Information for non-European citizens
General entry conditions require that each foreigner entering Poland can justify the purpose and conditions of the stay and that he/she can prove having:
1) health insurance for the stay which can be proved by having an employment contract or a scholarship agreement which covers the insurance; it can also be proved by having a travel medical insurance (for at least 30 000 euro) valid for the stay or until the foregner signs the work or scholarship contract.
2) sufficient financial resources for the stay and return journey. The minimum monthly amount is PLN 701 for persons coming alone and PLN 528 monthly for persons coming with families (per each family member). Foreigners coming to Poland to take up or continue education (including higher and doctoral education), to conduct scientific research or participate in training courses have to have PLN 1270 for the first 2 months of stay.
For the return journey to the country of origin or residence, each foreigner needs to have:
- PLN 200 in case of countries neighbouring to Poland, OR
- PLN 500 in case of countries members of the European Union not neighbouring to Poland or in case of European Economic Area countries or Switzerland, OR
- PLN 2500 in case of other countries.
All the mentioned amounts can also be in other currencies. The required minimum amounts have to be at foreigners' disposal after deducting fixed costs of accomodation such as monthly rent and maintenance bills (electricity, water, gas, waste etc.).
3) accommodation for the stay - can be required for some visas.
In order to enter Poland, foreigners need to have a valid travel document (e.g. passport) and either of the following documents (visa or a residence card) or if the visa-free movement applies.
Citizens of several countries which have signed agreements on the visa-free movement, do not need a visa to enter the European Schengen area, including Poland. So they can come to Poland (and other Schengen countries) just on the basis of a valid travel document (e.g. passport). However, the total stay on the territory of all the member states of the Schengen area cannot exceed 90 days within each 180-day period.
Note: additionally, citizens of certain countries or special administrative regions can re-enter Poland pursuant to visa-free traffic without complying with the 180 – day limit (on the basis of bilateral agreements concluded by Poland with those countries e.g. USA, Japan, Mexico or Hong Kong Special Administrative Region).
The list of countries and the exceptions is available here.
If you have a residence permit or a national visa issued by another EU Schengen country and a valid travel document (passport), you are authorized to move within the territory of the Schengen area member states for the period not exceeding 90 days within each 180-day period. Therefore, you can come to Poland for the period of up to 90 days.
The fact whether you are entitled to work on the basis of the visa or residence permit depends on the purpose for which the document has been issued, for example you cannot work on a tourist visa or visa for the purpose of visitting family/friends.
In certain cases, you may also need a work permit in addition to visa or residence permit if you plan to work in Poland.
If you don't have neither the residence permit nor visa issued by another European Schengen country or you are not coverd by the visa-free movement, you have to apply for a visa to Poland before arrival. Visas are issued by Polish consular units abroad – embassies or consulates (the list of consular units) and they are issued as national visas or Schengen visas:
- National visa (marked with the letter D) can be issued for a maximum period of 365 days, depending on the length of your planned stay in Poland. Having the D-type visa also entitles you to travel to other Schengen countries for max 90 days within the 180-day period.
- Schengen visa (marked with the letter C) is issued for stays on the territory of the Schengen area, including Poland of max. 90 days within each 180-day period. The total validity of the visa can be even 5 years but any stay in the Schengen countries cannot be for more than the 90 days. If you get a multiple entry Schengen visa, you can leave and return any number of times within the 180-day period but the combined stay in Europe cannot be more than 90 days.
National and Schengen visas are issued for various stay purposes, however in regard to scientific purposes, the following purposes may apply:
- scientific research or development activities
- studies, including PhD studies/schools
Depending on the visa purpose, different documents wil be needed. Please contact the consulate/embassy to find out the required documents.
How to apply?
In order to apply for the visa, first you have to register on-line at https://secure.e-konsulat.gov.pl. You will then need to submit several documents, including:
- travel document (e.g. passport)
- visa fee
- if you are coming with your family, documents proving family ties (marriage and birth certificates)
- documents that prove your purpose of stay - contract/agreement with employer with conditions of your employment or confirmation of being accepted to the studies/PhD school
- documents proving necessary financial resources
- document proving health insurance on the territory of Poland
- in some cases you also need to submit a work permit.
The duration of the visa procedure and visa fees vary from ocuntry to country. You can stay in Poland legally until your visa expires.
You can stay in Poland until the periods permitted by the abovementioned documents. If you plan to stay in Poland longer, you need to legalise your stay by obtaining a residence permit (residence card).