US Senators Propose VISA-Free Regime for Bulgaria
Two US senators - Mark Kirk and Barbara Mikulski have introduced a bill that if approved will allow free movement of the citizens of Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Croatia to the US. Allegedly, the initiative has been provoked by the pressure imposed on the senators by Polish community in Chicago, NOVA TV's correspondent Yasen Darakov reported.
Polish population in the town amounts to no less than 2 million people.
Currently, there already are 38 countries taking advantage of the VISA-free movement. However, Bulgaria is not among them and has registered a high number of denied entry documents.
According to Bulgarian Ambassador in Chicago, Simeon Stoilov, denied US VISA-s are approximately 15,2% of the total. However, having in mind the technology and the general practice, mainly 10-year VISA-s are being issued.
Senator Kirk explained that governments who are not willing to allow their citizens to travel freely to the US, need to improve their cooperation with US Secret Services.
According to the US Travel Association, VISA free programs across the world bring more than 19.5 million tourists on an annual basis. According to preliminary estimations, if more countries enter the VISA-free regime, additional 600,000 tourists will be admitted to the country. Additionally, this could be a substantial boost to US economy with additional USD 7 B and opening of 40,000 new employment opportunities.
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