Who needs a Polish visa
In general, to stay in Poland you need a visa or a temporary residence permit.
However, citizens of EU members states may stay in Poland for 90 days without registration. Citizens of several third countries may also stay up to 90 days thanks to the visa-free movement.
Check whether you need a visa to come to Poland:
Table with legal basis
Polish visa requirements
Visas are issued by consulates.
Addresses and contact details of Polish consulates abroad
Visas are issued pursuant to:
- Act on Foreigners of 12 December 2013 Journal of Laws 2013 item 1650
- Minister of the Interior ordinance of 5 May 2014 on visas for foreigners and
- Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)
Types of visas
The legislator makes a distinction between national visas and Schengen visas:
|TYPE D||TYPE C|
Period of validity
- minimum validity period for a national visa is 91 days, maximum – 365 days
- the minimum validity period of a Schengen visa is 1 day, the maximum – 5 years.
|Duration of stay||
visas entitling to a stay longer than three months
visas entitling to stay up to 90 days in a 180 day period
Another important distinction apart from visa types is the purpose for which the visa was issued (relevant information in included on the visa sticker). Remember the your rights during your stay in Poland to a large extend depend on the type of your visa.
With respect to the purpose of issuing a visa, the Polish legislation makes the following distinction:
“05” – when a visa is issued to enable the foreign national to work in a period not longer than 6 months in a 12 month period, pursuant to a declaration of intent to employ registered in a poviat labour office (para. 2.5 of the ordinance, art. 60(1)(5) of the act);
“11” – when a visa is issued for the purpose of education or training in a different form than specified in art. 60(1)(9) or 60(1)(10)of the act (para. 2(11) of the ordinance, art. 60(1)(11) of the act);
“15” – when a visa is issued for a person whose purpose is to be reunited with a national of an EU member state, EFTA state, a party to the European Economic Area or Swiss Confederation or to stay with that national (para. 2(15) of the ordinance, art. 60(1)(17) of the act);
“16” – when a visa is issued for participants of a cultural or educational exchange programme, humanitarian aid programme or holiday work programme, and if the programme is regulated by an international agreement to which the Republic of Poland is a party, the visa sticker will also include the name of the programme (para. 2(16) of the ordinance, art. 60(1)(18) of the act);
Remember that if the purpose of your visa has been designated as “21”, you won’t be entitled to apply for a temporary residence card on its basis.
If the purpose of your visa has been marked with the designation “01”, “20” or “21”, you are not entitled to take up employment in Poland, even if you have a work permit or a declaration of intent to employ a foreigner.
Often, the application process can be brokered by Visa Centres. In such a case you need to take into consideration their conditions of service. More information about services provided by Visa Centres: http://www.vfsglobal.com/
You can fill in the application form online before submitting it to the consulate:
Please note! In the case of people who apply for a visa in the Republic of Belarus: https://by.e-konsulat.gov.pl/
A person preparing a visa application should take care to collect all the documents justifying the purpose of their stay, such as:
- photographs (How to take the correct picture for your visa?)
- health insurance
- a copy of the first page of your travel document
- documents that certify as to:
a) the objective and the conditions of the planned stay,
b) the reliability of the foreigner’s intention to exit the Polish territory before the expiry date of the visa,
c) other circumstances specified in the application.
In what situations can a visa be denied?
A foreigner citizen can be denied a national visa (pursuant to art. 65 of the Act on Foreigners), if at least one of the following conditions is met:
- the applicant’s data is on the list of foreigners inadmissible to stay in the Republic of Poland (art. 65.1);
- for the applicant’s data an alert has been issued in the Schengen Information System for the purpose of refusing entry (art. 65(2));
- the applicant does not have sufficient financial means for the duration of planned stay in the Republic of Poland and for the return to his or her country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which he or she is certain to be admitted, or that he or she is in a position to acquire such means lawfully (art. 65(3));
- the applicant has no medical or health insurance (art. 65(4));
- such a denial is necessary due to the national defence and security reasons, or to the protection of security and public order, or the interest of the Republic of Poland (art. 65(5));
- the applicant’s travel document does not mean one of the following criteria:
1) validity period will expire not sooner than after three months after the expiry of the visa for which they apply;
2) it contains at least two free pages;
3) it has been issued within the last 10 years (art. 65(6)).
- in the course of visa proceedings the applicant:
a) submitted an application containing false personal data or false information, or they attached documents containing such data or information, or
b) they gave false testimony or concealed the truth or counterfeited or forged a document with the intention to use it as an authentic document or they used such a document as an authentic document (art. 65(7));
- they did not justify the purpose or the conditions of the planned stay (art. 65(8));
- there is founded doubt as to the foreigner’s intention to exit the Polish territory before the expiry date of the visa (art. 65(9)).
Please note! If for the applicant’s data an alert has been issued in the Schengen Information System for the purpose of refusing entry, a national visa can be issued only if there are serious reasons that justify such issuance, especially on humanitarian grounds or stemming from international obligations, taking into consideration the interest of the state which has made the entry in the Schengen Information System.
A denial of a Schengen visa (pursuant to art. 32 regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) can take place, if at least one of the following conditions is met:
1. the applicant:
- presents a travel document which is false, counterfeit or forged (art. 32.1.a.i);
- does not present proof as to the purpose or the conditions of the planned stay (art. 32(1)(a)(ii));
- does not present proof indicating that the applicant possesses sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to his country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which he or she is certain to be admitted, or that he or she is in a position to acquire such means lawfully (art. 32(1)(a)(iii))
- has already stayed for three months during the current six-month period on the territory of the Member States on the basis of a uniform visa or a visa with limited territorial validity (art. 32(1)(a)(iv));
- is a person for whom an alert has been issued in the SIS for the purpose of refusing entry (art. 32(1)(a)(v));
- is considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security or public health or to the international relations of any of the Member States, in particular where an alert has been issued in Member States’ national databases for the purpose of refusing entry on the same grounds (art. 32(1)(a)(vi));
- where applicable, does not provide proof of holding adequate and valid travel medical insurance (art. 32(1)(a)(vii));
2. if there are reasonable doubts as to the authenticity of the supporting documents submitted by the applicant or the veracity of their contents, the reliability of the statements made by the applicant or their intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa applied for (art. 32(1)(b))
A prior refusal of a visa does not automatically imply that the new application will be refused. The new application is assessed on the basis of all the available information.