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How to Get Residency in Poland: The Ultimate Guide

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This article looks at ways to gain residency in Poland. We take an in-depth look into Polish residence permits, how to acquire them, and the overall procedure. We’ll also discuss the benefits of establishing Polish residency and some things to remember before adopting this route.

Poland has the fifth-largest population and sixth-largest economy in the EU. It offers an excellent standard of living and safety, plus being a resident of Poland can also lead to citizenship. 

Are you looking for a second residence or citizenship in Europe? We can help make it a reality. Our team of experts will help you determine the best location and route to ensure you get all the best that Europe has to offer. Talk to us today about creating your very own Action Plan

Establishing Residence in Poland

Establishing Residence in Poland

Types of Polish Residence Permits

You can acquire the following types of residence permits in Poland:

  • Temporary Residence Permit
  • Permanent Residence Permit

Who Needs a Polish Residence Permit?

EU citizens can live, study, and work freely in any EU member state without acquiring a residence permit.

However, third-country foreign nationals wishing to stay in Poland for more than ninety days must acquire a residence permit first.

A foreigner may be granted a Polish residence permit on the following basis, among other factors:

  • for study purposes
  • for family reunification purposes
  • for work or business activity

Now that you know the types of Polish residence permits and who needs them, let’s discuss each permit in detail.

Acquiring Temporary Residence Permit in Poland

Acquiring Temporary Residence Permit in Poland 1

A temporary residence permit in Poland allows you to establish legal residence, work, and study in Poland for more than three months.

A Polish temporary residence permit is a non-renewable permit issued for a maximum of three years.

However, the permit’s validity period may be shorter than three years if your application doesn’t justify a more extended stay.

If your permit is about to expire, and you wish to stay in Poland longer, you must reapply since the permit can’t be renewed.

Application Process to Obtain Polish Temporary Residence Permit

You must apply for temporary residence after you enter Poland on a long-term D visa. To acquire the temporary residence permit, keep the following things in mind:

  • Go to a Voivodeship Office: The process of legalizing the temporary stay takes place in the voivodeship office – in the Foreign Affairs department. In Poland, a voivodeship is equivalent to a province. Poland has sixteen administrative voivodeships.
  • Gather Documents: Getting a residence permit in Poland is a highly bureaucratic process for which you have to gather many documents confirming your identity, purpose of stay, etc.
  • Submit Application: After you’ve gathered, translated, and legalized all the required documents, submit your application and the supporting documents to the nearest voivodeship office.
  • Application Fee: You must pay PLN 340 or PLN 440 (stamp duty), depending on your temporary residence application. If your application gets accepted, you must pay an additional PLN 50 to acquire a residency card. Otherwise, you may request a refund.

Required Documents for the Polish Temporary Residence Permit

You must gather the following documents before submitting a residence application:

  • Two copies of a temporary residence permit application (filled out in Polish)
  • A valid travel document like a passport
  • Photos
  • Proof of stamp duty payment
  • Health insurance
  • University acceptance letter (if applicable)
  • Work permit issued by a Polish employer (if applicable)
  • Proof of relationship with a Polish citizen (if applicable)

The list mentioned above is not exhaustive. You may be asked to submit additional documents like your tax returns, copy of your Pole’s card, proof of stable and regular income, etc., depending on your situation.

Acquiring Permanent Residence Permit in Poland

Acquiring Permanent Residence Permit in Poland

You must have held a temporary residence permit and lived in Poland for five consecutive years before applying for a permanent residence permit in Poland.

A Polish permanent residence permit is issued indefinitely. However, you must replace the permanent residence card every ten years.

A permanent residence permit entitles you to work in Poland without acquiring additional documents like a work permit.

Criteria to Obtain Permanent Residence in Poland

Generally, you must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible for a Polish permanent residence permit:

  • You’ve consecutively lived in Poland for at least five years with either a work visa, student visa, or family reunification visa.
  • You’ve been married to a Polish citizen for at least three years.
  • You have Polish origin and intend to live in Poland permanently.
  • You’re the child of a Polish citizen or a permanent resident.
  • You’ve been granted asylum in Poland.
  • You’ve been living in Poland for the last ten years with a tolerated stay permit, with no possibility of returning to your home country (due to fear of persecution, unfair treatment, etc.).
  • You’re a victim of human trafficking, living in Poland for at least one year, and have cooperated with law enforcement.

Application Process to Obtain Polish Permanent Residence Permit

To acquire the permanent residence permit, keep the following things in mind:

  • Go to a Voivodeship Office: You must legalize your permanent stay in an appropriate regional office like the voivodeship office (the Foreign Affairs department).
  • Gather Documents: You must gather the required documents confirming your identity, Polish origin, marriage certificate, etc.
  • Submit Application: After you’ve gathered, translated, and legalized all the required documents, submit your application and the supporting documents to the nearest voivodeship office.
  • Application Fee: You must pay an application fee (stamp duty) of PLN 640. Like a temporary residence permit, you must pay an additional PLN 50 to acquire a residency card if your application is accepted. Otherwise, you may request a refund.

Required Documents for the Polish Permanent Residence Permit

You must gather the following documents before submitting a residence application:

  • Two copies of a permanent residence permit application (filled out in Polish)
  • A valid travel document like a passport
  • Photos
  • Proof of stamp duty payment
  • Health insurance

The list mentioned above is not exhaustive. You may be asked to submit additional documents like your tax returns, marriage certificate, copy of your Pole’s card, etc., depending on your situation.

The application processing time varies, case by case.

Per regulations, the procedure should take at most three months from the initiation date. In case of delay, the applicant would be informed of a new date and the reasons for the delay.

You may also appeal against the decision of the voivodeship office to the administrative court.

Polish Residence Card

flag, Poland

The Polish Residence Card confirms your identity during your stay in Poland. The Residence Card, along with a valid travel document (like your passport), allows multiple entries into Poland.

It also entitles you to enter and stay in other Schengen area countries without needing a Schengen visa up to ninety days within 180 days.

How to Get a Polish Residence Card

You must first obtain a Polish Residence Permit to be issued a Polish Residence Card. You may be issued a Polish Residence Card if you have the following:

  • Temporary Residence Permit
  • Permanent Residence Permit
  • Residence Permit for a Long-term EU Resident
  • Refugee Status
  • Subsidiary Protection
  • Residence Permit for Humanitarian Reasons

Information on Residence Card

Generally, the Polish Residence Card includes the following information:

  • Identity details
  • Citizenship information
  • Information on the type of permit granted, demonstrated by annotations like a scientist, granting international protection, ICT, etc.
  • Card issuance and expiry date

A residence card must be replaced or reacquired if the information in it or your appearance has changed.

Benefits of Establishing Residency in Poland

Pathway to Citizenship

After five years of legal residence as a temporary residence permit holder, you can apply for permanent residence.

After three years of being a permanent residence permit holder, you may apply for Polish citizenship.

According to the Nomad Passport Index, the Polish passport grants visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 173 countries, including the EU, Singapore, Turkey, Japan, etc.

Becoming a Polish citizen also grants you all the privileges of being an EU citizen. You can enter, stay, study, and work in any EU member state.

You are also entitled to the EU’s universal healthcare and education system.

Primary Base to Conduct Business

Poland’s central location in Europe provides a primary base for conducting business in the EU and Schengen area.

In our experience, company formation is one of the best ways to establish residency in Poland.

To qualify for a business residence permit in Poland, the company has to be active. Moreover, you must demonstrate that the company benefits the Polish economy by contributing to an increase in investment, the transfer of technologies, the introduction of beneficial innovations, and job creation.

Your company must also employ at least two Polish citizens, or the company’s annual income must be around PLN 54,200.

Rich in History, Art, and Culture

Poland is a country with a long and rich history. Poland has done a tremendous job of healing as a nation, which shows in its consistently upward trajectory in architecture, economy, the standard of living, etc.

Warsaw, Poland’s largest city and capital, is one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally rich cities.

With over 95% of an ethnic Polish population, the country isn’t too diverse. However, it still welcomes foreigners and gives them a generous chance to adapt to the Polish lifestyle.

Situation on the Ground – Nomad Capitalist Perspective

Situation on the Ground - Nomad Capitalist Perspective

There are always two perspectives related to a country – what’s written in the law and the reality.

The government websites may make you believe that the entire residency application process may take a few months at best, but you may find the reality quite different.

But Poland is a very bureaucratic country, and no process, let alone something as technical as a residency process, is straightforward.

Expect to make several visits to different bureaus, meet various officials, gather tons of certificates, and submit even more paperwork.

Also, if you don’t speak Polish, expect to get nothing done without the help of a Polish-speaking friend/relative or a professional interpreter.

According to our resources on the ground, although many Poles are fluent in English, all the government officials speak nothing but Polish, making things especially hard if you don’t speak the country’s language.

Also, you have to be physically present for many things, so don’t expect a lot of digital conveniences.

And currently the Polish immigration system is inundated with applications from Ukrainian refugees.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has severely overwhelmed the Polish immigration system to the point that whichever office you enter, you’ll find a majority of Ukrainian applicants there, resulting in delayed appointments and lengthy procedures.

The priority of the Polish immigration officials, for the past six months, has been the settlement of Ukrainian refugees. So, keep that in mind before applying for residency in Poland.

Become a Polish Resident

Become a Polish Resident

As we stated earlier, establishing Polish residency may come with many benefits, but don’t expect it to be easy.

However, it can be, with the right team by your side.

That’s where we come in. We’ve helped thousands of satisfied clients go where they’re treated best, and we’d love to do it for you.

So, if EU countries are where you visualize your best life, reach out to us, and we’ll make that dream a reality.

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