Relocation to Poland

Relocation to Poland
Karolina Gradowska-Kania

Karolina Gradowska-Kania

Head of the Global Mobility and HR department

Relocating to a new country is an adventure that promises new opportunities, cultures, and experiences. For EU, EEA, and Swiss Confederation citizens, as well as their family members, relocation to Poland offers a unique blend of vibrant history, dynamic economic growth, and welcoming communities.

Navigating the intricacies of moving can seem daunting, from understanding visa requirements to setting up your new home. This guide aims to simplify the process, providing you with essential insights into the procedures, rights, and practicalities of making Poland your new residence.

Whether you’re moving for work, study, or family reasons, Poland’s rich cultural tapestry and supportive legal frameworks make it an attractive destination. Let’s embark on this journey together, unpacking everything you need to know about relocating to Poland and seamlessly integrating into its society.

If you are seeking assistance in relocation to Poland, want to get a TRC in Poland or simply looking for immigration lawyer in Poland – visit a website of our immigration law firm in Poland for more information

Relocation to Poland for EU, EEA, and Swiss Confederation Citizens and Their Family Members

Moving to a new country can be a significant life decision, and for EU, EEA, and Swiss Confederation citizens contemplating relocation to Poland, the process is streamlined by mutual agreements within the European Union. Here’s what you need to know about entering and staying in Poland if you’re from these regions or a family member of someone who is.

Relocation to Poland – entry Requirements

  • Visa-Free Entry: Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland enjoy the privilege of entering Poland without a visa or any other entry document. This ease of access facilitates both short visits and long-term plans to relocate, making Poland an attractive destination within the EU.
  • Family Members: If you’re a family member of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen but do not hold citizenship from these areas yourself, you will generally need a visa to enter Poland. However, exemptions exist under certain conditions, emphasizing the importance of checking the latest regulations before making travel plans.

Short-term Stay (Up to 3 Months)

  • General Provisions: For stays not exceeding three months, there are no additional requirements for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens beyond having a valid travel document. The same applies to their family members, assuming they hold the necessary visas.
  • Job Seekers: If you enter Poland with the intention of finding employment, you can stay for up to six months without any additional formalities, provided you actively seek work and stand a realistic chance of being employed.

Long-term Stay (Exceeding 3 Months)

  • Stay Registration: Citizens from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland planning to stay longer than three months must register their stay. Similarly, family members who are not EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens must obtain a residence card to formalize their long-term stay in Poland.
  • Conditions for Extended Stay: To qualify for a residence beyond three months, you must meet one of the following conditions:Employment or self-employment within Poland.Sufficient resources to support yourself and your family members, coupled with comprehensive sickness insurance.Enrollment in studies or vocational training, with adequate resources and insurance.Being married to a Polish citizen.

Permanent Stay

  • Right to Permanent Residence: After five years of continuous residence in Poland, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, along with their family members, can acquire permanent residency. This status offers stability and a sense of belonging in the Polish community.
  • Application Process: The process involves submitting an application to the province governor’s office, accompanied by the necessary documents to prove your uninterrupted stay and fulfillment of the residence conditions.

By understanding these entry and residence regulations, EU, EEA, and Swiss Confederation citizens, along with their family members, can plan their relocation to Poland with clarity and confidence. The next step involves navigating the practical aspects of settling in, such as finding accommodation, accessing healthcare, and integrating into the Polish way of life.

Relocation to Poland - calculator

Relocation to Poland for Third-Country Nationals

For individuals from countries outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland, relocation to Poland involves a different set of procedures. Understanding these regulations is crucial for a smooth transition. Here’s a comprehensive overview of what third-country nationals need to know about entering and staying in Poland.

Entry into Poland

  • Visa Requirements: Entry into Poland for third-country nationals generally requires a valid visa. Poland issues various types of visas, including Schengen (type C) and national (type D) visas, depending on the purpose and duration of the stay.
  • Visa Exemptions: Certain third-country nationals may enter Poland without a visa for stays not exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period. This exemption applies to nationals from countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States, among others. It’s important to check the most current list of visa-exempt countries and the specific conditions that apply.

Types of Visas and Residence Permits

  • Schengen Visa (Type C): Allows for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period in the Schengen Area. This visa suits tourists, business visitors, and short-term students.
  • National Visa (Type D): Designed for longer stays, allowing entry and residence in Poland for a period exceeding 90 days, up to a year. It can also permit travel within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within any 180-day period.
  • Temporary Residence Permit: Third-country nationals intending to stay in Poland for more than 3 months may apply for a temporary residence permit for various reasons, including work, study, business activities, or family reunification.
  • Permanent Residence Permit: After meeting specific criteria, including a continuous period of stay, third-country nationals can apply for permanent residency, offering a stable and long-term basis for living in Poland.

Visa Application Process

  • Application Submission: Applications for Schengen or national visas should be submitted to the Polish consulate in your country of legal residence. The process includes providing a completed application form, photographs, a valid travel document, and other supporting documents tailored to the visa type.
  • Fees and Documents: Visa application fees vary, with EUR 80 being the standard fee for a Schengen visa. The fee for national visas and residence permits can differ, and detailed information is available from Polish consulates or the Office for Foreigners.

Mobility within the EU

  • Student and Researcher Mobility: Holders of a valid residence permit or long-term visa for studies or research issued by another EU Member State may be entitled to mobility rights in Poland under certain conditions.

Temporary and Permanent Stay

  • Requirements and Procedures: The prerequisites for obtaining temporary or permanent residency include demonstrating a stable source of income, healthcare insurance, and in the case of permanent residency, an uninterrupted stay in Poland for a specified period.
  • Application Process: Applications must be submitted to the relevant province governor’s office in Poland, with specific documents required to support the application.

Duty to Register the Place of Stay

  • Third-country nationals staying in Poland for more than 14 days must register their address of stay within four days of arrival if their stay is to exceed two weeks. This registration is crucial for legal compliance and facilitates access to public services.

Understanding these entry, visa, and residence procedures is essential for third-country nationals planning to move to Poland. Whether seeking new opportunities, pursuing education, or joining family members, thorough preparation will ensure a successful and compliant relocation process.

Relocation to Poland - drawers

Relocation to Poland – registration and mobility

Once you’ve navigated the initial steps of entering Poland, whether as an EU, EEA, Swiss Confederation citizen, or a third-country national, the next essential steps involve registering your place of stay and understanding your mobility rights within Poland and the EU. This section provides crucial information on these processes, ensuring your stay is compliant with local regulations.

Duty to Register Place of Stay

  • For EU, EEA, and Swiss Citizens: If your stay exceeds three months, it’s mandatory to register your address of stay in Poland. This registration should be done within 30 days of arriving at your new location. It’s a straightforward process that legitimizes your stay and is often necessary for other administrative tasks, such as opening a bank account or registering for healthcare.
  • For Third-Country Nationals: The registration requirements are slightly more stringent. If your planned stay in Poland exceeds 14 days, you must register your address within four days of arrival. This quick timeline ensures that your legal status in Poland is up-to-date from the start of your stay.

Registration Process

  • Where to Register: The registration is done at the municipal (or district) administrative office corresponding to your place of stay. The process can sometimes be completed online, depending on the municipality.
  • Documents Needed: Be prepared to present your travel document (passport or ID card for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens) and a document confirming your legal title to the premises (such as a rental agreement). Additionally, third-country nationals will need to show their visa or residence card as part of the registration.
  • For Third-Country Nationals: Beyond just registering your stay, if you’re in Poland on a temporary residence permit, keeping the authorities informed of your current address is crucial for the validity of your legal status in the country.

Check out our article on company registration in Poland

Mobility within the Schengen Area

  • EU, EEA, and Swiss Citizens: Enjoying the right to free movement within the Schengen Area, you can travel, work, and reside in any member state with minimal formalities. However, stays in another Schengen country exceeding three months may require registration or reporting presence according to the host country’s regulations.
  • Third-Country Nationals: If you hold a Schengen visa or a Polish national visa, you can travel within the Schengen Area, but restrictions apply. For example, a Schengen visa allows for short stays (up to 90 days within any 180-day period) across the Schengen states. A national visa or residence permit may offer more flexibility but always check the specific terms of your visa or permit before traveling.

Key Points to Remember

  • Timely registration of your place of stay is a legal requirement in Poland and facilitates smoother interactions with public and private entities.
  • Understanding your mobility rights within the Schengen Area helps in planning travel and stays in other EU countries without violating visa conditions or residency requirements.
  • Always keep your documents updated and in order, as this will ease your stay and any further administrative processes you may need to undertake.

By adhering to these registration and mobility guidelines, you can ensure that your relocation to Poland is not only compliant with local laws but also allows you to take full advantage of the freedoms offered within the EU and Schengen Area.

Relocation to Poland - keys

Relocation to Poland – practical Tips for Relocating to Poland

Relocating to a new country involves more than just understanding legal requirements. It’s about integrating into a new culture, setting up your daily life, and making the most out of your new surroundings. Here are some practical tips for smoothly transitioning to life in Poland.

Finding Accommodation

  • Research Before You Arrive: Start looking online for housing options in the area you plan to live. Websites like,, and are popular for rental listings. Consider the proximity to work, schools, and public transport.
  • Understand the Market: Rental prices can vary significantly between cities and even within different districts of the same city. Warsaw and Krakow, being major cities, tend to have higher rental costs.
  • Rental Agreements: Ensure that you have a clear rental agreement. Most landlords will require a security deposit and the first month’s rent upfront. It’s also common to sign a lease for at least a year.

Healthcare and Insurance

  • EU, EEA, and Swiss Citizens: If you’re moving from within the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, make sure to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving, which covers you temporarily. However, consider getting private health insurance for longer stays or more comprehensive coverage.
  • Third-Country Nationals: It’s mandatory to have health insurance coverage to apply for a visa or residence permit. You can opt for private health insurance that meets Polish requirements or, once employed, you may be covered under Poland’s national health service.


  • Language Barrier: While many Poles speak English, especially in larger cities and among the younger population, knowing Polish can significantly enhance your job prospects and social integration. Consider taking Polish language courses.
  • Work Permits: Third-country nationals typically require a work permit, unless exempted by specific regulations. Your employer often handles the application process, but it’s crucial to ensure everything is in order before you start working.


  • For Families: Poland offers a range of educational options, including public schools, private schools, and international schools. Public education is free for children of EU/EEA citizens residing in Poland. However, the language of instruction is Polish. International schools can be a good option but tend to have higher tuition fees.
  • Higher Education: Poland has a vibrant higher education sector, with many programs offered in English. Universities like Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the University of Warsaw are well-regarded both within Poland and internationally.

Cultural Integration

  • Embrace the Local Culture: Poland has a rich cultural history and a strong sense of national pride. Participate in local festivals, try Polish cuisine, and engage with your community.
  • Social Connections: Join expat groups, clubs, or classes to meet new people and build your social network. Platforms like Meetup can be great for finding groups with shared interests.
Relocation to Poland - piece of paper

Relocation to Poland – conclusion

Relocation to Poland is a journey that goes beyond mere physical movement; it is a transition into a country rich with history, culture, and opportunities. Whether you’re an EU, EEA, Swiss Confederation citizen, or a third-country national, understanding the legal framework for entry and stay is crucial for a smooth relocation process. Equally important is preparing for the practical aspects of daily life, from finding accommodation and navigating the healthcare system to integrating into the local community and workforce.

The outlined steps and tips aim to guide you through the complexities of moving, helping you to not only comply with legal requirements but also to thrive in your new environment. Remember, successful integration involves embracing the local culture, learning the language, and building connections within your new community.

Poland offers a unique blend of traditional and modern lifestyles, making it an attractive destination for expatriates worldwide. With its growing economy, vibrant cities, and scenic landscapes, it provides a high quality of life and numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth.

As you embark on this exciting chapter, keep in mind that preparation, patience, and openness to new experiences are key to a rewarding relocation experience. Welcome to Poland, a country that prides itself on hospitality and diversity, ready to embrace you with open arms and endless possibilities.

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