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published: 22 Jan 2018 in Arrival & stay

Uninterrupted stay in Poland

Ewelina Nurczyk
Ewelina Nurczyk

Editor

When applying for a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU residence permit, as well as in the process of acquiring Polish citizenship, you will face the challenge of calculating your uninterrupted stay in Poland. Ready for some maths? Let’s go!
Uninterrupted stay in Poland

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Short stay in Poland

Uninterrupted stay in Poland is the period of time during which you reside predominantly in Poland. It need not be taken literally – you can leave the country but there are restrictions as to the length of the period that you can spend outside Poland. Calculating it is necessary when you want to apply for a permanent or long-term EU residence permit. In both cases, it is the five-year period that is being examined for interruptions.

Permanent residence permit

Your stay in Poland is considered uninterrupted when in the five-year period none of your stays outside Poland was longer than six months and all stays did not exceed ten months in total.

These periods can be longer if the following circumstances occurred:

  • You were delegated by a Polish employer to perform professional duties outside Poland;
  • You were a spouse or child of a foreigner mentioned above;
  • You were forced to stay outside Poland for longer than six months due to extraordinary circumstances;
  • You were sent by a Polish university to do coursework or internship abroad.

Long-term EU-residence permit

For the EU-resident permit, which allows you to stay in Poland for five years, you need to prove the same five-year-long period of uninterrupted stay as in the case of permanent residence permit. The only difference is that it may include staying in the entire EU, not only in Poland.

Your stay in Poland is considered uninterrupted when in the five-year period none of your stays outside Poland was longer than six months and all stays did not exceed ten months in total.

In the case of staying in the EU, it is considered uninterrupted if none of your stays outside the EU was longer than 12 months and all stays did not exceed 18 months in total. This is applicable to Blue Card holders who stayed in the EU for at least five years, including the minimum of two years in Poland before applying for a long-term EU residence permit on the grounds of Blue Card.

These periods can be longer if the following circumstances occurred:

  • You were delegated by a Polish employer to perform professional duties outside Poland;
  • You were a spouse or child of a foreigner mentioned above;
  • You were forced to stay outside Poland for longer than six months due to extraordinary circumstances;
  • You were sent by a Polish university to do coursework or internship abroad.

Half of uninterrupted stay period

In the following circumstances your five-year stay is counted only as half of it:

  • Staying on the grounds of visa for bachelors, masters or PhD students;
  • Staying on the grounds of visa for pursuing vocational education;
  • Temporary residence permit for the purpose of pursuing higher education;
  • Temporary residence permit for the purpose of pursuing vocational education;
  • Having your refugee status being processed (if this process extends 18 months, it is counted fully and not as half of it).

When your stay cannot be included in ‘uninterrupted stay’?

  • If your employer delegates you to provide services in Poland on the grounds of cross-border business cooperation;
  • If you have a Schengen visa to Poland issued on the basis of humanitarian aid or international obligations;
  • During your term of study e.g. extramural studies;
  • If you are obliged to return to your home country and the period of voluntary return has not passed yet;
  • If you are a diplomat;
  • If you are staying on the grounds of short-term residence permit issued for such purpose;
  • During the process of applying for refugee status (if the process ended with the refusal of granting this status or subsidiary protection);
  • If you crossed the border on the grounds of local border traffic.

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