The Peruvian government is set to kick off a process of close consultations with the United States leading to the inclusion in its visa-wiver program (VWP) in the medium term, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced.
Under the program, low-risk visitors from participating countries can travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days without a visa.Before Peru can join, the Andean nation must undergo a verification process which includes to meet the program’s security and information-sharing requirements.
"DHS and the Peruvian Foreign Ministry intend to consult closely and to take the necessary steps that would enable Peru to meet the requirements for VWP designation," said Alan Bersin, Acting Assistant Secretary at U.S. Office of Policy.
In a statement released Tuesday on its website
, the agency recognizes Peru’s desire to be designated as a participant in the VWP and the complexity of the qualifying process and its many requirements.
When asked about the announcement, Peruvian ambassador to the United States, Harold Forsyth, noted this is "the birth of a process."
"This is going to take time. I figure that we will be able to see concrete results in about three years, but taking into account that the U.S. has demanded visas of Peru since ... 1923, a wait of three years will not be much," the diplomat told Efe.
Thus, Peru could become the second South American nation to join the program, after Chile. If the country is accepted, Peruvians would be able to travel to the U.S. without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.