US eases visa requirements for Israelis
Israeli applicants with a valid visa can now renew it online and send the passport in the mail without attending the consulate for a personal interview, Globes reports.
The US Embassy in Israel announced that it was easing the entry visa requirements for Israelis. Under the new regulations, Israelis who are renewing a valid tourist visa or whose visa expired during the past 12 months will not need to present themselves for a personal interview with an official at the US Consulate.
Applicants can request a visa renewal online and if their application is accepted they can send their passport to the consulate by mail or take it personally for the visa to be stamped on.
The US Embassy said, "The interview waiver program allows many Israelis renewing their visas to do so without attending a personal interview at the Embassy. The Embassy wishes to stress that visa applicants are responsible for the details entered on the form requesting a visa, whether or not it was a third party that filled in the application. Applicants must ensure that travel agents complete the request properly and select the appropriate type of service."
The interview waiver program will not apply to Israelis who were 14 or under when receiving their previous tourist visa.
The new regulations stop well short of putting Israel on the visa waiver program enjoyed by 38 selected countries, mainly in Europe but also including Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The visa waiver program allows citizens of those countries to visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa.