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What is the difference between the permit to settle and the long-term EU resident permit?

There are two types of permanent residence cards in Poland:

  1. a permanent residence permit and
  2. a long-term resident's EU residence permit.

Both types of cards give, in principle, the same rights, they differ only in the criteria that are required to obtain them.

 

1) permanent residence permit

A permanent residence permit may, inter alia, obtain a foreigner who:
• is a person of Polish descent and intends to settle in Poland permanently,
• remains in the Polish marriage recognized by Polish law for at least 3 years prior to applying for a permanent residence permit and has lived in Poland for at least 2 years for a minimum of 2 years on the basis of a temporary residence permit issued on the basis of marriages with a Polish citizen or on the basis of obtaining a refugee status, subsidiary protection or a residence permit for humanitarian reasons,
• immediately before submitting an application for a permanent residence permit he lived in Poland for a continuous period of not less than 5 years on the basis of refugee status, subsidiary protection or residence permit for humanitarian reasons.

2) long-term EU residence permit

A foreigner who is allowed to stay in a long-term resident of the EU may:
• has been in Poland legally and continuously for at least 5 years;
• has a stable and regular source of income during the 3 years of residence in Poland immediately before submitting the application;
• has health insurance;
• has a guaranteed right to the premises;
• present a document confirming the possession of a temporary registration or a certificate confirming that it is not possible to obtain such a registration.


Foreigners who have a permanent residence permit and a long term EU residence permit have similar rights in Poland. Therefore, having one type of permit, generally there is no need to change it to another.
Both types of permits are issued for an indefinite period (unlimited period). However, the period of validity of the document confirming the received permit differs (stay cards). A residence card issued for obtaining a permanent residence permit is valid for 10 years from the date of its issue, while a residence card issued for obtaining a long-term  EU residence permit - 5 years. Changing the card is just a formality.
Both on the basis of a permanent residence permit and a long-term EU residence permit issued in Poland, a foreigner has no right to take up employment in a country other than Poland. Both permits entitle them to travel to other Schengen countries within 90 days during the next 180 days.

How much does one day of stay in Poland cost? How much funds should one have for one week of stay in Poland?

Information about the amount of funds a foreigner entering Poland should have can be found here ->

My fiancé has a Pole's Card. He intends to apply for a Polish residence permit. When should he make his application: before or after the wedding? Do I have the right to apply for a temporary residence card?

From the information given is not clear whether your fiancé is already residing in Poland (and if so, what is the basis of his stay), or whether he remains abroad. In general, the migration path should go like this:

If your fiancé is a holder of a Pole's Card and remains outside Poland, he should apply for a visa – more information on visas can be found here -> 
 
If your fiancé obtains a permit to settle, you can apply for a temporary residence permit in order to unite with the family. However, the condition for obtaining such a card is you being married (thus, in order to obtain the card you have to get married, otherwise you are not eligible to obtain the permit for this purpose).

 

I lost my residence card. What should I do?

A foreigner who has lost a residence permit is required to notify the Voivode who issued it within 3 days of the date of the loss.

If you find the previously lost residence card, you are required to notify the Voivode of this fact and to return the found card within 3 days if a new one has already been issued to replace the lost one.
 
Fee for a new residence card:

 - for replacement of a residence card in case of its loss or destruction for which the foreigner is at fault - 150 PLN.

Can a residence permit in Poland be renewed automatically?

There are three types of permits:

- temporary residence permit

- permit to settle

- EU long-term resident residence permit

A temporary residence permit is issued for a maximum of 3 years and can not be renewed automatically. Thus, you should apply for a new permit before your current permit expires.
The period of validity of the permit to settle is 10 years. The period of validity of the EU long-term resident residence permit is 5 years. After this time, the foreigner is required to replace their residence card with a new one, but the completion of the procedures necessary to obtain a particular authorization (residence permit type) is not required – you need only to replace the document itself.

I have a permit to settle in Poland. Is my child entitled to some privileges (such as receiving a visa or temporary residence permit) in Poland?

If your child is a minor, there are grounds to apply for a residence card for the child's stay in Poland. If your child is an adult, however, there is no such right.

If your child is a minor and is in Poland in order to be reunited with family, your child may obtain a residence permit for a fixed period of time.

If your child is an adult and is abroad, you can issue  an invitation to visit Poland. With this invitation, your child will have the right to apply for a visa in the country of origin. The purpose of issuing such a visa will be for facilitating “a visit”. If your child wishes after arrival to stay in Poland, for example to study or to work, then before the visa expires your child will be required to apply for a temporary residence card. The required documents for such a card will vary depending on the reason for it being issued.

Must foreigners holding a Pole's Card register their residence in Poland?

Every foreigner in Poland is required to register his/her residence. This obligation applies to all foreigners, regardless of the basis of their residence in Poland. The registration obligation arises no later than on the fourth day, counting from the moment of crossing the Polish border. Residence is registered at the municipal/commune administrative office with jurisdiction over the place of residence. The applicant receives a document confirming the residence registration without delay. The document is valid until the expiry of the registration period in case of registration for a specified period. The registration period will not be longer than the validity date of the residence document. This means that foreigners holding a Polish visa for one year issued on the basis of a Pole’s Card may register their residence for one year at the longest.

Documents required for residence registration:

1)     a completed and signed form (the form is available in the municipal/ commune administrative office)

2)     an identity card (in this case a foreign passport of a holder of a valid visa is required)

3)     a document confirming legal title to premises: an apartment rental agreement, a judicial ruling or another document confirming legal title to premises.

I am residing in Poland without a valid visa or residence card. I would like to go back to my country of origin, but I am afraid I won't be able to come back to Poland. What can I do?

If a foreigner is staying in Poland without residence documents (without a visa or a residence card), it will be difficult to legalize his stay. Generally, a foreigner unlawfully residin in Poland may submit an application for a temporary residence permit if his extraordinary  personal situation requires his presence in Poland.

When a foreigner who does not have the right to legal residence leaves Poland, at the border he will receive a decision obliging him to leave the territory of Poland and a prohibition from entering Poland for a specified period. If the decision obliging him to leave Poland is carried out within the time-limit, the foreigner may apply to the institution which issued the decision with a request for removal of his data from the list of undesirable persons in Poland.

A foreigner who is residing in Poland without the required documents may also wish to know more about the Voluntary Return Program of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). More information on the program is available here ->

I have the Pole’s Card. Can I obtain a temporary residence card on these grounds?

The Pole’s Card is not a basis for applying for temporary residence in Poland. To obtain a permit for temporary residence in Poland, a foreigner must provide evidence of the legitimacy of his stay in Poland. Such reasons could be work, university studies or staying with one’s family, along with other reasons.

However, the holder of a Pole’s Card may apply for permanent residence in Poland (settlement permit). More information is available here

For how long should I possess a registered residence in Poland to be granted a temporary residence permit?

A foreigner can register his residence in Poland provided that he holds a valid visa or a residence card, passport and an apartment rental agreement. To register one’s residence in Poland one should go to the municipal/commune administrative office which has jurisdiction over his place of residence. For the purpose of obtaining a residence card a temporary residence registration is sufficient. If a foreigner is staying in Poland on the basis of a visa, he may register his residence in Poland for not longer than the entire period of his visa's validity (provided that he has a valid apartment rental agreement during this period).

I have submitted an application for a residence permit. Can I check the status of my case? If yes, how?

To find out whether a decision on granting a residence permit has been issued, please contact the provincial administrative office where the application for a residence card was submitted. A time-limit for issuing the decision is placed on the document confirming submission of the application for a residence permit. The case should be resolved within one month. This procedure may, however, be extended. If the provincial administrative office does not resolve the matter within the time-limit, it is obliged to notify the foreigner of this fact, giving reasons for the delay and indicating the new time-limit within which the case will be resolved.

Do I have to have a residence registration in Poland? What can I do in case the owner of an apartment refuses to register me?

Every foreigner who stays in Poland for more than 3 days ust be registered. If a foreigner rents an apartment and has signed a lease agreement, he may register himself without the apartment’s owner in the municipal or commune administrative office. A foreigner who has the right to temporary residence in Poland (such as a visa or a temporary residence permit) can register for not longer than the entire period of the visa's validity (or for the length of his stay in Poland on the basis of a visa) or the validity period of a temporary residence permit (provided that during this period a foreigner has a valid apartment lease agreement). If a foreigner, for example, has a residence permit for a specified period issued for 2 years, and a lease agreement is signed for one year, then the maximum period for which a foreigner may register his residence in Poland is one year. To register one’s residence one needs to submit a completed and signed residence registration form (the form is available at the municipal/commune administrative office), apartment rental agreement, a valid visa or other residence document and a passport.

Can I apply for a Pole’s Card in Poland?

In accordance with current regulations, the ordinance may be designated by the competent Voivode to receive applications for the Card of Pole. Also in such a regulation, the country of origin of people who can take advantage of this regulation is indicated.


As of 02 November 2017, people from Belarus can take advantage of this regulation in the Voivode of Podlasie as regards the award of the Card of Pole.

I am a Polish national married to a foreigner. How can we legalise my spouse's stay in Poland?

In order to be able to legalise a foreigner's residence in Poland on the basis of marriage, the marriage has to be registered at the Civil Registry Office in Poland (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego). Afterwards, your spouse may apply for a temporary residence permit based on marriage at the Department of Foreigners of the provincial administration office. The procedure for applying for a temporary residence permit lasts about 2 months, although it may be extended. During the application procedure, Polish authorities verify the authenticity of the marriage, i.e. whether it was performed in order to get around legal regulations. The procedure includes summoning the spouses to the office, where they answer questions concerning their marriage. The first residence permit for a fixed period is granted for the period of 1 year.

My husband resides in Poland based on a temporary residence permit based on marriage. Can he work in Poland and in other EU Member States?

If your husband resides in Poland with a temporary residence permit based on marriage, he may work in Poland on the same terms as Polish citizens, i.e. without a work permit, throughout the period of validity of the residence permit.

A temporary residence permit entitles the holder to leave for other countries in the Schengen Area for a period of up to 3 months during a six-month period for tourism purposes only. A temporary residence permit in Poland does not entitle the holder to undertake work in any other country in the Schengen Area. In order to be able to work in other countries, your husband has to apply for a work permit in the country where he wishes to start work.

It is worth remembering that the Schengen Area does not overlap with the territory of the EU.

The data on my residence card have changed (I have changed my registered place of residence). How much time do I have to exchange the card?

A foreigner is obliged to submit an application for replacement of a residence card within 14 days after the occurrence of premises to exchange it, eg. change of the place of residence.


A foreigner who has not fulfilled the obligation to exchange a residence card may be - for example - obliged to pay a fine.

I have a long-term permit for EU residents. My card will expire soon. When should I apply for a new card?

The decision on granting a long-term EU residence permit is issued for an indefinite period. However, the residence card remains valid for 5 years, which means that it should be renewed every 5 years. This is just a formality and it does not require starting the whole procedure of granting the permit from the beginning. There is no specified period during which one should apply for a new residence card. This can be done even on the last day of validity of the card, although it is worth remembering that the new card will be issued approximately one month later. During the period of waiting for the new card the document confirming the legality of your stay in Poland will be the decision of the Voivode granting you a long-term permit for EU residence. The decision will not entitle you to travel in the Schengen Area, and if you want to leave to your home country, you will be able to do so, but you will not be able to return to Poland. You will also be obliged to present the decision of the Voivode in the event of an inspection verifying the legality of your stay in Poland. Due to the difficulties mentioned above, we recommend that you apply for the renewal of your residence card no later a month before the expiry of your current card.

Does a foreign national who is an EU citizen staying in Poland have to obtain a residence card in Poland?

EU citizens do not have to have a visa or a residence card in Poland. EU citizens who are staying in Poland for a period exceeding 3 months should only register their stay in Poland. An application for the registration of stay is filed at the Voivode for the place of residence of the EU citizen, in person, not later than 3 months after entry into Poland. EU citizens who fail to comply with the duty to register their stay may be charged with a fine.

EU citizens may register their stay in Poland if they meet one of the following conditions:

  1. they are employed or self-employed in Poland;
  2. they are subject to universal health insurance or they are entitled to receive healthcare benefits and possess sufficient financial means to sustain themselves and the members of their family in Poland, so that they do not constitute a burden on social services;
  3. they study or participate in vocational training in Poland, provided that they are insured in Poland and that they have sufficient financial means to sustain themselves and members of their family in Poland, so that they do not constitute a burden on social services;
  4. they are married to a Polish citizen.

The application for registering the stay is completed in Polish.

The application for registering the stay should include the following attachments:

1. in the case of employees:
a. written statement of the employer or another entity stating the intention to entrust the foreigner with work;
b. a statement confirming the performance of work,
2. in the case of self-employed individuals:
a. an excerpt from the National Court Register if an entry into such register is required under separate regulations; or
b. a certificate confirming the entry in the register of economic activity,
3. in the case of students or individuals participating in vocational training:
a. a certificate issued by the school stating that the person has been enrolled in a study programme or a referral to a vocational training programme,
b. a document confirming the right to healthcare benefits,
c. a written statement confirming the possession of sufficient financial means to sustain the individual in question and members of their family in Poland, without the need to receive social security benefits, or proof confirming the possession thereof,
4. in the case of individuals married to Polish citizens – a document confirming the marriage with a Polish citizen,
5. in other cases:
a. a document confirming the right to healthcare benefits,
b. evidence confirming the possession of sufficient financial means to sustain the individual in question and members of their family in Poland, without the need to receive social security benefits.

Evidence confirming the possession of sufficient financial means to sustain the individual in question and members of their family in Poland without the need to receive social security benefits may include:

  1. a credit card;
  2. a declaration of the possession of financial resources, confirmed by the signature and stamp of an authorised employee of a bank or other financial institution, issued not later than one month prior to the filing of the application for registering the stay.

EU citizens are also obliged to present a valid travel document or another document confirming their identity and citizenship.

When collecting the certificate of registration of the stay of an EU citizen, it is required to present a valid travel document (passport) or another document confirming identity and citizenship, and if the certificate is collected by an attorney of the applicant, the power of attorney granting them the right to collect the certificate must be presented.

After 5 years of stay in Poland, EU citizens may apply for permanent residence in Poland.

I am staying in Poland without a valid visa or a valid residence card. Can I legalise my stay in Poland basing on the fact that I work here?

Unfortunately, the possibilities to legalise the stay of a person who is staying in Poland without a valid residence document are very limited. Basing on the presented information, it seems that the only way for you to legalise your stay basing on the fact that you work in Poland is to leave for your home country. If you do so, at the Polish border you will receive a decision obliging you to leave Poland, with a specified period during which you will be forbidden to enter Poland. The minimum period for which such a ban can be issued is 6 months, and the maximum is 5 years. If you comply with the decision obliging you to leave Poland in time, then you may file an application to the Chief of the Border Guard Department who issued the decision forbidding you to enter Poland to withdraw this decision. If no circumstances exist that would make the withdrawal of such decision impossible (such circumstances may, for example, consist in the fact that the foreigner constitutes a threat to the safety of Poland), then the Border Guard Service will withdraw the decision. The procedure of withdrawing the decision forbidding you to enter Poland may last from one to several months, depending on your individual situation. In the event the decision is withdrawn, you will be able to apply for a visa at the Polish consulate, e.g. based on employmeny. Then, after arriving in Poland with the visa, you will also be able to apply for a residence permit for a fixed period basing on your work.

If you decide to leave Poland, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme->

What is considered a technical deficiency?

A technical deficiency is a situation in which the request is left unprocessed (i.e. The Voivodeship Office does not initiate procedures of issuing a decision in order to grant a residence card). If there are technical deficiencies in the application, the Voivode Office calls the resident to repair the formal defects within 7 days from the date of the summons to the office.

Note! If there are technical deficiencies in the application, the foreigner is not entitled to the stamp in the passport, which confirms the submission of documents, and which legalises the foreigners stay, in a situation where the validity of the previous visa or residence card expires.

When Appling for a residence permit a technical deficiency is lack of:

  1. 4 copies of the completed application for a residence permit;
  2. 3 copies of identity document and original for inspection
  3. 4 recent photographs – instruction regarding photographs are available here->
  4. In case of applying for a temporary residence permit and work – labour market test (what is labour market test?),if required.
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