Romania Gets Ahead of Bulgaria Again: PM Expects Visa-Free Travel to US by October

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | May 15, 2024, Wednesday // 16:03
Bulgaria: Romania Gets Ahead of Bulgaria Again: PM Expects Visa-Free Travel to US by October

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has announced that Romanians will likely no longer require visas to travel to the United States by October of this year, as reported by the Romania Insider news site.

Ciolacu stressed the importance of continuous efforts by Romanians to renew expiring visas, citing Poland's successful experience in a similar process. He emphasized that the renewal of existing visas would contribute to lowering the refusal rate, a key condition for visa waivers.

"The US fiscal year concludes in September. I am confident that by October at the latest, visa requirements for Romanians will be lifted. However, it is crucial for Romanians to remain proactive in renewing their expiring visas," stated Ciolacu.

He underscored the need for Romanian citizens to grasp the historic significance of this moment and to actively participate in the visa renewal process.

Last month, Romanian authorities announced significant progress toward meeting the technical criteria for joining the US Visa Waiver Program. Eligibility for the program requires states to maintain a visa rejection rate of less than 3%. The government has called for the support of all Romanian citizens holding or previously holding a US B1/B2 visa to help achieve this objective.

In the meantime, Bulgaria is making strides towards achieving visa-free travel to the US, as highlighted by Michael J. Greer, the US Consul General in Bulgaria. Greer commended Bulgaria's recent advancements in this regard, including the appointment of a national coordinator for the visa-free travel program. He expressed confidence and underscored US backing for Bulgaria's endeavors. This development bodes well for enhancing diplomatic relations and facilitating seamless interactions between the two nations. However, despite expressing optimism and offering positive sentiments, Bulgaria has yet to receive concrete assurances from the US, and visa-free travel remains a distant prospect for Bulgarian citizens.

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Tags: Romania, US, visas, Bulgaria

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