If you come from a non-EU country, it means that you will have to apply for a visa or a residence permit in order to stay in Poland for a longer period of time. We hope that the following guidelines will make your life easier and help you in your legalization procedure. Remember: the information provided below is not official, and in case of any doubts, contact the Immigration Office (Urząd Spraw Cudzoziemców) in your place of residence in Poland.
Entering Poland as a tourist
If you are a Mexican and you hold a valid passport, you can enter the territory of Poland without any visa and stay there for up to 90 days. Each time you after enter Poland, your 90 days period is renewed, and your stay is not limited to 90 days within the 180-day period, as as in other countries of the European Union / Schengen zone. This means that you can enter Poland as a tourist, stay for 90 days, leave Poland, and then enter again on the next day – you will again have 90 days of legal stay. Read more about it here.
Important: this does not apply to travelling to other Schengen zone countries, where the “90/180 rule” does apply.
If you would like to stay in Poland more than 90 days, you will need to legalise their stay e.g. by applying for a temporary residence permit.
If you choose to enter Poland with a visa, you should apply for it at a Polish consulate abroad (e.g. in your home country). There are various types of visas: tourist visa, business visa, internships visa, working visa, studying / language learning visa, visiting visa etc. Contact the embassy / consulate for detailed information.
For Mexican citizens: to apply for visa, go to the website of the Polish embassy in Mexico.
Temporary residence permit
A temporary residence permit is an option for those who wish to stay in Poland for longer than 3 months. Applications should be made in Poland, at your local Office of Voivodeship (Urząd Wojewódzki) and you should apply for a residence permit according to the purpose of your stay: work, studies, marriage etc.
You should apply for a residence permit at latest on the last day of your legal stay in Poland. In all of the cases, the basic documents that you will need to submit are:
- copies of the application for a temporary residence permit completed in accordance with the instructions
- 4 recent colour photographs (the photograph showing the person looking straight ahead with their eyes open)
- a valid travel document (e.g. passport) – the original and 2 copies
If you want to legalize your stay in Poland on the basis of employment, you should find an employer willing to hire you and apply for a residence permit and work permit (it is a one joint procedure). Apart from the documents mentioned above, you will also need to present:
- a health insurance
- documents confirming that you have a stable, regular source of income
- documents stating that you have a guaranteed place of residence
- information from the county commissioner concerning the results of a labour market test OR documents confirming exemption from the obligation to have a work permit
- an employment contract
- a tax declaration filed with the tax office
- a certificate of discharge of fiscal obligations issued by the tax office with jurisdiction over your place of residence
If you want to study in Poland, you should find a university, choose a course, and then apply for a residence permit, submitting additionally:
- a letter confirming that you have been accepted at the given university
- document stating the cost of studies and that you have paid for them
- a health insurance
- documents stating that you have sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of living in Poland and return to your country of origin (542 PLN for each month of your stay + 2500 PLN if you are from outside of EU)
A residence permit can be granted also if you are planning to attend a preparatory course for studying in Poland in Polish language.
Important: A residence permit based on a full-time studies entitles you to work in Poland without a work permit. Also, after graduating, you will no longer be required to obtain a work permit and you will be treated as a Polish national on the labour market. As a graduate from a Polish university, you will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit in order to look for a job in Poland. Such permit may be issued for up to 1 year.
If you are married to a Polish citizen, you may apply for a temporary residence permit. The documents you will need to present additionally are the following:
- marriage certificate
- copy of your spouse’s ID
Foreigners who are married to Polish citizens and have a temporary residence permit granted on that basis do not need a work permit to work legally in Poland.
Important: All documents should be translated into Polish language by a sworn translator!
Want to know more? Contact us and we will try to help you with your doubts or tell you where to look for reliable information.
List of Voivodeship Offices, Foreign Nationals Departments:
- Białystok: www.bialystok.uw.gov.pl
- Bydgoszcz: www.bydgoszcz.uw.gov.pl
- Gdańsk: www.uw.gda.pl
- Gorzów Wielkopolski: www.wojewodalubuski.pl
- Katowice: www.katowice.uw.gov.pl
- Kielce: www.kielce.uw.gov.pl
- Kraków: www.malopolska.uw.gov.pl
- Lublin: www.lublin.uw.gov.pl
- Łódź: www.lodz.uw.gov.pl
- Olsztyn: www.uw.olsztyn.pl
- Opole: www.opole.uw.gov.pl
- Poznań: www.poznan.uw.gov.pl
- Rzeszów: www.rzeszow.uw.gov.pl
- Szczecin: www.szczecin.uw.gov.pl
- Warszawa: www.mazowieckie.pl (important: you need to make an appointment by phone or email before going to the Office if you want to apply for a residence permit)
- Wrocław: www.duw.pl