Polish visas for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals other than EU or EEA nationals may stay in Poland for purposes of employment under a set of legal instruments. One of them is a visa.

A visa may be issued as a Schengen visa or an internal visa.

The Schengen visa is closely connected to the concept of the Schengen area. It allows entry and free movement, for purposes of employment, in all 25 member states that have implemented the Schengen Agreement of 1985.

The internal visa is limited only to Poland. A foreign national holding an internal visa may enter and stay in Poland continuously or for several repeated periods, cumulatively longer than 3 months. An internal visa is valid for 1 year.

Both visas may be issued on the foreign national presenting a valid work permit or – if the work permit is not required – an employer’s promise of employment. Visas are issued for a period indicated in the work permit or the promise of employment, though not longer than the maximum period for each type of visa.

Both visas are issued by a Polish consul abroad. An internal employment visa needs to be issued by a Polish consul of the foreign national’s state of permanent residency. However, a foreign national staying in an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland may apply for an internal employment visa to a Polish consul in that state.

A foreign national in need to renew his or her Schengen or internal visa must apply for renewal at least 3 days before the end of the period of stay indicated in the visa, otherwise the application will be left unresolved. Renewal of both visas is granted by the relevant provincial governor.

See next posts for information on other residency instruments.

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