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Romania’s refusal rate on visas for US goes down, but still among EU countries outside Visa Waiver program

Romania’s refusal rate on visas for the US dropped to 11.5 percent in 2013, compared to 17 percent in 2012, recent data from the US Department of State reveals. The drop is even bigger compared to 2010, when the refusal rate was almost a quarter.

This is good news for Romania, which, along with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Poland, are the only EU countries whose citizens still need a visa to enter the US. Romania has been trying to enter the Visa Waiver program, which would allow its citizens to enter the US and stay for 90 days without requiring a visa.

New legislation to change the current Visa Waiver program, supported by American president Barack Obama, entered the House of representatives in march last year, and then the Senate in May.

The new legislation would allow for an increase in the refusal rate from 3 percent to 10 percent, a level at which a country could be included in the Visa Waiver program. Should the new legislation pass, with its 11.5 percent refusal rate, Romania would be very close to entering the Visa Waiver program. The new legislation also introduces new criteria to calculate the refusal rate, by comparing to the number of individuals who ask for a visa, and not to the number of applications, which is currently the rule.

Romania’s refusal rate in 2013 was slightly above Poland’s, which is at 10.8 percent, but neighbour Bulgaria’s is still high, at 19.9 percent. Cyprus’ rate is of 4percent, the lowest of the group, while for Croatia, the refusal rate is 5.9 percent.

The highest refusal rates in the chart – 100 percent are for the Federated States Of Micronesia, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, and for bearers of Serbia and Montenegro passports. High refusal rate are also registered for Afghanistan – 62 percent, and Cuba – 61 percent.

editor@romania-insider.com