Invitations show the inviting party’s readiness to cover potential costs incurred by the foreigner’s stay in Poland. These may usually include food, accommodation and travel expenses for the journey back home or to a transit country. It does not mean that the costs will have to be covered, but if the invited foreigner needs this kind of security, the inviting person will be responsible for that and their bank statement will prove that they are capable of putting their money on the table.
The period of the invitation validity is set forth by the inviting party themselves, but the legal document is valid for just 1 year from the day of its formal registration.
Invitations vs. visas
One important thing to remember is the fact that invitations do not replace visas. In fact, they serve as an aid in the course of applying for a visa. While filing documents for the latter, a foreigner needs to present some sort of financial security back-ups. When there is an invitation, the foreigner is freed from the necessity of presenting their own proof and can use data stated by the inviting person instead.
Who can invite me?
Polish citizens are not the only ones who can invite foreigners to the Republic of Poland. Other categories include:
- EU nationals and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who have a residence card and reside in Poland;
- Other foreigners residing in Poland for at least 5 years without interruptions on the basis of a permanent residence card or a long-term EU residence card;
- A legal entity or an organisational unit without legal personality but based in Poland (a company, a non-profit organisation).
The invitation itself needs to be written down on paper and has to include:
- Personal data of the inviting party
- Personal data of the invited foreigner (and their family members if applicable)
- Declaration of covering the costs incurred by the foreigner’s stay, including their medical treatment and potential expulsion from the country
- Place of the foreigner’s residence in Poland
- Duration of their visit
- Purpose of their visit
- Information about the invitation’s registration (where it was registered – usually the voivodeship’s office; and its date and number)
- Signature of the inviting party.
Other documents to include
In order for the invitation to be valid, it has to be registered in the nearest voivode’s office, along with the following documents:
- Form for the registration of the invitation
- Bank statement or another form of proof for sufficient funds to cover potential costs incurred by the foreigner’s stay
- Documents confirming the inviting party’s rights to a flat or house where the foreigner is to reside
- Stamp duty proof (PLN 27)
After filing these documents, you will need to wait the maximum of 30 days for your invitation to be registered.
It is best for it to be collected in person, but if you want to send your representative, you are charged PLN 17 of stamp duty (unless your representative is a close family member).
As with most situations, in the case of rejection of your invitation, you have the right to appeal, here to the Office for Foreigners, within 14 days of receiving the unfavourable decision.