The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently designated Poland as a member of the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of Poland no longer need to apply for a visitor visa. Instead, they submit an electronic form, ESTA, and can travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days. Poland has become the 38th member country of the program. Polish citizens will join the 23 million travelers who arrived through the Visa Waiver Program in 2017.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) is valid for two years. First-time ESTA applicants should be warned that it may take up to 72 hours to process these applications, so applicants should complete this process well before their intended travel. Travelers with B1/B2 visas should continue to use their visa for travel to the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security cites its strong partnership and cooperation between the United States and Poland as a basis for the inclusion. The Visa Waiver Program will expand cultural ties and strengthen the economy of both nations by encouraging tourism and business exchanges.