Poland marks its inclusion in US Visa Waiver Program

US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher treats passengers with donuts, during the symbolic start of the visa-free travel program at the Chopin airport in Warsaw. Marcin Obara/PAP

Polish officials and US ambassador took part in a symbolic ceremony launching Poland's US Visa Waiver Program membership at Warsaw's Chopin airport on Tuesday.

As of November 11, Poles are able to travel to the US visa free for up to 90 days after they file online for permission via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). These permits are valid for two years.

US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher, present at the Tuesday event, said that she was excited that thanks to Poland's inclusion in the program families will be able to get together for holidays and will not have to apply for visas to travel both ways. In her opinion, business travel will also be much easier for 10 million Poles living in the US.

Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Mikołaj Wild said that because now one can travel to the US "without unnecessary formalities" therefore "hundreds of millions of zlotys will be saved by our tourists and businessmen, and travel to the USA will become faster and more effective."

The CEO of the national air carrier LOT Rafał Milczarski said he expects interest in travelling to the US to grow thanks to visa-free program, adding that in the last four years the airline doubled the number of seats in aircraft flying between Poland and the United States.