Coming with family members

Living in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Poland

Entry and residence conditions

European Union citizens (incl. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and their family members

According to the Polish law, the following persons are considered family members:

  • spouse of the EU citizen,
  • direct descendant of an EU citizen (e.g. a child) or their spouse, up to the age of 21 or being financially dependent from the EU citizen or his/her spouse,
  • direct ascendant (e.g. parents) of an EU citizen or their spouse, being financially dependent from the EU citizen or his/her spouse – who joins or stays with the EU citizen.

The right to stay up to 3 months

EU citizens and their family members, regardless of nationality, can stay in Poland legally for 3 months just on the basis of their identification card (in case of European citizens) and travel document (e.g. passport) – in case of non-European citizens.

Stay longer than 3 months, free-of-charge procedure

If the stay in Poland exceeds 3 months, EU citizens need to register their stay at a Voivodship Office in the region where they are staying (there are 16 administrative regions called voivodeships). Such registration is valid for an indefinite period of time and as a confirmation of registration and legal stay in Poland, the European citizens receive an A4 paper document.

In order to register, one needs to submit in person:

  • application form – filled in in Polish,
  • identification card or passport,
  • marriage certificate or other document confirming family ties,
  • registration confirmation of any family members who are already staying in Poland.

The submitted documents can either be copies – the original versions have to be presented – or officially certified copies (confirmed by a public notary) without the need of presenting the originals. Documents in foreign languages have to be translated into Polish by a sworn (certified) translator.

In case of non-EU family members, in addition to the above documents, 5 photographs have to be attached. The photograph is needed for a plastic residence card which is issued as a proof of non-European nationals’ legal stay in Poland. The card is not issued straightaway during the visit in the Office but within up to 6 months. The card can be issued for maximum 5 years, however, if the stay of the family member, whom the person joins, is shorter, the residence card is issued for the shorter period.

The card entitles its holders to travel within the Schengen area for a period of up to 90 days counted within each 180-day period.