Control of legality of stay & background check

by Ewelina Nurczyk in: Legal & Taxes, 25 Jun 2018     0 Comments

An unexpected visit from some authorities to check a foreigner’s legality of stay in Poland is nothing to be afraid of. It is a standard procedure taking place in some circumstances and concerns the majority of aliens who want to reside in Poland.

Although a bit discouraging and very often unexpected, a visit from some authorities is nothing unusual in the course of applying for a residence permit in Poland. It may concern your actual right to stay in Poland or your right to work, sometimes both. When it happens, a foreigner is obliged to present their documents entitling them to stay in Poland, work or conduct business activities, as well as their financial means their residency status requires them to possess. 

Who may pay you a visit?

There are a few authorities entitled to conduct such check-ups on foreigners, including:

  • Customs officers
  • Border guards
  • Police
  • Foreigners’ office officials
  • Voivodeship Office representatives

What documents do you need?

Concerning your right to stay: passport, visa, residence card, valid Polish travel document, valid Polish ID, temporary Polish travel document, temporary Polish ID, Geneva travel document, certificate of returning travel document if the right to stay was withdrawn, documents confirming the right to enter Poland in order to perform work.

Concerning your right to work or conduct business: work permit, declaration of intention to employ foreigner, job contract, confirmation of conducting business activity.

Concerning financial means to support oneself in Poland: travel check or credit card statement, confirmation of possessing financial means lodged in a bank located in Poland, original of foreigner’s invitation to Poland, proof of receiving scholarship in Poland.

… as well as a proof of sufficient means to pay for medical treatment.

Many background checks and controls concern foreign spouses of Polish nationals.
Read here about international marriages in Poland.

Background check

Sometimes border guards perform background check by interviewing a foreigner’s family, friends, neighbours or even teachers and colleagues. Such interviews are conducted between 6 am – 8 pm in a foreigner’s place of residence, employment or other locations indicated in their residence card applications. It is all standard procedure in such situations and there is no rule as to why you have been selected to undergo this kind of detailed control.

See also

Work permits in Poland

Work permits in Poland

Want to work in Poland? Learn how to obtain work permit.
Read more

Foreign family members – visiting and settling in Poland

Foreign family members in Poland

For those who feel homesick while living in Poland – why not invite your loved ones to your new home?
Read more

How to make an appointment at Voivodeship Office

Appointment in Voivodeship Office

Some things need to be done at your nearest Urząd Wojewódzki (Voivodeship Office), where you can find departments for foreigners. See how to book your visit.
Read more

Ewelina Nurczyk

Ewelina Nurczyk


Contact the author

Editor at A graduate of English studies and Polish language and literature at Warsaw University, specialising in teaching Polish to foreigners. 

Related articles

According to a recent Eurostat report, in 2017 Poland issued more residence permits to non-EU citizens than any other country in the European Union. Read more

Foreigners from outside the EU have a way of legalising their stay by obtaining a long-term EU-residence permit. Who is eligible to do that and how to apply for it? Read more

Ready to do the maths? Let’s calculate your uninterrupted stay in Poland in order to get your residence or citizenship sorted. Read more

You want to stay legally in Poland but it's difficult to extend your visa. A temporary residence card is a solution you are looking for. Learn more about it. Read more

Have you heard about the interactive application form system for foreigners in Poland? Check out the website to legislate your stay or get international protection. Read more