Poland has officially joined the Visa Waiver Program. Starting November 11, citizens and nationals of Poland will be able to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a U.S. visa.
Under the program, citizens and nationals of Poland will be able to apply online for authorization to travel to the United States through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), after which the authorization will be valid for two years. Processing for first-time applicants may take up to 72 hours.
Officials had announced plans for Poland to join the Visa Waiver Program in early September. The program is a security partnership between the United States and a designated country that meets several requirements related to counterterrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security and border management.
"Whenever a country has entered the VWP, the U.S. has always seen a significant increase in visitation from that country—and keep in mind those travelers are then thoroughly vetted under the program's robust security protocols,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow in a statement following the decision. “Poland's admission is projected to generate an additional $702 million in travel spending and 4,300 American jobs in the first three years.”
Also according to the U.S. Travel Association, 23 million travelers arrived through the Visa Waiver Program in 2017, whose spending generated $190 billion in economic activity and supported nearly 1 million jobs.
Poland will be the 39th member of the program.