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ESTA for Polish Citizens

Poland has officially become a member of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Polish citizens can now travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for periods of up to 90 days by obtaining an ESTA Visa Waiver, instead of a conventional visa.

The Visa Waiver Program allows eligible nationalities to apply online for an ESTA U.S. Visa Waiver in only a few minutes. The Visa Waivers are valid for 2-year periods and allow stays of up to 90 days. Poland is the 39th country to join the scheme.

“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 Kevin McAleenan, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

Poland’s acceptance into the scheme follows years of negotiations. The European Commission asked the U.S. government to allow Poland into the program in 2016, arguing that most European Union member countries were already part of the program and that the remaining countries deserved equal treatment.

How Can Polish Citizens Get the ESTA?

To complete the ESTA application form online, the applicant simply has to provide some basic details such as:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Sex
  • Passport details

The application includes a series of security questions, which must be answered honestly. Completing the application only takes a few minutes, and most applications are processed almost immediately. However, some applications can take up to 72 hours to process. Travelers are advised to apply at least 72 hours in advance to avoid delays or issues before their trip.

The ESTA is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport. With that said, many travelers do print a copy of their approved ESTA to present at the airport before departure, and upon arrival.

The passport must be valid both, at the moment of application, and at the time of arrival in the United States. The email address is necessary as this is where the applicant is notified once the application has been submitted. The email is also where the traveler receives the news about the status of their ESTA application, and whether it has been approved.

Finally, the ESTA has a fee that must be covered at the time of application, therefore, all applicants must pay this fee with a debit or credit card.

ESTA Requirements for Polish Citizens

Now Poland has been officially added to the list of eligible countries, Polish citizens can quickly get their ESTA to travel to the U.S.

To get the ESTA, Polish travelers first must meet the ESTA requirements, which include:


  • A valid passport
  • A current email address
  • A debit or credit card

Polish passport requirements

To apply for an ESTA Visa Waiver it is necessary to have a biometric passport which has a chip containing the passport-holder’s biometric data. The passport must be valid at the time of application.

ESTA Visa Waivers cannot be transferred between passports. This means that if a traveler’s passport expires, so will the attached ESTA Visa Waiver. In these cases, travelers can reapply for ESTA when they receive a new passport.

ESTA travel limitations from Poland

Polish travelers entering the U.S. with an ESTA Visa Waiver should be aware of the following limitations:

  • The maximum length for a singular visit is 90 days.
  • ESTA Visa Waivers only allow visits for tourism and business purposes (such as conferences, meetings, and negotiations.
  • First item
  • ESTA Visa Waivers do not grant Polish citizens the right to work in the U.S.

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