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Below you can find the basic rules of legal residency in Poland – regardless of the purpose for which you came.
EU citizens do not have to take action to legalize their stay. Unless if they reside in Poland for more than three months, they should report their stay to the appropriate voivodship office.
Others nationals may be legally on the territory of Polish under visa-free travel, on the basis of a visa or under a residence permit issued by another Schengen country.
If you have crossed the border:
1. On the basis of a visa. Your stay is legal for the period of its validity. If you want to extend your residency for more than 3 months, you should apply for a temporary residence permit, depending on the purpose for which you are staying in Poland. If your residency is extended for less than 3 months, you can apply for an visa extension. Note: visas issued for tourist purposes do not allow to extend your residency in Poland.
2. Under the visa-free travel your reside is legal for a maximum of 90 days from the date of crossing the Schengen border. If you want to extend it, you should apply for a temporary residence permit, depending on the purpose for which you are staying in Poland.
3. If you have a residence permit issued by another Schengen country, e.g. a visa or a residence card, you can reside Poland for a maximum of 90 days only for tourist purposes. If you want to work or study, you must first apply for a residence permit.
Throughout your stay, you should have medical insurance in the amount of EUR 30,000 – if you have private insurance or social insurance in ZUS.
Third-country nationals are obliged to have a permit to work in Poland. It is issued for a specific employer and position. Performing work without a valid permit, contract and notification to ZUS is illegal and results in serious financial consequences and even the possibility of deportation. Remember to always require all documents from your employer.
Who does not need a work permit? First of all, full-time students, graduates of Polish secondary schools and family members of Polish citizens.