Durbin Meets with Polish Foreign Minister to Discuss Visa Waiver Program

Expanded Visa Waiver Program is included in comprehensive immigration reform legislation Durbin helped author; full Senate will begin consideration of the bill next week

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Polish Foreign Minister Rados?aw Sikorski and members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss continued U.S. - Polish economic and military ties, as well as the possible inclusion of Poland in the Visa Waiver Program. 


“After working for years to allow Poland to qualify for the Visa Waiver Entry Program, I made sure this provision was part of the comprehensive immigration reform bill scheduled to come before the Senate next week,” Durbin said. “Chicagoland has long been home to one of the largest Polish communities outside of Poland. I was pleased to meet with Minister Sikorski today, and I look forward to continuing efforts to strengthen the ties between our two countries.”


A provision that would allow Poland to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program was included in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation that Durbin authored with a bipartisan group of Senators earlier this year. The legislation was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Durbin is a member, in May, and is expected to be considered by the full Senate beginning next week. Durbin joined U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) co-sponsoring similar legislation allowing Poland to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program during the last Congress.


The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of countries admitted to the program to travel in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa. Chicago’s significant Polish-American community would likely make Illinois a popular destination for visitors.