Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration

of the Republic of Poland

Department of Social Information
Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Pre-screening program for passengers flying to the U.S.

     On September 8, 2004, the United States and the Republic of Poland will sign a declaration (known as the Immigration Advisory Program - IAP) which will facilitate the travel of persons going to the Unisted States on non-stop flights from Fryderyk Chopin Airport in Warsaw.
     This program, which is the realization of proposals by Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs W. Cimoszewicz, and which was announced by Presidents A. Kwasniewski and G. Bush in a joint statement of January 27, 2004 at their meeting in the White House, is intended to reduce the number of travelers who are refused entry into the U.S. at ports of entry. Passengers will be informed prior to the inception of their journey (but after going through the voluntary IAP pre-screening interview at the F. Chopin Airport in Warsaw) of any substantial reservations on the part of U.S. immigration authorities which might result in an order to return to Poland after landing in the U.S. This program provides the opportunity to avoid the inconvenience and expense caused by such situations.
     The agreement will be signed in Washington by representative of the Polish government, including the Chief of the Customs Service of the Republic of Poland, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Wiesław Czyżowicz, and the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, Paweł Dakowski. From the American side, the agreement will be signed by Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Robert Bonner. IAP will be put into effect by the middle of September. It will apply to flights to the airports JFK in New York, Newark International and Chicago O'Hare.
     One of the elements of IAP is the establishing in the US Embassy in Warsaw a special telephone line and a dedicated e-mail address where Polish citizens possessing valid US visas can direct their questions regarding travel to the United States. Conveneniences for the passengers will be introduced into the departure procedures at the F. Chopin Airport in Warsaw. The US arrival cards (Form I-94) will be filled out prior to boarding the aircraft. American agents of Customs and Border Protection Agency will be able to inspect the passengers' documents, in some cases - entirely on a voluntary basis on the part of the passenter - conducting interviews. If such procedures indicate the possibility of refusal to grant entry onto US territory, the passenger will be notified, and given the opportunity not to board the flight. Documentation that the procedures of IAP have been performed will be provided in by a special stamp on Form I-94. This data will then be transmitted electronically to the appropriate points of entry to the US, before the passangers arrive there. The implementation of this program is made possible by the full cooperation of the Border Guards,  the Customs Service and the authorities of F. Chopin Airport in Warsaw.
     IAP is not a program of a complete immigration control; thus passengers with whom the American officials conduct interviews will not be considered as persons who are automatically admitted to the territory of the United States. However, the refusal of entry by a passenger who has passed the procedures of IAP will have a very low probability.

Statistics of arrivals of Polish citizens into the US in 2001:
Total number of Polish citizens admitted into the US: 170,772
Number traveling non-stop from Warsaw to the US: 140,400

Translated from Polish by Thaddeus Mirecki