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POLAND: Visa Waiver Programme

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that Poland will be included in the Visa Waiver programme. The number of rejected visa applications submitted by Poles has fallen to 2.8% – the threshold to enter the programme is set at 3%. Officially, the US government will invite Poland to the programme after 30 September, which marks the end of the programme’s reporting year. The invitation will commence an administrative procedure, which usually lasts 2-5 months. Once the procedure is fulfilled, Poles will no longer be required to apply for a visa to travel to the US. Politically, this is a big win for the ruling PiS party. The issue of the visa-free travel is one of the main topics recognized by Polish voters in relations between Warsaw and Washington. Albeit, experts note that the ruling party’s foreign policy had little to do with this. On a more practical level, the Visa Waiver programme may contribute to an intensified business cooperation between the countries, especially between SMEs.