Following Sinema’s Calls, Departments of State & Homeland Security Announce Inclusion of Israel in Visa Waiver Program

Oct 4, 2023

Sinema and a bipartisan group of colleagues urged Secretaries Blinken and Mayorkas to allow Israeli citizens to travel to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa

WASHINGTON – Following the request of Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and a bipartisan group of her colleagues, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the designation of Israel into the Visa Waiver Program. 

Earlier this year, Sinema and a bipartisan group of senators urged the secretaries to include Israel in the program – allowing Israeli citizens to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism and stay up to 90 days without a U.S. visa.

“I’m glad the Administration listened to our calls and included Israel in the Visa Waiver Program. Allowing Israelis to travel to America without a visa boosts economic opportunities for our country and represents a strong step forward in our partnership with Israel,” said Sinema.

By November 30, 2023, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be updated to allow citizens and nationals of Israel to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without first obtaining a U.S. visa. Following updates in Israel’s travel policies, all U.S. citizens may request entry to Israel for up to 90 days for business, tourism, or transit without obtaining a visa.

Sinema’s first vote as Arizona’s senior Senator was to affirm the relationship between America and Israel by voting in favor of the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. The bipartisan legislation approved by the Senate provides critical security resources to Israel and reinforces that, amid efforts to isolate Israel, America stands strong alongside its ally.