It’s official! Poland joins US visa waiver programme
Poland has officially been entered into the USA’s Visa Waiver Programme, President Andrzej Duda and US Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher announced at a press conference.
The first country in five years to join the programme, from November 11th Poles can travel to the United States for 90 days business or tourism without applying for a visa.
In an announcement through the Department of Homeland Security, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said: “The inclusion of Poland into the Visa Waiver Program is a testament to the special relationship that exists between our two countries, and the ongoing friendship and close cooperation on our joint security priorities.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Polish government as we deepen our security cooperation as well as make travel easier for our citizens.”
The symbolic date, with November 11th being the anniversary of Poland regaining independence, brings a long awaited development in Polish-American relations.
With the Polish diaspora, Polonia, in the United States having as much as 10 million people and the citizens of only three other EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania) being required to apply for a visa, it was high time.
Jayne Forrester, Director of International Development at Official ESTA, commented: “Poland was previously excluded due to a large proportion of visitors to the U.S. overstaying their visas.
“However, the country has now been acknowledged as a significant contributor and awarded with its partnership. As part of the program, both countries will be able to grow cultural ties and build their economies - encouraging greater tourism and business opportunities.”
To enter the Unites States, Polish visitors need to register through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), using the website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
Apart from obtaining ESTA (at least 72 hours before the planned trip), which currently costs 14 dollars, visa-free travellers must have biometric passports valid for at least three months. Once the authorization is given, they can travel to the US multiple times with the period of two years.
It is still possible to apply for a visa or use the one we already have, especially if we plan to prolong our stay over the allotted 90 days. Such prolongation is not possible under the Visa Waver Program.
In addition, those who plan to study or work in America also need to apply for an appropriate visa.
For further information go here: https://www.official-esta.com/visa-waiver-program/esta-for-polish-citizens.