Legalisation of stay – non-EU/EFTA nationals

Entering the territory of Poland:

Citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries who wish to work or conduct research activities in Poland are required to obtain a Polish visa prior to their arrival in Warsaw. They should contact the Polish Consulate or Embassy in their country of residence. It is important to remember that visas are granted for a maximum one year. In order to extend the stay in Poland, it is necessary to apply for a residence permit for a specified period of time in a Voivodeship office.

Citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries which are not listed as visa free countries may enter Poland and stay within its territory on the basis of Schengen or national visa.

  • Schengen Visa (visa type C) – is issued when the planned stay on the territory of the Schengen area does not exceed 90 days within each 180-day period.
  • National visa (visa type D) – entitles to entry and a continuous stay in the territory of Poland or to several consecutive stays which jointly last longer than 90 days, the period of validity of a national visa cannot exceed 1 year.

List of countries, citizens of which are exempted from a visa and the rules of visa-free regime.

Visa requirements and application forms as well as the complete list of Polish diplomatic missions abroad are available at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Holders of dual citizenship (Polish and foreign) are required to enter Poland using their Polish passport or Polish national ID.

Visas are issued for multiple or single entry and for various purposes of stay. However, in regard to scientific purposes, the following visas are most relevant:

  • visa for the purpose of conducting scientific research or development activities – for this visa application a hosting agreement/contract has to be signed between the researcher and the research institution in Poland authorised by the Ministry of Interior and Administration for the purpose of hosting foreign scientists;
  • visa for the purpose of work – for this type of visa the researcher does not need a signed agreement/contract, only a promise of employment/ a letter from the employer describing the work conditions (period, position, salary, main duties, etc.);

Please contact the embassy/consulate for the full list of the required documents.

The duration of the visa procedure should not exceed 15 days.

You can stay in Poland legally until the last day of the visa validity date.

If you plan to stay in Poland longer, you need to legalise your stay by obtaining a residence permit (residence card).

Legalisation of stay in Poland:

As a researcher you have three different possible paths of legalizing of stay in Poland:

  1. Temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting scientific research
  2. EU Blue Card (for highly qualified employees)
  3. Temporary work and residence permit

Read more below.

1.Temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting scientific research

Temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting research is granted to a foreigner who is a scientist, with at least the professional title corresponding to the Polish master’s degree, or equivalent, allowing access to at least doctoral studies.

The purpose of stay in Poland is to conduct research or development work under contract for carrying out a research project concluded with a research unit, which has been accredited by the Ministry of Interior and Administration (UW is on the list).

What documents are needed to submit?

  • Agreement/ work contract for carrying out a research project
  • A written statement of a research institution, in which it obliges itself to take the responsibility for reimbursing the costs related to the stay and return incurred by the Polish authorities. The financial responsibility of the research organisation will end at the latest six months after the termination of the agreement
  • 2 copies of the application for a temporary residence permit (main application and annex 4). Download the application from the Office for Foreigners website
  • 4 recent colour photographs
  • A valid travel document (passport, 2 photocopies)
  • Documents confirming having health insurance
  • A document confirming accommodation in Poland (for example a lease agreement), 
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover the costs of living and return travel to the country of origin or residence (read more here)
  • Fee payment confirmation (PLN 340)*

*340 PLN at the time of submission of the application and 50 PLN for the residence card upon receipt of the decision. More information about fees can be found on this website.

Documents drawn up in a foreign language should be submitted together with their translations into Polish made by a sworn translator.

You can search the sworn translator through the website of the Ministry of Justice.

This permit is issued for stays of minimum 3 months and for a maximum period of 3 years. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for a new permit. The permit is granted for the same duration as the work contract.

You can find more information on how to submit your documents here.

2. EU Blue Card (for highly qualified employees)

The EU Blue Card for Researchers is issued to highly qualified researchers from non-EU countries who want to work in an authorized research organization in an EU member state.

Who can get an EU Blue Card for Research?

  • You have at least a Master’s Degree or equivalent obtained from an educational institution in the EU or a recognized institution abroad
  • You have a work contract or an offer for highly qualified employment in the EU for at least one year
  • Your monthly salary cannot be lower than 150% of average salary in Poland from the year prior to signing the work contract (for contracts signed in 2020 – 7377.25 PLN/month gross)

What documents are needed to submit?

  • employment contract valid for at least one year,
  • 2 copies of the application form for the residence permit (main application and annex 2).
  • 4 recent colour photographs
  • 2 copies of valid travel document (passport)
  • Proof you meet the required educational requirements. Diplomas, qualifications, etc.
  • health insurance confirmation
  • fee payment confirmation (PLN 440)*

*440 PLN at the time of submission of the application and 50 PLN for the residence card upon receipt of the decision. 

3.Temporary work and residence permit

This type of residence permit is issued for various types of jobs. You need to submit the following documents:

  • 2 copies of the application form for a temporary residence permit (main application and annex 1, which should be filled in by the employer (UW)
  • 4 recent colour photographs
  • 2 copies of valid travel document (passport)
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover the costs of living and return travel to the country of origin or residence, e.g. work contract
  • Documents confirming having health insurance (If you are already employed at the UW, this document should be received from the Human Resources Office
  • Document confirming accommodation in Poland, for example a lease agreement, reservation from a hotel, etc.
  • Certificate of having no tax obligations (issued by a relevant tax office)
  • Personal income tax return form (PIT) that was submitted to the tax office, but only if you have worked in Poland in the previous year
  • Fee payment confirmation (PLN 440)*

 *440 PLN at the time of submission of the application and 50 PLN for the residence card upon receipt of the decision. More information about fees can be found on this website.