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Temporary residence permit for family members of a foreigner residing in PolandPrint

Foreigners entitled to obtain a temporary residence permit for family members of a foreigner residing in Poland are:

  1. the spouse (the marriage must be acknowledged under  Polish law);
  2. minor children (i.e. those under the age of 18) - not only biological children, but also adopted children or other children dependent on the foreigner and under his parental authority (e.g. a spouse's child from a previous relationship).

Note: In case of a minor foreigner staying in Poland without a parent or caretaker with refugee status or subsidiary protection in Poland, the child's parents, grandparents or other adults bearing responsibility for the child under Polish law (e.g. legal guardians) are also considered members of the family.

If the best interests of the foreigner require it, a temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification can also be granted in the case of:

  • divorce, separation or widowhood if the foreigner in question was married to a foreigner meeting the requirements referred to in paragraphs 1-5 below and with whom he reunited in Poland;
  • death of a parent, if a given child is a minor child of a foreigner referred to in paragraphs 1-5 below, with whom the child was reunited in Poland;
  • death of a minor child who was granted refugee status or subsidiary protection.

In such situation, the residence permit may be granted only once for a period not longer than three years, and the applicant (foreigner) must prove the possession of a stable source of income, health insurance and a place of residence in Poland.

Foreigners with the right to family reunification

Family members of a foreigner residing in Poland are entitled to family reunification by obtaining a temporary residence permit only if the said foreigner living in Poland is in possession of:

  1. a residence permit or a long-term EU resident permit;
  2. refugee status, or supplementary protection, or a resident permit for humanitarian reasons;
  3. a temporary residence permit for a duration of at least 2 years, the last residence permit being issued for a stay of not less than one year;
  4. temporary residence permit issued for the purpose of conducting scientific research;
  5. EU Blue Card (work permit for high-skilled workers).

Note: A foreigner residing in Poland on the basis of a visa is not entitled to reunite with his or her family simply because he or she has a legal right to stay in Poland. Family members of a foreigner staying in Poland on the basis of a visa can apply for a Polish visa under general regulations.

Residence permit procedure

A temporary residence permit for a family member of a foreigner meeting the requirements listed in points 1-5 is issued by the Voivode competent for the place of residence of the foreigner applying for the permit.

A temporary residence permit is granted at the request of a foreigner already residing in Poland. Such an application may also be submitted in Poland on behalf of a foreigner-family member who will be arriving in Poland (in this case, after the positive decision of the Voivode, the foreigner to whom the given decision applies should visit a Polish consulate for the purpose of being issued a visa to implement the temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification).

Addresses of Voivodship Offices can be found here ->

In order to submit a valid residence permit application, the following set of documents must be submitted:

  • 4 copies of the application for a temporary residence permit completed in accordance with the guidelines (the application form is available for download here ->);
  • 4 recent, colour photographs (guidelines for the photographs are available here ->);
  • a valid travel document (3 copies);
  • documents confirming residence in Poland – e.g. rental agreement, agreement of lending for use, hotel booking (or confirmation);
  • documents confirming the degree of relationship or kinship under the Polish law (civil register certificates: marriage certificate, birth certificate);
  • documents confirming the right of the foreigner with whom the other foreigner is to be reunited to reside in Poland (residence permit or other);
  • documents confirming the foreigner’s intent to be reunited with a family in Poland that has a stable and regular source of income sufficient to cover the living costs of the applicant foreigner and his dependant family members (this condition may be considered fulfilled by presenting information on the income of the foreigner residing in Poland with whom the applicant is to be reunited), (what are the financial resources necessary to cover the living costs of the applicant and family members ->);
  • proof of health insurance in Poland;
  • confirmation of payment of stamp duty (340 PLN).

Note: A foreigner living in Poland with whom a family reunites must also present proof of a stable source of income sufficient to cover the costs of living for themselves and the family members, proof of health insurance and a place of residence. Only foreigners subject to international protection in Poland (having refugee status or under subsidiary protection) are relieved from the obligation to present the above evidence, provided that the application for a permit for a family member was submitted within 6 months of the date when the foreigner was granted the relevant form of protection.

All the above documents should be:

  • submitted as originals in Polish or as authenticated copies,  with originals presented for verification;
  • in case of documents originally drawn up in a foreign language - translated into Polish by a sworn translator.

Within 1 month of receipt of the entire set of documents by the Voivodship Office a decision on granting a temporary residence permit should be issued. In certain cases, this period may be extended by the Voivode.

A temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification is granted:

  • for a period equivalent to the temporary residence permit issued to the foreigner with whom the family member was reunited on arrival in Poland or whom they accompanied to Poland;
  • for 3 years - if the foreigner with whom the family member was reunited on arrival in Poland or whom they accompanied to Poland has been granted a permit to settle, a long-term EU resident permit or subsidiary protection, or permission to stay for humanitarian reasons, or has been granted refugee status. 

Appeals procedure

A foreigner dissatisfied with a decision made by the Voivode has the right to appeal against it to the Director of the Office for Foreigners in Warsaw. The written appeal must be submitted within 14 days of receipt of the decision in question.

A foreigner may also challenge the decision of the Director of the Office for Foreigners in administrative court within 30 days of receipt of the relevant decision.

Note: challenging the decision in administrative court does not legalise the stay. This means that a foreigner who does not have another valid document authorizing the  stay in Poland must leave the country.

Fees and charges

  • 340 PLN – stamp duty for commencement of proceedings to grant a residence permit payable at the moment of submission of the application ,
  • 50 PLN – fee for issuance of a residence permit payable at the moment of receipt of a positive decision (residence card template).

A residence card may only be retrieved in person. The foreigner’s fingerprints are taken for the purpose of issuing the residence card. 

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