22 May 2013

Poland edges closer to US Visa Waiver Program deal

A successful vote in the US Senate means Poland's long-awaited and much-coveted accession to the US Visa Waiver Program edges a little closer.

US visa

The Senate Committee's vote puts Polish toursists one step closer to not requiring a US visa to visit the United States.

The US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows passport holders from membership countries - including the UK and Ireland - to visit the United States for up to 90 days without a US visa. Membership is a sought after status and Poland is one of a number of countries currently vying for membership.

Taiwan recently became the newest member but Israel and Bulgaria are also eager to join. Poland however, is thought to have been one of the longest in the queue and membership hinges on a few remaining obstacles.

The Senate this week appeared to have passed one particular hurdle when the Senate's Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 in favour of a bill to begin the biggest overhaul of the US immigration system in three decades.

While the most important factor of this bill's passing will be the possible naturalisation of the country's 11 million illegal immigrants, the bill will also make it easier for Poland to join the VWP.

"This legislation will make Poland eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and expedite travel arrangements for Polish citizens to visit American," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, one of the members of the Democratic controlled committee.

"[This] is good for our economy, will create jobs and nurture the strength and vibrancy of our Polish American communities across the United States."

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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