U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed today a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) declaration with Romanian Ambassador Adrian Vierita. The security enhancements outlined in the declaration continues Romania's progress on the path toward visa-free travel to the U.S., and possible designation as a VWP member.
"I commend the Romanian government for its commitment to these security enhancements and our shared value of freedom," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "This achievement builds on the strong relationship our nations share and brings us closer to the day when the citizens of Romania can travel without a visa."
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) has been authorized by U.S. law for over 20 years, with 27 current members from Asia and Europe. The U.S. Congress authorized DHS in August 2007 to reform the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and strengthen the security arrangements required of existing participant countries, as well as to expand the conditions for aspiring countries to join the program.
The security enhancements outlined in the interim declaration represent important progress toward meeting the requirements of the modernized Visa Waiver Program (VWP). They include, better information sharing about international travel and border screening, improvements in information exchange on known and suspected terrorists, timely and comprehensive reporting of lost and stolen passports, developing an air marshals program, and expanding operations for U.S. Federal Air Marshals.