The citizens of many non-EU countries are required to obtain a Polish visa in order to enter and remain in Poland.
Attention: A visa does not guarantee entry into Poland. Border guards have the right to refuse entry to a foreigner at the border.
Polish consular services abroad are responsible for issuing visas.
A foreigner may request different types of visas:
- Air Transit Visa (A): an "A" visa allows a foreigner to pass through the airport of one or more Schengen Area countries (Which countries belong to Schengen?). A list of countries whose citizens are obliged to obtain an "A" visa may be consulted here ->
- Schengen Visa (C) A "C" visa allows a foreigner to remain in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a period of six months. The period is calculated from the first entry. A list of countries whose citizens are exempt from the need to obtain a Schengen visa may be consulted here ->
- Individual Country Visa (D) A "D" visa allows a foreigner to enter a single country and stay within its borders for up to one year. The validity of such a visa depends on the purpose of travel.
- If a foreigner intends to stay in Poland for longer than the authorized period of stay, he should apply for another visa or residence permit at a Polish consulate abroad (what is a residence permit? ->)
- Foreigners seeking asylum in Poland, intending to repatriate to Poland or obtain a Pole's Card should apply for this visa.
A list of countries whose citizens are exempt from D visas in Poland may be consulted here
Visas are issued by Polish consulates. A list of Polish consulates may be consulted here-> In a few countries (e.g. Ukraine), foreigners may apply for a Polish visa at Designated Visa Application Points other than consulates.
Attention: A foreigner may not remain in Poland beyond the authorized period of time. What is the difference between visa duration and the authorized duration? ->
Purposes for issuing visas
Purpose of visa issuance as indicated on the visa sticker:
„01” – purpose of tourism;
„02” – visiting family or friends;
„03” – participation in sports events;
„04” - performance of business activity;
„05” - performance of work by a foreigner for a period of up to six months during 12 consecutive months, on the basis of a statement of intention to entrust work to a foreigner registered by employer with the district labor office;
„06” - performance of work on the basis of documents other than a statement of intention to entrust work to a foreigner, such as a work permit;
„07” - activity in the sector of culture or arts, or participation in conferences organized in connection with performance of such activities;
„08” - performance of official duties by representatives of foreign state organs or of an international organization;
„09” - pursuit of first cycle or second cycle degree, of uniform master's degree or attending a third cycle (doctoral) studies programme (full-time course);
„10” – undergoing vocational training;
„11” - training or education in forms other than full-time courses available at universities (such as post-secondary schools etc.);
„12” - teaching and didactical activity;
„13” - performance of research and development activity;
„14” - undergoing medical treatment or therapy inPoland;
„15” - purpose of joining a national of a Member State of the European Union, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or of the Swiss Confederation, or staying with such a citizen;
„16” - participation in a cultural or educational exchange programme, humanitarian aid programme or summer work experience scheme; if such programme is governed by an international agreement to which Poland is a signatory, the visa sticker shall also bear the name of the programme;
„17” - arrival in the Polish territory as a member of immediate family of a repatriate;
„18” – enjoyment of rights granted by virtue of being a holder of the Card of the Pole;
„19” – purpose of repatriation toPoland;
„19a” – arrival in the territory of the Republic of Poland as a closest family member of a person residing in Poland on the basis of a permit to settle issued on the basis of a Pole’s Card;
„20” - obtaining temporary protection;
„21” - arrival in Poland on humanitarian grounds, by reason of interest of the state or due to international obligations;
„22” – execution of rights granted in a temporary residence permit issued under the family reunification procedure;
„23” – all visas issued for a purpose other those listed above.
Polish and Schengen visas procedure
The basic visa application package should include:
- properly completed visa application form
Attention: Some consulates require on-line visa registration (http://www.e-konsulat.gov.pl/) – for more information see below.
- travel documents
- the document should be valid for at least three months following the visa expiry date.
- the document should not be older than ten years
- 1 photo- see requirements here ->
- Visa fee– the fee varies between 0 and 70 euro, depending on the type of visa and the citizenship of the applicant. The fee is non-returnable, even in the case of an unsuccessful application.
- travel and health insurance for medical assistance with minimum coverage of € 30,000. Polish visa applicants may benefit from the national insurance scheme, the NFZ- what is it?
- fingerprints –required in case of Schengen visa applications.
Other complementary documents which confirm:
- The purpose of the visit;
- Sufficient means to cover living expenses – what are these? ->
- Adequate housing (Schengen visa);
- Readiness to leave Schengen territory upon visa expiry;
- Other circumstances cited in the application.
Different consular offices may require different complementary documents. For this reason an applicant should the contact appropriate consular office when gathering information about those documents.
Parents or legal guardians should apply on behalf of applicants younger than 18 years old.
The time needed for visa application processing varies. Russian or Ukrainian applicants are typically notified within five days. Processing of visa applications filed in other countries may take more time.
An applicant for a work visa must submit:
- work permit – what is this? ->
- a declaration of the intention to entrust a job to a foreigner – what is this?
Work visas will be issued for a length of time corresponding to the work permit or intent to hire a worker. This period may not be longer than that allowed under the particular work visa scheme – what is the difference between visa validity and length of stay in Poland based on the visa? ->
A consul can reject a visa application if a foreigner:
- does not have a valid travel document or any other document required in the application process
- is in the register of foreigners whose stay in Polish territory is undesirable – what is this?->
- has been registered in the Schengen Information System concerning persons who may be denied entry to the Schengen Area – what is this? ->
- is unable to demonstrate the purpose of the visit.
- may be considered a public, domestic or international safety hazard (especially security-related);
- has provided false or misleading information during the visa application process
- does not hold the required health insurance.
Those applying for a Schengen visa may be denied if they:
- do not have sufficient means to stay in the Schengen Area or to cover the costs of their return journey;
- have exhausted the limit on residence in the Schengen Area.
All individuals whose visa applications have been denied or whose visas have been withdrawn have the right to obtain a written explanation of the decision. They may appeal against the decision within seven days of receipt of the written decision. They must submit the appeal to the authority which issued the negative decision.
For more information concerning individual country and Schengen visa extensions click here ->
Both individual and Schengen visas could be withdrawn if, during the application process, the applicant was found not to have met all conditions.
A visa could be withdrawn if:
- the foreigner's data have been placed in the register of foreigners whose stay in Poland is undesirable – what is this?
- the foreigner could be considered a threat to security or national interests;
- the visa will expire within three months of the travel document's expiration;
- the foreigner submitted false or misleading information during the visa applicaiton process
- the foreigner did not provide sufficient evidence concerning the aim and conditions of the stay.
Individual and Schengen visas are withdrawn by the commanding officer of the Border Guard Service outpost, border guards, consuls or the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
A visa withdrawal decision could be appealed against to:
- a consul – through a secondary application to the same consul within seven days of receipt of the visa withdrawal notification.
- The Chief the of Border Guards Service
You can access the e-Consulate system here ->
e-Consulate is a web-based platform designed to streamline consular matters, including visa applications. In order to gain access to a visa application form the applicant should select the consulate where he will apply for the visa and the type of visa requested. The applicant cannot submit the application online, but must print a hard copy in order to file it at a designated point. The applicant may set or reschedule a visa appointment as well as find out all the information about visa requirements.
The e-Consulate webpage is available in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish.
Attention: Some consulates require the applicants to initiate a visa application by visiting the e-Consulate website.