Obtaining a visa is usually the first step to legalise your stay in Poland, but it is difficult to extend it (read about prolonging your visa). Therefore, when a visa’s expiration date is nearing, foreigners willing to stay here for more than 3 months choose to apply for a temporary residence card. The document allows them to stay in Poland for the maximum of 3 years (the length of the period depends on specific circumstances) and can be renewed if necessary. It also allows you to visit other Schengen countries for touristic purposes - up to 90 days in half a year.
Find a reason
Every foreigner willing to become a temporary resident of Poland needs to give grounds for their stay in the country. There is a variety of reasons to choose from and it is important to apply on the basis of the correct one. Here follows the list of the most common grounds for application:
- Starting or continuing work in Poland;
- Working as a highly skilled employee (the Blue Card);
- Working as a delegate of a foreign company;
- Starting a business in Poland;
- Pursuing higher education studies in Poland (as well as language courses prior to studies);
- Academic research in Poland;
- Visiting relatives by a Polish national or a foreigner’s family members;
- Being a victim of human trafficking;
- Intending to reunite with a family member who is a EU national;
- Being a minor child of a person residing in Poland on the grounds of a national visa or a residency card, provided the child was born during the document’s validity period;
- Being a minor child of a foreigner married to a Polish citizen and possessing a temporary residence permit issued for a Polish citizen family member;
- Other compelling and documented grounds.
Who will not be granted temporary residence card?
There is also a number of circumstances which prevent Polish authorities from issuing a temporary residence card. If you fall into one of these categories, you will not be granted a temporary residence card. The reasons may include:
- Being a long-term or permanent EU resident;
- Staying in Poland on the grounds of a Schengen visa issued for humanitarian reasons;
- Already staying in Poland on the basis of a temporary residence card issued under circumstances requiring a short stay;
- Being granted a tolerated stay, permit for a stay on the grounds of humanitarian reasons, asylum, subsidiary or temporary protection, refugee status;
- Already being the process of applying for a refugee status or seeking asylum;
- Being placed in a guarded facility, detention or being subject to a ban on leaving the Polish territory;
- Being imprisoned or in pre-trial custody;
- Being obliged to return and the period of voluntary return has not expired yet (even in the cases of extending the period);
- Being obliged to leave Poland within 30 days of the relevant decision;
- Residing outside Poland (does not apply to those applying for a card to reunite a family);
- Failing to provide fingerprints.
File your forms
In order to obtain a residence card, you will need to file appropriate forms in the relevant Voivodeship Office in person. Depending on the type of reasons behind your application, different documents need to be filed, but some of them remain the same:
- Application form for a temporary residence permit – 4 copies (download here)
- Valid travel document – 3 copies
- Current colour photographs – 4 copies
- Written consent of individuals exercising parental authority over a minor applying for a permit.
Please bear in mind that it is possible to obtain other important permits along with your temporary residence card. To be more specific, if you are applying on the grounds of starting your work in Poland, you are able to get a temporary residence card and work permit at the same time.
How long do I have to wait?
Note that due to a growing number of applications, the whole process may take a few months. Individuals who are refused to be granted the document, may appeal to the Head of the Office for Foreigners in Warsaw within two weeks of the decision.
Once you initiate the process of temporary residence application, you shall get a stamp in your travel document stating that you are allowed to stay in Poland until after the final decision is granted.
There are fees to be considered during the process. If an individual applies only for a temporary residence permit, the fee amounts to PLN 340 and is fully reimbursable if a negative decision is issued. If an applicant wants to obtain a work permit along with the residence card, the fee is PLN 440. Once a positive decision is given, a fee of PLN 50 must be paid in order to cover the costs of issuing a card.
We hope that all of our readers will use this information to successfully apply for their temporary residence cards. Good luck!