FAQ: inclusion of Croatia in the visa waiver program

As of September 28, 2021, Croatia has concluded all necessary bilateral security agreements and achieved the required B1 / B2 visa refusal rate, and has qualified to be nominated for entry into the US visa waiver program. visa, which means that Croatian citizens can travel to the United States for business and tourism in most cases without a visa.

  • By November 1, 2021, Croatian citizens will be able to travel to the United States visa-free, after obtaining approval from the online Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA). Travelers are encouraged to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before the intended trip.
  • Visa-free travelers must have passports with integrated computer chips and must obtain an ESTA, which currently costs $ 14 and is valid for up to two years for multiple trips to the United States.
  • Travelers should only use the official ESTA website at esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
  • Croatian citizens who wish to travel to the United States for more than 90 days or who wish to engage in activities requiring other visa categories (for example, working or studying in the United States) should always apply for the appropriate visa category. Croatian citizens who are denied ESTA must also apply for a visa.
  • Full details on the Visa Waiver Program (including ESTA) are available on the U.S. Embassy website: https://hr.usembassy.gov, as well as the US Customs and Border Protection ESTA website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov, and the State Department’s travel website at http://travel.state.gov.

Inclusion of Croatia in the visa waiver program

Q: How do Croatian citizens get to the United States after Croatia is included in the visa waiver program?

A: For short-term tourist and business trips of 90 days or less, Croatian citizens who apply for and receive an approved online authorization through the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA) do not need a visa. . For other categories of travel, including stays longer than 90 days, to work or study in the United States, a visa is still required.

Q: Do Croatian citizens have to register anywhere to travel visa-free to the United States?

A: To travel without a visa, the Croatian citizen traveler must also apply for an ESTA online authorization. ESTA enables more effective and efficient pre-selection of travelers. ESTA is required for travelers from the 40 member countries of the Visa Waiver Program (including Croatia). Travelers should only use the official ESTA website at esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

Q: How much does ESTA cost?

A: The ESTA currently costs $ 14, which is significantly less than the $ 160 fee for applying for a US tourist / business visa.

Q: I have a visa that is still valid. How will I travel to the United States?

A: Any traveler who has a valid visa can continue to use it. A valid visa holder does not need to apply for ESTA. People traveling on visas can stay in the United States for up to six months, as determined by the immigration officer at the United States port of entry.

Q: How long can Croatian citizens stay in the United States when traveling there without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program?

A: Croatian citizens can travel under the Visa Waiver Program for short-term tourist or business trips up to 90 days. Extensions are not possible.

Q: I have already been refused a visa or had problems at a port of entry into the United States. Can I now travel to the United States without a visa?

A: Typically, an applicant who has been previously refused a U.S. visa or has a history of other incidents that may affect visa eligibility, such as a criminal conviction or prior violation of the US immigration, will not receive an approved ESTA and therefore will not be able to travel. without visa. If you have been arrested in the past, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, if you have a serious communicable disease, if you have been refused entry or been deported from the United States, we do not recommend trying to travel with ESTA. Any traveler who is denied an ESTA can apply for a US visa at a US embassy or consulate.

Q: Are there any other restrictions on visa-free travel?

A: Visa-free travel is generally only available to people arriving on commercial flights or regular cruise ships. In addition, special rules apply to people crossing by car or on foot at land entry points. Please read all of the frequently asked questions available on US government websites regarding the Visa Waiver Program and ESTA (see below) and view the list of Visa Waiver Program carriers here.

Q: Where can Croatian citizens find more information about the Visa Waiver Program?

A: Complete details on the Visa Waiver Program (including ESTA) are available on the US Customs and Border Protection ESTA website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and on the State Department’s travel website at http: //travel.state. govt.

Q: Do Croatian students still need a J1 visa to participate in the summer travel program and other exchange programs (such as camp counselor, intern / intern)?

A: Yes, these exchange programs require a J1 visa. People traveling without a visa are not permitted to engage in any type of exchange program activity or other employment while in the United States.

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