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Entry into the territory of Poland[1]

A European Union (EU) citizen[2] may enter the territory of Poland on the basis of a valid travel document or other document that certifies their identity and citizenship.

A family member of an EU citizen who does not have an EU citizenship may enter the territory of Poland on the basis of a valid travel document and a visa, if required. Visa applications should be submitted to the consul or the chief of a Border Guard post.

 

Family members of an EU citizen include:

a)      a spouse,

b)      a direct descendant of an EU citizen or of their spouse (direct descendant: child), aged up to 21, or remaining a dependant of such EU citizen or of their spouse,

c)       a direct ascendant of an EU citizen or of their spouse (direct ancestor: father or mother) being a dependant of such EU citizen or of their spouse.

 

Acquiring the right of residence in Poland

  1. 1. Staying in Poland for up to 3 months

An EU citizen and a family member who is not an EU citizen may stay on the territory of Poland for up to 3 months without the need to register their residence. EU citizens who arrived in Poland in order to seek a job may stay in Poland without the need to register their residence for the period not exceeding 6 months. Such period may be longer if such EU citizens prove that they are active jobseekers with actual employment potential. When staying on the territory of Poland, an EU citizen is obliged to have a valid travel document or another valid document that certifies their identity or citizenship. A family member of an EU citizen who does not have an EU citizenship is obliged to have a valid travel document and a visa, if required.

 

 

  1. Staying in Poland for more than 3 months

EU citizens may stay in Poland for the period exceeding 3 months, provided that:

1)      they are employees or self-employed working on the territory of Poland,

2)      they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and their family members in Poland so that they are not a burden for the social assistance, and they are covered by the public health insurance, or they are entitled to health care on the basis of the regulations on coordination of social security systems, or they have private health care insurance covering all expenses that may be incurred during their stay in Poland,

3)      they study or participate in vocational training and they are covered by the public health insurance, or they are entitled to health care on the basis of the regulations on coordination of social security systems, and they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and their family members in Poland so that they are not a burden for the social assistance,

4)      they are a spouse of a Polish citizen,

5)      they are seeking a job, whereas their residence without the need to register may not exceed 6 months, unless after that period such EU citizens prove that they are active jobseekers with actual employment potential.

EU citizens should have sufficient funds for their maintenance and the maintenance of their family members within the territory of Poland so that they are not a burden for the social assistance. The documents certifying that EU citizens have sufficient funds for their maintenance and the maintenance of their family members may be in particular:

1) a credit card,

2) a certificate confirming that they have sufficient funds with a bank or another financial institution, confirmed by means of a stamp and signature of an authorised employee of such a bank or financial institution, issued no later than a month before the submission of an application for registration of residence.

3. Obligation to register one's residence

NOTE:

Should a stay within the territory of Poland last longer than 3 months, EU citizens are obliged to register their residence in Poland and a family member who is not an EU citizen is obliged to obtain residence card for an EU citizen’s family member.

Applications for registration or issuance of a residence card for an EU citizen’s family member should be submitted in person to the voivode competent for the place of stay. A valid travel document or another document that certifies one's identity and citizenship (in the case of EU citizens) or a travel document (in the case of an EU citizen’s family member) should be presented at the voivodeship office.

The following documents should be attached accordingly to the application for registration of residence of an EU citizen:

1)      in the case of employees:

a)      written declaration of an employer or another entity about the intention to employ the applicant,

b)      work certificate,

2)      in the case of the self-employed:

a)      copy of the entry in the National Court Register, if such a copy is required by law,

b)      certificate of entry in the business activity register,

c)      other certification that the applicant is self-employed and works on the territory of Poland,

3)       in the case of students or persons participating in vocational training:

a)         certificate from an university confirming that they have been admitted for studies, or referral to vocational training,

b)        document certifying that they are covered by health insurance or entitled to health care on the basis of regulations on coordination of social security systems,

c)         written declaration that the applicant has sufficient funds for their maintenance and the maintenance of their family members so that they are not a burden for the social assistance, or proof of holding such funds,

4)      in the case of a spouse of a Polish citizen: document certifying their marriage with a Polish citizen,

5)      in other cases:

a)          document certifying that they are covered by health insurance or entitled to health care on the basis of regulations on coordination of social security systems,

b)         proof that the applicant has sufficient funds for their maintenance and the maintenance of their family members so that they are not a burden for the social assistance.

The following documents should be attached accordingly to the application for a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen:

1)      certificate of registered residence of an EU citizen, issued for the EU citizen with whom the family member resides on the territory of Poland,

2)      5 up-to-date photographs,

3)      document certifying their marriage with a Polish citizen (spouse),

4)      document certifying the existence of family ties and document confirming the age or the fact that they are dependants of an EU citizen or his/her spouse (descendants),

5)      document certifying the existence of family ties and document confirming the fact that they are dependants of an EU citizen or his/her spouse (ascendants).

4. The right of permanent residence in Poland

NOTE:

After 5 years of continuous residence on the territory of Poland, an EU citizen shall be granted the right of permanent residence.

A family member who is not an EU citizen shall be granted the right of permanent residence after 5 years of continuous residence on the territory of Poland with an EU citizen.

Residence is considered continuous when the person in question has not left Poland for longer than 6 months in a year (in total). However, a stay outside Poland can be longer due to mandatory military service or an important personal situation, in particular: pregnancy or delivery, disease, studies, vocational training, or delegation, provided that such period does not exceed 12 consecutive months.

A document confirming the right of permanent residence is issued for the EU citizen who was granted such right of permanent residence, upon request.

A family member who is not an EU citizen, who was granted the right of permanent residence, is obliged to obtain a permanent residence card for a family member of an EU citizen.

Applications for the issuance of the abovementioned documents should be submitted in person to the voivode competent for the place of stay of the EU citizen. 5 up-to-date photographs meeting the specified requirements should be attached to the application for a document confirming the right of permanent residence or a permanent residence card for a family member of an EU citizen, and a valid travel document should be presented. EU citizens may produce other document confirming their identity and citizenship.

 

5. Refusal to register the residence or to issue a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen or a document confirming the right of permanent residence or a permanent residence card for a family member of an EU citizen

The voivode refuses to register the residence or to issue the abovementioned documents, if:

1)      the conditions for residence or permanent residence specified in the regulations have not been met; or

2)      the residence of the person in question poses a threat to state defence or security or public order and safety; or

3)      the marriage with an EU citizen was a sham marriage.

 

The voivode is also the competent authority for cancelling the registration of residence; replacement or issuance of a new certificate of registered residence of an EU citizen; issuance, replacement or invalidation of a residence card for an EU citizen’s family member; and for matters concerning the issuance, replacement or invalidation of a document certifying the permanent residence, or the permanent residence card for an EU citizen’s family member.

Decisions of the voivode may be appealed against to the Head of the Office for Foreigners in Warsaw through the competent voivode. Appeals should be made in writing within 14 days from the date of receipt of the decision.

 

Addresses of the Voivodeship Office departments competent for foreigners, where applications can be submitted, are available at the website of the Office for Foreigners:

http://www.udsc.gov.pl, tab Instytucje współpracujące / Organizations which cooperate with the Office.

More information:

http://www.udsc.gov.pl - Office for Foreigners

Obligation to register one's place of residence

EU citizens and their family members who do not stay at a hotel or at a facility providing accommodation because of work, education, treatment or recreation, shall be obliged to register with a city hall or gmina office with territorial jurisdiction for temporary residence no later than before the end of the fourth day, counting from the moment of crossing the border of the Republic of Poland.

 

FEES:

Certificate of registered residence of an EU citizen, document confirming the right of permanent residence of an EU citizen, residence / permanent residence card for a family member of an EU citizen, are issued free of charge.

Renting a flat

Flats to rent can be sought:

  • personally – by asking friends and acquaintances, reading advertisements in newspapers and on websites, publishing one’s own advertisements in newspapers and on websites, or placing such advertisements in the preferred neighbourhood,
  • through a real estate agent – a real estate agent is a natural person who has a professional licence in this field and is entered in the central register of real estate agents.

When deciding to use the services of a real estate agent, one should previously check whether they have a licence in this field and whether they hold a third party liability insurance for the damages incurred with regard to their provision of agency services. The Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy awards professional licences to provide real estate agency services and examines complaints against real estate agents. An excerpt from the register of real estate agents is available at the website of the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy, allowing to check at any time whether a given person has the professional licence (http://www.mir.gov.pl, tab: Budownictwo, Uprawnienia zawodowe).

 

All activities carried out by a real estate agent must be preceded by a conclusion of a real estate agency agreement. An agency agreement should specify the professional activities to be carried out by the agent and their remuneration for such activities. The agreement shall also specify the agent who will be responsible for its execution, the number of professional licence of such agent and the declaration that they have third party liability insurance for the damages incurred with regard to their provision of agency services. An agency agreement shall be null and void unless made in writing. Agency services are provided for a specific fee (usually 50 to 100% of the amount of the monthly rent specified in the agreement).

A flat rental agreement can be concluded for a definite or indefinite period. A rental agreement can be terminated by an owner for reasons specified in the act of law. Prior to entering into an agreement, an owner might demand that the tenant pay a refundable deposit. The deposit is a security of potential claims for the damages to the premises exceeding the usual wear and tear resulting from the rental and of all financial liabilities due to flat rental (it must not exceed the amount of the monthly rent multiplied by twelve). The deposit is refundable within a month from the date of vacating the flat, after deduction of tenant’s liabilities due to flat rental.

The amount of rent for a flat depends on the city, the standard and the surface area of the flat. The flats in Warsaw and other major cities are the most expensive ones, with rent in Warsaw ranging:

  • from PLN 900 to PLN 2,100 (ca. EUR 215-500) in the case of a studio,
  • from PLN 1,100 to PLN 2,500 (ca. EUR 260–600) in the case of a two-room flat,
  • from PLN 1,500 to PLN 3,000 (ca. EUR 360–720) in the case of a three-room flat.

Large differences in rent for flats from the same category result from distance from the city centres.

The abovementioned rates do not include the charges for utilities. Payments for gas, electricity, heating and water are usually not included in the rent.

Real property lease or sales offers can be found in newspapers, such as: Oferta, Metro, Wednesday edition of Gazeta Wyborcza (Nieruchomości insert), and on the following websites: www.trader.pl, www.gratka.pl, www.gumtree.pl, www.otodom.pl, www.bezposrednikow.pl, www.nieruchomosci-online.pl, www.szybko.pl.

 

 

More information:

http://www.mir.gov.pl - Ministry of Infrastructure and Development

http://www.oferty.net/agencje - list of real estate agencies broken down by voivodeships

 

 

Purchase of real property[3]

NOTE:

An EU citizen is not obliged to apply for a permit of the Ministry of Interior when planning to purchase a separate flat or commercial premises, e.g. a garage or land property that has no agricultural or forest function.

Since 1 May 2009, foreigners from the European Union do not have to produce a permit to purchase a “second home”, i.e. a land property intended for housing development or for recreational purposes that will not be a place of permanent residence of such foreigners. Foreigners from the EU are currently obliged to produce a permit to purchase real property in Poland solely when purchasing agricultural and forest properties.

 

Pursuant to the Polish Civil Code, purchase of any type of real property requires an agreement concluded in the form of a notarial deed.

Flat or house sale advertisements can be found in newspapers, online or in real estate agencies. When deciding to use the services of a real estate agent, one should previously check whether they have a professional licence, whether they hold a third party liability insurance and whether they have the power of attorney to represent the real estate agency and to sign agreements on its behalf. A commission amounting to ca. 2-3% of the flat price is charged for the real estate agency services (more on real estate agency services can be found in the Chapter Renting a flat).

 

A permit of the Interior Minister to purchase real property is necessary with regard to an agricultural or forest property (valid for 12 years from the day of Poland’s accession to the European Union, i.e. until 1 May 2016). To that end, one should submit an application to the Minister of Interior for the issuance of a permit to purchase real property. The permit is issued, provided that:

1)      purchase of the real property does not pose any threat to state defence, state security or public order and safety, and it is in line with the social policy and public health regulations,

2)      the EU citizen proves that there are circumstances confirming their ties to Poland.

 

An application for the issue of a permit to purchase real property should be sent to the Minister of Interior to the address: Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych, Departament Zezwoleń i Koncesji ul. Rakowiecka 2 a, 02-591 Warszawa.

More information:

http://www.msw.gov.pl – Ministry of Interior

http://www.msw.gov.pl/portal/pl/88/260/Nabywanie_nieruchomosci.html - detailed information about the purchase of real property in Poland

 

 

Driving licence[4]

A driving licence issued in any EU Member State remains valid on the territory of Poland.

In order to obtain a Polish driving licence, an EU citizen should:

1)        reach the minimum age required for driving vehicles in a given category,

2)        obtain a medical certificate confirming lack of health impediments to drive, and a psychological certificate confirming lack of psychological impediments to drive, if necessary,

3)        complete training required for a given category,

4)        pass a state examination required for a given category with positive results,

5)         reside on the territory of Poland for at least 185 days in each calendar year because of their personal or professional ties, or present a certificate confirming that they have been studying in Poland for at least 6 months.

NOTE:

In order to obtain a Polish driving licence, an EU citizen should reach the age required for a given category: 14 years old – AM; 16 years old – A1, B1, T; 18 years old – A2, B, B+E, C1, C1+E; 20 years old – A if a given person has had an A2 driving licence for at least 2 years; A2; 21 years old – C, C+E, D1, D1+E subject to detailed regulations pertaining to the minimum age to drive for the  members of uniformed services and persons who passed the preliminary qualification; 24 years old – A if a given person has not had an A2 driving licence for at least 2 years; D, D+E subject to detailed regulations pertaining to the minimum age to drive for the members of uniformed services and persons who passed the preliminary qualification.

 

A driving licence cannot be issued to persons:

1)        in the case of whom a medical examination revealed active form of addiction to alcohol or to a substance with similar effects as alcohol,

2)        on whom a prohibition was imposed, by way of a final judgement of a court, to drive motor vehicles (within the validity period and scope of such prohibition),

3)        whose right to drive was revoked or whose driving licence was confiscated (within the validity period and scope of such decision),

4)        who has other document confirming their right to drive a motor vehicle,

5)        who acquired their driving licence abroad, which was then confiscated, or whose right to drive was revoked (within the validity period of confiscation of a driving licence or revocation of the right to drive),

6)        whose driving licence was replaced due to the monitoring of drivers as described in the Act on drivers.

The available driving licence categories are uniform on the territory of the entire European Union.

More information:

http://www.mir.gov.pl - Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, tab Transport drogowy

http://www.krbrd.gov.pl – National Road Safety Council

 

Capital and payment flow

NOTE:

Pursuant to Article 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Poland does not impose any limitations on the flow of capital or payments between EU Member States.

EU citizens are allowed to carry out all financial transactions in Poland, including, but not limited to, opening bank accounts and taking loans from financial institutions having a registered office in Poland. EU citizens are also free to transfer abroad the funds transferred to Poland and the income generated in Poland.

 

In particular cases and in accordance with the EU law, such transactions and operations may be subject to control procedures aimed at implementing preventive measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The procedures consist in the identification of clients and registration of transactions. Also the import to Poland and export from Poland of cash amounting to EUR 10,000 or more, and investment gold and platinum (bars, coins, half-products) regardless of the amount, is subject to control aimed at counteracting the abovementioned activity. Such funds and metals should be reported in writing to Polish customs duty authorities or to the Border Guard authorities at the time of entering or leaving Poland.[5] However, the obligation to report such funds and metals does not apply when the border of Poland is crossed to enter or leave another Schengen country.

More information:

http://www.mf.gov.pl – Ministry of Finance

 


[1] Detailed information can be found in the Act of 14 July 2006 on entering the Republic of Poland’s territory, the stay and departure of EU citizens and members of their families, Dz.U. of 2006 No 144, item 1043, as amended.

[2] For the purposes of this brochure, the abbreviation "EU" will refer to the European Union Member States, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

[3] Purchase of real property in Poland is regulated by the Act of 24 March 1920 on the acquisition of real estate by foreigners (Dz.U. of 2004, No. 167, item 1758, as amended).

[4] The rules of obtaining a driving licence are regulated by the Act on drivers of 5 January 2011 (Dz.U. of 2014, item 600, as amended).

[5] Since 15 June 2007, with regard to import and export of cash, all EU Member States have implemented Regulation (EC) No. 1889/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on controls of cash entering or leaving the Community (OJ L 309 of 25.11.2005, p.9).

 
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Labour Market Department © 2011