U.S. considering adding Romania to visa waiver program

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Romania may be included in the U.S visa program that allows citizens to come to America without a visa stay of up to 90 days, an top U.S. official has said.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday the United States is considering adding four countries to the program.

„We have four candidates in the pipeline: Israel, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania,” he said on Tuesday at a travel industry event. „We’re very, very focused on the program,” he added, saying it provides significant economic and security benefits.

 Croatia was added to the visa waiver program in September. U.S. Travel Association Chief Executive Roger Dow said that adding Croatia was  a $100 million boost to the U.S. economy. „Each time you add one of these countries, the travel just booms,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

In February, the Homeland Security Secretary spoke with the European Commission’s Commissioner for Home Affairs and both „expressed their continued interest in maintaining the U.S.-EU Passenger Name Record Agreement and working with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania to meet the qualifications for the Visa Waiver Program.”

To participate in the program, a country must meet requirements related to counter-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security, and border management.

There are currently 40 countries in the program.

„These requirements include having a rate of non-immigrant visa refusals below 3%, issuing secure travel documents, and working closely with U.S. law enforcement and counter-terrorism authorities,” DHS said last month.

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