“As of today, Croatian citizens no longer have to obtain visas to travel to the United States for less than 90 days, and I congratulate all of us on that! As a rapporteur for relations with the United States, and also much earlier, as a member of the European Parliament, I have advocated abolition of the visa regime, which was a kind of discrimination, if compared to other citizens of the Union. In addition to meeting the conditions of less than three percent of rejected requests, Croatia has met all other conditions necessary for the free travel of its citizens to the United States. I hope that we will now use the opportunity to travel, to further develop economic and cultural relations with the United States, which is another great opportunity for us,” said Croatian MEP, foreign policy coordinator and rapporteur for relations with the United States Tonino Picula.
Croatia has entered the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), a comprehensive security partnership between the United States and participating countries that allows travel to the United States for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days, while protecting national security.
In order for a country to enter this program, it must meet criteria in the field of counter-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration, document security and border management, and the percentage of denied visas must be below 3 percent, which Croatia has met only recently. Applications through ESTA can be submitted at any time before the trip, but the Department of Homeland Security recommends that passengers submit the application as soon as possible, and at least 72 hours before the trip, according to a statement from the US Embassy. Passengers from VWP countries, who as of today are also citizens of Croatia, are not required to present a specific travel plan before applying through ESTA. ESTA requirements are generally valid for two years.