On September 27, 2023, DHS and DOS announced that, starting on November 30, 2023, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) would be updated to allow Israeli citizens and nationals to apply to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining an U.S. visa.
On October 19, 2023, DHS announced that the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for Israelis would start IMMEDIATELY! Under the VWP, citizens and nationals of Israel who wish to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for up to 90 days do not need to obtain a B visa anymore**. Travelers must apply online for an ESTA up to 72 hours in advance of travel. ESTA authorizations are generally valid for two (2) years, but need to be renewed in certain circumstances, such as obtaining a new passport or name changes. Israelis with valid B-1/B-2 visas may continue to use them for business and tourist travel to the U.S.
ESTA applications may be found at esta.cbp.dhs.gov or download the “ESTA Mobile” app.
**In general, foreign nationals who are determined by ESTA to be ineligible for participation in the Visa Waiver Program— because of past immigration compliance or law enforcement issues—will need to apply for a B visa at a U.S. consulate.
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