Residence permit for non-European citizens

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Poland

Residence permit is a document that allows a foreigner to reside in Poland legally.

It also entitles the holder, having also the travel document, to travel within the Schengen area for the period not exceeding 90 days within each 180-day period.

Residence permits are issued by Voivodeship Offices (Urząd Wojewódzki), competent for the region of your place of residence in Poland. You can either submit the documents in person or send them by post but in both cases you will be asked to visit the Office in order to leave your finger prints. The application for the residence permit can be submitted at latest on the last day of your legal stay in Poland, for example of the last day of your visa expiration date (see Entry conditions). The residence permit is issued in a form of a plastic residence card.

There are different types of residence permits, depending on the conditions of the stay in Poland. The most relevant permits that research employees may be intested in are described below:

The term 'family' only includes a spouse or a child (aged under 18). In order to obtain a residence permit for your family members, you need to prove that their stay in Poland is secured. Therefore, the family members need to submit documents including:

  • 2 copies of the application form for the residence permit,
  • your employment contract to confirm that you have regular income to cover the costs of their stay in Poland (if they depend financially on you),
  • documents confirming that your family members have health insurance in Poland,
  • documents confirming family relationships (marriage certificate, birth certificate) translated into Polish by a sworn translator,
  • apartment contract to show place of residence,
  • 4 recent colour photographs, 45x35 mm,
  • 2 copies of valid travel document (passport), al the pages with any information, for children up to 13 years old - 1 copy,
  • fee payment confirmation:

Fee: PLN 340 when you submit the application and then PLN 50 when you collect the residence card.


All the above described documents for any of the residence permits described have to be submitted in Polish so sometimes it is necessary to provide official translations of documents, and they have to be original documents (or certified copies). The procedure of granting the above-described residence permits may take 3-4 months or more, depending of the case and number of application forms submitted in general.

That is why, please remember that if your visa or previous residence permit has expired and you are waiting for the new residence card, you cannot cross borders. You can only go back to your home country, but in order to come back to Poland, you will need to get a visa in a Polish embassy or consulate located in your country.