About the permit
The document is issued for foreigners coming from outside the EU and allows them to stay in Poland permanently. The length of stay is not defined by the permit, although it is valid for 5 years only – therefore it needs to be exchanged for a new one after this period of time. Even though the permit has EU in its name, it does not allow a foreigner to work in another EU member state apart from Poland (if issued by Polish authorities). It does however entitle them to travel freely as tourists to other Schengen states for up to 3 months every 180 days.
Who can apply?
Long story short: a foreigner coming from outside the European Union who has stayed legally in Poland for at least 5 years and continues to do so at the moment of application. There are 5 key conditions the foreigner needs to fulfil in order to get the permit:
- The 5-year-long period of stay needs to be considered uninterrupted on regular conditions.
- They have to have a stable source of income for at least 3 years before applying for the permit (2 years in the case of the Blue Card holders).
- They need to have health insurance.
- The applicant’s right to Polish residential premises needs to be confirmed.
- They deliver a certificate of a temporary residence address or a document confirming their inability to obtain one.
- They provide a certificate of Polish language proficiency (at least B1 level)
If you fulfil these conditions, you can be already heading to the Voivode’s Office which is closest to your place of residence in Poland to file the following documents…
What you need
A few things need to be filed along with your application form, which you can download here.
- 4 recent photographs in colour.
- A copy of your valid travel document (preferably a passport).
- A document confirming the applicant’s right to Polish residential premises.
- Other documents confirming data present in the application form.
- A certificate confirming the command of Polish (at least B1 level)
What documents can prove your command of the Polish language?
Since 24 June 2023, new regulations have been in force. According to them, a long-term resident of the EU must present a confirmed command of the Polish language of at least B1 level.
The following certificates of proficiency in Polish are acceptable:
- A document confirming proficiency in the Polish language as in the previous legal status – (a certificate of proficiency in the Polish language referred to in Article 11 (a) (2) of 7 October 1999 on the Polish Language Act (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 672)
- A certificate from one of the following institutions:
- ECL - European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL),
- TELC - GmbH, WBT Weiterbildungs-Testsysteme GmbH.
- A certificate by a Polish or foreign education institution, where the Polish language was the medium of instruction. These documents must be issued in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe. Such certificates include:
- A certificate of graduation from a school (elementary, junior high, high, post-high, or artistic),
- A certificate of graduation from a university (bachelor/master/engineer or equivalent studies, as well as postgraduate studies, or doctoral studies).
- Certificates confirming the entitlement to practice the profession of a sworn translator, or a certificate confirming entry in the list of sworn translators (those are issued by the Minister of Justice).
The process of obtaining a long-term EU-resident permit may take even up to 3 months, so it is important to file the forms before your legal grounds for staying in Poland cease to be valid. If the documents are delivered to the Voivode’s office correctly, the applicant gets a stamp in their passport allowing them to stay in Poland until the decision is announced. The fee paid upon the initiation of the process is PLN 640. When the application is accepted, the applicant pays additional PLN 100 for issuing their residence card.
Other important information
It is worth remembering that a long-term EU-resident card gives foreigners a possibility to take up a job in Poland without the necessity of getting a work permit. If a foreigner is denied the permit, they can appeal to the Office for Foreigners in Warsaw within 14 days of obtaining the decision. If they are refused the permit or their permit is withdrawn, they are obliged to leave the territory of Poland within 30 days of receiving the information.
Good luck to everyone applying for a long-term EU-resident permit! Remember to make sure that your application is complete and then enjoy your stay in Poland!