White House, State Department back Poland’s entry into Visa Waiver Program

4 Oct 19

UNITED STATES

The U.S. State Department has formally nominated Poland for the Visa Waiver Program, the White House said in a statement Friday.

Key Points:

  • The Department of Homeland Security will now take steps to assess Poland’s entry into the program. The law requires that countries meet specific criteria to qualify.
  • If Poland is admitted, Polish nationals would be able to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days for business or tourism without needing to obtain a visa at a U.S. Consulate before travel.
  • The White House called Poland’s nomination “an important step in continuing to increase economic, security, cultural, and people-to-people connections between our two nations.”

Additional information: There are currently 38 countries in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows eligible travelers to come to the U.S. without a visa, provided they register and obtain an Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding their flight.

BAL Analysis: Poland has long sought visa-free travel to the United States, and the addition of Poland to the Visa Waiver Program would ease procedures for Polish tourists and business travelers. Travelers should note, however, that procedures have not yet changed and Polish nationals will be required to obtain a visa until DHS makes a final determination on the country’s entry into the program.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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