Coming with family members - non-EU citizens and their families

Living in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Poland

The Polish law allows the members of families to join those who are residing in Poland legally, under the following conditions: the family member whom you intend to join needs to have a stable and regular income (514 PLN monthly for each family member), health insurance for each family member and proven accommodation.

According to the Polish law, a family member can be a spouse (only married because marriage is the only formal relationship in Poland) or a child, including those adopted. Additionally, this term concerns some other persons, but only if they prove an important purpose of stay. It may apply e.g. to an ex-spouse or a widow(er).

In order to enter Poland, non-EU citizens need to have a valid travel document (e.g. passport) and either a visa or a residence card of another EU country or, in some cases, they can enter on the basis of the visa-free movement. The length of the legal stay in Poland depends on the document. More detailed information on the entry conditions is described in the previous section. Before the period of the legal stay passes, one needs to legalise their further stay by obtaining the residence permit (a plastic card).

A competent office to grant the permit is a Voivodship Office in the region where you are residing (there are 16 administrative regions called voivodeships).

Each family member needs to provide the following documents:

  • 3 copies of an application form - filled in in Polish,
  • 4 recent photographs in colour (size: 35 mm x 45 mm),
  • a valid travel document,
  • health insurance documents,
  • proof of payment (340 PLN),
  • documents confirming accommodation in Poland (e.g. lease agreement, hotel reservation, lending agreement),
  • certificates confirming family ties (marriage certificate, birth certificate),
  • confirmation of a stable and regular income (it can be a work contract of the family member working in Poland),
  • copy of the residence card of the family member who has already been residing in Poland, if applicable.

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. The documents can be submitted in person or by post. However, if you send the documents by post, you will be asked to go to the Office in person to leave your finger prints.

The permit is granted for a period of minimum 3 months and maximum 3 years with a possibility of re-application. The payment for the residence card is 50 PLN.

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


For persons (regardless of nationality) who are NOT considered family members by the Polish law (e.g. partners, fiancées), the procedure of legalizing their stay in Poland is more complicated. The complication stems from the fact that - unlike in case of family members - both partners/fiancées need to have a proof of a stable and regular income and health insurance. If the partner/fiancée does not work in Poland or has no other income, the partners need to sign a contract which states that an amount of money (benefit/allowance) will be paid monthly by the partner who is working in Poland to the partner/fiancée coming with him/her. According to the Polish law, the minimum monthly amount should be PLN 634. This contract has to be declared at a relevant tax office and is taxed in Poland (3%, 7% or 12% depending on the amount). However, if the amount does not exceed the annual limit of PLN 4900, it is not taxed. The amounts may change so pay attention to new regulations.

In addition, in order to prove the credibility of the relationship, both partners will be called by the Voivodship Office for two separate interviews. During the interviews the officers ask various questions related to your life in Poland, place of stay or daily activities, etc. If you don’t speak Polish, you need to come with two translators, who can simply be persons you know (e.g. somebody from work or a friend of yours).

The decision on the residence permit is issued within 2-3 months, depending on the case. After receiving a positive decision you will receive the residence card (paid additionally 50 PLN).