the VWP on September 28, after the US authorities confirmed that the Balkan country met all the required criteria in order to become the newest member of this scheme.


Back then, it was reported that Croatians would be allowed to travel without visas to the US for business or tourism purposes with only travel permission starting from December 1, 2021. However, the process was finalized earlier than expected, and as of October 23, citizens of Croatia are eligible to travel visa-free to the US.


The US VWP, managed by the US Department of Homeland Security and State Department, is designed to permit travellers from other countries, now 40 countries, to enter the US for travel and business purposes for a total of 90 days without visas.


However, countries must meet several requirements in order to become part of this scheme. Among the conditions that other territories must fulfil are also included, counterterrorism, law, border management, immigration, as well as the percentage of non-immigrant visa refusal that should be under three per cent.


The US Homeland Security Department has urged all travellers to apply for ESTA as soon as possible. Application for ESTA is valid for two years.

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