Adjusted B visa refusal rates were as follows: Only a few of the reciprocal agreements currently in force between EU and non-European countries. Restrictions on the use of the visa waiver program have no impact on this group of travellers unless there is a law or regulation that provides for it separately. For example, a Canadian citizen who briefly survived a previous visit to the United States (less than 180 days) will still not need a visa for future visits, while a VWP national who holds is no longer eligible for VWP for life and requires a visa for future visits. Bilateral visa-free agreements allow some non-EU passport holders to stay in the Schengen area without a visa beyond the 90-day limit. But what is a bilateral agreement and how can travellers benefit from an extension of the visa exemption in Europe? While all participating nations must grant a reciprocal visa exemption to U.S. citizens (usually ninety days for tourism or commercial purposes), Australia is the only nation to require U.S. citizens to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) which is in fact a visa stored electronically in a computer system of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). ETA has replaced visa-free travel to Australia and the only nation that has granted visa exemption to Australia is New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (instead of not applying for a visa, NZ citizens are automatically admitted upon arrival). A passport holder must apply for and purchase an ETA through an authorized travel agency, airline or DIAC`s official website before departing for Australia. However, because the ETA process is relatively formless, the United States recognizes it as the equivalent of visa exemption. Citizens of the European Union and other European countries must apply for an eVisitor electronic travel authorization to travel to Australia, similar to the ETA programme, but free of charge.  Australian government policy is similar to that of the United States, which requires visa waiver program participants to apply for an EEA in the same way. [Citation required] To travel on the VWP without a visa, you must obtain an authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding a U.S.-bound carrier.
ESTA is a web-based system operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to determine authorization to travel to the United States for tourism or business under the VWP. Visit the ESTA website on the CBP website for more information. Hong Kong is the only developed country with a higher human development index than the United States, which citizens cannot benefit from. Since 2012, the visa refusal rate for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has fallen to 1.7% for the HKSAR passport and 2.6% for the British National Passport (Overseas).  Hong Kong met all VWP criteria, but was not an option at the time, as it is not legally a separate country, although it has its own passports and an independent judicial system, a monetary system and immigration control. Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang raised the issue with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2011 visit to the United States and was well received.  On May 16, 2013, a multi-party amendment was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not in a dent. On August 10, 2015, Clifford Hart, U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong and Macao, said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that the visa waiver will not take place “for the foreseeable future,” as the Visa Waiver Act requires the participant to be a “sovereign state” and Hong Kong is not independent, ending the possibility of Hong Kong joining the program.