Possibility of extension of a visa
If a foreigner resides in Poland on the basis of a visa and wants to legally stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland after the expiry of the period of stay in Poland permitted on the basis of the visa, they must apply for a temporary residence permit (more information on the temporary residence permit can be found in the STAY IN POLAND tab).
Note! The visa is issued for a specified period - its validity is indicated on the visa sticker.
However, the time during which a foreigner may stay in Poland is usually shorter. This means that, for example, a visa may have a one-year validity period, however, a foreigner may only be entitled to stay in Poland for a period of 6 months.
Exceeding this time means unauthorized extension of stay. In such a situation, the foreigner's stay will be considered illegal, specific consequences may result from it.
Extension of a visa in Poland is possible only in exceptional circumstances.
MANDATORY EXTENSION OF A SCHENGEN VISA
The period of validity of an issued visa or the length of stay covered by that visa may be extended if the visa holder can prove that, due to unforeseen circumstances or for humanitarian reasons, they cannot leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa or before the end of the authorized period of stay covered by the visa.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION OF A SCHENGEN VISA
The period of validity of an issued visa or the length of stay covered by that visa may be extended if the visa holder proves the existence of serious personal reasons justifying the need for extending the period of validity or the length of stay covered by the visa.
EXTENSION OF A NATIONAL VISA
A foreigner staying in Poland may extend the validity period of a national visa or the period of stay covered by this visa, provided that the following conditions are met jointly:
1. There is an important professional or personal interest of the foreigner or humanitarian reasons that prevents him from leaving Poland before the expiry of the national visa or before the end of the period of stay permitted by this visa;
2. The events that are the reason for applying for a visa extension occurred regardless of the will of the foreigner and were not foreseeable on the day of submitting the application for a national visa;
3. The circumstances of the case do not indicate that the purpose of the foreigner's stay on the territory of Poland will be different than the declared one;
4. There are no circumstances for which a national visa is refused.
A national visa may be extended once, but the period of stay on the basis of an extended national visa may not exceed the period of stay provided for a national visa, i.e., 1 year.
A national visa or the period of stay covered by this visa may also be extended for a foreigner who is staying in hospital and whose health condition excludes the possibility of leaving Poland. The foreigner will be able to stay in Poland until the date when his health condition allows him to leave this territory.
The application should be submitted to the voivodeship office competent for the foreigner's place of residence.
In order to apply for a visa extension, the following documents must be submitted:
- Completed application form;
- Recent photo (in accordance with the requirements);
- Valid passport;
- Confirmation documents:
- valid certificate of registration for a temporary stay;
- purpose of stay and the need for extending the visa (e.g., certificate of hospitalization, letter or documents confirming other circumstances);
- having health insurance;
- having the financial resources necessary to cover costs of stay in Poland;
- other circumstances specified in the application
- Proof of stamp duty payment.
During the proceedings, the voivodeship office may ask the foreigner to appear in person at the office and provide additional documents that would confirm the declared state of affairs.
Schengen visas: if the conditions for the obligatory extension of a Schengen visa are met, the extension is free of charge.
The fee for the optional extension of the Schengen visa is the equivalent of EUR 30 (the conversion of the EUR equivalent into PLN is made at the average exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland on the last day preceding the application date).
National visas: the fee for extending a national visa is PLN 406. The fee is refunded in the event of a negative decision at the request of the person.
The costs can be paid at the cash desk of the voivodeship office in which the procedure is pending or transferred to the office's account. Information on the account number can be obtained from the competent voivode with whom the application will be submitted.
WHEN CAN I APPLY FOR A VISA EXTENSION?
In the case of a national and Schengen visa, the application should be submitted no later than on the expiry of the period of legal stay of the foreigner on the territory of Poland.
In cases of obligatory extension of a Schengen visa or when the foreigner is in hospital, the application may be submitted on the last day of the period of stay specified in the Schengen visa or national visa.
An application for a visa extension submitted after the deadline is not considered. Thus, the foreigner stays in Poland illegally.
If the deadline for submitting the application has been met, the competent authority shall put a stamp in the foreigner's travel document, which confirms the submission of the application for visa extension.
DURATION OF THE PROCEEDINGS
The decision to extend the visa is issued immediately after the complete set of documents is submitted. If there is a need to conduct explanatory proceedings, the decision is issued within 30 days from the date of initiation of the proceedings.
The decision may be appealed against to the Head of the Office for Foreigners in Warsaw through the voivode competent for the place of residence.
Written appeals must be submitted within 14 days of receiving the decision.