The citizens of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland can stay and work in Poland for the first three months only on the basis of their id cards or passports. Those who plan to stay longer than 3 months are obliged to register their stay in the Voivodeship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) of the region (voivodeship) where they intend to reside at latest on the next day following the first three months of their stay.
Third country citizens can enter Poland based on one of the following:
- Visa-free movement
- Residence card/Visa issued by another Schengen country
- Visa to Poland
You can stay in Poland within the periods permitted by the abovementioned documents. If you plan to stay longer in Poland, you need to legalise your stay by obtaining a residence permit (residence card).
Intra-EU mobility – another possibility to enter Poland
Foreign scientists who hold a residence permit or a long-term visa (with the annotation “researcher”) issued by one European Union country can go to other EU countries, including Poland, for the purpose of conducting part of their scientific research for the period of up to 180 days in any period of 360 days. This rule is called short-term mobility of researchers and applies also to their family members.
In order to enter Poland, you might need a visa, registration and, for a longer stay, a residence permit. You should apply for a visa to the Polish Embassy or Consulate in your own country or your current country of residence at the earliest possible opportunity. Depending on the duration and purpose of your stay, you will need a Schengen visa marked with “C” (research visit lasting up to three months) or National visa marked with “D” (research visit lasting more than three months). Additional documents in your visa application: a passport photo, documents stating the purpose of your visit and confirming that you have enough resources to support yourself (and your family) during your stay in Poland.
WORD OF ADVICE
Do you need a visa to enter Poland? There are several countries with visa-free traffic to Poland. Check out if you can find your country on the list published by the Office for Foreigners.
The website of a Polish Embassy or Consulate should be your final source of information as the rules may significantly differ from country to country.
If anyone intends to accompany you, it is advisable to apply for visas for every person at the same time even if they intend to join you in Poland at a later date.
Visa to Poland
If you do not have either the residence permit nor a visa issued by another Schengen country or you are not covered by the visa-free movement, you have to apply for a visa to Poland before arrival. Visas are issued by Polish Embassies/Consulates located abroad and there are two main visa types:
- Schengen visa (marked as "C") is for stays up to 90 days within each 180-day period either in several specified countries of the Schengen area or in the whole Schengen area, depending on the planned stay. The validity period of the visa can be even 5 years but any stay in the Schengen country/ies cannot be longer than the 90 days.
- National visa (marked as "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.
Visas are issued for multiple or single entry and for various purposes of stay.
How to apply for a visa to Poland
First you have to register on-line at https://secure.e-konsulat.gov.pl . Depending on the visa purpose, different documents are required which have to prove the purpose and conditions of the planned stay in Poland:
- a hosting agreement/work contract/a scholarship agreement/admission document to the study or PhD programme,
- documents proving necessary financial resources,
- document proving health insurance in the territory of Poland,
- address of stay in Poland,
- travel document, e.g. passport,
- visa fee (typically 80 euros),
- if you are coming with your family members, documents proving family ties, such as marriage and birth certificates.
Please contact the Embassy/Consulate for the full list of the required documents.
The duration of the visa procedure should not exceed 15 days. You can stay in Poland legally until the last day of the visa validity date.