Israel’s foreign ministry announced on Monday its anticipation of joining the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. This development would permit Israeli citizens to enter the United States without requiring a visa.
In order to qualify for inclusion in this program, the State Department necessitates that participants treat all U.S. nationals equally, irrespective of any other citizenship they might possess. In the context of Israel, this would translate to unhindered access for Palestinian Americans to enter Israel, including travel to Gaza and the West Bank.
Since July, Israel has been conducting a pilot program aimed at facilitating border access for Palestinian Americans.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen expressed his enthusiasm about this development, stating, “this is great news for all Israeli citizens. In a few weeks, Israelis will be able to travel to the United States without the need for a long wait for a visa from the U.S. Embassy.”
Cohen further described the new policy as “a diplomatic achievement for Israel.”
Israeli citizens will be able to travel to all 50 U.S. states for a maximum period of 90 days when the effective date starts, which has been estimated to be no later than December 2023. Entry permits are expected to cost $21 and be issued within 72 hours.