The procedure of legalising a temporary stay | Immigrants in Action

The procedure of legalising a temporary stay

FoID-10078724reigners who are planning to stay in Poland for a period longer than 3 months may apply for a temporary residence permit in Poland. The temporary residence permit is granted for a maximum period of 3 years. However, the validity period of the permit may be shorter if shorter stay is justified, pursuant to the grounds of an application.

The temporary residence permit is not automatically prolonged. If the foreigners wish to prolong stay in Poland, they have to apply for a new permit.

Note: The foreigner should leave Poland prior to the expiry of the temporary residence permit, unless they have obtained another valid document entitling them to stay in Poland legally (e.g. a subsequent temporary residence permit, permanent residence permit, or a long-term EU resident’s permit).

The procedure of legalization of temporary residence takes place at the competent Department for Foreigners of the Voivodeship Office in the voivodeship where the foreigner resides.

In order to obtain a temporary residence permit, the foreigner has to present documented grounds for their stay in Poland. Such grounds may include:
Starting or continuing work in the territory of Poland;

  1. Performance of work in an occupation requiring high skills;
  2. Performance of work by a foreigner delegated to Poland by foreign employer;
  3. Conducting a business activity in Poland;
  4. Starting or continuing studies in Poland;
  5. Completion of a preparatory course prior to starting education in undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral studies in Polish language;
  6. Conducting academic research in Poland;
  7. Visiting family members of a Polish citizen or family member of a foreigner;
  8. Status of victim of human trafficking who resides in Poland, starts co-operation with organs conducting investigation in a case of combating human trafficking and who ceased all contacts with persons suspected of human trafficking;
  9. Intention of a family member to reunite with a citizen of EU Member State, of EFTA Member State or of Swiss Confederation, residing in Poland;
  10. Status of a child (minor) of a foreigner who resides in Poland pursuant to a national visa or temporary residence permit, if the child was born during the validity period of such national visa or temporary residence permit;
  11. Status of a child (minor) of a foreigner who is married to a Polish citizen and possesses a temporary residence permit issued for family member of a Polish citizen;
  12. Other important, documented circumstances.

Foreigner who applies for a temporary residence permit is fingerprinted in order to include the fingerprints in the residence card.

Foreigners who cannot apply for a temporary residence permit

The initiation of proceedings for granting a temporary residence permit to a foreigner is denied in the following cases:

  1. The foreigner was granted a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU-resident’s permit,
  2. The foreigner resides in Poland pursuant to a Schengen visa entitling them to enter Poland only for humanitarian purposes, due to interest of the state or international commitments,
  3. The foreigner resides in Poland pursuant to a temporary residence permit that was issued due to circumstances requiring a short-term stay,
  4. The foreigner was granted a tolerated residence permit, residence permit due to humanitarian reasons, asylum, subsidiary or temporary protection or was granted a refugee status in Poland,
  5. The foreigner applies for a refugee status or seeks an asylum,
  6. The foreigner is detained, placed in a guarded facility or detainment facility for foreigners or if an order prohibiting them to leave the country has been issued,
  7. The foreigner is imprisoned or temporarily arrested,
  8. The foreigner was obliged to return and the period of voluntary return specified in the decision obliging the foreigner to return has not expired yet; this applies also in case of prolongation of such period,
  9. The foreigner is obliged to leave Poland within 30 days from the date when the decision of refusal to prolong a visa, grant a residence permit, to grant refugee status or to grant subsidiary protection or the decision to withdraw residence permit for humanitarian reasons became binding,
  10. The foreigner resides outside Poland (this does not apply to cases of application for a residence card for family joining purposes),
  11. The fingerprints of the foreigner were not collected for the purposes of issuing a residence card when filing the application for granting temporary residence permit.

When can a temporary residence permit be withdrawn?

The temporary residence permit may be withdrawn, i.e. cancelled, if:

  1. the purpose of the residence, that constituted the basis for issuing temporary residence permit to the foreigner, ceased to exist,
  2. the foreigner ceases to fulfill the requirements for granting the temporary residence permit,
  3. the foreigner’s data have been entered into the register of foreigners whose stay in the Polish territory is undesirable,
  4. it is required due to reasons of state security or defense or protection of public safety and order,
  5. in the course of the proceedings for granting a temporary residence permit:
    a) the foreigner filed an application containing false personal data or false information or attached documents containing such data or information to the application, or
    b) the foreigner provided an untrue statement, concealed the truth, forged or altered a document in order to present it as true,
  6. the foreigner is in tax arrears, with the exception of cases when they obtained a lawful exemption, deferral or division of overdue tax payments into installments or if the decision of the organ responsible for tax collection was withheld as a whole,
  7. a decision obliging the foreigner to return was issued and the foreigner did not reimburse the costs connected with the issuing and execution of such decision and such costs were covered from the state budget
  8. the foreigner is subject to compulsory medical treatment and they do not express consent for such treatment (persons suffering from tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhoea are subject to compulsory treatment).

The provisions above contain a general list of grounds for withdrawal of a temporary residence permit that apply to all temporary residence permits. Additional grounds for withdrawing a temporary residence permit are also foreseen in cases of specific residence permits (e.g. temporary residence and work permit, temporary residence permit for the purpose of starting a studies programme etc.). Information concerning additional grounds for the withdrawal of temporary residence permit is available below, in the section on types of residence permits.

Procedure of application for a temporary residence permit

Temporary residence permit is issued at the Department for Foreigners of the competent Voivodeship Office for the place of residence of the foreigner.
Fingerprints are taken from foreigners who apply for a temporary residence permit in order to include these fingerprints in the residence card.

If the foreigner files the application for the temporary residence permit during their legal stay in Poland and if the application is free from formal deficiencies, the Voivode Office places in the travel document of the foreigner a stamp, that confirms the application for granting a temporary residence permit was filed. Such stamp legalizes the stay of the foreigner in Poland (even in case of expiration of the visa or of the preceding residence card) until the date of issuing the decision on the residence card and in the case of appeal against a negative decision ? until the moment when the decision of the 2nd instance (i.e. of the Head of the Office for Foreigners) becomes binding.

Note: The aforementioned stamp does not entitle the foreigner to travel to other Schengen countries or EU Member States. Pursuant to the stamp in the passport the foreigner may leave for their country of origin, although they may not return to Poland pursuant to such stamp ? in order to re-enter Poland, the foreigner should obtain a visa.
Foreigners applying for a temporary residence permit should file the application for granting a temporary residence permit in person. If the foreigner does not file the application in person (e.g. if it is filed by an attorney), they shall be summoned by the Voivode to appear at the office in person within 7 days (in order for the competent authorities to collect the foreigner’s fingerprints). If the foreigner fails to appear at the office, their application shall remain unconsidered, i.e. the procedure of granting a residence card will be discontinued.

The basic set of documents required for filing the application for a temporary residence permit:

  1. 4 filled out copies of the form for granting temporary residence permit
  2. 3 copies of a valid travel document and the original available for inspection on request
  3. 4 current, colour photographs
  4. written consent of persons who exercise parental authority over the minor foreigner applying for granting of such a permit.

Additionally, the applicant should submit documents confirming the data included in the application and confirming the purpose of the foreigner’s stay in Poland. Submitting the most complete and exhaustive set of documents possible accelerates the consideration of the case. Below you can find information concerning the procedure of application for specific types of temporary residence permits and a list of documents required when applying for such permit. However, one should bear in mind that the Voivodeship Office may always summon the foreigner to appear in person and present additional documents that would confirm the declared purpose of their stay in Poland.

Duration of the procedure

The decision on granting temporary residence permit should be issued within 1 month, and in particularly complex cases ? not later than 2 months from the date of submission of documents.
The appeal procedure also lasts for 1 month, starting from the date of receipt of the appeal at the Office for Foreigners. These periods do not include the duration of suspension of the proceedings and the period of delay due to fault of the foreigner or to reasons beyond the control of the Office for Foreigners.

However, the procedure may be prolonged. This results from the fact that the Voivode is obliged to check whether the entry and stay of the foreigner in Poland do not constitute a threat for national defense, public safety and order. Institutions which the Voivode contacts in this case have 30 days to transfer information. Moreover, as each case is considered on an individual basis, the procedure may be prolonged until all important circumstances of the case are clarified.

Procedure of appeal

Foreigners, who are dissatisfied with the decision of the Voivode, may appeal to the Head of the Office for Foreigners (UdsC) in Warsaw, through the Voivode who issued the decision. Written appeal should be filed within 14 days from the date of receipt of the decision.
The foreigner may appeal against the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners in the administrative court within 30 days from the date of receipt of the decision.
Filing an appeal at the administrative court does not constitute a legalisation of the stay. This means that, unless the foreigner has another valid document authorising them to stay in Poland, they should leave Poland in such case.


Stamp duty for the consideration of a case of granting temporary residence permit is PLN 340. This amount is reimbursed in the case of a negative decision, on request of the person concerned.
Stamp duty for the consideration of a case of granting temporary residence and work permit is PLN 440.
If a positive decision is issued, additionally PLN 50 should be paid for issuing a residence card.
These amounts can be paid at the cash desk of the Voivodeship Office where the procedure takes place or by bank transfer to the account of the Municipal Office. Information about the bank account is available at the competent Voivode.

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