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Arriving in Poland

As Poland becomes a part of the European Union (EU), it is crucial to note the transformation of regulations regarding the arrival and residency of EU citizens and their dependents. The implementation of these new rules, which are outlined in the Act of July 27, 2002, becomes effective as of May 1, 2004. This law concerns the entry and residency terms on Polish soil for citizens from EU member states and their family members.

Apart from EU citizens and their families, this law will also be applicable to the citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. These countries, despite not being part of the EU, enjoy free movement of people, including their family members, in accordance with their agreements with the EU.

To enter Poland, EU citizens must carry a valid travel document or an equivalent document confirming their identity and nationality. For family members who aren't EU citizens, they may enter Poland with a valid travel document and, if needed, a visa.

Exceptions for EU citizens entering Poland will only occur under circumstances that may threaten public order, security, or the defense of the country. The removal of such restrictions will be effective from May 1, 2004.

Arriving in Poland

Residing in Poland for an Extended Period

For stays exceeding three months, obtaining a residence permit or temporary residence permit becomes a requirement. Exceptions apply to those who are employed, self-employed, or conducting business in Poland, provided they maintain permanent residency in another EU country and return there at least weekly.

The result of acquiring a residence permit or temporary residence permit will be the issuance of an EU citizen's residence card for EU citizens, or a residence document for non-EU family members. Each issued document will carry a fee of 30 PLN.

The process of granting, extending, or revoking residence permits and cards for EU citizens will be managed by the voivode of the voivodship where the EU citizen intends to reside. Appeals will be reviewed by the President of the Office for Repatriation and Aliens.

A residence permit will be granted to an EU citizen under the following conditions: they have the intention or are already engaged in employment, self-employment, or business activities in Poland for over 12 months, or they have health insurance and sufficient financial resources to support themselves without needing social assistance.

Residence permits have a validity of five years with the option for extension for further five-year periods. If an EU citizen loses their job for reasons beyond their control but not for more than 12 months, the permit can be extended for 12 months.

Temporary residence permits will be issued to EU citizens who have health insurance, sufficient financial resources to support themselves, and who are in Poland to study, work, self-employed, or seeking employment. The validity of these permits varies accordingly.

Residence and temporary residence permits granted to EU citizens will also cover family members, excluding relatives in the case of students.

Residence cards and documents will be replaced under the conditions of personal data changes, change in holder's appearance, document damage, or loss. The card or document must be returned immediately upon gaining Polish citizenship or revocation of the residence permit.

An EU citizen and their family members may be denied a residence permit in cases where public safety and security or state security and defense is threatened. This also applies to permit extensions, although public health cannot be a reason for refusal. In the event of denial, the departure date from Poland will be set, which will not exceed 15 or 30 days, depending on the type of denial decision.