America welcomed Poland into its Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on Wednesday. That means that Polish nationals will officially be able to apply for visa waivers using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (EST) going forward. This waiver enables eligible visitors from Poland to stay in the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining visas.
A total of 38 countries had already joined the program before the addition of Poland was announced. The addition of Poland marks the first time a new country has been added to the program since 2014. There is chatter that Israel and Brazil could be the next countries to gain membership in the waiver program.
Many insiders in the travel industry believe that the United States would be wise to extend visa waivers to as many countries as possible. Data released by the United States Travel Association last week shows that international arrivals are down when compared to this time last year. The decline is being blamed on the strong dollar as well as tensions stemming from the trade war with China.
Authorized travelers who participate in the visa waiver program can enjoy visa-free travel to the United States for both business and leisure for up to 90 days. Being a resident of a country that participates in the waiver program does not automatically qualify a person to visit the United States without a visa. An online application process must be completed in order to legally visit the United States without first obtaining a visa. Keep in mind every applicant must have a valid passport in order to apply.