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Israeli Citizens Granted 90-Day Visa-Free US Travel

2023 Oct 20, 18:11, Washington
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden (Image Credit: ANI)

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that eligible Israeli citizens and nationals can now travel to the United States for up to 90 days without requiring a visa, CNN reported.

This update accelerates the implementation of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for Israeli travellers, which was initially scheduled to begin on November 30.

Last month, the Biden administration confirmed Israel's inclusion in the VWP, allowing qualified travellers to enter the US without a visa. However, the latest announcement states that the US is now accepting applications ahead of schedule, according to CNN.

To take advantage of this opportunity, eligible travellers must apply online for authorisation through the US Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). To qualify, travellers must possess a biometrically enabled passport and plan to stay in the US for no more than 90 days.

It's worth noting that travellers with "non-biometric, temporary, or emergency travel documents, or travel documents from a non-Visa Waiver Program designated country" are not eligible and should apply for a US visa instead, as per the guidelines set by the DHS.

The DHS has stated, "Traveling on a visa may still be the best option for some travellers, such as those who plan to stay in the United States longer than 90 days or anticipate the need to extend their stay or change their status once in the United States."

While the application is currently available only in English, the DHS plans to offer it in other languages no later than November 1, CNN reported.

As the raging Israel-Hamas war entered its 14th day, the US has made clear that the aid in Gaza must reach civilians and not Gaza, adding that it will monitor "very carefully" how the aid is delivered in the region, US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Thursday (local time).

While addressing a press briefing, Miller said that the Israeli government has concerns that the aid that goes into Gaza will be diverted as there is no presence of Israeli military force and United Nations peacekeeping force in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defence Ministry said on Friday that a cargo plane landed at the Ramon Airport in southern Israel this morning, carrying military ambulances and medical equipment for the Israel Defense Forces, The Times of Israel reported.

The ministry said it is the 45th plane carrying equipment for the IDF to arrive in Israel since the war began on October 7. So far, some 1,000 tons of armaments have arrived in Israel, which are "designed to bolster the IDF's offensive plans," The Times of Israel reported citing the ministry statement.

The Biden administration is poised to request USD 105 billion in funding from Congress Friday to deliver aid and resources to Ukraine and Israel as both countries are embroiled in domestic wars, according to CNN.

The request includes USD 14 billion to Israel, which officials say reflects requests Biden received while travelling to Israel on Wednesday. 


US Department of Homeland Security Israel Hamas Israel-Hamas war Joe Biden Biden Israeli Defence Ministry IDF Mathew Miller Visa
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