This week saw the first Poles travel visa-free to the United States, following the country’s admission to the US Visa Waiver Programme.
Poland was granted accession to the US visa-free travel scheme after its visa refusal rate to the US dropped below three per cent (to 2.8 per cent) in September. Poles have been allowed to travel to the US visa-free since November 11.
“Poland’s long-awaited entry into the US Waiver Programme club makes it the 39th country to join the US government’s rigorous programme,” said Jayne Forrester, director of international development at Offical ESTA, a world leader in ESTA Visa Waiver processing.
“The US Waiver club is renowned for being difficult to join, with tight requirements and strict vetting rules under the programme’s robust security protocols. In over five years we’ve seen no changes to the countries allowed within the programme, which highlights its stringent guidelines,” she continued.
“Poland was previously excluded due to a large proportion of visitors to the US overstaying their visas. However, the country has now been acknowledged as a significant contributor and awarded with its partnership. As part of the programme, both countries will be able to grow cultural ties and build their economies – encouraging greater tourism and business opportunities,” said Forrester.
Just three European Union countries now remain outside of the visa waiver programme: Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.