General Travel News

UAE unlikely to be added to US visa waiver programme

May 18 - The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) member countries have been finalized and it’s not likely that another member will be added to it, said US Ambassador to the UAE Richard Olson on Sunday.
Olson was asked whether or not the US government will respond positively to the UAE government’s demand that people from the Emirates receive the same treatment as offered to citizens of 34 other countries in the UAE who get visa on arrival to which he said: “There has been no addition in recent years and it is very unlikely a VWP member is added per se. Emiratis are eligible instead to obtain a 10-year multiple entry visa to the US.” Olson was speaking at the inauguration of online visa procurement at the US embassy in Abu Dhabi. “We are committed to being open to the world, in our trade and commerce and in our cultural, intellectual and citizen exchange,” he added. “We are equally committed to ensuring the safety and security of travel to and through the United States, not just for our citizens, but for 50 million visitors to the US annually.”
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi US Consul Sean Cooper said that to be part of the VWP, a country must meet security as well as other requirements. “VWP members are also required to maintain high counter-terrorism, law enforcement, border control, and document security standards,” he said.
The online visa regime enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
 

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