At noon today, the Chilean ambassador to the United States, Felipe Bulnes, attending his last official activity in the North American territory, before finally returning to Chile to devote himself entirely to his role as an agent at The Hague in the Bolivian demand.
While much of his diplomatic duties ended last January, especially he booked the last days of February to be present at the crucial announcement made today the US Homeland Security, the pattern of the Chilean Interior Ministry. Event in which also will present the Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno, in his last visit to the North American country.
This is the official entry of Chile to the Esta Visa Waiver program, which eliminates the requirement for a visa to enter the United States, which will facilitate the exchange of visitors as the deadline from next May 1.
By signing the agreement, Chile will be the only country in Latin America that have the benefit, which in the past had Argentina and Brazil, among others.
However, after the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, the United States completely changed their income and security systems, raising the requirements to its visitors. Thus, the change of status of Chile comes after a long process of negotiations, whose first step was the naming of Chile as a candidate to enter the program in June 2013. At that date, Ambassador Felipe Bulnes already in functions in Washington and by the Foreign Minister Moreno led the efforts to meet the requirements. Among them, get a rejection rate of less than 3% visas, have an electronic passport, and a number of cooperation agreements in cases of serious, terrorist and modifications to the extradition treaty between the two countries offenses.
In practical terms, getting permission is needed to obtain the new Chilean passport (e) and fill out an application through the website, with a questionnaire more limited than at present with a maximum of 72 hours before the trip. Among other facilities, also it reduced its cost of US $ 160 to US $ 14 and will last for two years. You do not need any proof to board, as the authorization system will communicate by mail directly to the airlines. “It is a tremendous joy to make this project a reality, on the meaning and impact for Chileans,” said Ambassador Bulnes, who after signing the agreement plans to offer a dinner at his residence to celebrate.