Colombia proposes U.S. remove visas to enter the country
It would become the second country in Latin America to do so after Chile.
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After the recent visit to Colombia by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the government of President Gustavo Petro proposed to eliminate the tourist visa requirement for Colombians who wish to travel.
So far, the request has only been made verbally, but the Colombian Embassy in the United States is moving forward to formally present the request to the U.S. authorities, according to Semana.
During Blinken's visit to Colombia, he and Petro also discussed other issues of interest to both nations, such as support for peace implementation, democratic governments, respect for human rights, and the current climate crisis.
If the Colombian government's request is approved, Colombia would enter the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), for which, according to the U.S. Office of Visa Affairs, the following requirements are requested:
- Enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States.
- Issuance of electronic passports.
- Having a visitor (B) visa refusal rate of less than 3%.
- Timely notification of lost and stolen passports, both blank and issued.
- Maintaining high standards of counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control and document security.
Even if Colombia complies with the above, designation as a VWP country is at the discretion of the U.S. government, as meeting the objective requirements of the VWP does not guarantee that a country will receive the designation.