Visa, resident and work permit in Poland

University documents are only one aspect of requirements that student needs to fulfil. Once you receive an email with invitation to university in Poland, your should think about more official documents, like Visa and resident permit. Those who are also thinking about start working here need to look around how to get a work permit. But fear not – we got you covered. Let’s get started!

Visa and how to apply

We begin our list with the easiest one. To enter Poland without any problems, every EU citizen needs to have a valid travel document or your national ID confirming identity and citizenship. And if you decide to visit some of Poland’s neighbours that don’t belong to the EU, during your stay in Poland, you should have a passport with you. If you are from a non-EU country, you must have a valid passport and Visa (if it’s required).

Poland lies within the Schengen zone, so you can apply for a Polish visa and travel all around European Union. Only exceptions are the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and states outside of the EU. For a period shorter than three months, you don’t have to fill any formal requirements. But your studies will take longer than that. That’s why registration of residence is necessary for such a stay. Go register with Voivodship (Provincial) Office.

First of all, find a Polish consulate that can process your application and set a visa appointment. You will have to register through the official website: Before the meeting, prepare the necessary documents:
– application form,
– travel document (passport),
– biometric photo,
– health insurance,
– sufficient means to support yourself,
– documents confirming the purpose of your stay.

Be aware that some consulates can ask you for specific documentation, so get the needed information. Submit all the documents together with a printed and signed application form and the visa fee. Usually, the process takes up to 15 days for review.

There are a few types of visas, you will have to choose from:
– “A” type – an airport transit Schengen visa, (it cannot be used by a student coming to Poland),
– “C” type – a short-term Schengen visa allowing the holder to stay in the Schengen territory for up to 90 days in 180 days period,
– “D” type – a long-term national permit issued for up to one year allowing travel around the Schengen area for up to 90 days in 180 days. Extending Visa is possible only in exceptional situations.

Work permit in Poland

If you come from such foreign countries like Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, you can efficiently work or establish your own business in Poland, without a work permit. Foreigners who don’t come from EEA countries need to apply for a work permit. What is most important here – you can’t ask for a work permit by yourself. Your future employer is the only one who can do it. If you stay in Poland for less than 3 months, you don’t require any additional permits. Work permits are issued by a local voivode. It is issued for a fixed period, however, no more than 3 years and it may be extended.

There are a few cases when the permit is not required. If you are:
– a student of full-time tertiary studies in Poland studying based on a visa,
– a student of full-time studies in Poland examining based on a residence permit issued to continue tertiary education in Poland for the full year,
– a graduate of Polish secondary schools, or has completed full-time studies or full-time doctoral studies at Polish universities and scientific and research institutions,
– the spouse or a former spouse of a Polish citizen provided that they have a residence permit for Polish territory,
– a foreign language teacher.

The work permit is also not required if you have a permit to:
– settle in Poland,
– long-term resident of EU,
– a tolerated stay in Poland,
– a temporary residence in Polish territory based on an agreement with the Polish scientific institution,
– a refugee status granted in Poland,
– a valid Pole’s Card.

Residence Permit in Poland

If you want to study in Poland, you need to legalize your stay officially. If you are an EU citizen and you want to stay longer than three months in Poland, you have to register your visit within the Republic of Poland. But if you are a non-EU citizen, you need to obtain a visa at a Polish consulate in your home country before coming to Poland. You have to apply for a Residence Permit with the local Voivodship Office. To do so, you will need such documents:
– application form,
– photos,
– documents proving your identity and citizenship, address, the purpose of stay (a certificate from your school),
-health insurance,
– possession of sufficient funds.

The procedure costs 390 PLN in total.

Temporary Residence Card allows you to cross the Polish border as many times as you want. The first residence permit is issued for 15 months. It can be renewed for more time, even up to three years but for no longer than the remainder of your studies. If you are from outside of Europe or EU, you should apply for a Temporary Residence Permit before your Visa expires. Every Non-EU student needs it.

EU students don’t have to apply for temporary residence permits. If you are a UE citizen, you should only apply for registration of stay with local Voivodship office within 90 days of your arrival. You will be issued a certificate of registration with a non-limited period of validity proving their right to stay in Poland. For detailed information, check out the Voivodship Office’s website.

This article is also available in: Russian Ukrainian

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