The Biden administration is set to announce on Wednesday that the country will admit Israel into the United States Visa Waiver (VWP), allowing the Israeli citizens to enter the states without visa from November 30 onwards, officials said.
The decision, which was expected by the Israel’s Foreign Ministry since Monday, is a win for the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist government, whose relations with the Washington has strained due to its policies towards Palestine and its judiciary overhaul plan.
In order to be eligible for the program that allows visitors to stay for up to 90 days in the country without a visa, Washington requires countries to meet certain requirements such as counterterrorism, immigration enforcement, law enforcement, border management, and document security.
In return, the countries are also required to treat all the U.S. travellers as equal despite of the other passports they hold. For Israel, this means free passage for Palestinian Americans at its airports and on journeys within the occupied territory of Palestine.
Some Palestinians have protested against Israel’s status of VWP as they alleged that the country has history of discriminating against Arab Americans and harassment at Israel borders.