March 18, 1995 in Nation/World

U.S. Waives Visas For Irish

Associated Press

Most visitors from Ireland will not need visas to enter this country beginning April 1.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service announced Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, that Ireland has been added to the visa waiver program for up to three years. After three years, the waiver on non-immigrant visas can be made permanent. The legislation authorizing visa waivers expires next year and would have to be renewed.

Under the program, which is reciprocal between the United States and the designated countries, visas are not required of visitors for business or pleasure for stays of up to 90 days. The visitors may not include people barred by law from entering the country.

Since the program began in 1988, permanent waivers have been granted to 22 nations: Japan, New Zealand, Brunei, and all of Western Europe except Portugal. Nations are chosen for waivers based on a previous low rate of visa rejections and a determination that residents of the country pose no threat to the health, safety, welfare or security of the United States.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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