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US Waives Visa Requirement For Poles

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Starting next week, Polish citizens will be able to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.

Poles were granted this privilege after Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan, in coordination with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, designated Poland into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

"The inclusion of Poland into the Visa Waiver Program is a testament to the special relationship that exists between our two countries, and the ongoing friendship and close cooperation on our joint security priorities," said McAleenan. He said the U.S Government looks forward to continuing to work with the Polish government as the allied nations deepen their security cooperation as well as make travel easier for the citizens of the two countries.

The Visa Waiver Program is a comprehensive security partnership between the United States and a designated country that meets several requirements related to counter-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security, and border management. The primary goal of the program is to encourage travel to both countries while increasing security.

The United States has so far granted Visa Waiver facility to 39 nations.

Under the Visa Waiver 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). These authorizations are valid for two years.

The Department of Homeland Security said travelers with B1/B2 visas should continue to use their visa for travel to the United States.

DHS will begin accepting applications on November 11.

The department reminded that first-time ESTA applicants' applications may take up to 72 hours for processing.

DHS said that the Visa Waiver Program will expand cultural ties and strengthen the economy of both nations by encouraging tourism and business exchanges.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 23 million travelers arrived in the United States through the Visa Waiver Program in 2017, whose spending generated $190 billion in economic activity and supported nearly one million jobs.

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