Saturday, 23 October 2021

Croatians Can Travel to USA for Business, Tourism Without Visas as of Today

ZAGREB, 23 Oct 2021 - As of Saturday, 23 October Croatians can travel to the United States for business or tourism purposes without visas, after obtaining approval via the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, the US Embassy in Zagreb said.

In a statement to the media, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy, Mark Fleming, expressed satisfaction that Croatians now have the opportunity to travel to the USA without visas.

Croatia has entered the Visa Waiver Programme, a comprehensive security partnership between the United States and participating countries that enable travel to the USA for business or tourism purposes in the duration of up to 90 days, with national security being protected in the process.


''To America without Visa, Croatia is in the Visa Waiver Program: Find out more:'' (U.S. Embassy in Zagreb)

This was a long process but it was worthwhile and we congratulate the Croatian government on successfully meeting the strict conditions of entry into the Visa Waiver Programme, Fleming said, expressing satisfaction that this would deepen the ties between the United State and Croatia.

For a country to enter the VWP, it must meet criteria regarding the fight against terrorism, law enforcement, immigration, document security, and border management, and the percentage of rejected visa applications must be below 3%, which Croatia met only recently.

Application via ESTA is possible any time before travel but the US Homeland Security Department recommends that travelers apply as soon as possible, and 72 hours before travel at the latest, the US Embassy says.

Passengers from VWP countries and Croatians qualify as of today, do not have to present a specific travel itinerary before applying via ESTA.

Application via ESTA is generally valid for two years.

Passengers with valid B1/B2 visas should continue using their visas when traveling to the USA, the embassy notes.

 For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Foreign Minister Grlić Radman: Cancellation of Visa Regime For US is "New Recognition" of Croatia

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - The cancellation of visa requirements for Croatian nationals travelling to the United States is "a new recognition" 30 years after the recognition of Croatia, and a law on avoiding double taxation is expected to be signed now, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Tuesday.

Thirty years after the recognition of the Republic of Croatia this is "a new recognition", the minister said commenting on the announcement by the US Department of Homeland Security about Croatia joining the Visa Waiver Program.

Exactly a year has passed since the end of the fiscal year in the United States and that was the deadline for Croatia to submit a sufficient number of qualified applications, which means the visa refusal rate had to be below three percent, he recalled.

That qualified Croatia for the cancellation of visa requirements in addition to some other minor conditions, such as security in air traffic, he said.

The next step that both countries are expecting soon is signing an agreement on avoiding double taxation, which will facilitate business communication.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Number of Contactless Visa Transactions in Croatia Rises 20%

As Novac writes on the 21st of October, 2020, the number of contactless Visa transactions made across the Republic of Croatia has increased by an encouraging 20 percent, primarily due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, and there has, as a result of the same, been a noticeable increase in e-commerce transactions of 40 percent when compared to 2019, as was announced yesterday from Visa.

According to published figures, Visa processed more than half a billion additional contactless payments across Europe, transactions with which until recently had to be authorised with the input of a PIN number.

The reason for the increase, it is explained, is the growth of the amount that can be paid without the need for a PIN authorisation, because the limits have been increased in more than 29 countries across Europe as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the desire to avoid too much physical contact.

Visa is also noticing a growing demand for contactless payments throughout Europe, where more than 75 percent of payments via these cards are now contactless.

In some European countries, the share of contactless Visa transactions has more than doubled on an annual basis, and in many of the largest European countries, the share of contactless Visa transactions has increased by at least 20 percent in the past year.

Visa have pointed out that the possibility of digital payment in stores is no longer just a convenience, but a need for both consumers and merchants, and it enables shopping without any contact at payment terminals.

''The growing popularity of contactless Visa payments in Europe is not new - the pandemic has served to accelerate the existing trend, it's just that now, contactless payments are no longer just a convenience, but a necessity.

As soon as the global coronavirus pandemic began, we immediately focused on working with our partners across Europe to raise contactless Visa payment limits and thus help consumers pay more easily and securely and reduce the need for them to have to enter their PIN,'' said Renata Vujasinovic, the manager for Visa Croatia.

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