Residence permit for a specified period of time


You can apply for residence permit for a specified period of time if circumstances justifying residence in the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months occur.

Such circumstances are:
1) acquiring a promise or extension of promise for issuance of a job permit or a written statement by the employer that a foreigner will be entrusted with performance of work, if job permit is not required,
2) conduct of economic activities on ground of regulations binding in Republic of Poland, which are beneficial to national economy, and in particular contribute to growth of investments, transfer of technology, implementation of profitable innovations or creation of new jobs,
3) continuation of artistic activities in the Republic of Poland by a foreigner with recognized achievements,
4) participation in professional trainings and probation carried out within UE programs,
5) the intention of family members to reside together with a migrating employee referred to in the European Social Charter signed in Turin on 18 October 1961. (Oz.U. of 1999 No 8, Item 67),
6) marriage with a Polish citizen,
7) intention to enter as foreigner's family member referred to in Article 54 of the Act on Aliens of 13 June 2003 into the territory of the Republic of Poland or staying in this territory in order to reunite with the family;
8) residence in the territory of Poland of foreigner's minor child that was born in this territory and remains without custody;
9) spouse or an adult child of a foreigner referred to in Article 54 of the Act on Aliens, staying in the Republic of Poland for at least 5 years on the basis of settlement permits or residence permits for a fixed period, granted due to circumstances referred to in point 7;

Aforeigner who wants to stay in Poland for a longer period of time should turn to a relevant voivodship in the district where he or she lives or a the place where he or she intends to reside in Poland to issue a residence permit for a specified time. If a foreigner is outside of Poland, he or she can apply for a application form to the relevant voivodship via a Polish consulate. A permit issued by a voivodship will be entered into a residence permit. The maximumal validity period is two years, but can be renewed every subsequent two years. A foreigner can obtain a permit to stay and reside only if he or she can prove that his or her stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland is justified. Regulations specify the circumstances entitling an application for a temporary stay permit.

They are:

Obtaining the promise of an employment permit, awaiting paid employment or an employer’s written certification of his intention to conduct such employment if the regulations do not require a permit;
Running a business under Polish law. In this case, a foreigner has to present documents confirming his or her business activity on the territory of Poland, its subject
and range, and in particular an extract from a Country Court Register, a notary confirmation of a partnership agreement, a statement from the Internal Revenue Office about confirming payment of arrears;
Starting studies at a Polish university, provided that a foreigner has the means to support him or herself during studies. He or she has to present an original of a certificate on a formal form issued by the relevant university about enrolment or continuation of studies, stating the regulatory date of beginning of studies;
Marriage with a Polish or foreign citizen having a permit to settleing in Poland (a residence card).
A foreigner applying for a residence permit in Poland for a specified period of time is obliged to put forward the following documents to the authority issuing the permit: an application, indicating significant circumstances, justifying his or her stay in Poland, four photographs, confirmation of administration fee payment and documents confirming that they have sources of income and own means, together with a confirmation of sums (e.g. a statement from a bank account). Moreover, a voivodship (or a the consul accepting an application) can demand: an extract of a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or a certification of having no commitments in relation to the Internal Revenue Office in their country of origin and the confirmation of lack of criminal record in their country of origin.


A foreigner who stays in Poland without breaks for at least five years on the basis of a visa or temporary residence permit can apply to the relevant voivodship for a settlement permit, popularly known as "permanent residence cards." A similar application can be presented by a foreigner living in Poland at least for three years, as long as he or she came to Poland as a part of family emigration.

A foreigner has to fulfil all the remaining conditions " with no exceptions " as follows:

Demonstrate the existence of permanent family or economic attachment with the country of stay;
He or she has ensured residence and living conditions.
This means that he or she has to justify to an authority issuing the permits that his or her income and owned property will be sufficient to cover the costs of living and treatment of him or herself and family, supported by them and will not use means of social aid. An applicant has to demonstrate that he or she has a place to live in Poland and will present a legal title to this place (e.g. deed of property, membership of a housing development, rental agreement).

A settlement permit is valid indeterminately. Such a permit will also be granted to a child of a foreigner who has been born on the territory of Poland, if a foreigner has a valid settlement permit for a the territory of Poland.

A foreigner applying for permanent residence card is obliged to put forward an application for permission to settle in Poland, four photographs, a confirmation of his or her address, documents confirming an unbroken five- year period of living in Poland, documents confirming owned diplomas and professional qualifications and a CV. He or she must also document his or her income and the proof of financial means sufficient to cover costs of living.


If a foreigner living in Poland and having a permanent residence card or a temporary residence card for at least three years applies for a residence permit for his or her spouse (the marriage will have to be valid according to Polish law), or with an own or adopted under-age single child, it is very probable that he or she will obtain such a permit.

An applicant will be obliged to prove that he owns a place to live and material means to support his or her family, so that of social security support will not be necessary. A permit to live with a family is valid for 12 months from the date of the issue. If a family comes to Poland at the invitation of a holder of temporary residence card, then permission for stay is prolonged to the end of the card's validity. If an applicant is a holder of a permanent residence card, then permission for residence for his or her family is valid for two years.

Application for a temporary residence permit has to include: an extract of the marriage certificate, an extract of the birth ctcertificate, a legally valid court decision about a child’s adoption or custody and documents confirming income (e.g. work agreement) or own material means (e.g. a bank account statement) and also suitable housing conditions (e.g. flat rental agreement).


A foreigner intending to work in Poland has to first find an employer in Poland who will agree to apply for a work permit to a voivoidship in the district where the company or institution he runs is located. A foreigner can obtain such an agreement if there are no counter-candidates among Polish citizens for the position he or she is applying fori. Note! After 1st May 2004, a requirements to obtain a work permit does not concern:

citizens of EU member states;
members of families of EU members who have business or work in Poland.
Other foreigners will be obliged to follow general regulations of working in Poland. The procedure for employing a foreigner in most cases consists of three stages. A person applying for a working visa or a Polish residence card has to present an employer’s promise to give him or her work, which is issued by a voivodship relevant to the location of the employer’s company.

The application for such a document is filed by the future employer to a voivodship. Employers employing foreigners are not required to have a promise of a work permit if on the day of submitting an application to the voivodship a foreigner has a valid working visa or a Polish temporary residence visa.

When the promise is issued to an employer, the voivodship will define the conditions for a foreigner to obtain a work permit. Only after these conditions have been established can a foreigner obtain the appropriate work permit.

Polish regulations also foresee the possibility of issuing a promise and permit regardless of the situation on a local labour market. This dramatically increases the chances of foreigners takinge up work. From this:

they are entitled to represent foreign companies with branches or representative offices in Poland;
family members of employees of diplomatic posts or of employees working in Poland as a result of international agreements;
private domestic workers of employees of diplomatic representatives in Poland or international organisations;
doctors and dentists on professional internship required by law if they are graduates of Polish medical schools.
There is quite reasonably a large group of foreigners who can legally work in Poland without the necessity of having an official permit. Such ways are offered to foreigners who:

are accredited press, radio and TV correspondents, as well as photographers and filmmakers working on assignments for the foreign mass media;
actors, orchestra conductors, instrumentalists, singers, dancers and mime artists who will not exceed 30 days of work during a calendar year;
stationary students studying in Polish universities and working during holidays not longer than three months a year;
people giving occasional speeches, presentations of a particular scientific or artistic value;
board members of legal entities who live permanently abroad, and perform their duties not longer than 30 days in a calendar year;
foreign employees sent to Poland for a time not longer than three months in a calendar year to conduct training, assembly of fair expositions, maintenance or reception of machines and equipment ordered by their companies;
soldiers and civil personnel of NATO structures in Poland.
Foreigners working legally in Poland can perform their duties within the conditions defined in permits or on any conditions if they do not need permits.

As employees working in Poland they come under the Polish labour code. Like Polish citizens, they can also obtain incomes on the basis of civil-legal agreements defined by the civil code, e.g. assignments, one- off job agreements, or one- off agreements with the transfer of copyrights. In such a situation they do not have employees’ rights, such as right to leave or holiday and eight-hour working day. In the case of assignments, they have the same rights to pensions and health security, like as any employee on a permanent work contract.

Foreigners who work illegally in Poland, without having a necessary work permit, will have to face the most severe consequences: they will be expelled from Poland. The execution of such a decision is immediate. If a foreigner does not leave a country voluntarily in the time specified by the authorities, he or she will be immediately expelled from Poland at his or her own cost (or the cost of the person who has invited the foreigner to Poland). A decision about on an immediate expulsion from the country will automatically make previously issued visas or temporary residence permits void. A person who receive a decision about expulsion will have his or her finger-prints taken and photograph taken, which will be placed in the national registers. A foreigner expelled from Poland will find it much harder to obtain a visa or residence card in Poland.