In this blog post, we share with you some exciting new updates in immigration for Croatia and Syria.
We are very happy to announce that Croatia has now joined the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program allows foreign nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for purposes of tourism or business without having to obtain a U.S. visa. Such stays are limited to 90 days or less, and all travelers must have a valid and approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States.
Visa Waiver participants are not eligible to change or extend their status within the United States during those 90 days. Only applicants who enter on a U.S. visa may apply for a change or extension of status with USCIS. It is also important to note, that applicants who have been denied a U.S. visa in the past are ineligible for ESTA.
When can Croatian nationals travel under the Visa Waiver Program?
The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken designated Croatia as a new participant in the program, that is set to start no later than December 1, 2021. The agencies announced that the ESTA interface will soon be updated to allow Croatian nationals to apply for ESTA prior to travel to the United States. Applicants should note that ESTA authorizations are generally valid for two years. Those with valid B1/B2 visas are recommended to continue to use their visas for travel to the United States.
Following the announcement, Secretary Mayorkas said that the designation of Croatia as a new participant in the Visa Waiver Program is an important recognition of U.S./Croatian shared economic and security interests.
With this new announcement, Croatia becomes the 40th member of the Visa Waiver Program found eligible to participate after having met strict requirements.
Who else is eligible to travel using the Visa Waiver Program?
For a complete list of countries currently participating in the Visa Waiver Program please click here.
TPS for Syria EADs Automatically Extended through March 28, 2022
We would also like to announce some important information for Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries from Syria. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has automatically extended the validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for beneficiaries with a Category Code of A12 or C19 issued under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syria through March 28, 2022.