Poland’s Inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program



  • As of September 30, 2019, Poland has completed all necessary bilateral security agreements and has met the required B1/B2 visa refusal rate, and has qualified to be nominated for membership in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which means Polish citizens will soon be able to travel to the United States for business and tourism in most cases without a visa. 
  • The final category B1/B2 (tourism/business) visa refusal rate for Polish nationals worldwide for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2019 was under 3%.
  • Secretary of State Pompeo will now nominate Poland for membership in the Visa Waiver Program. Once this nomination is received, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the final review and approval of Poland’s status as a Visa Waiver Program member.
  • There is an additional U.S. government administrative process required through the Department of Homeland Security to finalize Poland’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program. The U.S. Embassy anticipates that process will take three to five months before visa-free travel commences.  Upon completion of that process, the Secretary of Homeland Security will then announce the date on which visa-free travel may commence.
  • Poland’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program means that Polish citizens traveling on passports with embedded computer chips, and who have successfully obtained an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be able to visit the United States for tourism and business trips of up to 90 days without a visa. Citizens of all countries traveling under the Visa Waiver Program must obtain an ESTA, which currently costs $14 and is valid for up to two years.
  • Polish citizens wishing to travel in the United States for longer than 90 days, or who wish to engage in activities requiring other visa categories (e.g., to work or to study in the United States) will still need to apply for the appropriate category of visa. Polish citizens who are denied ESTA will also need to apply for a visa.