US Ambassador Robert Kohorst (Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL) US Ambassador Robert Kohorst (Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL)

The percentage of rejected visa applications for travel to USA has fallen below 3% for Croatians, however, the visa requirement will probably not lifted until the end of this year, US Ambassador Robert Kohorst said in Zagreb on Monday.

Apart from the crucial requirement of a less than 3% refusal rate, some technical conditions still need to be met for the implementation of the Visa Waiver Program, and US services need to be convinced on the ground that all the procedures in Croatia have been conducted, said the diplomat.

Kohorst spoke on Monday and the Interior Ministry’s Ivan Vucetic Forensics Centre, where Croatian police unveiled a new biometric data system. He told reporters that visas should be lifted soon but that it would not happen before December 31.

Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Cyprus are the only European Union member states whose citizens cannot enter the United States without a visa.

During today's visit to the police facility, the ambassador praised the institution for the introduction of a new fingerprint identification system.

The new system facilitates the exchange of fingerprint data between Croatian police, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI.

The purpose of the system is to enable the timely and accurate identification of persons deemed to be a security risk.