After arrival: registering your stay
All foreign citizens are obliged to register their long-stay in Poland. This obligation applies to citizens of member states of the EU as well as to all other foreign visitors. Rules for registering with the authorities are described in the ‘EU citizens' and ‘non-EU citizens' tabs.
Citizens of member states of the European Union and EFTA can enter the Republic of Poland without a visa. They do not need to register their short-term stay (shorter than three months). After three months they should register their long-term stay.
Registration of stay – long-term (for more than three months)
Citizens of member states of the EU and EFTA who reside in Poland for more than three months are obliged to register their stay with the authorities. A registration application needs to be submitted stating the reasons for an extended stay, e.g. being a student of a Polish university. The application should be submitted in person to the appropriate voivodeship office, no later than one day after three months from the date of entering the Polish territory. In Kraków, thi sprocedure is dealt with by the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office.
Detailed information (including the list of required documents, addresses, list of exemptions from this obligation) can be found in Polish on the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office website and in English on the english version of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office website.
Citizens of countries that are not member states of the European Union or EFTA enter the Polish territory on the basis of an obtained visa. After arrival they are obliged to register their short-term stay as well as long-term stay if it exceeds the visa period.
Short-term stay registration
Citizens of countries other than a member state of the EU and EFTA have four days for registering their short-term (shorter than three months) stay, counting from the moment of entering the Polish territory – unless they do not wish to spend more than 14 days in Poland. Short-stay registration should be done in a community office (in Kraków: in an appropriate vital records department of the Kraków Municipality Office (website in Polish only)).
More information can be found on the Ministry of the Interior website (in Polish only).
Long-term stay registration
Citizens of a countries other than member states of the EU and EFTA Norway who wishes to stay in Poland for a longer period than their visa allows should apply for a fixed time residence permit. Such application can be justified by admission to a Polish university. Documents should be submitted at least 45 days before the visa expiresto the voivodeship offcie (in Kraków: the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office, Office for Foreigners) Applications can be sent by regular mail. You need to pay a fee for this permit, and it is issued for a period no longer than two years.
More information can be found on the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Office in Kraków website.
After receiving a positive decision regarding the residence permit, a foreigner is also granted a residence card. A residence card allows its holder to stay on the Polish territory and to travel abroad without the need to obtain another visa. There is a fee for issuing a residence card. The card has to be collected in person and proof of registration of stay will be needed.
More information about residence card can be found on the Office for Foreigners website.