Changes to the Polish Foreigners Act

by Joanna Czarnecka in: News, 10 May 2019     0 Comments

Poland has made amendments to its Act on Foreigners in order to implement the EU's directive regarding third-coutry nationals who come to Europe for the purpose of studies or scientific research. What are the most important updates?

Studying as a third-country national

You can apply for a Polish temporary residence permit if you are starting or continuing your higher education in Poland, conduct scientific research, work as an intern or participate in the European Voluntary Service programme. You may be also eligible for a national visa or a temporary residence permit if you intend to attend preparatory courses for studies.

However, some host institutions (such as research units, entities hosting interns) will now need to be approved and registered with the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. The requirement will not apply to academic institutions, public vocational schools or military universities. The aim of the new regulation is to prevent fictitious students from obtaining residence permits for the purpose of studying only to discontinue their education soon afterwards. 

Increased mobility 

According to its provisions, the new EU directive should promote the Union "as an attractive location for research and innovation and advance it in the global competition for talent".

Therefore, third-country nationals who are studying or conducting research in a European Union country, will now be able to take part in exchange programmes and stay on the territory of a different member state for a longer period of time. From now on, not only students, but also researchers and scientists (along with their family members) will have the possiblity to travel within the Union for up to 180 or even 360 days.

Furthermore, third-country nationals who have completed their studies or scientific research in Poland, will be able to obtain a temporary residence permit for nine months in order to seek employment or start their own business in Poland. 

More grounds for refusal

Additionally, Poland has introduced a few changes falling beyond the scope of the EU directive. Following the new amendment, temporary residence and work permits as well as temporary residence permits for the purpose of performing work requiring high-level qualifications will not be granted to foreigners who stay on the territory of Poland on the basis of:

  • a Schengen visa or a national visa issued by the Polish authorities for tourism purposes or for visits to family or friends, or
  • a visa issued by another Schengen state for tourist purposes or for visiting friends or family.

Detailed information on all the changes can be found on the website of the Polish Office for Foreigners

Joanna Czarnecka

Joanna Czarnecka


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