How to get citizenship, a residence permit, or permanent residence in Poland. The East West Reals company experts provide the information 2020

How to get citizenship, a residence permit, or permanent residence in Poland. The East West Reals company experts provide the information

02.09.2020 17:00

Getting a residence permit in Poland

A temporary and permanent residence permit in Poland is a permission to stay on the territory of the country for a certain period, which a plastic Karta pobytu card confirms.

A temporary residence permit (TRP) in Poland is valid for up to 3 years, as well as the corresponding Karta pobytu. The permanent residence (PR) in the Republic of Poland is valid indefinitely; the Pobytu Card needs to be changed once a decade.


Important: if you need professional legal support when moving to Poland, buying or renting real estate, finding a job, obtaining a visa, Karta Polaka or a residence permit in Poland, request a free individual consultation and a callback:

Request a free consultation


The advantages of Polish residence permit

A Polish residence permit provides a lot of opportunities for foreigners:

  • Live, study, and work (with a TRP, one needs an additional permit), as well as to carry on business in the country.
  • Cross the Schengen area countries’ borders without a visa and stay there for up to 3 months.
  • Receive medical care, purchase/lease real estate and movable property.
  • Apply for citizenship of the Republic of Poland.
  • In some cases, a residence permit may get some benefits when obtaining visas to other countries (for example, England and the USA).

Who can get a Polish residence permit

To obtain a Polish temporary residence permit, a foreigner needs to have no criminal record and not to be on the SIS lists. An applicant must also meet one of the additional conditions:

  • Be a permanent student of a higher education institution in the country. Language courses count but of more than a year duration.
  • Carry on business in the country or be a partner of Polish legal entities.
  • Work under a long-term contract, or be officially employed and work for more than 3 months in a row.
  • Be married to a citizen of the Republic of Poland or a person who has permanent residence (it gives the right to obtain a temporary residence permit for 3 years).
  • Act as an injured party in a human trafficking case. In this case, a residence permit can only be issued if a victim cooperates with the investigation.

Some other grounds for issuing a residence permit in Poland

One can apply for a temporary residence permit on the aforementioned grounds. The waiting time for a response is 5-6 months. Applications for a permanent residence permit in Poland are considered only if an applicant has lived in the country for at least 3 months. The set of documents to submit depends on the grounds for obtaining the status.

Legal ways to obtain a temporary and permanent residence permit in Poland

1. Language courses and study.

One can get a temporary residence permit in Poland when studying at language courses or a university in the country. In this case, in addition to the standard documentation package, an application must have:

  • a document confirming the study. During an initial registration of a residence permit, it must be enrolment certification. When extending the status, one needs to provide a document confirming study continuation;
  • a bank statement or proof of sponsor support. It confirms the ability to pay for housing and studies.

The duration of a Polish temporary residence permit based on the study is up to 15 months. The length of stay is calculated by a 1 to 0.5 coefficient (divided by two).

2. Marriage to a Polish citizen or a person with permanent residence.

Being married to a citizen of the Republic of Poland or someone who has permanent residence makes it possible to get a residence permit for wives/ husbands and minor children, including adopted ones. An application must include a marriage certificate.

3. Work visa or a contract.

Before applying, one needs to be officially employed in Poland. An application must include proof of employment, work permit, payment of insurance and medical fees. Besides, they can ask for information about previous workplaces.

If being dismissed, one needs to report it within 15 days, and find a new workplace within the next 30 calendar days, after which a residence permit will be updated. If this is not done, the permission is automatically canceled.

There is an option for highly qualified specialists to speed up the process of obtaining a Polish residence permit using the Blue card EU.

4. Polish roots.

If someone has near-distant Polish ancestors, they can apply for permanent residence by confirming their origin. They must provide evidence that one of their relatives (parents or grandparents) was Polish.

If a great-grandmother or a great-grandfather were Polish, a permanent residence application must include a confirmation of the Polish origin of both of these relatives. One will also need to pass an interview and a language proficiency test.

5. Karta Polaka (Polish Card).

If an applicant has a Karta Polaka, it is much easier to get a Karta stalego pobytu confirming a permanent residence permit. After the necessary document submission, each case is considered more simply. It is required to prove neither origin nor language knowledge.


Important: after obtaining permanent residence status, the Karta Polaka is withdrawn.


6. Starting a company (business).

Starting a company to be a ground for obtaining a residence permit, one must meet two conditions: 

  • applicant’s company must employ at least two people who have the right to work without a special permit on the territory of the Republic of Poland;
  • it must be documented that for the past year, the organization’s income has been constant and significant. 

If one of the conditions is temporarily unachievable, an applicant must prove that they have finances that could be invested in the country’s economy. While the investment is only a delay, both of the above said conditions still have to be met. 

7. Buying real estate.

Buying a property in Poland cannot be a ground for obtaining a residence permit. Therewith, having housing here will prove the place of residence and registration and may be considered when obtaining a residence permit.

Obtaining Polish citizenship

In Poland, it is not necessary to buy real estate to get citizenship.

Advantages of Polish citizenship:

  • an opportunity to live, study and work in any EU country with no time restrictions;
  • travel in the EU in a visa-free regime;
  • studies in the EU are cheaper for Polish citizens;
  • purchase land and accommodation in the EU.

Application for the president or a governor of a province

To obtain the status of a citizen of Poland, one must either work and live on the territory of the country for at least 3 years or have permanent residence (Karta stalego pobytu) for more than 12 months.

One needs to apply to the president, specifying a reason to get citizenship of the Republic of Poland. The pendency of an application takes from 2 months to 3 years.

It is possible to apply to a governor of a province at a place of residence. The pendency period is up to 3 months. An application will be approved only if an applicant has lived and worked in Poland for the last year and has certificates confirming at least a B1 level of the Polish language.

The origin (Karta Polaka)

The Karta Polaka allows obtaining Polish citizenship if an applicant lives in Poland for at least 1 year. It entitles an applicant to get permanent residence for free. A year later, one can send an application for a governor of a province or the president. An applicant must have at least a B1 level of Polish language proficiency and provide all the documents confirming their identity and legal status in the country.

Marriage with a Polish citizen

It is similar to the permanent residence process documentation but with a few differences:

  • After getting married to a citizen of Poland, a foreigner can arrive in the country with a private invitation and get a visa for 3 months to 1 year.
  • Next, a temporary residence permit is issued based on marriage.
  • After two years, an applicant can apply for permanent residence on condition that they are married to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years.
  • 2 years later, they can apply for Polish citizenship.

Those who wish to obtain a residence permit or citizenship in Poland have a wide variety of legal ways to get it.

Properties count: 763
Number of publications: 23
Subscribe to our Telegram channel