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Visas

Citizens of non-EU countries who do not have the right to enter under the visa-free regime and who do not have any other document authorizing them to enter (e.g. a residence card) are required to have a visa. Such a visa certifies the consent of the authorities of the country for the entry and stay of a specific person on its territory.

Note! A foreigner with a valid visa may be refused entry to the territory of Poland by the Border Guard (e.g. if they have not presented sufficient documents to confirm the purpose of stay).  The visa may also be annulled or revoked at the border.

 

VISA TYPES

A foreigner can obtain a Schengen visa or a national visa.

The Schengen visa, marked with the symbol "C" - issued to foreigners who intend to stay in Poland or the Schengen countries (during one or several entries) up to 90 days within 180 days. This period is counted from the date of the first entry.

This visa is also issued to those foreigners who plan to travel within the Schengen territory for the purpose of transit (by train, car).

A national visa, marked with the symbol "D" - permitting entry and continuous stay in Poland or several consecutive stays, lasting in total longer than 3 months. The period of validity of a national visa may not exceed 1 year. The period of stay on the basis of a national visa is determined according to the purpose of stay specified by the foreigner (if the purpose specified by the foreigner indicates that they will stay in Poland for less than a year, the period of stay to which the foreigner will be entitled on the basis of the visa will be shorter).

Visas are issued for a specific purpose. The purpose of issuing the visa is marked on the visa sticker with one of the numbers below. A Schengen visa or a national visa may be issued for the following purposes:

1) "01" Tourist;

2) "02" Visiting family or friends;

3) "03" Participation in sports events;

4) "04" Conducting business activities;

5) "05a" Performing work on the basis of a declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner entered in the register;

6) '05b" Performing seasonal work for a period not exceeding 9 months in a calendar year;

7) "06" Performing work other than that specified in items 5 and 5a (on the basis of a work permit);

8) "07" Conducting cultural activities or participating in conferences;

9) "08" Performing official tasks by representatives of an authority of a foreign state or an international organization;

10) "09" Completing first-cycle studies, second-cycle studies or uniform master's studies or education at a doctoral school;

11) "10"Vocational training;

12) "11" Education or training in a form other than that specified in points 9 or 10 (e.g. for the purpose of studying at a post-secondary school);

13) "12" Didactic reasons;

14) "13" Conducting research or development works;

15) "13a" Completing an internship;

16) "13b" Participation in the European Voluntary Service program;

17) "14" Treatment;

18) "15" Joining a citizen of another European Union Member State, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - a party to the agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation or staying with them;

19) "16" Participation in a cultural or educational exchange program, humanitarian aid program or a summer work program;

20) "17" Arrival on the territory of the Republic of Poland as a member of the immediate family of a repatriate;

21) "17a" Arrival on the territory of the Republic of Poland as a member of the immediate family of a person residing in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit obtained pursuant to a Pole's Card;

22) "17b" Joining a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland referred to in Art.10 sec. 1 letter b and d of the Withdrawal Agreement, or staying with them

23) "18" Using the rights resulting from holding the Pole's Card;

24) "19" Repatriation;

25) "20" Being under temporary protection;

26) "21" A visa issued for the purpose of tourism, arrival for humanitarian reasons, due to the interest of the state or international obligations;

27) "22" Implementation of a temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification;

28) "22a" Implementation of a temporary residence permit for the purpose of working under the intra-corporate transfer;

29) "22b" Implementation of a temporary residence permit issued in connection with the provisions on the right to lead a family life

30) "23" Other than those specified above.

Note! In some of the above-mentioned cases, visas can be issued only as national or only as Schengen visas. The visa may be issued only as a domestic visa, among others in the case of exercising the rights resulting from holding a Pole's Card.

Note! On the visa sticker, next to the indication of the purpose of issuing the visa, there are also other annotations, such as:  "Student", "scientist", "intern" "volunteer" - according to the purpose of issuing the visa.

Note! A foreigner is obliged to leave Poland before the expiry of the visa-covered period and before the expiry of the visa, unless they have another valid document entitling them to stay on the territory - what is the difference between the visa validity period and the length of stay in Poland on its basis? ->

 

OBTAINING A VISA TO POLAND - PROCEDURE

 A visa is obtained prior to arrival in Poland at the appropriate consulate or embassy. The application for a visa is examined by the consular or diplomatic unit competent for the applicant's place of residence.

Note! A national visa for the purpose of work is issued by the consul competent for the country of permanent residence of the foreigner.

In order to make an appointment, as a rule, you must complete the visa application via the e-Konsulat website.

It is also possible to use the services of VFS visa centres. They are unfortunately not available in all countries. The use of the services is possible, inter alia, on the territory of:

- Ukraine:   https://visa-pl.tlscontact.com/visa/ua/uaLWO2pl/home

- Belarus: https://www.vfsglobal.com/poland/belarus/Polish/faqs.html

- Russia: https://www.vfsglobal.com/poland/russia/polish/index.html

- Turkey: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/tur/pl/pol

- India: https://www.vfsglobal.com/poland/india/

- China: https://www.vfsglobal.cn/poland/china/polish/

 Note! In both cases, it is necessary to submit a complete set of documents necessary to obtain a visa (information on this is available below). Before making an appointment, it is advisable to contact the consular office or visa centre where the application will be submitted to determine what additional documents are required in your specific situation.

 

BASIC DOCUMENTS

Set of the basic documents necessary to obtain a visa:

- a completed and signed visa application:

- a travel document; for a consul to be able to issue a visa, the travel document must contain at least two blank pages and need to be issued within the past ten years;

- 1 or 2 recent photos (in accordance with the requirements);

- visa fee (the amount depends on the type of visa and the citizenship of the applicant; the consular fee must be paid before applying for a visa; this fee is not refunded in the case of refusal of a visa);

- a proof of having appropriate, valid travel medical insurance for the amount of at least EUR 30,000 purchased from a company that meets the relevant criteria. Eligible insurers are listed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The insurance needs to cover any expenses that may arise during your stay on the territory in connection with the need for return travel for medical reasons, urgent medical care, emergency hospital treatment or death.

The obligation to take out insurance valid for the entire period of the planned stay in Poland, also for foreigners who apply for a visa in order to perform work. Until now, such people could take out insurance valid until obtaining health insurance in connection with their employment.

Note! If a foreigner has insurance issued in connection with the performance of legal work, the requirement for medical insurance (both in the case of applying for a national visa and for a Schengen visa) may be considered as fulfilled.

Additional supporting documents:

- purpose of entry (e.g. original work permit);

- having sufficient financial resources to enter, stay and leave the Schengen territory or Poland;

- having accommodation;

- readiness to leave the Schengen territory (including Poland) after the expiry of the visa;

- other circumstances specified in the application.

Note! The type and number of supporting documents may vary depending on the consular post; therefore, it is recommended to contact the competent consular post directly in order to obtain full information on the supporting documents necessary to submit the visa application.

Note! The consul has the right to request additional documents in order to issue a visa.

The decision to issue or refuse a national visa should be made within 15 days from the date of submitting the application. In special cases, the time limit may be extended to 60 days.

 

VISAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF WORK

If a foreigner applies for a visa for the purpose of work, they must provide the original of:

- a work permit in Poland or

- a declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner entered in the register or

- a certificate of entering the application in the register of applications for seasonal work and

- an employment contract (if any) and also

- a printout from ZUS (e.g. ZUS RCA) to confirm that they are insured (if they ghave already been reported by the employer);

- documents confirming the employer's data (e.g. a printout from the National Court Register or CEIDG).

If a foreigner is exempt from the need for having a work permit, instead of a permit or declaration on entrusting work, they should present documents confirming that they have free access to the labour market in Poland (e.g. a full-time university diploma).

Visas obtained in order to perform work are issued for the period of stay, which corresponds to the period specified in the permit or declaration, but not longer than that provided for by the given type of visa.

 

VISA FACILITIES FOR BELARUSIAN CITIZENS

Poland. Business Harbour program

The program makes it possible for IT specialists, start-ups and other companies to relocate to the territory of the Republic of Poland trouble-free. Thanks to the program they can learn, among others, quickly and efficiently start a business in Poland and get help in obtaining a visa. Visa holders with the Poland.Business Harbour annotation may work in Poland without a permit.

Documents required to obtain a Poland.Business Harbour visa

  1. an application for a national visa - completed and signed,
  2. a recent biometric photo,
  3. a passport - issued within the past 10 years, valid for at least three months from the date of the planned return, with at least two blank pages for visas,
  4. a medical insurance for the period of validity of the visa (minimum insurance amount: EUR 30 thousand),
  5. documentation confirming the purpose of the travel:

- if they are a freelancer - a document confirming technical education or at least one year of experience in the IT industry,

- if they are setting up a startup - a document confirming being qualified to the program by the Startup Hub Poland Foundation,

- if you run a small / medium / large enterprise - a document confirming being qualified to the program by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.

More information about the program can be found here: https://www.gov.pl/web/poland-businessharbour

 

Humanitarian visas

When applying for a visa, please provide:

  1. a completed and signed application for a national visa with a photo,
  2. a valid passport, issued within the past 10 years and having two blank pages, and its validity period expires no earlier than 3 months after the expiry of the visa,
  3. medical insurance valid for the period for which you would like to obtain a visa,
  4. a written declaration regarding the willingness to obtain a visa to Poland.

A humanitarian visa is issued for a maximum period of 1 year. The visa is issued free of charge.

 From December 1, 2020, people with a humanitarian visa can legally work in Poland without the need for a work permit.

 

REFUSAL OF A VISA

The consul may refuse to issue a visa to a foreigner, inter alia, if:

- a foreigner does not have a valid travel document or other documents entitling to cross the border of the Schengen area;

- a foreigner is unable to present the purpose and conditions of the planned stay;

- there is a fear that the entry and stay of a foreigner could pose a threat to the defence, security, state order or would infringe the interests of Poland;

- the foreigner testified untruthfully in the visa application procedure, withheld relevant information or did not justify the purpose or conditions of the planned stay;

- the foreigner does not have adequate health insurance;

- the foreigner does not have sufficient means of subsistence for the period of stay in Poland and for the return to the country of origin or residence or for a journey to a country other than the country of origin or residence.

Note! Anyone who has been refused a visa (or has their visa cancelled / revoked) must be provided with a refusal form stating the reasons for it. A decision issued by a consul may be requested for a reconsideration of the case by the same authority, i.e. the consul (however, it is not possible to appeal to a higher instance). The application is submitted within 7 days from the date of delivery of the decision to refuse (cancel / revoke) a national or Schengen visa to the authority that issued the decision.

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