Basic Rules of Temporary Residence in Poland

Temporary Residence in Poland: Rules and Obligations to Follow

Poland, as a growing Western country, sees more and more foreigners trying to stay there for longer. In order to do it legally, a temporary residence status is required. Here’s what one needs to know.

Foreign workers in Poland

There is a clear distinction between a short and long stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland. All foreigners can do it for 30 days without any registration. Citizens of the European Union are allowed to stay for up to 3 months. That, however, takes place only if one doesn’t consider working for a Polish firm. Construction workers from Ukraine, for example, or English native speakers willing to teach in Poland must have a residence permit.

Temporary residence permit

The most common situation is a temporary stay in Poland. Most foreign employees use this type of permit, which allows them to work for up to 3 years. The document can be easily revitalized without any inconvenience as long as one applies for it in time. That will provide a new temporary residence permit for yet another 3 years. There are organizations that help foreigners undergo the procedure. All the details are available here:

It is also important to know that a Polish temporary residence visa doesn’t necessarily mean one has to work somewhere. People willing to stay on the territory of Poland due to family relations or educational purposes can use it as well. All that is required is a proof of reason. What does that mean? Well, a foreign student has a reason to be in Poland for a period longer than a few months. An acceptance letter from a university is the proof of that reason. The same thing refers to an internship in Poland. A foreign student might want to participate in an internship organized by a Polish institution. If that institution is approved by the Internal Affairs, the student is eligible for a temporary residence.

The proof of reason is the basis of a decision that an office must make. The residence permit in Poland is not just a formality, and some people get refused. And yes, there is a fee to pay. The cost of a temporary visa in Poland varies from 170 to 440 PLN (approximately €99, depending on currency rates).

European Voluntary Service

Foreign volunteers have the right to stay in Poland with temporary residence cards. The procedure is similar to what we can expect in the case of an internship. There are some differences, though. A voluntary contract mustn’t be longer than a year. A person willing to perform services for free is also required to provide a proof of sufficient funds that will allow that person to stay in Poland and return to the country of origin after the voluntary program is completed.

Permanent residence in Poland

Another type of residency for foreigners in Poland is a permanent permit. It is issued for an indefinite period of time. However, the document itself has a 10-year lifespan. It needs to be renewed in order to remain valid. How to become a permanent resident in Poland? One must stay in the country for at least 5 years in a row. That means temporary permission is required first. It can be a Polish work visa or a student visa – it doesn’t matter. But, if somebody has been married to a Polish citizen, only 3 years of temporary stay are needed.

There are other circumstances allowing a permanent residence in Poland. People with documented Polish origins, for example, who want to move to their homeland, can apply for the permanent residence card. Asylum in Poland helps with the residence status as well.

EU Blue Card in Poland

The Blue Card is often confused with the typical temporary residence card. But there is a big difference between them. A Polish Blue Card is restricted to a highly qualified workforce only. An ordinary truck driver from Belarus can’t apply for it. A skilled heart surgeon, on the other hand, is a different story. That exemplary surgeon must have a Polish employment contract providing a job for a period of at least 1 year. But there are other requirements worth remembering.

A highly qualified foreigner must present a proof of education in a certain field. This document must meet employment standards imposed on particular professions. Additionally, a certified surgeon might need some years of professional experience with real patients before an EU Blue Card application is even possible. In other cases, a highly qualified person can’t have any past criminal convictions associated with his/her name. The gross salary is also important. It must meet the salary threshold in Poland.

At this point, qualified medical employees are in high demand in most Polish cities. The same can be said about IT engineers and experienced logistic specialists. But that doesn’t mean a temporary Blue Card is given automatically. Local authorities check their job market to investigate if there’s actually a problem with filling highly qualified positions. Without that problem occurring, a qualified foreigner might not receive temporary residence based on the EU Blue Card in Poland.