Local border traffic
Local border traffic is a form of facilitating border crossing for citizens of two countries residing in the border area. Under the local border traffic, border residents may regularly cross the common border in order to stay in the border area of another country without the need for a visa. Such cases may take place for social, cultural or family reasons, and for legitimate economic reasons (but not for a paid activity).
Inhabitants of the border area are people with documented place of permanent residence in the border area for a period of not less than 3 years, and their spouses and children (adults and minors) who are dependent on them.
At present, local border traffic agreements are in force between Poland and:
- - Ukraine - the border zone covers 30 km from the common border;
- - Kaliningrad Oblast - all residents of the Kaliningrad Oblast can use the local border traffic on the Russian side, as well as the residents of a significant part of the Pomorskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodships on the Polish side.
Talks on establishing local border traffic with Belarus are also underway.
The basis for crossing the border under the local border traffic is having a document called a permit.
The permit is issued by:
- - to Ukrainians - Polish consul in Lviv and Lutsk;
- - to Russians - Polish consul in Kaliningrad;
A person who crosses the border on the basis of a local border traffic permit may stay in the designated border zones once for up to 60 days in the case of Ukrainians and 30 days in the case of Russians, counting from the date of entry, however, the total duration of stay may not exceed 90 days every six months from the date of first entry. With the permit, people can cross the border any number of times.
In order to obtain such a permit, an application should be submitted to the consulate and the reasons for frequent border crossings under the local border traffic should be presented there. The application must be accompanied by:
- - 2 recent photos (in accordance with the requirements);
- - a valid travel document;
- - a document confirming the possession of permanent residence in the border area (e.g. an internal passport or a certificate of permanent residence issued by competent state authorities);
- - a document confirming reasons for frequent border crossing.
The fee for accepting and processing the permit application is 20 euros. Disabled people, pensioners and children up to the age of 18 in the case of Ukraine and up to 16 in the case of Russia are exempt from paying the fee.
The first permit is issued for a period of up to 2 years, but not longer than the period of validity of their travel document.