US Inbound Travel is Protected by the Extension of the Visa Waiver Authority

The US Departments of State and Homeland Security have extended the visa interview cancellation power for low-risk candidates, which was originally set to expire on December 31.
Under the card meeting waiver authority, judicial officers have the power to relinquish in-person visa interviews for particular low-risk non-immigrant visa applications. Candidates who meet the requirements have previously visited the country and are still subject to the stringent background investigations and screening processes that all non-immigrants go through.
Most citizens or nationals of participating nations can enter the United States for business or tourism stays of 90 days or less under the Visa Waiver Program ( VWP ) without needing a visa. Prior to traveling, travelers must meet all requirements and obtain a current Electronic System for Travel Authorization ( ESTA ) approval. The visitor may still apply for a visitor ( B ) visa even if they prefer to have one in their passport.
If the waiver authority had n’t been expanded, 40 % of people applying for visas would have had to wait much longer, costing billions of dollars in lost traveler spending and harming the US economy.
Experts in the US go industry emphasize the significance of meeting waivers for low-risk travelers in protecting the nation’s economy and reducing the pandemic-related visa backlog, which has slowed the expansion of international outbound travel to the country.
The number of visitors to the United States has decreased by 13 million compared to 2019, despite the fact that nearly four years have passed since the world COVID-19 crisis began. The repeatedly long wait times for immigration interviews, which now average more than 400 days in important source markets, are a significant contributor to this decline. A major step toward increasing global competitiveness and making travel easier and safer is granting the right to waive visa interviews.
64 million guests and$ 215 billion in paying over the following ten years were avoided thanks to the Biden administration’s expansion of the card cancellation authority. The US would have lost an extra 2.2 million customers and$ 5.9 billion in travel investing in 2024 alone without the improvement.
The Visa Waiver Program is already being used by 41 nations:
Andorra ( 1991 ), Australia ( 1996 ), Austria ( 2000 ), Brunei ( 1993 ), Croatia ( 2009 ), Czech Republic ( 2008 ), Estonia ( 2007 ), Finland ( 1989 ), Norway ( 2019 ), San Marino ( 1999 ), Slovakia ( 2008 ) Slovenia ( 1997 ), Sweden ( 1998 ), Taiwan ( 2002 ), United Kingdom ( 1988 ), and Malta ( 2008 ).
If they are applying for admission with passports from these nations, members of the new places of Curacao, Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba, and St Maarten ( the former Netherlands Antilles ) are not eligible to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
SOURCE: The Expansion of the Visa Waiver Authority Guards US Inbound Travel 

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