Being an expat from a country outside the EEA (EU + Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland) means that you need to fulfil a few legal obligations in order to legally stay in Poland.
First thing is having an appropriate visa. Depending on the type of visa you can legally stay in Poland for a certain period of time. If you would like to stay in Poland after your visa is expired you need to apply for a residence permit for a fixed period of time. Remember that you need to do this at least 45 days before the visa’s expiry date.
Residence permit for non-EU citizens
Obtaining a residence permit will allow you to stay in Poland for a specified period of time being necessary to fulfil the purpose of the stay. You can apply for a stay that lasts from 3 months up to 2 years. You need to remember that the permit is issued for a maximum 1 year, so if you wanted to stay 2 years you would need to apply for it again after one year. Another thing is that you need to have a reason why you want to live in Poland. It could be:
1. Granted a promise of the issuance the work permit or
2. Possessing a written declaration from the employer who intends to entrust a foreigner with a job to perform or,
3. Participating in training or professional training provided within the frame of the European Union programmes,
4. Being married to a Polish citizen or,
5. Being granted an EC long-term residence permit to stay within the territory of another EU member state,
6. Being a victim of the trafficking in human beings.
When applying for the residence permit for a specified period of time you must submit to your local Office of Voivodeship (Urząd Wojewódzki):
1. A completed application form for issuance of a residence permit for a specified period of time,
2. 4 colour photographs 4,5cm x 3,5cm
3. Documents necessary for confirmation of data provided in the form and circumstances justifying the application for the residence permit for a specified period of time,
4. General duty stamps or proof of paying the consular fee ( fee of PLN 300 is charged for issuance of a residence permit for a specified period of time and a fee of PLN 50 is charged for issuance of a residence card).
5. Certificate confirming registration duty (in case application is submitted to Voivode).
The whole process of getting residence permit finishes with issuing a residence card (ID of a foreigner in Poland) which will allow you for multiple entries.
Registering your place of residence
After being granted the residence permit you are legally obliged like any other polish citizen to indicate your place of residence. So the next stage of your registration is letting the City Council (Urząd Miasta) know what is your place of residence.
Generally, there are two options for registering your place of residence:
– temporary registration
– permanent registration
The temporary registration of your stay lasts between 3 months and 5 years whilst the permanent is for over 5 years. As a foreigner with a permit to stay for up to two years you can register your stay only temporally.
To register your place of residence you need to take some documents to the local city council. You need:
1. Residence permit
2. ID or Passport
3. Lease or act of ownership of the flat
4. Filled out form