Settlement permits in Poland

If you want to stay in Poland for longer, without limits on time, there are two legal instruments available:

  • the settlement permit and
  • the European Communities long-term residency permit.

These two instruments differ as to the conditions precedent to be met by the applicant.

The settlement permit is granted to a foreign national who, inter alia:

  • is a minor child of a foreign national who has been issued the settlement permit, provided that that child was born in Poland or
  • has been married to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years prior to filing for the settlement permit and directly before such filing has been staying in Poland for at least 2 years under the temporary residency permit or
  • is a child of a Polish citizen and remains under his or her parental care.

The settlement permit is granted for an indefinite period of time on the foreign national’s application. The application must be made during the foreigner’s legal stay in Poland, otherwise it will be left unresolved.

The settlement permit is issued by the provincial governor where the foreign national is staying.

A foreign national holding the settlement permit is issued a residency card valid for 10 years. The residency card entitles the foreign national to cross Polish borders without the need of a visa.

As I have written in Work permits in Poland and the residency instruments, foreign nationals holding the settlement permit are not required to obtain the work permit if they wish to undertake employment in Poland.

Temporary residency permits in Poland

Returning to immigrations issues…

Another legal instrument to legitimize a foreign national’s stay in Poland is the temporary residency permit.

The temporary residency permit may be issued to a foreign national whose expected period of stay in Poland exceeds 3 months. Legal grounds justifying issue of the temporary residency permit are various and include, apart from employment, e.g. business activity, artistic engagements, vocational training, or matrimony to a Polish citizen.

In order to obtain the temporary residency permit for purposes of employment, the applicant must present the work permit or, if it is not required, a promise of employment from his or her prospective employer.

The temporary residency permit for purposes of employment is granted for no longer than 2 years and may be renewed for further periods not exceeding 2 years each. The application for renewal must be filed no later than 45 days before lapse of the period of stay defined in the preceding permit. There is no limit on the number of temporary residency permits to be held by the same individual nor the cumulative duration of stay in Poland based on that instrument. Also, it is not required that the temporary residency permit be preceded by a visa – it is possible to apply for the permit forthwith.

The temporary residency permit is granted by the provincial governor where the foreign national is staying or intends to stay.

A foreign national holding the temporary residency permit is issued a residency card valid for the duration of the permit. The residency card entitles the foreign national to cross Polish borders without the need of a visa.