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updated: 13 Dec 2019 in First steps

Legal stay in Poland

Careers in Poland
Careers in Poland
Every relocation process comes with a certain amount of paperwork, no matter where you are moving. First things first, you need to register your stay in the foreign country. If you have chosen to start your new life in Poland, we are here to help you find your way through the process.
Legal stay in Poland

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TRAVEL TO POLAND

Depending on where you come from, you may need to obtain a visa in order to cross the Polish border. Travellers from the European Union or the European Economic Area are of course exempt from this obligation, as are citizens of other countries listed on the website of the Polish Office for Foreigners. If your country does not appear on the said list, you will be required to apply for a visa. First, decide on which type of document you need, as there are three types of visa you can apply for:

Type A – transit visa for third-country nationals

Type C – short-term visa, allows you to stay in Poland or other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period

Type D – national visa for stays exceeding 90 days, it is valid for a period of up to one year and allows you to travel within the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period

Next, you need to contact the Polish diplomatic or consular post in your area. Most foreigners are asked to visit the e-Consulate website first (www.e-konsulat. gov.pl) and complete their application online before booking an appointment and submitting the required documents in person. Each type of visa requires a slightly different set of documents (depending on the purpose of your stay: tourism, work etc.) but in most cases you will need to prepare: the application form, valid travel document, biometric photo, health insurance and visa fee as well as documents confirming the purpose of your visit, your accommodation in Poland and sufficient funds to cover the cost of your entry, stay and departure.

EXTEND YOUR STAY

If your visa is due to expire soon or if you travel to Poland visa-free but wish to stay for over 90 days, you should apply for a temporary residence permit. This document allows you to remain in Poland for up to three years providing that you have a compelling and well-documented reason for your stay, such as continuing your work, studies or conducting a business. In order to obtain a residence card, you need to make an appointment at your Voivodeship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) and submit all the required documents in person. Apart from the application form, a valid travel document and your current photographs, you will need to prepare the documents that validate your reason for stay – it can be a job contract, university ID or any document that may facilitate the process, such as Pole’s Card or EU Blue Card.

It is worth remembering that due to an increasing number of foreigners willing to stay in Poland, the understaffed offices may require more time to process all the applications. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to wait even half a year for a decision on your residence status. However, once you submit your application, you should get a special stamp in your travel document. It allows you to stay in Poland, even if your visa or former residence card has expired.

SETTLE DOWN IN POLAND

Foreigners who have resided in Poland for at least five years (without any major interruptions) can apply for a long-term EU residence permit if they meet a few conditions. This means you are required to have:

• Stable source of income

• Health insurance

• Proven knowledge of the Polish language

However, bear in mind that the required residence time does not include all types of stay. The document cannot be issued on the grounds of studying in Poland or completing your studies here. This kind of residence permit allows you to work only on the territory of Poland (if it was issued here), but you can travel freely to other Schengen countries for up to three months every 180 days. The permit is granted for an indefinite period of time, but the card itself needs to be exchanged after five years.

After a few years of a legal and uninterrupted stay in Poland you may be also eligible for a permanent residence permit. This time however, the required length of residence varies depending on your situation, e.g. if you are married to a Polish citizen, you can apply for the document after three years of marriage, providing that you have lived in Poland for at least two years prior to your application.

The permanent residence permit gives you the right to stay in Poland for an indefinite period of time and to work here without obtaining a work permit. You are also allowed to travel freely to other Schengen countries for up to three months every 180 days. The permanent residence card needs to be exchanged after ten years.

BECOME A POLISH CITIZEN

If you have made Poland your home, why not apply for Polish citizenship? It is by no means required to stay here, but you may want to enjoy all the rights and privileges of a Polish citizen. You can be recognised as one, if you have lived on the territory of Poland for at least three years (the amount of time varies depending on your residency status) and you have passed a Polish language proficiency test (at B1 level or above). The language test may seem a bit of a challenge, but it is the only exam you will have to take during the application process. Unlike some other countries, Poland has no mandatory citizenship exam. Another way to become a Polish citizen, is to direct your request to the President of the Republic of Poland, who has the power to grant citizenship to any foreigner, regardless of their residency status or language proficiency. However, as can be expected, this kind of application needs to be well-justified.

APPLICATION FEES (AS OF 2019):

Visa EUR 0-70
Temporary residence permit PLN 340
Work permit PLN 50-200
Permanent residence permit PLN 640
Long-term EU residence permit PLN 640
Citizenship PLN 219

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