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Israel to Join US ESTA Visa Waiver Program

By Nita Nicole Upadhye

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Israel to Join US ESTA Visa Waiver Program

Israel has been designated a participating nation in the United States’ Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

In a joint statement issued by the released by the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security on September 27, 2023, it has been confirmed that by November 30, 2023, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be updated to allow citizens and nationals of Israel to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without first obtaining a US visa.

As a reciprocal agreement, Israel’s travel policies are also being updated to allow all US citizens to request entry to Israel for up to 90 days for business, tourism, or transit without obtaining a visa.

Under the VWP, foreign nationals of certain countries are allowed to visit the US without a visa where they have been granted permission through online pre-screening. By joining the VWP, Israeli nationals would not in most cases need a visa to visit the US, but instead would only need to pass the online pre-screening test to be granted ESTA authorization.

Under current US rules, Israeli nationals have to apply for a visa before they can travel to the US, even if the trip is a short-term visit. The application process can take several months, with the applicant having to submit a petition, attend a visa interview and wait for their stamped passport to be returned.

 

US immigration advice

We continue to monitor developments in US immigration policy and procedures. If you have any queries or concerns about system changes, and the impact on your US immigration options and status, speak to our US immigration specialists.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

Author

Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law (AILA) and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with both US and UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

Nita successfully acts for corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, and athletes from across the globe, providing expert guidance on all aspects of US visa and nationality applications, and talent mobility to the USA.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.​

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.

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For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.

For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.