US visa
US visa iStock

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides announced Monday that progress had been made in the negotiations to add Israel to the US Visa Waiver program,

"Seeing some news in Israel on the Visa Waiver Program. We still have lots of work to do, but I'm thankful to have a great partner for this in @Ayelet_Shaked. Looking forward to rolling up our sleeves together to help Israel meet all the requirements," Ambassador Nides wrote on Twitter.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked responded: "Thank you @USAmbIsrael for your partnership and leadership on this important initiative. I’m eager and optimistic to work together and to make this change that so many have waited to see."

Israel has for years sought entry to the program, which allows 90-day stays and does not require prearranged visas. Israelis see it as a means to enhance business and trade with the United States.

Shaked has stated that despite a willingness on behalf of the US administration, the process is slow and could take up to two years.