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My boyfriend would like to come to visit me in the US. He is currently living in the UK and holds a Polish passport. What are the steps we should take?

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    Since this is the internet, this requires the usual warning: if you've never met him in person before, there's a possibility a scam is coming where he gets into "some issues" and need you to send him money temporarily for "some mess he got into". Don't fall for it. – Jeffrey supports Monica Aug 20 at 15:33
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Your boyfriend will need a visa, you can read how to apply for a tourist visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in the UK.

Note: he should also follow the rules for Polish citizens, not UK ones as he is Polish and has a Polish passport.

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    Might be useful to note that he should follow the rules for Polish citizens as that's his passport, and not the UK ones. Usually the "citizen of X, resident of Y" type questions get confused along these lines. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Aug 19 at 13:57
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    Answer is correct for now, hopefully Poland will join VWP soon, I usually travel with Polish passport apart from going to USA I use my British one. Depending on how long your BF has lived here he may be able to apply for UK citizenship, which would make travelling to the US a lot easier. travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Government/… – BritishSam Aug 20 at 7:07
  • @BritishSam: Depending on your definition of "soon", I don't believe this is likely. – tomasz Aug 21 at 10:38
  • @tomasz agree but probably will happen one day, so be good if their relationship carries on for easier visits – BritishSam Aug 21 at 13:10
  • @BritishSam: IMHO he should just get a visa. I guess there are decent chances of Poland entering the VWP by the time it expires in ten years' time. – tomasz Aug 21 at 13:12
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He is a national of Poland not the UK. As such, he must apply for a visa.

He must qualify for the visa on his own merits, being your boyfriend does not help him. In fact, this may hurt his case somewhat. What immigration is generally looking for to grant him a visa and admit him is:

  • He does not intend to overstay and remain in the U.S.; he has home-ties in the UK, something to go back to.
  • He does not intend to seek employment in the US; that is to say he is successful enough that he can easily afford this foreign vacation.
  • He will not find himself in a predicament where he must fall back on public benefits such as state medicaid (which is federally subsidized), food stamps, homeless housing assistance etc. And, promising to sponsor him is no help.
  • Silly comment: aren't European passports all subject to VWP? He is Polish and Poland is member of both EU and Schengen... – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Aug 20 at 7:40
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Of course not, VWP applies to specific countries, not unions and such. – Dmitry Grigoryev Aug 20 at 7:46
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    @DmitryGrigoryev Why 'of course'? US citizens are allowed to visit all Schengen Areas without a visa, so one might reasonably expect these arangements to be reciprocal. And, after all, the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom, but Guernsey and Jersey are not listed separately on the VWP - although citizens of those places are entitled to visit the US without a visa. – Strawberry Aug 20 at 10:52
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    @CMaster Why, Poland seriously considered requiring visas from USA citizens, at similar cost. Main problem was lack of EU solidarity in that matter. On the other hand, Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher promised us visa-free travel by the end of the year. We'll see about that. – Mołot Aug 20 at 12:31
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    (just for the OP) "being your boyfriend does not help him. In fact, this may hurt his case somewhat" - but just to be clear - do not lie about this or attempt to hide this in any way. – Bilkokuya Aug 20 at 14:22
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As others have said, a Polish citizen needs a Visa for the US. However, if you're in a pinch for time, you have a US Passport, and he has a Polish, both of you can travel to Canada without Visas. If time doesn't allow for him to get his Visa, that might be your next best option.

UPDATE: The US is admitting Poland into the Visa Waiver program. Word on the street is that sometime between January and March, Poles should be able to enter the US for 90 days without a formal visa. https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/05/poland-to-join-u-s-visa-waiver-program-after-decades-long-campaign

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    I am sorry, but how can this answer help the OP? Are you suggesting that both members of the couple meet up in Canada, which could be far (OP did not disclose the place they live). I would have preferred to stay on topic and answer how the OP's fiancee can reach the US, not Canada – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Aug 20 at 8:10
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    The original question has been answered. I've suggested an alternative if the requirements outlined cannot be fulfilled. It often is difficult and expensive for Poles to get a US visa (not to mention he probably can't apply for one on a Polish passport from the UK, and might have to travel to Poland just to apply.) – Bytech Aug 20 at 8:22
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    And you're right, he won't be able to cross from Canada to the US without a visa. Hence, I did not suggest even trying to do so. – Bytech Aug 20 at 8:24
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ The answer helps the OP by suggesting another way they can meet up with their partner (without them needing to get a US visa). It wouldn't be as good (they would have to stay in rented accommodation rather than her house/flat), but it would be better than nothing. What made you think of the bf trying to cross the border into the US? – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 20 at 14:15
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    Don't be put off Bytech, the stackexchange sites are full of busybodies making sure questions are answered literally, when an alternative can in fact be the best answer, or at least well worth considering. I will remain a frequent offender along with you :-) – user61942 Aug 20 at 22:17

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