U.S. Officials Hailed Lithuania’s Preparations for Visa-Free Regime with U.S.


Lithuanian diplomats presented U.S. legislators and officials with Lithuania’s progress in implementing the roadmap for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. November 8-9 Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Oskaras Jusys, Consular Department Director Vaidotas Verba and Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas led meetings with the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the chairmen of the Baltic Caucus in the U.S. Congress John Shimkus (R-IL) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), other congressmen, representatives of U.S. State and Defense departments, as well as vice-president’s national security adviser Joseph Wood.

U.S. officials applauded cooperation among U.S. and Lithuanian consular officials in exchanging information on lost and stolen passports, ensuring the security of travel documents, joint actions informing the public about the U.S. visa issuing scheme and other matters related to the visit to the U.S. Lithuanian officials showed Lithuanian diplomatic passports with biometric data. Lithuania will start issuing such passports to all citizens in the middle of 2006.

The U.S. congressmen and administration representatives praised Lithuania’s achievements in the field of protection of personal documents and visas, the quality of training of Lithuanian consular officials, pledging that Lithuania’s progress would be properly evaluated during ongoing discussions on the U.S. immigration policy.

J.Sensenbrenner said at the meeting that he had not seen anything better than Lithuania’s documents with electronic chips containing biometric data.

The tasks performed in the framework of the U.S. Visa Waiver Roadmap also meet the tasks for the country’s preparedness to join the Schenghen treaty of the EU.