DHS Signs Visa Waiver Agreement With Korea
On April 18, 2008, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan. The security enhancements outlined in the agreement “put[ ] Korea on the path toward visa-free travel to the U.S., and potential designation as a VWP member as early as later this year,” the DHS announcement states.
The DHS said it plans to establish an electronic system of travel authorization for air passengers. VWP travelers will be asked to provide some basic information online, which will generate an authorization number for travel. The agency said it will announce details on how the authorization systems will work, and when they will begin, later this year.
The VWP has 27 current members from Asia and Europe. The U.S. has signed enhanced VWP agreements with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Malta in recent weeks. Each country has committed to meeting the new security requirements of the program.