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Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement between USA and Poland


Hubertus 4 | 26    
7 Feb 2014  #1
Maybe some of you guys already know this, but I'm pretty sure it isn't too well known, so I thought I would put it out there.

Some information for American citizens. Poland and the USA have a bilateral visa waiver agreement that was made before the Schengen Agreement came into effect. This agreement is a little more "primitive," if you will, in that it allows one to have three months visa-free in Poland, and then leave the country of Poland and return (so long as one has proof of being outside the country, such as a receipt with a name on it), and renew the three month visa-free period. There is no 180 day counter like with the Schengen agreement.

Source: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/7154/us-citizen-in-poland-more-than-90-days-in-a-180-day-period

I can confirm this because I was told the same thing at the Lower Silesian Voivodeship office, and also when I called the Polish embassy in Washington, DC. They didn't mention the agreement specifically, because maybe they don't know about it exactly, but they did tell me what I was allowed to do, and it conformed with this information.

However, one thing that needs to be pointed out is that Polish officials will only say that you need to "leave the country," as far as they're concerned. So, Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine.. But if you go to another Schengen country on day 90 and stay into day 91, you'll be violating the Schengen Agreement, so I imagine you'd rather go to Ukraine or the UK (probably safest, although I don't know what customs would think of you), since their timers are separate.

Another important piece of information, discussed in the source, is that you won't be able to enter any other Schengen country until your 180 day timer is up. So I imagine the way it would work, although I don't know this for sure, is that you could travel the Schengen area for 90 days, stay in Poland for 90 days, and then be free to travel the Schengen area again for another 90 days, and so on.

One thing I'm wondering is, in practice, why would you need to apply for a residence permit then if you're just studying in Poland and not working? Leaving the country for one day would be much easier than going through the extremely annoying application process and 300 PLN application fee. You would think that this type of behavior might be seen as fraudulent, but the actual government officials were the ones telling me to do it.

Just wanted to share this information. If you don't believe me and you have valid sources to prove me wrong, you're welcome to. We can all benefit from knowing the truth. Hope this helps.

Cheers
Harry    
7 Feb 2014  #2
I can confirm this because I was told the same thing at the Lower Silesian Voivodeship office, and also when I called the Polish embassy in Washington, DC. They didn't mention the agreement specifically, because maybe they don't know about it exactly, but they did tell me what I was allowed to do, and it conformed with this information.

Good luck with that. I personally know an American citizen who did border runs every 90 days for the year and a bit he was here. When he went home, he was stopped at Warsaw airport, cautioned for overstaying and banned from the Schengen zone for ten years. I also personally know another American who went on a trip to Lwow to 'reset' his visa and wasn't allowed back into Poland.

You would think that this type of behavior might be seen as fraudulent, but the actual government officials were the ones telling me to do it.

Perhaps you'd like to ask them to give you an official letter on their office notepaper and their personal stamp confirming what they told you verbally and giving the legal basis which supports their stance?
OP Hubertus 4 | 26    
7 Feb 2014  #3
One thing I'm wondering is, in practice, why would you need to apply for a residence permit then if you're just studying in Poland and not working?

Oh, duh - I guess because you can then get to travel around the Schengen area, with the residence permit.

Perhaps you'd like to ask them to give you an official letter on their office notepaper and their personal stamp confirming what they told you verbally and giving the legal basis which supports their stance?

That's a good idea. I'll ask them about that the next time I go into the office. I would be quite angry if I were your friend!

In my situation, personally, I have a residence permit, and when it expires I'll be due for another 90 days of visa free travel in the Schengen zone. I've just been wondering about how all of the above mentioned stuff works, though.
Harry    
7 Feb 2014  #4
That's a good idea. I'll ask them about that the next time I go into the office.

I'd love to see the looks on their faces when you do.

I would be quite angry if I were your friend!

Border guards can (and do) deny entry to people who have valid visas, so for them to deny entry to a person who didn't have a visa and didn't qualify for entry to the Schengen zone shouldn't have been a surprise to anybody.

I've just been wondering about how all of the above mentioned stuff works, though.

To a certain extent it's going to depend on your luck. I know various Americans and Canadians who did visa runs for years without any problems. But then I also know others who got stuck in various places when they couldn't get back into Poland (or in one case get out of Germany and in another case even get on the plane at Heathrow airport).
Monitor 14 | 1,822    
7 Feb 2014  #5
Poland had also various bilateral agreements with Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, but after joining Schengen, then had to be renegotiated, because were conflicting with Schengen agreement. I think that the same is with this American one mentioned by you.

But here somebody writes, that this agreement has still value:

expatcenter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/staying-in-poland-without-visa-visa.html

And other countries which signed similar agreement are:
Argentina
Brasilia
Chile
Croatia
Honduras
Israel
Japan
South Korea
Costa Rica
Malaysia
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Singapore
USA
Uruguay
Special administrative regions of PRC: Hongkong SAR, Macao SAR
Amorbitpole    
7 Feb 2014  #6
I think the US citizens should be admitted to Poland under the same rules that apply to Polish citizens applying for visa to the USA.
OP Hubertus 4 | 26    
7 Feb 2014  #7
I understand your sentiment, but I would prefer that Obama just followed through with his promise to Poland.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
7 Feb 2014  #8
Promise? LOL
The only solution to this is as stated by Amorbitpole. Tit for tat diplomacy always works the best.
Monitor 14 | 1,822    
7 Feb 2014  #9
Only hope in EU commission: euractiv.com/justice/eu-gives-usa-deadline-reciprocat-news-533275
OP Hubertus 4 | 26    
7 Feb 2014  #10
Only hope in EU commission:

It mentions the threat of diplomats needing to acquire a visa when making trips to Poland. I suppose that applies to citizens also?
jon357 66 | 13,338    
7 Feb 2014  #11
Both of which (especially the first) are classic examples of sabre-rattling by those EU states who aren't part of the visa waiver programme. None of them dare rattle the sabre too hard for fear of worsening relations.
McDouche 6 | 286    
8 Feb 2014  #12
I think the US citizens should be admitted to Poland under the same rules that apply to Polish citizens applying for visa to the USA.

Polish politicians wouldn't dare let that happen.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,666    
8 Feb 2014  #13
Why or why not?
McDouche 6 | 286    
8 Feb 2014  #14
To not taint relations with USA.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,666    
8 Feb 2014  #15
We are supposed to be open now.
kj99 8 | 54    
8 Feb 2014  #16
"Promise? LOL
The only solution to this is as stated by Amorbitpole. Tit for tat diplomacy always works the best."

oh yeah ,, like obama is gonna be gutted that it could be a whole lot harder (tit 4 tat as you say) for americans to visit poland - im sure hell be crying his eyes out
jon357 66 | 13,338    
8 Feb 2014  #17
oh yeah ,, like obama is gonna be gutted that it could be a whole lot harder (tit 4 tat as you say) for americans to visit poland - im sure hell be crying his eyes out

Yes. If it was a country that most Americans could point to on a map, things might be different. But they're not.
kj99 8 | 54    
8 Feb 2014  #18
jon357
Yes. If it was a country that most Americans could point to on a map, things might be different. But they're not.

thats just the point isnt it ... surely if you asked a hundred americans where they would fancy going on holiday next summer- ,,,those wanting 2 hop foot it to poland -you could count on one hand , and thats being generous
Bieganski 17 | 908    
8 Feb 2014  #19
thats just the point isnt it ... surely if you asked a hundred americans where they would fancy going on holiday next summer- ,,,those wanting 2 hop foot it to poland -you could count on one hand , and thats being generous

Americans today do have little or no awareness of Poland (despite there being a long intertwined history between both countries) and this can be attributed to the American media and its school system and their failure to inform and educate Americans about Poland.

And its worth pointing out as well that both the US media and US schools are mainly owned or run by "progressives" and this has been the status quo for decades.
McDouche 6 | 286    
8 Feb 2014  #20
hats just the point isnt it ... surely if you asked a hundred americans where they would fancy going on holiday next summer- ,,,those wanting 2 hop foot it to poland -you could count on one hand , and thats being generous

I agree with you. Poland is not interesting at all for a typical vacation. Most Americans are much more interested in countries like the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Netherlands. However, there are some Americans that visit Poland for historical reasons. For example, I know quite a few Jewish Americans that visit Europe for historical sites and Poland is one of those countries they visit.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
8 Feb 2014  #21
im sure hell be crying his eyes out

Who shads crocodile tears or not for that matter is irrelevant, it's the principal that counts.

thats just the point isnt it ... surely if you asked a hundred americans...............

You missed it by a long shot, the point is that if a block like EU can't have a universal policy that applies equally to all member states when dealing with US or any other state on any matter than it undermines their strength both internally and externally in negotiating for the block as a whole. Such organization is just a one big joke for each and every state has their own bilateral agreements that they will adhere to anyway rendering EU irrelevant in the process. Not that I ever was a big fan of the EU in the first place but it sure makes it seem like a weak entity that's not fully recognized by any outside state which reserves the right of having a bilateral agreement with each and every state within its borders. It (the EU that is) look like a wimp with no real legitimacy or authority behind it on international arena.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544    
8 Feb 2014  #22
Many American tourists of the Jewish faith have recently (re-)discovered the beauties and those remenants of Jewish lore in Zakopane:-)
kj99 8 | 54    
8 Feb 2014  #23
ShortHairThug
It (the EU that is) look like a wimp with no real legitimacy or authority behind it on international arena.

thats the eu for you ...

it has no legitimacy , its not a country ( tho it would like 2 be) , it has no authority - not in peoples hearts least ways , that why more and more anti eu parties are doing

better with each e.u parliamentary election - look out this coming may.
if every citizen in the eu , had a free vote whether they wanted in or out ,, and stuck with the eu- then it may have some authority
jon357 66 | 13,338    
8 Feb 2014  #24
it has no legitimacy

People voted to join - you can't get much more legitimate than that.

if every citizen in the eu , had a free vote whether they wanted in or out

See above.
Lonman 4 | 112    
9 Feb 2014  #25
Found online the actual diplomatic note. rooshvforum/attachment.php?aid=16090

I tried to upload it but is 108kb so just a bit to big. I found the doc in this forum.

rooshvforum/thread-31412.html

Best advice is if you are going to stay awhile - more than a couple of visa trips start the process. Will only cost you 200-300 pln and you will be in the system trying to do the correct thing. Google expat visa services and you will find people who can help.

if someone can rescan at a lower kb and post would be helpful to the community.
OP Hubertus 4 | 26    
13 Feb 2014  #26
It was on the Roosh V forum?! Hahaha that's rich. The only legitimate documentation we could find that would allow Americans to back up their border hopping in Poland is based on a man's motivation to screw as many Polish women as possible (Google Roosh V and you'll see what I mean..)

Thanks a lot for the links though, that's exactly what I was hoping we could find. But you're right, it's best not to go this route. If people who are doing this are still, occasionally, getting deported, I imagine it's because some customs officers are treating this bilateral agreement as obsolete. Even if someone is justified to stay in Poland, there are no longer any border guards between Schengen countries, therefore the exception can't be enforced/protected when they're only allowed to stay in Poland. A customs officer for the country of Poland also acts as customs for the Schengen area, since it's a Schengen border, and therefore I think it's possible he'll send you home.

I went to the local voivodeship office and tried to tell them this, but they kept insisting on the border hopping thing. I referenced Schengen law to them. (actually here I was talking to them more about my own residence permit situation) I even pulled out a stack of documents that I printed straight from the EU's website detailing the Schengen laws, and all they said was, "We don't know anything about Schengen regulations, we just do what we're told."

Wow.
And Poland has been in the Schengen zone for six years now? Someone needs to get with the program.
weg05    
3 Mar 2017  #27
The EU is - possibly - going to remove US citizens visa free access to Europe after the US failed to agree visa-free travel for citizens of five EU countries, including Poland.

independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/europe-visa-free-travel-americans-european-parliament-vote-a7609406.html
Ironside 46 | 8,869    
3 Mar 2017  #28
The EU is - possibly - going to remove US citizens visa free access to Europe after the US failed

If they will that good. It would solve that issue.
Einstein 2 | 14    
12 Jun 2018  #29
Has anyone here actually tried to get a signed letter from the foreigners' office or border guard that confirms the US-Poland bilateral agreement is in force and allows Americans to enter Poland for any 90 day period regardless of the number of days on their Schengen counter?
mafketis 16 | 5,775    
12 Jun 2018  #30
I reall don't think that's possible. It's true that mostly Schengen/Poland aren't concerned about Americans overstaying their visas (or trying the non-existent 'reset the 90 day clock' trick) but if they do catch you, you could be in trouble. Isn't it easier to just try for the karta pobytu?




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