The citizens of many outside EU countries are required to obtain a Polish visa in order to enter and remain in Poland for the specified in visa time. Visas are issued by Polish consulates, after applying for a visa in appropriate Polish Consulate. You can apply for various types of visas:
- Air Transit Visa (type A) – which allows a foreigner to pass through the airport of one or more Schengen Area countries;
- Schengen Visa (type C) – which allows a foreigner to remain in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a period of six months. The period is calculated from the first entry;
- Country Visa (type D) – which visa allows a foreigner to enter a single country and stay within its borders for up to one year.
The most popular purposes of visa issuance:
- purpose of tourism;
- visiting family or friends;
- performance of business activity;
- performance of research and development activity;
- participation in sports events;
- performance of work;
- arrival in the Polish territory as a member of immediate family of a repatriate;
- obtaining temporary protection.
Different consular offices may require different complementary documents to the visa application, so I suggest to contact appropriate person when gathering information about those documents. If your visa application have been denied, you have the right to obtain a written explanation of the decision. They may appeal against the decision within seven days of receipt of the written decision. They must submit the appeal to the consular office which issued the negative decision.
If you intend to stay in Poland for a longer time, than specified in the visa, you should apply for a temporary residence permit.
The permanent residence permit may be given to a foreigner who:
- is a person of polish origin and wants to settle in Poland;
- has been married to a Polish citizen in a marriage (polish law) for at least 3 years before filling the application for a permanent residence permit and has stayed in Poland without interruption before filing the application for at least 2 years to a temporary residence permit issued pursuant to marriage with a Polish citizen or to obtaining refugee status, subsidiary protection or consent for stay issued due to humanitarian reasons;
- has stayed in Poland uninterruptedly before filing an application for a permanent residence permit for at least 5 years according to refugee status;
- has been granted asylum in Poland;
- has a valid Pole’s Card and intends to settle in Poland permanently;
- is a child of a foreigner who has a permanent residence permit in Poland or a long-tern EU resident permit, remaining in the parental custody of the foreigner;
Application for permanent residence permit must be filed during your legal stay in Poland. A permanent residence permit is valid for an indefinite period and the residence card has to be replaced every 10 years. A permanent residence permit issued in Poland does not entitle the foreigner to take up work in another EU country. A permanent residence permit entitles the foreigner to travel to other Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period for only tourism purposes.
Foreigners who are willing to stay in Poland for a longer peroid of time than 3 months are obliged to have a residence permit. The first type of a residence permit which I would like to describe is temporary residence permit, which is given for up to 3 years. However, the peroid of time for which permit is given may be shorter – it’s connected to the grounds of the application.
Below, you will find the five most popular grounds, on which you can apply for temporary residence permit:
- work in an occupation requiring high skills;
- starting or continuing work in Poland (when you’re employed in a company);
- business activity in Poland;
- starting or continuation of studies in Poland;
- visiting family members by a Polish citizen or family member of a foreigner.
It’s important that the list of the grounds is open, it means that if the ground on which you want to apply is not listed, and you will justify that the ground is important for you, it can be accepted and there is a chance to obtain temporary residence permit.
Application for temporary residence permit must be filed during your legal stay in Poland. When the right Voivodeship Officer accepts your application, he will put a stamp in your passport, confirming that you have applied for a temporary residence permit. This stamp legalises your stay in Poland, even though your visa or previous temporary residence permit has expired.
After granting a positive decision, you will receive residence card, which is a document confirming that you have temporary residence permit. If the decision is negative, you can appeal from it in 14 days. I will write how to appeal from a negative decision in the next post.