Sep 29, 2023

Israel Added to Visa Waiver Program/ESTA

On September 27, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Israel into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). By November 30, 2023, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be updated to allow citizens and nationals of Israel to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without first obtaining a visa. The DHS identifies the change as one to further strengthen the security, economic, and people-to-people ties between the United States and Israel. To this end, Israel has implemented travel policies to allow all U.S. citizens to request entry to Israel for up to 90 days for business, tourism, or transit without obtaining a visa.

Under the VWP, citizens and nationals of Israel will be able to apply online for authorization to travel to the United States through ESTA. These authorizations are generally valid for two years. Individuals not eligible for the VWP/ESTA may continue to seek B-1/B-2 visas at U.S. consular posts. Admission under the VWP/ESTA does not allow the traveler to extend his or her status or to change status to any other type of visa.

For more information and inquiries feel free to contact Laleh Sharifi, Partner and the Business Immigration Practice Group Leader of Smith Gambrell & Russell, LLP, by email at, or by telephone at (404) 815.3787.

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