After Poles started traveling visa-free to the United States of America in November 8, now Croatian officials are claiming that Croatia is also nearing an agreement with the United States for its citizens to travel to the country visa-free for business and tourism purposes.

According to the Croatian Daily Newspaper Večernji List, the US and Croatia will finalize important security criteria before this year’s end, which will lead to an agreement of visa-free travel between both countries.

At the same time, the US Embassy in Zagreb claims that Croatia is closer than ever to meeting the criteria to join the US Visa Waiver Program, what would enable Croatian passport holders to travel to the US by only obtaining an online travel authorization known as the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

Croatia is close to meeting the criteria and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to help Croatia meet the requirements. We urge the Croatian Government to take a proactive role and review the successful steps the Polish Government has taken in its bid for the admission to the Visa Waiver Program,” the embassy asserts.

In order for Croatia to join the US Visa Waiver Program, one of the main criteria is that it must have a rejection rate of B1/B2 visas under 3% of the total number of applications processed by the Us Embassy in Zagreb.

Currently, visa rejection rate for Croatian nationals is at 4.02%, compared to the previous year when it was 5.96%.

Data shows that among the main reasons why tourist and business visas to the US are rejected for Croatian applicants, is because of the absence of strong evidence that proves they have the necessary financial means to support their trip and stay in the US.

Croatians are among the non-Schengen EU countries – alongside Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus – which are not part of the US Visa Waiver Program. Their citizens still have to obtain a B1/B2 visa when traveling for tourism or business purposes to the United States.

In 2016, the European Commission had urged the US authorities to provide Poland and the other four with the right to travel visa-free just like the majority of EU citizens, what hasn’t happened yet.

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