Romania will enter US Visa Waiver program by 2025, PM says
Romanian prime minister Marcel Ciolacu stated during his working visit to the US that Romania's entry into the Visa Waiver program will be announced next year, with the deadline being 2025.
"Based on what we agreed today, I believe that the announcement will be made next year. There will be sustained efforts from both the American side and Romanian citizens, including the diaspora in the United States, with the deadline set for 2025 for visa waiver. It was indeed a practical discussion," said the PM, cited by Agerpres.
The statement was made after Ciolacu met with secretary of defense Lloyd Austin and secretary of state Antony Blinken during his visit to the United States. Several Romanian officials, including the ministers of economy, defense, and foreign affairs are accompanying the PM on his working visit.
In connection with the visa waiver issue, Romania will sign two agreements with the American side regarding the exchange of information and cooperation in combating certain crimes.
"We also discussed the visa issue. It is an important objective for Romania. Romania has a coordinator and a working group [on the issue]. We work closely with American partners and the US Embassy. We have a program, so to speak, a very tight working plan, both in the legislative field and especially in consular cooperation, so as to reduce the refusal rate towards the target of 3%. We are optimistic, and by the end of the year, we intend to sign two additional agreements with the American side regarding the exchange of information and cooperation in serious crimes. As I mentioned, we work closely with the United States Embassy in Bucharest to significantly reduce the refusal rate,” the Romanian foreign affairs minister, Luminița Odobescu, told Euronews Romania.
According to the minister, Romania joining the visa-waiver program by 2025 is "a feasible target."
Earlier this year, the Romanian ambassador to the US reported that the secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, noted the country's significant progress toward gaining access to the visa waiver program.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Sabin Cirstoveanu)