ESTA for Polish Citizens -

ESTA for Polish Citizens

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Poland is the most recent country to join the Visa Waiver Program, having joined in 2019. Since becoming members of the VWP, Polish citizens are now able to benefit from applying for an ESTA instead of applying for a US visa.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

Before applying for an ESTA make sure that you are aware of the following criteria and requirements:

  • An ESTA can be used for trips of up to 90 days maximum
  • Travellers to the US must obtain travel authorisation
  • An ESTA is valid for two years or until the passport expires
  • Children must have their own ESTA
  • A valid ESTA may be used for multiple visits to the US
  • Travel purposes include business, tourism, medical or transit
  • The applicant must have a biometric passport
Application for ESTA for Polish Citizens

Why Polish Citizens Should Apply for ESTA

There are many great benefits of applying for an ESTA instead of a US visa. For example, the process is much quicker and it is all completed digitally, with a response usually within about 24 hours. The alternative option, i.e. going through the US embassy to apply for US Visa, can take weeks and involves an interview that must be scheduled in with the embassy.

Another great benefit of applying for an ESTA is that it is considerably cheaper than applying for US visa in terms of the application fee. Furthermore, the ESTA can be used for multiple trips to the US provided that it is still valid. The ESTA can be used for business and tourism purposes as long as the trip is for no longer than 90 days.

When an ESTA application process is accepted it will usually be valid for two years, or if the applicant’s passport expires before the two years, it will be the passport expiry date that it is valid until. The application form itself is much shorter and it’s quicker to complete than the US visa application form.

The ESTA Application Process for Polish Citizens

Applying for the ESTA is a very simple process for Polish citizens, they simply need to go to the ESTA application form on the website and complete the necessary details. Completing the form should take no more than 20 minutes as long as you have all of the information already with you, such as passport details. It is also essential that you have a payment card to pay the application fee with and you must also have a valid email address for the correspondence to be sent to regarding your application’s progress.

If you are having any difficulties completing the form, you can refer to our FAQ’s or speak to an advisor. Before submitting your application, you should make sure that there are no errors on the application form, as any type of error can lead to the application getting declined, which could affect your travel plans.

Passport Requirements for the US ESTA

Anyone who intends to visit the USA under VWP must have a valid passport which is mandatory to meet specific requirements:

  • A passport must be valid minimum 6 months beyond the duration of intended stay in the United States.
  • The passport must be electronic and machine-readable.

Changes and Updates to an ESTA Application After Its Submission

There are some data travelers can change after submission. That is their email address and their USA contact address.

But, in some cases changes are not possible and it will be necessary to make a new ESTA application, and here are these cases:

  • When the traveler gets a new passport.
  • If a traveler made a mistake on the application form regarding personal data or passport.
  • If individuals change their name, gender, or citizenship.

How Long Does ESTA Approval Take?

ESTA approval time can vary but in most cases, it's fast, from a few minutes to 24 hours. In rare occasions, the processing time can take 72 hours or even more.

How Much in Advance Should You Apply for an ESTA?

It is best to apply for ESTA immediately after you know your definite travel date, or at least 72 hours before the trip to avoid any potential problems.

If you do not apply in advance, it is possible to submit an application at the airport just before your flight to the USA. In most cases, applications get approved quickly. However, keep in mind that under certain circumstances, the processing may take longer and your ESTA may not be approved in time.

ESTA Validity: How Long Is ESTA Approved For?

From the date when is issued, ESTA is valid for two years.

But if the passport expires before ESTA, ESTA automatically becomes invalid.

Under What Circumstances Will Polish Citizens Need a New ESTA?

Polish Citizens will need a new ESTA in the following situations:

  • If they change their name
  • If they change their gender
  • In case when their passport expires or when they get a new one
  • If any of the answers to ESTA eligibility questions have changed

ESTA Ineligibility: Who Doesn’t Qualify?

There is a group of travelers who do not qualify for ESTA:

  • Persons with criminal records and individuals who were arrested or who were deported and those with some infectious disease do not eligible to travel under VWP.
  • Those who travel to Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, and North Korea on or after March 1, 2011, are also not eligible to travel on the VWP.

My ESTA was Declined, What Can I Do?

If your ESTA gets declined you can resubmit an application if you think it was due to an error. However, if it was not down to an error, your next option is to apply for a US visa through the embassy.

US Embassy Address in Poland

U.S. Embassy Warsaw
Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31
00-540 Warsaw Poland

Differences Between the US ESTA and US Visa

For starters, ESTA is an easier and cheaper way for Polish citizens to enter the USA. There are more important differences between these two options:

ESTA Approval
US Visa
Application process
Via online form
Complete the application form + interview at embassy
Approval time
Few hours - 72 hours
15 - 30 days
Travel duration
90 days
180 days
Suitable for
  • Tourists purpose
  • Business purpose
  • Business purpose
  • College students
  • Emigration
  • Work
  • Marriage
In What Cases Will a Polish National Need a US Visa Instead of an ESTA?

Polish citizens need a visa instead of ESTA to travel to America if:

  • The ESTA application is denied
  • They are dual citizens of Polish and Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea
  • They don't possess an e-passport with a photo
  • They have a criminal record
  • They are carrying an infectious disease
  • They have previously overstayed beyond 90 days with ESTA in the US
Do Dual Citizens of the United States or Canada Need an ESTA?

No, dual nationals of Poland and the United States or Canada are not required to get an ESTA. Everything they need to do is to use their American or Canadian passport when entering the USA.

Do Polish Underage Travelers Have to Apply for an ESTA?

Yes, absolutely every person, regardless of age, must have their own ESTA. Parents can apply on behalf of their children in the same way as for themselves. If a parent is traveling with several children, they can submit a group application to speed up the process.

Can I Apply for My Family or Friends?

Yes, it is possible to apply for your family and friends - this can make the application process faster and easier. When applying, you must provide a different email address for each traveler in the group. Once approved, the ESTA visa will be sent to each individual's email address.

ESTA Benefits:
  • Fast processing•Valid for US visit up to 90 days
  • Short form to complete
  • Used for business or tourism, medical or transit
  • Can be used on multiple trips to the US
  • Form can be completed by mobile phone
Where Can I Find Out More About ESTA?

You may find more useful information before starting your application by visiting our ESTA requirements page and our in-depth frequently asked questions about ESTA.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Yes - Poland has been part of the Visa Waiver Program since 2019. Citizens of Poland can use ESTA instead of visas to travel to the USA.
Polish citizens need a visa if their trip to America will last longer than 90 days and if it is not for tourist or business purposes. Otherwise, a visa is not necessary and they can use ESTA instead.
Polish citizens need an ESTA if their trip to America will not last longer than 90 days. Also, ESTA can only be used for tourist and business purposes. In all other circumstances, Polish citizens must use Visa.
Polish citizens can travel to the US using an ESTA or visa. If they travel with ESTA, their stay must not exceed 90 days. The visa allows for a longer stay.