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Local border trafficPrint

Local border traffic is a form of facilitating crossing borders for citizens of two neighboring states living in a frontier area. Under the local border traffic regime, residents of border areas may regularly cross a common state border without a visa, in order to stay in the border area of ​​the second state. Such trips can be for social, cultural or family reasons, as well as justified economic reasons (but their main objective cannot be gainful activity). 

Border area residents are individuals with documented permanent residence in the border area for a period of not less than 3 years, and their spouses and children (adult and minor) who are their dependents.

At the moment, agreements on local border traffic exist and are in force between Poland and:

  • Ukraine - the border area includes the zone up to 30 km from the shared border,
  • Kaliningrad region - the local border traffic regime applies to all of the inhabitants on the Russian side of the Kaliningrad region, and on the Polish side to the residents of large parts of Pomerania and Warmia-Mazury voivodships. 

There are also ongoing talks with Belarus.

The basis for crossing the border within the local border traffic regime is a document called a "permit".

Permits are issued: 

  • For Ukrainian citizens – by the Polish consul in Lviv and Lutsk
  • For Russian citizens – by the Polish consul in Kaliningrad. 

A person who crosses the border on the basis of a permit authorizing crossings within the local border traffic regime may remain in the designated border areas at one time for a period of up to 60 days from the date of entry in the case of the Ukrainian citizens, and 30 days thereof in the case of the Russian citizens, but the total period of stay cannot exceed 90 days during any given six months calculated from the date of first entry. Holders of a permit may cross the border as many times as they wish.

In order to obtain such a permit, an application must be submitted to the consulate accompanied by an explanation of reasons for frequent crossing of the border under the local border traffic regime. The following documents should be attached to the application: 

  • 2 photos - guidelines for photographs are available here ->
  • a valid travel document;
  • proof of permanent residence in the border area (for example, an internal passport or a certificate of domicile/permanent residence registration issued by the competent national authorities);
  • documents confirming the reasons for frequent border crossings. 

The fee for submission and processing of an application for a permit is 20 euro. Persons with disabilities, pensioners and children under the age of 18 in the case of Ukrainian citizens and below the age of 16 in the case of Russian citizens are exempted from the payment of the fee.

The first permit is issued for up to 2 years, but not for longer than the period of validity of the travel document.

Persons crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border under the small border traffic regime must also possess a document of health insurance coverage. Such a document (ex. an insurance policy) must be valid for the entire period of the stay abroad, and in any event for not less than 14 days. The minimum sum insured is 20,000 euro.