Non-EU citizens

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Being a foreigner from a country outside the EEA (EU + Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland) means that you need to fulfill a few legal obligations in order to stay legally in Poland. First thing is having an appropriate visa. Depending on the type of visa you can legally stay in Poland for 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.

Step One - register your stay in Poland:

Obtaining a residence permit will allow you to stay in Poland for a specified period of time being necessary to fulfill the purpose of the stay. You can apply for a stay that lasts from 3 months up to 2 years. Although you need to remember that the permit is issued for 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:
  • Granted a promise of the issuance the work permit or
  • Possessing a written declaration from the employer who intends to entrust a foreigner with a job to perform or,
  • Participating in trainings or professional training provided within the frame of the European Union programmes,
  • Being married to a Polish citizen or,
  • Being granted an EC long-term residence permit to stay within the territory of another EU member state.


When applying for residence permit for a specified period of time you must submit to the office of the Department of Foreigners, Legalization of Residence Section, located at Długa 5 street in Warsaw, 2nd floor, room no. 52-57:
  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 application for residence permit for a specified period of time,
  4. General duty stamps or proof of paying the consular fee (fee of 300 PLN is charged for issuance of a residence permit for a specified period of time and a fee of 50 PLN  is charged for issuance of a residence card).
  5. Certificate confirming registration duty (in case application is submitted to Voivode).


The office is open 10 am - 5:30 pm (Monday), 8 am - 3 pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday), see here. For a map, check here.

Whole process of getting residence permit finishes with issuing a residence card (ID of a foreigner in Poland) which will allow you for a multiple entry.

More informations can be found here, here and here.

Step Two - register your place of residence:

The next stage of your registration is letting the local district public office (Urzad Gminy) know what is your place of residence.
For a list of local district public offices' address, check here.

There are two options: 
  1. temporary registration 
  2. permanent registration

The temporary registration of your stay lasts between 3 months and 5 years whilst the permanent is for over 5 years.

To register your place of residence you need to take some documents to the local office. You need:
  1. Residence permit
  2. ID or Passport
  3. Lease (if you are choosing temporary registration) or act of ownership of the flat (if you are choosing permanent registration)
  4. Filled out form.