Visas and crossing the border
Does a person who holds a national visa – valid for 1 year - issued by Poland have the right to exit Poland and enter another Schengen country?
Holders of national visa marked D can move through the territory of the Schengen states for up to the period of three months within a six month period if they meet the following conditions necessary for entry into the Schengen area countries:
- possess a valid travel document;
- carry insurance covering the entire period of intended stay, valid in the Schengen area;
- justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and have sufficient means of subsistence, both during the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third country to which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to legally acquire such means ;
- their personal data are not included in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry;
- they are not considered to be a person that can undermine public order, or pose a threat to national security or international relations.
How is the length of stay of a person holding a Polish national visa or a residence permit in a Schengen country other than Poland checked?
A person with a national visa or a residence permit may stay in other countries of the Schengen area for up to three months within a period of 6 months from the date of first entry (under certain conditions, exceptions to this rule may apply to holders of residence permit for long-term EU residents).
Due to the fact that in the Schengen area border controls for persons crossing the borders between the Member States of the Schengen area were abolished, if a person is traveling by car or bus, there is no clear procedure for checking the length of their stay in the Schengen area. When traveling by plan, entry and exit dates can be checked as the data of the traveler is entered into the border control system at the airport.
It is worth remembering that the person exceeding the allowed period of 3-month stay does this entirely at their own risk. Remaining in the territory of the Schengen area (in a country other than the one that issued an alien with a national visa or a temporary residence card) after the allowed period of stay on this territory (3 months within 6 months from the date of first entry) could be the basis for the decision to expel the alien from the territory of that country and impose a ban on entry to the Schengen area.
Can a holder of a residence permit in Poland travel to the UK?
No, they cannot, because the United Kingdom does not belong to the Schengen area.
How soon after the expiry of their visa may the alien apply for a new visa?
Visa application must be submitted no earlier than 3 months before the planned trip.
A person with multiple-entry visa valid for a period of at least 6 months may apply for a new visa before the expiry of the visa currently owned. The validity of a new visa, however, must begin no earlier than on the date of expiry of the previous visa – as one cannot hold two visas at the same time (for example, if a visa is valid until August 15, the validity of the new visa may only start from August 16).
What are the minimum financial resources a foreigner entering the Polish territory is required to possess?
Information on the financial resources required and minimum amounts that a foreigner entering the Polish territory is obliged to posses can be found here ->
Is it possible to extend a student visa for another year?
No, it is impossible. In Poland, a visa can be extended only in strictly defined exceptional circumstances. In the case of studies though, you can apply for a temporary residence card (residence permit for a fixed period of time). Documents are to be submitted 45 days before the expiry of the visa on the basis of which the student resides in Poland.
How to extend a visa granted for work purpose in Poland?
The visa can be extended only in strictly defined exceptional circumstances. More information on renewal of national and Schengen visas can be obtained here ->
If a foreigner possesses a work permit, they may also apply for a residence permit for a fixed period of time.
My husband is Polish. The validity of my residence card has expired. Should my husband send me an invitation before I can apply for a visa for Poland?
If the validity of your temporary residence card has expired, and you left Poland before the end of validity of the card, you can apply for a visa at the consulate of the Republic of Poland on the basis of an invitation issued by a Polish citizen (in this case - your husband). After receiving a visa and arriving in Poland, you can apply for a residence permit for a fixed period of time, which can be granted to a foreigner who is married to a Polish citizen. The application must be submitted 45 days before the expiry of the visa.
I am a foreigner. I live in Poland. My husband has been officially working in the UK for several years. Do I have the right to move permanently to England? If so, what documents should I have?
United Kingdom does not belong to the Schengen area, so in order to move to England, you must obtain a visa. The procedure of applying for a visa to the UK can be found on the website of the Consulate of the United Kingdom in Poland.
I have a residence card. Can my son benefit from any reductions or rebates during the organization of his arrival in Poland?
In order to come to Poland, your son should have a visa or other document authorizing him to cross the border (such as a residence card). If you have a permit to settle, a long-term EU resident permit, or you have been living in Poland legally and continuously for at least 5 years, you can draw up an invitation, inviting your son to come to Poland. On the basis of this invitation, your son can apply for a visa in his country of origin.
Must a person inviting an alien to Poland have a bank account?
The person inviting does not need to have a bank account, but must provide evidence of their ability to cover the costs associated with the stay of the alien on the Polish territory. This may be in the form of a statement of account, but also – for example - a contract of employment with the indicated amount of remuneration.
Stay in Poland
What is the difference between the permit to settle and the long-term EU resident permit?
Both the permit to settle and the long-term EU resident permit entitle an alien to reside on the Polish territory.
Permit to settle
Long-term EU resident permit
This residence permit is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. After this period, the card is replaced with a new one. Only the card itself expires, not the permit, and in order to get a new document you are not required to start or undergo the entire process of applying for a permit to settle again.
This residence permit is valid for 5 years from the date of issue. After this period, the card is replaced with a new one. Only the card itself expires, not the permit, and in order to get a new document you are not required to start or undergo the entire process of applying for a long-term EU resident permit again.
Right to stay other Schengen states
Entitles you to stay in other Schengen area country no longer than for a period of 3 months.
Right of residence on the territory of the Schengen States other than the State which granted the status of a long-term resident for a period exceeding three months, if certain conditions are met (possession of a valid travel document, justified purpose of travel and conditions of the intended stay, sufficient means of support to cover both the intended stay and for the return to the country of residence, the alien not appearing in the system for the purposes of refusing entry, alien not considered a person who may be a threat to public policy, security or international relations between states).
When planning a longer stay, you should contact the institution responsible for the residence legalization issues in other countries of the Schengen area, and obtain information about the legalization process on the basis of the EU long-term resident permit in the given country (in most EU countries, you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit).
How much does one day stay in Poland cost? How much funds should one have for one week stay in Poland?
Information about the amount of funds an alien entering the Polish territory should have can be found here ->
My fiancé has the Card of the Pole. He intends to apply for a residence permit. When it is better to apply for it: before our marriage or after?Do I have the right to apply for a temporary 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 look as follows:
If your fiancé is a holder of the Card of the Pole, and remains outside Poland, he should apply for a visa – more information on visas can be read here ->
If your fiancé is in Poland already, and is of Polish origin, on this basis he can apply for the permit to settle in Poland. Please note that possession of the Card of the Pole itself does not automatically give one the right to receive the permit to settle in Poland. If the Card of the Pole was issued on the basis of Polish origin, he can apply for the permit to settle on the basis of the evidence that was presented when applying for the Card of the Pole. The very same evidence can be used to obtain a permit to settle. More information on the permit to settle is available here ->
If your fiancé resides in Poland on the basis of a visa, he may apply for a temporary residence permit, if, for example, he undertakes work or studies in Poland. An application for a temporary residence card must be submitted no later than 45 days before the expiry of the visa.
If your fiancé has been residing in Poland for five years, he may also apply for a residence permit for EU long-term resident
In this case, however, neither the Card of the Pole or Polish citizenship, are sufficient basis to receive this type of permit.
If your fiancé obtains a permit to settle, a long-term EU resident permit or temporary residence card for the purpose of scientific research, 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 study in Poland, I have a temporary residence card, the Card of the Pole, and have a residence address certificate, can I apply for a permanent residence card on this basis?
Having a Card of the Pole itself does not give you an automatic right to receive a permit to settle in Poland.
The permit to settle may be granted, among others, to an alien who confirmed that they are of Polish ancestry.
If your Card of the Pole was issued on the basis of your Polish descent, you may also apply for the permit to settle on the basis of the evidence that you presented when applying for the Card of the Pole. The same evidence can be used to obtain a permit to settle.
If you have been staying in Poland legally and continuously for a minimum of five years, you may apply for a residence permit for EU long-term residents. The stay in Poland is considered to be continuous if none of the interruptions in your stay was longer than 6 months, and cumulatively they do not exceed a total of 10 months. Possession of the Card of the Pole or being of Polish origin is not taken into account when applying for a long-term EU residence card.
I hold a visa for Poland valid for a year, which ends in a few weeks and possess the Card of the Pole. I married a Pole. I would like to obtain a residence permit.
Residence permit for a fixed period of time is granted to a foreigner who is married to a Polish citizen. The foreigner is required to apply for a residence permit for a fixed period at least 45 days before the expiry of the residence period marked on the visa issued to them. If the alien makes an application later than before the deadline above, and the approval procedure for the (subsequent) residence permit for a fixed period of time is not completed before the expiry of the period of stay indicated in the visa (or permit for temporary residence), an alien is required to leave the Polish territory before the expiry of the indicated period of stay. If your visa expires in less than 45 days, it is best to obtain a new visa on the basis of the Card of the Pole in a Polish consulate abroad, and after receiving a visa to apply for a temporary residence card when already in Poland.
I lost my residence card. What should I do?
An alien who has lost a residence permit is required to notify the voivode who issued it within 3 days from the date of loss.
If you find the previously lost residence card, you are required to - within 3 days from the date of finding it - notify the voivode thereof, and return the residence card found if a new one was already issued to replace the lost one.
The fee for a new card of residence:
- for replacement of the residence card in case of its loss or destruction due to the fault of the foreigner - 100 PLN,
- in case of every subsequent loss or destruction of the residence card due to the fault of the foreigner - 200 PLN
May the residence permit in Poland be renewed automatically?
There are three types of permits:
- a temporary residence permit
- a permit to settle
- EU long-term resident residence permit
A temporary residence permit is issued for a maximum of two years and can not be renewed automatically. Thus, you should apply for a new permit at least 45 days before the expiry of the permit.
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 period, the alien is required to replace their residence card with a new one, but the completion of the procedures necessary to obtain a specific authorization (residence permit type) is not required – you need only to replace the document itself.
I study in Poland. How can I apply for a temporary residence permit?
Taking up studies in Poland is essential to obtain a temporary residence card. The studies can be full-time, doctoral or other (for example, part-time or evening system). The residence permit shall be issued at the voivodship office, in the foreign nationals department having jurisdiction over the alien's place of residence. The permit application must be submitted 45 days before the expiry date of the document on which basis the alien resided in Poland until then (for example residence permit or visa).
In the case of undertaking or continuing full-time or doctoral studies, the following basic set of documents should be submitted:
- 4 filled out copies of the application for the residence permit for a fixed period. The application form is available here ->
- 3 copies of a valid travel document and the original available for inspection on request
- residence address certificate – what is the residence address certificate? ->
- legal title to the residential premises where the foreigner resides or intends to reside – what is the legal title to the residential premises? ->
- confirmation of payment of stamp duty.
Apart from the basic set of documents, you should also submit:
- certificate of acceptance as a student (in accordance with the template provided) or permission to continue studies issued by the education institution;
- a payment slip proving payment of any fees required by the education institution (ex. agreement on payment of fees and copy of a bank transfer confirmation);
- documents confirming possession of financial means to cover the costs of living and return
- health insurance
- ticket or funds to purchase a return ticket to the country of origin
Will the daughter have right to enjoy some privileges (such as being issued a visa or temporary residence card in Poland) if her mother has a permit to settle?
If your daughter is a minor, there are grounds to apply for a residence card for her stay in Poland. If the daughter is an adult though, such entitlement does not exist.
If your daughter is a minor and enters Poland in order to re-unite with the family, she may obtain a residence permit for a fixed period of time.
If your daughter is an adult and is abroad, you can issue an invitation to visit Poland for your daughter. With this invitation, your daughter will have the right to apply for a visa in the country of origin. The purpose of issuing such a visa will be “visiting”. If after arrival, your daughter will want to stay in Poland, for example, due to studies or work, then 45 days before the end of the visa validity she will be required to apply for a temporary residence card. Required documents for such a card will vary depending on the purpose of its issuance.
More information on the residence permit for a fixed period is available here ->
Working in Poland
Do students have the right to work in Poland?
If a student resides in Poland on the basis of a student visa, he or she can work without obtaining a work permit only in the months of July, August and September. If the student resides in Poland on the basis of a temporary residence card, issued for the purpose of studies, he or she can work in Poland without a separate permit for the whole period of validity of the card.
What is a declaration of intention to entrust a job to a foreigner?
More information on declaration of intention to entrust a job to a foreigner is available here ->
How to check if the employer exists?
Employer data can be checked in the Regon register database (www.stat.gov.pl/regon/) or KRS National Court Register base (www.krs-online.com.pl ). If the employing entity is a Polish employment agency, the data can be found in the National Register of Employment Agencies (www.kraz.praca.gov.pl ).
What documents confirm the fact of performing work, when by the fault of the employer one does not have a signed contract of employment?
Employment contract is to be concluded in writing. If an employment contract has not been concluded in writing prior to the start of work, the employer must - no later than on the day of commencement of work by the employee - confirm in writing the details concerning the type of contract and its terms and conditions.
In the case where the contract was signed, but has not been given to the employee, the employee may apply to the Labour Court to prove the existence of an employment relationship, or to prove that the employee actually has worked at a particular place of employment. As relevant evidence may be considered such documents as, for example, working documents signed by the employee, e-mails sent from the workplace mailbox, phone calls, witness statements, etc.
If case of the contract not being signed by the employer, and the remuneration not being paid, you can pursue the matter, in addition to the common courts, also by contacting the district labour inspector. District labour inspectors do not deal with complaints arising out of civil law contracts, however. Such complaints can be dealt with only by the courts.
Contact details for District Labour Inspectorates are available here -> http://www.pip.gov.pl/html/pl/html/06000000.htm
The National Labour Inspectorate offers free advice on labour law issues - telephone numbers are available here ->
Can I work in Denmark in the branch office of the same employer for whom I hold a work permit in Poland?
No, this is not possible. A work permit issued in Poland entitles you to work only on the Polish territory. If a foreigner wants to work in Denmark, he or she must apply for a separate permit in Denmark.
Performing economic activity in Poland
I hold a visa issued on the basis of the Card of the Pole. I want to register a company in Poland. How do I do it?
Holders of the Card of the Pole and a visa issued on its basis have the right to take up and pursue economic activity on these same terms as Polish citizens. The entrepreneur may undertake business activity on the date of submission of an application for registration in the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity, or after entry into the National Court Register (KRS) system. Entrepreneurs who are natural persons are subject to registration. Entrepreneurs have the right to indicate a date of commencement of economic activity later than the date of application submission in their application for entry in the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity. An entrepreneur entered into the register of entrepreneurs or subject to other registration requirements, is obliged to place in all written statements and documentation concerning its business activity, addressed to certain persons and entities, its tax identification number (NIP) and use this number in all legal matters and in business trading. Identification of individual entrepreneurs in the specific official records is based on the tax identification number (NIP).
Can a foreigner, holding a national D visa for work, register a one-man business in Poland? What documents are needed?
No, it is not possible. This type of visa entitles an alien only to perform work in Poland.
A foreigner was granted a Polish visa on the basis of a work permit. Should the employer register the child for health insurance?
Generally, if a child is indicated on the visa, he or she will be covered by private health insurance the purchase of which is mandatory when applying for a visa still in the country of residence (the minimum amount of insurance is 30 000 euro). This insurance must be valid for the entire period of stay of the child in Poland. It is, therefore, recommended that you purchase insurance in a reputable company that will indeed cover the costs of medical services if such need arises.
If a parent undertakes legal work (provided they hold a visa with work authorisation or a work permit, perform the work at the workplace specified in the above documents and at a given position, have signed a contract and were registered by the employer with the Social Insurance Bureau within 7 days from the date of commencing work), it should be remembered that each insured person is required to report to the insurer also the data of family members residing in Poland, if they do not have health insurance granted under a different title (for example, if they do not work).Thus, in this case, the child may also be registered with the Social Insurance Bureau (institution responsible for social security and collecting health insurance premiums). The registration for insurance consists in simply providing the employer with the personal data of family members using a special form.
Purchase of property by an alien
Can a foreigner buy real estate in Poland?
What is the legal status a foreign national must possess in order to buy property in Poland?
In general, the rules differentiate between two types of property: an apartment (known as "stand-alone residential premises" in legal texts) and a house.
There is no legal status requirement an alien must meet in order to buy a “stand-alone residential premises”, or an apartment in Poland. This means that a foreigner who has a Polish visa, residence permit for a fixed period, a permit to settle or residence permit for EU long-term residents does not need authorisation to buy an apartment. No permission is also required for a foreigner who does not reside in Poland, but still wants to buy an apartment on the Polish territory.
However, if a foreigner wants to purchase a house, he or she must obtain authorization of the Minister of Internal Affairs. Such official permission is not required for persons who have lived in Poland for at least five years from the issuance of the permit to settle or residence permit for EU long-term residents. An alien who is a spouse of a Polish citizen and has lived in Poland for at least 2 years after being issued a permit to settle or EU long-term resident permit, and who wants to purchase a house that will form a part of the community property of the spouses is also released from the obligation to obtain authorisation of the Minister of Internal Affairs.
Nevertheless, an authorisation by the Ministry of Internal Affairs is necessary for the purchase of real estate located in the border zone and for agricultural land with the surface area of more than 1 ha.
What is the procedure for purchase of real estate by foreigners?
The procedures in force differentiate between the purchase of property by an alien who needs authorisation to buy real estate, and by a foreigner entitled to purchase property without such permit.
Information on foreigners who must obtain an authorisation to purchase property, and those who are exempt from this obligation a permit can be read above.
If the foreign national needs authorisation to buy property – such authorisation is issued in the form of an administrative decision by the Minister of Internal Affairs.
The authorisation is issued upon request of the foreigner if:
1) acquisition of real estate by the foreigner does not constitute a risk to the national defense, security or public order, and there are no objections justified by social policy or public health reasons;
2) circumstances confirming the alien’s ties with Poland are presented and proven.
In order to obtain such authorisation, an alien must submit a request for authorisation. There is, however, no ready-made template of the application. A foreigner applying for authorisation to purchase real estate is required to submit the following documents:
1) Documents defining his or her legal status:
a) in the case of natural person – an excerpt or a copy of the document, confirming the identity with indication of citizenship and address of the place of residence, and if the person conducts business activity – also an extract from appropriate register,
b) in case of legal persons and companies without legal personality– a copy or an excerpt from the appropriate register;
2) Documents defining the real estate in question:
a) copy from the real-estate register or a certificate from a collection of documents,
b) excerpt from the real estate register together with a sketch of the map from evidence files,
c) in the event the relevant property was created as a result of a merger or division – a list of land changes or a decision confirming division or merger of the real estate,
d) excerpt from an updated spatial development plan, and in case of its absence– from an elaborated study;
3) statement by the seller of the property expressing their will to sell the real estate to the foreigner, and in case of a purchase of real estate as a result of a merger (division) of companies – agreed merger (division) plan, together with drafts of resolutions on merger (division) and draft articles or statutes of the acquiring company, the separated or newly established company.
Can a foreigner obtain the right to reside in Poland if he or she purchases property for a sum exceeding certain value?
An alien may apply for a temporary residence card if they prove that there are other (than those specified in the Act) important circumstances justifying their application for a permit, and that these circumstances warrant the alien’s need to reside on the Polish territory for a period longer than 3 months. Accordingly, the application for a residence permit for a fixed period can be explained by the fact that a person owns a property in Poland, lives in Poland and has tied their life with this country. Please note that the voivodship office can always demand presentation of additional documents proving the close ties with Poland. The final decision on permit issuance is made by the voivode, who assesses whether the ownership of real estate by a foreigner is a sufficient basis to grant him or her a residence permit.
Procedure of car purchase and registration by a foreigner
I am a residence card holder. Can I buy a car and gift it to my son?
You can buy a car in Poland - there are no restrictions as to the car purchase by foreigners. You also present your son with the vehicle. In Poland, all donations for closest family members, regardless of the value of their object, are exempt from tax.
What is the procedure for registration of a new car purchased in Poland by a foreigner?
The matter is processed in the city (district) office.
Required documents are as follows:
- owner application for registration of the vehicle;
- proof of identity of the foreigner: an alien should be residing in Poland legally, must present a valid passport and proof of temporary residence (certificate of temporary residence address) in Poland (for inspection);
- proof of ownership of the vehicle (proof of ownership is in particular one of the following: sales contract, contract of exchange, donation agreement, annuity contract, VAT invoice, final court decision settling the matter of the vehicle ownership);
- vehicle history card, if it was issued;
- excerpt from the certificate of approval of the vehicle type or a copy of a decision exempting the vehicle from the approval.
- proof of payment (including the identification characteristics of the vehicle: VIN number or car body, chassis or frame numbers) of the amount of 500 PLN for each vehicle imported into Polish territory or a statement of being subject to obligation to secure cooperation with a network of car dismantling and salvage companies if the vehicle is being registered for the first time; it should be borne in mind that:
- statement of being subject to obligation to secure cooperation with a network of car dismantling and salvage companies is issued only by the vehicle importer;
- the said declaration may be made on the invoice.
- proof of payment of stamp duty for the power of attorney, if it has been established.
In the case of a vehicle imported from the territory of an EU member state, should be attached also one of the following documents confirming:
- payment of excise duty on the territory of the country from which the vehicle is imported;
- proof of exemption from payment of excise duty on the territory of the country from which the vehicle is imported;
- certificate stating the exemption from excise duty if the car was imported from the territory of an EU member state and is being registered for the first time;
- invoice with the indicated amount of excise duty.
Required accompanying documents should be submitted in original.
Documents written in a foreign language should be attached to the application, together with their translation into Polish by a sworn translator. The provision does not apply to the registration certificate issued by the competent authority of a member state, the Swiss Confederation or a Member State of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area in the relevant scope containing codes used in this certificate.
The responsible unit: Bureau of Administration and Citizens’ Affairs of the City or Municipality Office.
Deadline for responses:
Without delay – in cases that do not require collection of evidence, information or additional clarifications.
Up to 1 month – cases requiring investigation.
Up to 2 months - particularly complicated cases.