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Border crossing proceduresPrint

Crossing the state border is permissible only at designated places, i.e. border crossings. Under the local border traffic regime it is also not permitted to cross the border at a location other than a designated border crossing.

When crossing the border, please keep in mind that when entering Polish territory you are also crossing the border of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen Area. Within the EU, a foreigner may be required to present valid documents allowing him to stay there and to cross state borders.

Documents required when crossing the border

When entering Poland, a foreigner should be in possession of: 

  •  A passport or other valid travel document

Attention: minors, if they are included in or added to the passport of a parent or legal guardian, may undertake the journey under the care of the passport holder. The entry in the "Children" column can only be inscribed by officials at the passport office.

  • a valid visa (more information on visas is available here ->) or another valid document authorizing the foreigner to enter and stay on this territory (for example, a residence card - more information is available here ->), if required.

Attention: For citizens of the EU and Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or Switzerland, only a valid travel document or valid identity document are required. 

  • in the case of transit through the Polish territory to another country, the foreigner must have a permit to enter that country or permit of residence for the same country. 

At the border crossing, controls will be carried out by uniformed officers of the Border Guard Service (SG). In the event a control is performed by a person out of uniform, the traveler has the right to ask that person to show their official ID card/badge.

At the border a foreigner may be asked about the purpose and conditions of his stay in Poland.

In addition, the foreigner may be asked by the Border Guard Service (SG) to present: 

 The foreigner is not required to present financial resources or documents proving the possibility of obtaining such resources if the border is crossed on the basis of: 

  • international agreements which exempt the foreigner from the obligation to possess such financial resources or on the basis of which Polish public authorities are obliged to cover the costs of stay of a given foreigner;
  • visas for repatriation;
  • visas for work;
  • visas granted in order to benefit from temporary protection;
  • visas granted in order to participate in asylum proceedings;
  • a residency card;
  • visas granted in order to exercise rights associated with the Pole's Card.

This requirement does not apply to people who enter Poland in connection with the provision of charitable assistance or in connection with participation in rescue operations.

Refusal of entry

A foreigner may be refused entry into Poland, even if he is in possession of a valid visa.
 
 A foreigner will be refused entry into Poland if, for example: 

  • he does not submit documents sufficient to confirm the purpose of his stay,
  • holds a counterfeit or forged travel document, visa or residence card,
  • does not possess documents proving health insurance coverage,
  • has already used the permitted period of stay under the given visa,
  • does not have sufficient resources/means of subsistence in relation to the length and purpose of the intended stay, or the means to finance return to the country of origin,
  • personal data of the foreigner appear in the register of foreigners whose stay in Poland is undesirable - what is the register of foreigners whose stay in Poland is undesirable? ->
  • the foreigner’s personal data are entered into the SIS - what is the SIS? ->
  • the foreigner's stay may pose a threat to public health, national defense or national security;

The decision to refuse entry is issued by the commanding officer of the Border Guard Service outpost. The refusal of entry together with the legal basis for the decision are inscribed in the alien's travel document.

The decision of the commanding officer may be appealed against to the Commander in Chief of the Border Guard Service. The address of the Commander in Chief of Border Guard is available here ->

Complaints against the Border Guard

During a border control a Border Guard Service officer must not discriminate against travelers on grounds of sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or disability.

A complaint can be lodged against a Border Guard Service officer who has behaved inappropriately.

The complaint must be submitted in writing. For the complaint to be processed, it should include the name and surname of the applicant, exact address of residence, a detailed description of the incident and the name of the Border Guard Service employee against whom the complaint is being submitted. Complaints that do not contain the name and address of the complainant cannot be reviewed.

Complaints against the actions of the Border Guard Service can be directed to the following postal address:

Komenda Główna Straży Granicznej (Border Guard Headquarters)
al. Niepodległości 100
02-514 Warsaw

Complaints against the actions of the Border Guard Service can be also directed to the Human Rights Defender: 

al. Solidarności 77,
00-090 Warsaw
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