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Travel to the U.S. Without a Visa

Posted January. 26, 2007 06:27,   


Koreans are expected to be able to enter the U.S. without a visa before January 2009 when George W. Bush completes his tenure as president.

Paul Rosenzweig, the Department of Homeland Security`s (DHS) acting assistant secretary for International Affairs, indicated such change as he explained the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) reforms to representatives from 13 countries including Korea, the Czech Republic, and Greece on January 24 in Prague. He said that he would have a one-on-one meeting with officials from each of the 13 countries to discuss ways to complement and improve the expansion of the VWP and to cooperate on legal issues concerning the program.

Five Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, including George Voinovich from Ohio, presented a bill to expand VWP to nations on January 23. The passage of the bill is expected to expedite the date when people from the VWP countries can begin to enter the U.S. without a visa. To become a VWP nation, the Korean government is planning to make efforts to reduce the visa rejection rate to less than three percent from the current 3.5 percent by September. In addition, the government plans to issue electronic passports with a built-in integrated circuit chip (IC) that contains personal information starting in the second half of this year.