The United States has cut the validity period of travel in its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for Hungary passport holders because of verification concerns.
The U.S. on Tuesday reduced the allowance for Hungarian passport holders under the ESTA from two years to one year, and limited each to only a single entry into the U.S., because of concerns that a sizeable amount of Hungarian passports over the last nine years weren’t fully verified.
The issues started more than 10 years ago when its government began offering a simplified naturalization process that allowed those who didn’t live or intend to live in Hungary to obtain a passport. According to reports, hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were issued passports under that system, which the U.S. considers to be lax, and the U.S.’s efforts to work with Hungary to improve that verification failed.
The change makes Hungary a provincial member of the Visa Waiver Program, which allows passport holders from 40 countries to enter the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days.