Ben Gurion Airport

US Applauds Israel’s Revised Travel Policy Ahead of Visa Waiver Program

The United States government has welcomed the new travel policy announced by Israel regarding U.S. citizens entering the country for short-term visits.

State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, said in a statement that the U.S. believes these changes, effective from July 20, will ensure equal treatment for all U.S. citizens, regardless of their national origin, religion, or ethnicity.

Miller explained that the new policies would be applicable to all U.S. citizens, including Palestinian Americans. They will now be able to travel to Israel through all ports of entry, which also includes the Ben Gurion Airport.

This policy shift came on the heels of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the US and Israel, setting the terms for Israel’s entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

Miller emphasized that to gain entry into the Visa Waiver Program, Israel must meet a complete list of requirements. He added, “The Department is working closely with the Government of Israel in its efforts to meet those requirements, in furtherance of our shared goal that Israel join the Visa Waiver Program when it meets all program requirements.”

The U.S. State Department has stated it will continue to engage with Israel closely, monitoring the implementation of the updated travel policies, which will significantly influence Israel’s candidacy for the Visa Waiver Program.

Starting Thursday, Israel is set to commence a month-long trial, testing its readiness to offer unrestricted passage to Palestinian-Americans residing in the West Bank. This pilot program is considered to be a critical step towards Israel’s bid to join the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which would allow Israeli citizens to travel to the U.S. without the need for a visa. The success of this initiative thus carries significant implications for future travel arrangements between the two nations. (AA)

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