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Kirk Bill Eases Restrictions for Poland’s Inclusion in Visa Waiver Program

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Senator Mark Kirk, R-Il

Senator Kirk Bill Eases Restrictions for Poland’s Inclusion in Visa Waiver Program. He joins 13 Senators in Introducing JOLT Act

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO – The Office of the U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) iinforms our readers that he introduced the Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.

 

This Bill would make it easier for countries like Poland to be added to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Currently 38 countries are included in the VWP, but Poland is not. The VWP enables citizens of participating countries to securely travel to the United States for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days without having to go through the visa application process.

The JOLT Act, in echoing the Kirk-Mikulski Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act, would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive the visa refusal requirement up to 10 percent. This change would benefit a nation like Poland, whose refusal rate requirement is currently 6.4 percent.

In 2013, more than 19.5 million citizens of other countries traveled to the United States through the Visa Waiver Program. Senator Kirk joined Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in introducing the JOLT Act today.

We have learned that The JOLT Act, in echoing the Kirk-Mikulski Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act, would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive the 3% visa refusal rate requirement, up to 10%.

In other words, the Secretary would have the discretion to waive other countries into the program as long as their refusal rates don’t exceed 10%.

BACKGROUND:

According to the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), direct spending in the United States from visiting travelers totaled $888 billion in 2013 and helped employ 7.9 million Americans. An average overseas visitor will spend $4,300 in the U.S. per trip. Expanding the visa waiver program to more countries would increase U.S. tourism by 600,000 visitors, adding $7 billion and 40,000 jobs to the U.S. Economy, according to the USTA.

Senator Kirk has long acted as a staunch supporter of Poland and U.S.-Polish relations and was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Notably, Senator Kirk has prioritized legislation advocating the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program to include Poland and has fought to strengthen U.S.-Polish cooperation on ballistic missile defense.

In June, Senators Kirk and Mikulski led a successful effort to include their Visa Waiver Program legislation in the fiscal year Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill.

AM

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Strony Internetowe / SEO
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TEL/SMS: +1-773-800-1520