Breaking news from today:
ISRAELI CITIZENS ELIGBLE FOR ESTA VISA WAIVER EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is announcing the start of visa-free travel for short term visits to the United States for eligible Israeli citizens and nationals following Israel’s admission into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Starting today, Thursday, October 19, eligible Israeli citizens and nationals can start applying for authorization to travel to the United States through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
September 26, 2023, DHS, in consultation with the Department of State,
designated Israel into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows eligible
travelers to apply online for authorization to travel to the United States
through ESTA. These authorizations allow successful applicants to travel to the
United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without first
obtaining a U.S. visa. Israeli citizens and nationals with valid B-1/B-2 visas
may continue to use them for business and tourist travel to the United States.
in the VWP requires that any citizen seeking to enter the United States visa
free be from a country that extends to U.S. citizens and nationals the
privileges we would extend to their citizens and nationals. Israel has
committed in writing to the United States that all U.S. citizens traveling with
a U.S. passport may seek to enter Israel without regard to national origin,
religion, or ethnicity. The United States continuously monitors
implementation of program requirements by all Visa Waiver Program countries,
including Israel, to ensure that they remain in good standing with all program
Israeli citizens and nationals must have a biometrically enabled passport book.
Travelers who possess non-biometric, temporary, or emergency travel documents,
or travel documents from a non-Visa Waiver Program designated country, are not
eligible for travel under the Visa Waiver Program and may instead apply for a
U.S. visa. ESTA applications may take up to 72 hours for processing. The ESTA
application will be available in English only at this time and will be
available in other languages no later than November 1, 2023.
is an automated system that assists in determining eligibility to travel to the
United States under the Visa Waiver Program and whether such travel poses any
law enforcement or security risk. Upon completion of an ESTA application,
travelers are notified of their eligibility to travel to the United States
under the Visa Waiver Program. DHS uses the application data to vet travelers
before granting authorization to travel to the United States. As part of this
vetting process, information that identifies suspected or known violators of
the law and other persons of concern will be provided to the appropriate law
enforcement, national security, and/or counterterrorism agency.