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US urges Israel to expedite legislation needed for visa waiver

A senior official at the US Embassy in Jerusalem warned that if the Knesset waits until after the Nov. 1 elections to pass legislation required for the American visa-waiver plan, the wait for entering the program could be very long.
Passengers arriving from the United States walk with their luggage at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Lod, Israel, Nov. 1, 2021.

An unnamed senior official at the US Embassy in Jerusalem told Israeli media Aug. 4 that if the Knesset fails to pass legislation necessary for entering the American Visa Waiver Program (VWP), Israelis may have to wait 12-18 months before another opportunity for visa exemptions for tourists becomes available.

The official explained that if the procedure for applying to enter the VWP is delayed, US authorities will have to base their decision on data from 2023, instead of earlier data. This, in return, could harm the Israeli request.

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