The US Embassy explains.

The United States announced on Tuesday that it has imposed significant restrictions on visa-free travel for people coming from Hungary. The embassy explains exactly what this means in a Facebook post.

What is the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

This program allows citizens of 39 other countries besides Hungary to enter the United States without a visa for a short business trip or tourist visit of a maximum duration of 90 days. Meanwhile, only those who obtain the required travel authorization through the Electronic System for Approval of Travel Authorizations, or so-called ESTA, can participate in the program.

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What has changed now?

The ESTA passes introduced as of today will only be valid for one year and for one-time use for all Hungarian passport holders. However, the fact that passengers born outside of Hungary and holding a Hungarian passport are not eligible for an ESTA and must apply for a visa to enter the United States does not change.

Will a new ESTA permit be required for each entry from now on?

Yes. The ESTA must be reapplied for each flight.

What happens to previously issued ESTAs?

According to the US Embassy in Budapest, the amendment is effective immediately, but only affects new ESTA applications received as of August 1. Previously issued ESTA permits are still valid for two years and for multiple entries.

Why does this change happen?

Despite the fact that, in its view, the United States government has made significant efforts for many years to avoid such a hardening and to resolve long-standing security concerns arising from Hungary’s simplified naturalization process, the Hungarian government has chosen not to address the issue with the United States. The fears that have arisen – the Americans argue.

As we mentioned above, according to the Ministry of the Interior, the United States requested the data of dual nationals, but they did not give it, so they “retaliated.” We wrote about more details about the case and the background to the action in Washington here:

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