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Visas

Poland - Visas


If you have dual citizenship with Poland and another country, you must enter and exit Poland using your Polish passport.

For the duration of your stay, you must have a valid passport. It is not necessary for the passport to be valid for longer than your stay.

For the duration of your stay, you must have a valid passport. It is not necessary for the passport to be valid for longer than your stay.

Anyone visiting Poland for no more than 90 days during any 180 day period may enter the country without a Visa if they are citizens of a country that has a reciprocal agreement with Poland.

Poland shares a border with seven countries. Four of them - Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania - are members of the EU/EEA and the borderless Schengen Agreement area. Border guards have the power to complete random identity checks along the borders, although most travel between these countries and Poland is unchecked.

Anyone entering Poland from the borders shared with the other three countries - the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia - must complete immigration paperwork.

A family member of an EU citizen has the right to live in Poland for up to 3 months, as long as they have valid documents. The family connection must meet one of the following conditions:

• Spouse of an EU citizen
• Direct descendant of an EU citizen or his/her spouse, no older than 21 years
• Direct ascendant of an EU citizen or his/her spouse, who stays with an EU citizen

Anyone looking to settle in Poland for more than three months is advised to seek advice on this official website. There are many other websites which are designed to look like official application sites, which charge unnecessary ‘processing’ or ‘management’ fees and obtain a lot of information about you. It is easy to get tricked by these other sites.

If you are an EU citizen and wish to stay in Poland longer than three months, you are required to register your stay. You need to present yourself in person at the voivode (local government) of the area you are settling in. This must be within one day at the end of your first three months in the country. No application fees will be due but a stamp duty tax is payable.

You must satisfy one of the following conditions:

• You are an employee or self-employed in the territory of the Republic of Poland, with sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family members, including possession of proper health insurance;
• You are studying or participating in vocational training in the territory of the Republic of Poland, with sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family members, including possession of proper health insurance,
• You are the spouse of a Polish citizen.

You will need to bring documentation confirming who you are, where you work or study, proof that you have sufficient means to support yourself (including credit cards and bank statements), evidence of your private health insurance, and proof of your marriage to a Polish citizen (if it is applicable).

If you wish to live and work in Poland, you must apply for a temporary residence and work permit, or a temporary residence permit for the purpose of work in a profession requiring high qualifications. These permits are obtained from the Staroste. The employer offering you work must prove that they cannot fill the post from within the country. This means they must advertise the vacancy and complete paperwork in conjunction with the District Labour Office. As a result, work permits are rarely processed within three months. If you employer is dealing with this they will have knowledge of the system or employ an agency to manage the process. The initial permit will only last for one year, but the renewal the following year will last for two years.

An EU citizen can obtain right of residence in order to seek employment. This requires valid documents and you must demonstrate that you are actively seeking employment and have realistic chances of obtaining it. If you wish to claim unemployment benefits you must have worked for 365 days in the last 18 months, received at least minimum wage, and register with a district labour office. They will then investigate whether the social security payments you have made in other countries will lead to entitlement in Poland.

If your family member is not an EU citizen and will be staying with you in Poland for longer than three months, they must obtain a residence card. The residence card will confirm their status as a legal resident by rights of being a family member of an EU citizen.

Once an EU citizen has been living in Poland continuously for five years, they have the right of permanent residence. The only acceptable breaks in residence are:

• breaks less than six months
• breaks of 6-12 months for compulsory military service
• breaks of 6-12 months for important personal situations such as illness, childbirth and training

Once the right to stay has been confirmed, the EU citizen who has acquired permanent residency will be issued with a document confirming the right of permanent residence.

If you are not an EU citizen, you will normally only get permission to stay if you obtain work and a work permit. The exceptions are as follows:

• you have the status of a family member of a EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen
• you are a recipient of international protection in Poland (i.e. you have the status of a refugee, or are a recipient of subsidiary protection)
• you have a permanent residence permit in the Republic of Poland
• you have a residence permit for EU long-term resident in the Republic of Poland
• you have a residence permit for humanitarian reasons
• you have a permit for a tolerated stay in the Republic of Poland
• you are a spouse of a Polish citizen with a temporary residence permit on the territory of the Republic of Poland given as a result of marriage
• you have a temporary residence permit in order to join the family
• you have a permit for residence in order to receive higher education
• you have a valid Pole Card
• you are a graduate from a Polish upper-secondary school, full-time studies or a full-time doctoral course at a Polish university/college

A family member who is not an EU citizen acquires the right of permanent residence when they have five years of continuous residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland with an EU citizen. When their right to stay has been confirmed, they will receive a permanent residence card of a family member of an EU citizen.

If you enter Poland without necessary documentation, you will be deported. A fine can also be levied if you have been working illegally, and the employer may be charged with a criminal offence.


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