Frequently asked questions

We have compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions about residence cards and legalization for you
What is the residence card
A residence card is a document issued by Polish authorities that certifies the identity of its owner during his stay in Poland.

Together with the passport, this document confirms the right to temporary or permanent residence and allows you to cross the Polish border many times without an additional visa. With a residence card, you have many more rights than with a visa. Thanks to this document, you can stay in the country 365 days a year. A residence card is an ordinary plastic card containing basic information about the owner - name, surname, date of birth, photo etc.
Who can get a residence card
The official basis for obtaining a residence card in the Republic of Poland is: foreigners working in Poland may apply for a temporary residence card (residence permit):
  • employed in Poland, if they meet the conditions of art. 114 of the Act (hereinafter all the legal acts are provided in the original language)
  • performing work in a field requiring high qualifications, if they meet the requirements of art. 127 of the Act
  • sent by the employer on a business trip to the territory of Poland, if they meet the requirements of art. 140 of the Act
  • engaged in seasonal work in Poland, if they meet the requirements of art. 185a of the Act.
Temporary residence permit
As a rule, a temporary residence permit is granted for a maximum period of up to 3 years. You can apply for a temporary residence permit if there are circumstances justifying residence in the territory of Poland for a period longer than 3 months. The foreigner submits the application in person, no later than on the last day of legal stay, to the voivode competent for the place of residence.

When submitting the application, the foreigner is required to submit fingerprints in order to issue a residence card. In the case of a foreigner who is underage, the application for a temporary residence permit is submitted by parents or guardians appointed by the court, or by one of the parents or one of the guardians appointed by the court.

When submitting an application for a temporary residence permit to a foreigner who is underage, who has turned 6 by the date of submitting the application, his presence is required.

If the application for a temporary residence permit was submitted during the foreigner's legal stay and the application did not contain any formal mistakes or the formal mistakes were corrected on time, the voivode shall include a stamp in the foreigner's travel document, which confirms the submission of the application. A foreigner's stay is considered legal from the date of submitting the application to the date on which the decision on granting a temporary residence permit becomes final. A foreigner who has obtained a temporary residence permit on the territory of Poland is issued a residence card. This document is collected in person. If the residence card has been issued to a foreigner who is under 13 years of age by the date of its receipt, the card is collected by his legal representative or probation officer.

During its validity period, the residence card confirms the identity of the foreigner during his stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him, together with the travel document, to multiple border crossings without the need to obtain a visa.
Getting a residence card step by step
1. To apply for a residence card, please provide:
  • 1 copy of the completed application
  • 2 color photos 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm
  • a valid travel document
  • 2 copy of all documents (including a copy of all pages of your passport)
  • proof of residence (apartment rent contract)
  • confirmation of payment for issuing the card
2. Wait for the first letter in 3-6 months
Our managers are always ready to answer and help you with questions about additional documents. You can call us or visit our office for a personal consultation.

3. Obtain a residence permit
Our company operates on the basis of an individual approach to each client. This method allows us to get the card at a certain time.

Submit an application ⇨
Duration of the procedure
The decision on granting a temporary residence permit must be issued within 1 month, and in particularly difficult cases - no later than 2 months before the deadline for submitting the documents.

The appeal procedure also lasts 1 month, the period of suspension of the card issuance and the period of delays caused by the fault of the foreigner or for reasons beyond the control of the Office for Foreigners are not included in these periods.

However, this procedure may take longer. This is due to the fact that the voivode is obliged to check whether the entry and stay of a foreigner in Poland poses a threat to defense, security and public order. Institutions contacted in this case have 30 days to submit the information.

Additionally, due to the individual approach to examining each case, the proceedings may be extended until all relevant circumstances of the case are clarified.
Residence card fees
The fee for granting a temporary residence permit is PLN 340. The fee is refunded in case of a negative decision at the request of the person.

The fee for a temporary residence and work permit is PLN 440.

In case of a positive decision, the person must pay PLN 50 for the issuance of a residence card (the plastic card itself).

These costs can be paid at the cash desk of the voivodeship office in which the proceedings take place, or by transfer to the office's account. Information on the account number can be obtained from the office.
Temporary residence permit
As a rule, a temporary residence permit is granted for a maximum period of up to 3 years. You can apply for a temporary residence permit if there are circumstances justifying residence in the territory of Poland for a period longer than 3 months. The foreigner submits the application in person, no later than on the last day of legal stay, to the voivode competent for the place of residence.

When submitting the application, the foreigner is required to submit fingerprints in order to issue a residence card. In case of a foreigner who is a minor, the application for a temporary residence permit is submitted by parents or guardians appointed by the court, or by one of the parents or one of the guardians appointed by the court.

When submitting an application for a temporary residence permit to a foreigner who is a minor, who has turned 6 by the date of submitting the application, his presence is required.

If the application for a temporary residence permit was submitted during the foreigner's legal stay and the application did not contain formal mistakes or the formal mistakes were corrected on time, the voivode shall include a stamp in the foreigner's travel document, which confirms the submission of the application. A foreigner's stay is considered legal from the date of submitting the application to the date on which the decision on granting a temporary residence permit becomes final. A foreigner who has obtained a temporary residence permit on the territory of Poland is issued a residence card. This document is collected in person. If the residence card has been issued to a foreigner who has not turned 13 by the date of its receipt, the card is collected by his representative or probation officer.

During its validity period, the residence card confirms the identity of the foreigner during his stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him, together with the travel document, to multiple border crossings without the need to obtain a visa.
Resident's residence permit
A long-term resident's EU residence permit is granted to a foreigner who has been legally and continuously in the territory of Poland for at least 5 years immediately before submitting the application for granting this permit and meets the following conditions:
  • Has a stable and regular source of income sufficient to cover the cost of living for himself and his dependent family members;
  • Has health insurance within the meaning of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation that the insurer covers the costs of treatment in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
  • He has a confirmed knowledge of the Polish language. This permit is granted for an indefinite period. A foreigner who has obtained a long-term resident's EU residence permit on the territory of Poland is issued a residence card.
During its validity period, the residence card confirms the identity of the foreigner during his stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him, together with the travel document, to multiple border crossings without the need to obtain a visa.

A foreigner who has a long-term resident's EU residence permit is entitled to work in the territory of Poland without the need for a work permit. In the residence card, issued in connection with granting the foreigner a long-term resident's EU residence permit, there is an annotation "access to the labor market".
EU citizens' residence registration
The application for registration of residence is submitted in person to the voivode competent for the place of residence of the EU citizen, no later than on the day following the lapse of 3 months from the date of entry into the territory of the Republic of Poland. The requirement to submit an application in person does not apply to a minor.

The obligation to register the stay does not apply to an EU citizen who has entered the territory of Poland in order to look for a job and who may stay in Poland without the need to meet the conditions of stay for a period not longer than 6 months or for a longer period if he proves that he is actively pursuing job search and has real employment opportunities.

An EU citizen should be understood as a foreigner who is a citizen of another EU / EEA Member State or Switzerland. Under Polish law, a foreigner is anyone who does not have Polish citizenship.

The right to stay up to 3 months.
EU citizens and their family members who are not EU citizens may stay in Poland for up to 3 months without the need to meet any conditions of stay, other than having a valid travel document. An EU citizen may have another valid document confirming his identity and citizenship.

Stay over 3 months.
If the stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland lasts for a period longer than 3 months, the EU citizen and his family member with EU citizenship are required to register their stay, and the family member who is not an EU citizen is obliged to obtain a residence card of an EU citizen's family member.
Permanent residence permit
Permanent residence permit is granted for an indefinite period. The foreigner submits the application in person, no later than on the last day of legal stay in the territory of Poland, to the voivode competent for the foreigner's place of stay. When submitting the application, the foreigner is required to submit fingerprints. In the case of a foreigner who is a minor, the application for a permanent residence permit is submitted by parents or guardians appointed by the court, or by one of the parents or one of the guardians appointed by the court.

When submitting an application for granting a permanent residence permit to a foreigner who is a minor, who has reached the age of 6 by the date of submission of the application, his presence is required. A foreigner who has obtained a permanent residence permit on the territory of Poland is issued a residence card. This document is collected in person. If the residence card has been issued to a foreigner who has not turned 13 by the date of its receipt, the card is collected by his statutory representative or probation officer.

During its validity period, the residence card confirms the identity of the foreigner during his stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him, together with the travel document, to multiple border crossings without the need to obtain a visa.

A foreigner who has a permanent residence permit is entitled to work in the territory of Poland without the need for a work permit. The annotation "access to the labor market" is included in the residence card issued in connection with the granting of a permanent residence permit to the foreigner.
Work permits
A foreigner coming to Poland to perform work should ensure that his stay is legal. On the other hand, the foreigner's employer should obtain documents entitling the foreigner to work in Poland and the conditions for issuing a visa or temporary residence permit for this purpose. The employer is also obliged to keep copies of documents confirming the foreigner's legal stay in Poland.

As a rule, foreigners are entitled to work in Poland if:
  • they are legally resident and have a work permit, unless it is not required, or
  • have a temporary residence and work permit or a temporary residence permit in order to work in a profession requiring high qualifications.
Note: A foreigner may not work in Poland if he / she is staying on the basis of:
  • a visa issued for the purpose of tourism, arrival for humanitarian reasons, due to the interest of the state or international obligations;
  • temporary residence permit granted pursuant to art. 181 paragraph. 1 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners, i.e. due to circumstances requiring a short-term stay of a foreigner on the territory of Poland
A work permit is a decision of a competent authority authorizing a foreigner legally residing in Poland to perform work under the conditions specified in the permit. This document is issued at the request of the entity entrusting the performance of work to a foreigner by the voivode competent for his seat or place of residence.

In order to obtain a visa for the purpose of performing work, the foreigner should attach to the visa application a work permit or a written declaration of the employer about the intention to entrust the foreigner with work, if a work permit is not required. These documents are obtained by the entity intending to entrust the performance of work.
Declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner
Only citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine may work on the basis of the declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner. This is a simplified procedure. Applies to non-seasonal works. The condition of performing work under the simplified procedure is the entry of the district labor office of a declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner to the register of declarations and the foreigner's possession of a document confirming the residence title in the Republic of Poland, which entitles him to work in Poland.

  • The declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner is submitted by the employer to the district labor office. The district labor office writes down the declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner in the register of declarations.
  • The employer provides the foreigner with a declaration registered by the office.
  • On its' basis, a foreigner applies for a residence permit allowing him to work in Poland (e.g. an appropriate visa or a temporary residence permit, staying on a visa-free regime for up to 90 days within the next 180 days).
  • The declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner entitles to perform non-seasonal work up to 6 months within the next 12 months.
  • The employer is obliged to inform the office about the start of work (no later than on the 1st day of work) or failure (within 7 days from the date of work start indicated in the declaration) by the foreigner.
  • The employer is obliged to report the foreigner to social insurance and health insurance within 7 days, which gives the employee the right to benefits in case of illness, accident at work or maternity and to free use of the health service (not applicable to contracts for specific work).
If a foreigner has been employed in connection with a declaration on the basis of an employment contract, and the employer wants to continue cooperation with him for a longer period, after 3 months of work employer may submit an application to the voivode for a work permit on simpler terms. It is also possible for the foreigner to submit an application for a residence and work permit. If the application for a permit is complete, the work of the foreigner will be considered legal until the decision is issued.
Company registration
Some foreigners may set up and run a business on the same terms as Polish citizens. This means that they may undertake and conduct any form of business activity permitted by Polish law. These foreigners include migrants who have in Poland:
  1. permanent residence permit
  2. long-term resident's EU residence permit
  3. have a valid Pole's Card
  4. temporary residence permit granted to a family member of a foreigner for the purpose of family reunification
  5. temporary residence permit granted on the basis of a long-term EU resident's residence permit, granted by an EU Member State other than Poland, if such a person justifies his residence in Poland
  6. temporary residence permit granted to a family member of a foreigner who has a long-term resident's EU residence, granted by a state other than Poland, and who justifies his residence in Poland, if such family member has stayed with the foreigner in another EU Member State and wants to stay with him Poland
  7. temporary residence permit granted for the purpose of undertaking or continuing full-time university studies or full-time doctoral studies in Poland
  8. a temporary residence permit and are married to a Polish citizen living in Poland (spouses of Polish citizens have the right to conduct business activity resulting from the fact of marriage, provided that their stay is based on a temporary residence permit)
  9. refugee status
  10. subsidiary protection
  11. permit for tolerated stay
  12. benefit from temporary protection in Poland

Other foreigners who are not listed above (for example, those who stay in Poland on the basis of a visa, or those who stay abroad, and registration of business activity does not require their physical presence in Poland), may undertake and conduct business activity only in form:
  • limited partnership
  • limited joint-stock partnership
  • limited liability companiy
  • joint-stock company

Note
: A foreigner who only wants to set up one of the four companies listed above does not need to have the right to stay in Poland. This is due to the fact that if such a foreigner is the owner of the company, as a rule, his presence in Poland is not required (e.g. he can register the company via the Internet). However, if a foreigner plans to perform a specific job in a company he owns (e.g. manage a company), he must obtain a work permit for a specific position.
Foreigners who cannot apply for the card
The refusal to issue a temporary residence permit to a foreigner takes place when:
  • the foreigner has received a permanent residence permit
  • submits an application for refugee or asylum status
  • he was arrested by the police for violating the law
  • is serving a sentence of imprisonment or arrest
  • lives outside of Poland
  • he did not submit fingerprints for issuing a residence card.
    In which cases can the residence permit be canceled?
    A temporary residence permit may be canceled if:
    • the purpose of the foreigner's stay has ended (expiry of the contract, work permit, graduation)
    • the foreigner submitted an application containing false personal data or false information
    • the foreigner hid the truth, forged documents to use it as real
    • has tax arrears in Poland
    Here are the general reasons for refusing your stay. You can find more on the Office for Foreigners website or contact our managers in the form below on the website.
    Art. 114 ustawy o cudzodziemcach
    1. Zezwolenia na pobyt czasowy i pracę udziela się, gdy celem pobytu cudzoziemca na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej jest wykonywanie pracy oraz spełnione są łącznie następujące warunki:

    1) cudzoziemiec posiada:
    a) ubezpieczenie zdrowotne w rozumieniu przepisów ustawy z dnia 27 sierpnia 2004 r. o świadczeniach opieki zdrowotnej finansowanych ze środków publicznych lub potwierdzenie pokrycia przez ubezpieczyciela kosztów leczenia na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej,
    b) źródło stabilnego i regularnego dochodu wystarczającego na pokrycie kosztów utrzymania siebie i członków rodziny pozostających na jego utrzymaniu;

    2) cudzoziemiec ma zapewnione na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej miejsce zamieszkania;

    3) podmiot powierzający wykonywanie pracy nie ma możliwości zaspokojenia potrzeb kadrowych na lokalnym rynku pracy;

    4) wynagrodzenie, które jest wskazane przez podmiot powierzający wykonywanie pracy w załączniku do wniosku o udzielenie zezwolenia, o którym mowa w art. 106 ust. 1a, nie jest niższe niż wynagrodzenie pracowników wykonujących w tym samym wymiarze czasu pracy pracę porównywalnego rodzaju lub na porównywalnym stanowisku;

    5) wysokość miesięcznego wynagrodzenia, o którym mowa w pkt 4, nie jest niższa niż wysokość minimalnego wynagrodzenia za pracę.

    1a. Zezwolenia na pobyt czasowy i pracę udziela się także wówczas, gdy celem pobytu cudzoziemca na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej jest wykonywanie pracy w zawodzie pożądanym dla polskiej gospodarki, określonym w przepisach wydanych na podstawie ust. 5, cudzoziemiec posiada kwalifikacje zawodowe wymagane do wykonywania pracy w tym zawodzie i spełnione są łącznie warunki, o których mowa w ust. 1 pkt 1, 2, 4 i 5.

    2. Wysokość miesięcznego dochodu, o którym mowa w ust. 1 pkt 1 lit. b, powinna być wyższa niż wysokość dochodu uprawniającego do świadczeń pieniężnych z pomocy społecznej określonych w ustawie z dnia 12 marca 2004 r. o pomocy społecznej (Dz. U. z 2019 r. poz. 1507, 1622, 1690 i 1818), w odniesieniu do cudzoziemca oraz każdego członka rodziny pozostającego na jego utrzymaniu.

    3. Przepisu ust. 1 pkt 3 nie stosuje się, gdy:
    1) zawód, który cudzoziemiec wykonuje w ramach powierzonej pracy, lub rodzaj pracy, która jest mu powierzona, znajduje się w wykazie, o którym mowa w art. 10 ust. 4 pkt 1 ustawy z dnia 20 kwietnia 2004 r. o promocji zatrudnienia i instytucjach rynku pracy, lub

    2) cudzoziemiec bezpośrednio przed złożeniem wniosku posiadał zezwolenie na pracę lub zezwolenie na pobyt czasowy i pracę u tego samego pracodawcy na tym samym stanowisku, lub
    2a) cudzoziemiec w okresie 3 lat poprzedzających złożenie wniosku ukończył uczelnię z siedzibą na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej albo innego państwa Europejskiego Obszaru Gospodarczego lub Konfederacji Szwajcarskiej lub jest doktorantem w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, lub
    2b) cudzoziemiec w okresie 3 lat poprzedzających złożenie wniosku przebywał legalnie i nieprzerwanie na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, lub

    3) cudzoziemiec spełnia warunki określone w przepisach wydanych na podstawie art. 90 ust. 5 ustawy z dnia 20 kwietnia 2004 r. o promocji zatrudnienia i instytucjach rynku pracy, lub

    4) cudzoziemiec spełnia warunki zwolnienia z obowiązku posiadania zezwolenia na pracę, określone odrębnymi przepisami.
    3a. Do ustalenia, że pobyt cudzoziemca, o którym mowa w ust. 3 pkt 2b, jest nieprzerwany, stosuje się przepis art. 195 ust. 4.

    4. Przepisu ust. 1 pkt 4 nie stosuje się, gdy cudzoziemiec spełnia warunki zwolnienia z obowiązku posiadania zezwolenia na pracę, określone odrębnymi przepisami.

    5. Minister właściwy do spraw pracy w porozumieniu z ministrem właściwym do spraw gospodarki może określić, w drodze rozporządzenia, zawody pożądane dla polskiej gospodarki, biorąc pod uwagę potrzeby rynku pracy, w tym potrzebę zapewnienia efektywnego zatrudniania w zawodach, w których w skali całego kraju występują znaczące niedobory pracowników.
    Źródło: https://sip.lex.pl/akty-prawne/dzu-dziennik-ustaw/cudzoziemcy-18053962/art-127
    Art. 127 ustawy o cudzodziemcach
    Zezwolenia na pobyt czasowy w celu wykonywania pracy w zawodzie wymagającym wysokich kwalifikacji udziela się, gdy celem pobytu cudzoziemca na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej jest wykonywanie pracy w zawodzie wymagającym wysokich kwalifikacji oraz spełnione są łącznie następujące warunki:

    1) cudzoziemiec:
    a) zawarł, na okres przynajmniej 1 roku, umowę o pracę, umowę o pracę nakładczą, umowę cywilnoprawną, na podstawie której wykonuje pracę, świadczy usługi lub pozostaje w stosunku służbowym,
    b) posiada formalne kwalifikacje i spełnia inne warunki, które są wymagane, w przypadku zamiaru wykonywania pracy w zawodzie regulowanym w rozumieniu art. 5 pkt 4 ustawy z dnia 22 grudnia 2015 r. o zasadach uznawania kwalifikacji zawodowych nabytych w państwach członkowskich Unii Europejskiej,
    c) posiada wyższe kwalifikacje zawodowe,
    d) posiada ubezpieczenie zdrowotne w rozumieniu ustawy z dnia 27 sierpnia 2004 r. o świadczeniach opieki zdrowotnej finansowanych ze środków publicznych lub potwierdzenie pokrycia przez ubezpieczyciela kosztów leczenia na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej,
    e) posiada zgodę właściwego organu na zajmowanie określonego stanowiska, wykonywanie zawodu lub prowadzenie innej działalności, gdy obowiązek jej uzyskania przed zawarciem umowy wynika z odrębnych przepisów;

    2) podmiot powierzający cudzoziemcowi wykonywanie tej pracy nie ma możliwości zaspokojenia potrzeb kadrowych na lokalnym rynku pracy;

    3) roczne wynagrodzenie brutto wynikające z miesięcznego lub rocznego wynagrodzenia, wskazane w umowie, nie jest niższe niż równowartość 150% kwoty przeciętnego wynagrodzenia w gospodarce narodowej w roku poprzedzającym zawarcie umowy ogłaszanego przez Prezesa Głównego Urzędu Statystycznego na podstawie art. 20 pkt 1 lit. a ustawy z dnia 17 grudnia 1998 r. o emeryturach i rentach z Funduszu Ubezpieczeń Społecznych (Dz. U. z 2018 r. poz. 1270, z późn. zm.).
    Art. 140 ustawy o cudzodziemcach
    1. Zezwolenia na pobyt czasowy w celu wykonywania pracy przez cudzoziemca delegowanego przez pracodawcę zagranicznego na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej udziela się cudzoziemcowi, jeżeli: 1) posiada zezwolenie na pracę w rozumieniu ustawy z dnia 20 kwietnia 2004 r. o promocji zatrudnienia i instytucjach rynku pracy albo pisemne oświadczenie pracodawcy o zamiarze powierzenia mu pracy, jeżeli zezwolenie na pracę nie jest wymagane;
    2) posiada ubezpieczenie zdrowotne w rozumieniu ustawy z dnia 27 sierpnia 2004 r. o świadczeniach opieki zdrowotnej finansowanych ze środków publicznych lub potwierdzenie pokrycia przez ubezpieczyciela kosztów leczenia cudzoziemca na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej;
    3) posiada źródło stabilnego i regularnego dochodu wystarczającego na pokrycie kosztów utrzymania siebie i członków rodziny pozostających na jego utrzymaniu;
    4) ma zapewnione na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej miejsce zamieszkania.

    2. Do ustalenia, czy cudzoziemiec ubiegający się o udzielenie zezwolenia, o którym mowa w ust. 1, posiada dochód, o którym mowa w ust. 1 pkt 3, stosuje się przepis art. 114 ust. 2.
    Art. 185 ustawy o cudzodziemcach
    Zezwolenie, o którym mowa w art. 181 ust. 1, cofa się cudzoziemcowi, gdy ustał cel pobytu, ze względu na który zezwolenie zostało udzielone, lub gdy wystąpiła przynajmniej jedna z okoliczności, o których mowa w art. 100 ust. 1 pkt 3-5.
    Do you have any other questions?
    Write us and we will answer them as soon as possible!
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    +48 508 442 628
    biuro@rspt.pl
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