Obama has promised that Poland will be admitted to the Visa Waiver program.
09 December 2010
Poland to be admitted to US Visa Waiver program
US President Barack Obama has announced Poland will be admitted to the State Department's visa waiver program.
Currently, Poland is the only member of the 25-country Schengen area not able to travel to the United States under the US Visa Waiver program .
The Visa Waiver program gives citizens of selected countries the ability to travel to the US under the ESTA program, rather than go through the more lengthy and complicated US Tourist Visa application process.
Poland has been petitioning the US to be allowed in the Visa Waiver program for some time.
"I am going to make this a priority," Obama said on Wednesday, sitting alongside Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
"And I want to solve this issue before very long. My expectation is, is that this problem will be solved during my presidency."
"I am well aware that this is a source of irritation between two great friends and allies, and we should resolve it," Obama said.
"The challenge I have right now is that there is a congressional law that prevents my administration from taking unilateral executive action. So we're going to have to work with Congress to make some modifications potentially on the law."
"I take these declarations with good faith," Komorowski said.
"I feel simply committed to say that Polish public opinion completely does not understand why all the neighbors of Poland, the neighborhood of Poland, can use the Visa Waiver Program, and we can't."