Chile will join the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), announced the US Department of Homeland Security, at a ceremony organized in the Ronald Reagan building in Washington DC, the headquarters of the concerned department. Felipe Bulnes, Chilean Ambassador to the US participated as a representatives of Chile, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfredo Moreno.
Chile will be the first Latin American country to be included in the visa waiver program after this ceremony and currently there are 38 countries in the VWP. To be successfully included as a member in VWP, Chile must abide by some terms and conditions along with the signing of agreements on matters of support with respect to some imporant matters. These are in regard to combating serious crimes and the exchange of useful information that is helpful for detecting terrorist-related activities, eliminating temporary blocking of lost and stolen passports, implementation of electronic passport that has been introduced in September 2013 and reduce the visa refusal rate by less than 3%. Alfredo Moreno, the Minister of Foreign affairs, said at the end of the ceremony that joining in VWP is an affirmation by the American authorities of the reliability and maturity of Chilean institutions, the strength of that country’s registration and identification system that delivers protection and travel documents and reliable identity. It is now the duty of Chile is to carry out its foreign agreements and treaties. Chile has been committed to fighting drug trafficking, terrorism, etc. and achieving economic growth and political stability since 20 years.
After the joining of Chile as a member of the VWP, citizens of Chile can travel to the US for business or tourism in ways that save money and time, as they do not have to attend in-person interviews for the visa application process at the consulate of the US. They also need not pay the US$160 fee. All they would need is an electronic passport that can be obtained for a considerably lower price.