The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will designate Malta as a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country on December 30, 2008. Earlier this year, Malta was on the "visa waiver road map" which signified that the country was taking pro-active steps to meet the U.S. government's requirements for qualification for the VWP. To become part of the VWP, Malta had to meet a range of security requirements, "including more enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States."

Beginning on December 30th, 2008, citizens of Malta will be eligible to travel without a visa to the United States for up to 90 days for tourism or business, as long as they have an e-passport and an approved authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). For more information on ESTA please see our November Immigration Insights or click here.