ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Official: Israel expects US announcement on visa waiver program by end of month

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Travelers at the departure hall of Ben Gurion Airport a day before the Jewish holiday of Passover, April 4, 2023 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Travelers at the departure hall of Ben Gurion Airport a day before the Jewish holiday of Passover, April 4, 2023 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Israel is expecting an announcement by US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on September 28 about the visa waiver program.

A senior official says “Israel has met all the conditions,” and is expecting to the program to begin two months after the announcement.

The official speaks after a meeting in New York between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden.

Israel has sought to join the program, which enables citizens to travel to the United States without a visa, for decades. Currently, Israelis who do not hold citizenship in any of the 40 countries in the waiver program must apply for permission to travel to the United States, a process that typically results in a visa but can be extensive.

The US has long held up entry over Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Americans.

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