Croatian citizens may be eligible to travel to the United States of America without the need to obtain a visa first, by the end of 2020.
The issue for abolishing visas for Croatians was discussed during a meeting held between the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister, Gordan Grlic Radman and the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in Munich, which also aimed to solve the double taxation situation between the two countries, VisaGuide.World reports.
“We have met all the conditions and this is only a matter of time. It is in the interest of both Croatian and US business people,” highlighted Grlic Radman, adding that Croatia may move to the US list of Visa Waiver Countries by the end of 2020.
Cooperation between both countries about the visa issue has started to show results, especially at the beginning of last year when the Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic visited the US government.
So far, the main reason why Croatians still travel to the US with visas for tourism and business purposes is that the rate of visa refusing for Croatians is considered to be quite high.
To be a part of the US Visa Waiver Program, the number of denied visas needs to be 3 percent, or below. According to the recent data, the visa refusal rate for Croatians has been reduced to 4.02 percent, from 5.96 percent, that has previously been.
Still, to continue the reducing rate, Croatia has been advised to follow the example of Poland, which in 2017 managed to reduce their visa refusal from almost 6 percent to below 3 percent, due to the agreements made with the US.
According to that agreement, the citizens of Poland were encouraged to have a US travel visa, including the Polish officials that also had to apply for a visa, and this method is considered now as a secure way that Croatia also needs to follow since the number of rejected visas for Croatian citizens is considered to be small, around 300 to 400.
‘Croatia is close to meeting the criteria and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to help Croatia meet all requirements. We urge the Croatian Government to take an active role and to look at the successful steps the Polish government has taken in its bid for admission to the visa waiver program,’ the US Embassy in Zagreb had previously stated in a notice.
Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus are the only EU member states that are not included in the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens of some countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business or other purposes for up to 90 days, without a visa.
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