Israeli officials notified Blinken is expected to officially announce move on Thursday after Israel complies with requirements, including easing travel for Palestinian Americans

The U.S. notified Israel unofficially on Saturday that it had complied with the requirements to join the Visa Waiver Program.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to confirm Israel’s acceptance and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas will sign an official proclamation one day later.

US to announce Israel’s acceptance into Visa Waiver Program
(Photo: Shutterstock, AP, Marc Israel Sellem)

As soon as the proclamation is signed, implementation will begin and is expected to last between four to six weeks, and by mid-November, Israelis will be able to receive a visa online.

Israel’s inclusion in the program hinged on improving travel for Palestinian-Americans from Gaza. Recently, Israel has aligned travel protocols for Gazan Americans with those for Palestinian Americans from the West Bank.

Last month the U.S. embassy in Israel stated that Washington “will make a final decision on Israel’s admission to the Visa Waiver Program by September 30, 2023.” 

Ben Gurion Airport
(Photo: Shutterstock)

The U.S. “remains committed to ensuring receipt of all relevant information necessary to evaluate Israel’s full implementation of its commitments under the MOU on Reciprocity,” the statement read.

“Should Israel be admitted to the Visa Waiver Program, Israeli citizens will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, following a transition period.”

As reported by Ynetnews