Photo Credit: World Travel & Tourism Council via Flickr
Alejandro Mayorkas

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said he has been working with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on getting the country into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program administered by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Erdan said on Monday that Israelis who finish their national or military service and are looking to travel and work abroad, but not make a permanent move, are often refused visas.

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He said “this lack of understanding” led to the refusal of visa applications, and therefore, an influx of young people temporarily into the United States.

Erdan said the U.S. official was “surprised by the figures” when they met over the weekend to discuss the issue.

“It is time for the citizens of Israel to feel the close relationship with our most important ally when they want to visit,” said Erdan.

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