Washington – Chilean citizens have been chosen for the U.S. Visa Waiver program, Chile's president said here Monday.
"We have made important progress toward winning Chileans permission to visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa," Sebastian Piñera said during a press conference in Washington, where he will meet Tuesday with President Barack Obama.
Chile's acceptance into the program that already includes some 30 countries, including Spain, Portugal and France, "will facilitate tourism and relations" with the United States, Piñera said. Chile would be the only Latin America country that is part of the program.
Elimination of the visa requirement for Chilean citizens who wish to visit the United States for a maximum of 90 days "requires compliance with conditions that Chile has already been complying with," Piñera said.
Among them, the president mentioned the recent signing of pacts by Chile to take an active part in fighting terrorism and organized crime.
Still pending is a visit to Chile by a delegation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to certify that the country is complying with all the requirements needed to enter into the Visa Waiver.
More than 200,000 Chileans currently visit the United States every year.