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Register Your Stay

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Register your stay

Legalisation of stay

Apart from the law on entering the territory of Poland, as a foreigner, you are subject to certain laws that regulate your stay in our country during your research and academic work. Polish law introduces different requirements for EU/EFTA and non-EU/EFTA citizens with regard to legalisation of stay. In general, the requirements will differ based on the duration of your stay (stay up to 3 months, from 3 months to 5 years and permanent residence). 


EU/EEA citizens

  1. You can stay in Poland for the first three months only on the basis of the document.
  2. If you stay longer than 3 months you are required to register in the Voivodeship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) of the region (voivodship) where you are staying. The registration procedure is easy and free-of-charge. The document confirming the registration is a written statement.The application should be submitted in person to the appropriate voivodeship office, not later than one day after the expiry of the three- month period  since the date of entering the Polish territory. In Kraków, this procedure is dealt with by the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office (in the Foreigners' Affairs Unit of the Department of Nationals' and Foreigners' Affairs of Małopolska Provincial Office in Krakow, ul. Przy Rondzie 6, ground floor, foreigners' affairs room). Detailed information (including the list of required documents, addresses, list of exemptions from this obligation) can be found in Polish on the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office website and in English here.

    You need to submit the following documents:

    ​- application form for registering the residence,
    - a travel document (passport) or other document confirming identity and citizenship,
    - an employment contract or an admittance certificate issued by university,
    - a document confirming health insurance coverage or the right to receive health care benefits,
    - a written declaration on having sufficient funds to be able to support oneself, or a proof of - having the above-mentioned funds, e.g.: a credit card, declaration on having the funds in a bank or another financial institution.
    The same procedure applies to family members who are also EEA citizens.

    3. Temporary registration in a municipal/district office.
    It is a separate procedure called in Polish meldunek  which is obligatory not only for foreigners but also for Polish nationals and is handled at a municipal/district office ( If you are staying in Poland for more than 14 days, you must register in the relevant municipal office of a city/town or city district where  your residence. More information see Entry conditions section here.

Non-EU citizens

1. Citizens of  countries other than member states of the EU and EEA who wish to stay in Poland for a longer period than their visa allows should apply for a fixed time residence permit (residence card).

Residence permit is a document that allows a foreign national to reside in Poland legally. It also entitles the holder, together with 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), in Kraków the Lesser Poland Voivodeship OfficeOffice for Foreigners ul. Przy Rondzie 6, ground floor, foreigners' affairs room.
You can either submit the documents in person or send them by post but you will be asked to visit the Office 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. All types of  residence permits  are described on the Office for Foreigners website here.
You need to pay a fee for this permit.
More information can be found on the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office in Kraków website.

After receiving a positive decision regarding the residence permit, a foreigner is also granted a residence card. A residence card allows its holder to stay on the Polish territory and to travel abroad without the need to obtain another visa. There is a fee for issuing a residence card. The card has to be collected in person and proof of registration of stay will be needed.

More information about the residence card can be found on the Office for Foreigners website and Euraxess Poland website.

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Note: All the above  mentioned documents for any of the residence permits  have to be submitted in Polish so sometimes it is necessary to provide official translations of documents.   They have to be original documents (or certified copies). The procedure of granting the - aforementioned residence permits may take up  3-4 months, depending  on 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.

2. Temporary registration in the Municipal/District Office

Citizens of countries other than  member states of the EU and EEA have four days for registering their short-term (shorter than three months) stay, starting from the moment of entering the Polish territory , unless they do not wish to spend more than 14 days in Poland. Short-stay registration should be done in a community office (in Kraków in an appropriate vital records department of the Kraków Municipality Office (website in Polish only)). More here.