Foreigners 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;
Foreigner who applies for a temporary residence permit is fingerprinted in order to include the fingerprints in the residence card.
The initiation of proceedings for granting a temporary residence permit to a foreigner is denied in the following cases:
The temporary residence permit may be withdrawn, i.e. cancelled, if:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.