Residence permit for EU long-term resident

This announcement does not constitute any source of law. The authors showed due diligence for it to be compliant with the binding legal regulation. However, it is necessary to remember that it concerns typical frequently occurring cases, and may not fully refer to particular cases. The number and type of documents, which may be required by administrative authorities during the proceedings, may differ from the listed on a case-by-case basis. In case of any doubts, it is necessary to contact the authority competent for hearing the individual case or to independently review the legal regulations.

Residence permit for EU long-term resident

Legal grounds – Act of 12 December2013, on Foreigners – Article 211 of the Act – along with implementing acts

To whom and for what period of time it may be granted

To a foreigner who resides within the territory of the Republic of Poland legally and uninterruptedly for at least 5 years directly before making an application for granting the permit and who meets the following conditions:

  1. the person has stable and constant source of income enough to cover living expenses for themselves and any dependent family members thereof;
  2. has health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation of insurer’s coverage of medical treatment costs within the territory of the Republic of Poland.
  3. possess confirmed knowledge of Polish language.

This permit shall be granted for an indefinite time.

Please, note important exceptions:

  1. In the case of mobile holder of the so-called the EU Blue Card:
    The required 5-year period of residence within the territory of Poland shall include the total period of a legal stay within the European Union, if the foreigner has resided legally and uninterruptedly within the territory for at least 5 years on the basis of a residence document issued by the EU member state annotated the “EU Blue Card”, of which within the territory of Poland for at least 2 years directly prior to making the application for residence permit for EU long-term resident on the basis of the temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment.
  2. In the case of foreigners, who stay for the purpose of studying or to continue their legal stay in Poland after graduating university:
    Foreigners who stay in Poland for the purpose of studying are not entitled to apply for the long-term resident’s EU residence permit. This permit is also unavailable for foreigners staying in Poland with intention of undertaking or continuing education. The 5-year period of stay conditioning obtaining the aforementioned permit shall include half of the period of stay on the basis of a visa issued for the purpose of studying or on the basis of the temporary residence permit for the purpose of taking higher education.
  3. In the case of foreigners holding the refugee status, it shall include half of the period of stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland during the pending proceedings for granting the refugee status or the whole period of stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland during the pending proceedings for granting the refugee status, if it has exceeded 18 months.

The 5-year period of stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland shall not include the stay of a foreigner:

1) being an employee delegated by the employer for the purpose of transnational provision of services or being a transnational service provider;

2) residing within the territory of Poland on the basis of a Schengen visa authorizing him/her only to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland and to stay within this territory, issued for the purpose of entrance for humanitarian purposes, due to the State interest or international obligations, or;

3) within the period of taking education by that person within  the territory of Poland;

4) who was obligated to return and the time limit for voluntary return has yet to expire, as stipulated in the related decision, also in the case of extension of this time limit;

5) who is obligated to leave the territory of Poland in the event of refusal to grant of withdrawal of a residence permit, or in the case of refusal to grant or withdrawal of international protection, or

6) being a member of diplomatic mission or consular office of a foreign state or other person equal thereto pursuant to the acts, international agreements or commonly agreed upon international customs.

7) on the basis of the temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer or the temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility of a management employee, specialist or an employee under training under the Intra-corporate transfer, or the temporary residence permit due to the circumstances requiring short-term stay;

8) during the pending proceedings for granting refugee status, if the proceedings ended with refusal to grant refugee status or subsidiary protection;

9) on the basis of  the local border traffic permit.

Uninterrupted stay requirement – justified stay interruptions

Stay of a foreigner constituting the basis for granting residence permit for EU long-term resident shall be deemed uninterrupted if any of the interruptions thereof:

  1. was not longer 6 months all interruptions have not exceeded 10 months in total in the case of stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland;
  2. was not longer than 12 months and all interruptions have not exceeded 18 months in total in the case of staying within the territory of another European Union Member State of the foreigner holding the temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment.

Period of stay required for the purpose of obtaining the permit shall not be interrupted by periods of absence within the territory of Poland caused by:

  1. the foreigner performing professional obligations or providing work outside the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of the contract concluded with an employer which is seated within the territory of the Republic of Poland, or
  2. accompanying the foreigner referred to in point 1, by a spouse or minor child thereof, or
  3. special personal situation requiring presence of the foreigner outside the territory of the Republic of Poland and lasting not longer than 6 months, or
  4. exiting the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to undergo practices or participate in classes envisaged in the course of studies of Polish university

Where and when to make the application

Foreigner shall make an application in person, not later than on the last day of legal stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland to the voivode competent for the place of residence of the foreigner.

When making the application the foreigner shall be obliged to provide fingerprints.

In the case of a foreigner being a minor, application for granting long term EU permit shall be made by parents or guardians appointed by court, or one of the parents or guardians appointed by court.

In the case of making an application for the long-term EU permit for a foreigner being a minor, who has reached the age of 6, presence thereof is required.

Fees related to granting the permit

Stamp duty PLN 640

Fee for issuing a residence card PLN 50

Minor foreigner, who until the day of making the application for the residence permit for EU long-term resident has not reached the age of 16 years old shall be entitled for PLN 25 reduction in the fee for issuance of a residence card.

Necessary documents

  1. Completed in accordance with the instructions form of  applicationfor granting residence permit for EU long-term resident
  2. Four valid photographs
  3. Xerox copy of a valid travel document (original for inspection), in a particularly justified case, when the person has no valid travel document and it is impossible to obtain it, he/she may present other identity confirming document.
  4. Legal title for the occupied residence premises, where the foreigner shall reside (contract of lending for use shall not be deemed as legal title, save for the lender being descendant, ancestor, spouse, parents of the spouse or siblings of the foreigner).

Note: Absence of any of the aforementioned documents shall result in a call upon the foreigner for supplementing thereof within the period of 7 days from service of the call under pain of leaving the application unprocessed.

Typical documents confirming circumstances indicated in the application

Note: Attaching the filled documents to the application before its submission may reduce the number of official correspondence and shorten the time of settling the case. Documents drawn up in a foreign language serving as evidence in the proceedings should be submitted along with translations thereof into Polish language, made by a legal translator.

  1. documents confirming at least 5-year legal stay in Poland (mobile holders of the so-called EU Blue Card – 5-year uninterrupted stay within the territory of the EU member states on the basis of this permit granted by another EU state, including 2 years of an uninterrupted stay in Poland prior to making the application for temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment);
  2. documents confirming that the stay with the territory of Poland was uninterrupted or documents confirming the reasons for interruptions in the stay;
  3. documents certifying a source of stable and regular income to cover living expenses for themselves and any dependent family members thereof (for a person running household alone – in the amount higher than net PLN 701 per month, for a person in a family – in the amount higher than net PLN 528 per month) for the last three years prior to making the application )in the case of mobile holders of the so-called the EU Blue Card – for 52 years prior to making the application), e.g. PIT tax return on the amount of income earned by the foreigner for the aforementioned period, employment contract, contract of mandate covering that period;
  4. document certifying holding a health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation of insurer’s coverage of medical treatment costs within the territory of the Republic of Poland.
  5. documents confirming knowledge of Polish language, which may be:

a) officially certified knowledge of Polish language, referred to in Article 11a of the act of 7 October 1999  on Polish language (Journal of Laws of 2018, pos. 931 and 1669) at least at the B1 level of language fluency.

b) diploma of graduation from school in the Republic of Poland, as defined by Article 2 (2) of the act of 14 December 2016 – Education Law (Journal of Laws 2018 pos. 996, 1000, 1290 and 1669) or university, as defined by the act of 20 July 2018 – the Act on higher education and teaching with the Polish language of instruction;

c) diploma of graduation from school or university with the Polish language of instruction abroad, corresponding to a school or university as defined respectively, by Article2 (2) of the act of 14 December 2016 – Education Law or the act of 20 July 2018 – the Act of higher education and teaching.

Note: The requirement for having knowledge of Polish language shall not apply to a foreigner minor, who by the day of making the application for granting residence permit for EU long-term resident has not reached the age of 16.

Note: In the case of a need for explaining and clarification of the evidence held by the authority in the case, during the proceedings the receiving unit may be called upon to provide additional documents or to provide testimonies confirming the conditions mentioned in the application.

Refusal to initiate the proceedings for granting residence permit for EU long-term resident

Initiation of the proceedings for granting residence permit for EU long-term resident shall be refused, if on the day of making the application for granting the permit the foreigner:

1) resides within the territory of the Republic of Poland:

a) illegally or

b) on the basis of a Schengen visa authorizing him/her only to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland and to stay within this territory, issued for the purpose of entrance for humanitarian purposes, due to the State interest or international obligations, or,

c) for the purpose of taking studies or professional training, or

d) in relation with the intention of undertaking or continuing education within the territory of the Republic of Poland, or

e) in relation with obtaining the permission for stay due to humanitarian reasons, permission for a tolerated stay, asylum or temporary protection, or

f) in relation with applying for granting refugee status or asylum, or

g) on the basis of the temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer or the temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility of a management employee, specialist or an employee under training under the Intra-corporate transfer, or the temporary residence permit due to the circumstances requiring short-term stay, or

h) on the basis of the local border traffic permit, or

2) is an employee delegated by the employer for the purpose of transnational provision of services or being a transnational service provider, or

3) was detained, placed in a guarded facility, under arrest for foreigners or is subject to a ban on leaving the territory of the Republic of Poland as a preventive measure, or

4) is under temporary arrest or is imprisoned, or

5) resides within the territory of the Republic of Poland after being obligated to return, and the deadline for voluntary return has yet to expire as determined in the related decision, as well as in the case of extending the deadline, or

6) who is obligated to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland in the event of refusal to grant of withdrawal of a residence permit, or in the case of refusal to grant or withdrawal of international protection, or

7) resides outside the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Aside from the above mentioned cases, the foreigner shall be refused initiation of the proceeding for granting the aforementioned permit, if at making the application or within the additional deadline as determined by the voivode, he/she has not submitted fingerprints for the purpose of issuance of a residence card.

Residence status after submitting the application

If the application for granting residence permit for EU long-term resident was made during legal stay of the foreigner and the application was free of any formal defects or the formal defects have been corrected within the deadline, voivode shall include the travel document of the foreigner with a stamp imprint, confirming making the application. The foreigners stay is deemed legal from the day of submitting the application until the day when the decision in the case of granting residence permit for EU long-term resident would become final.

NOTE: Including an imprint of a stamp in the foreigner’s travel document does not entitle the foreigner to travel within the territory of other Schengen States, but the foreigner may leave for the country of origin, however, in order to return to Poland it is necessary to obtain a visa if that person originates from a country subject to the visa obligation.

Case settlement period

Proceedings in the case for granting the residence permit for EU long-term resident to the foreigner should end not later than within 3 months from the day of initiation, while the appeal proceedings – within 2 months from the day of receiving the appeal.

Document issued after obtaining the permit

The foreigner who has obtained the residence permit for EU long-term resident within the territory of Poland is issued with a residence card. The document shall be received in person. In the case when the residence card was issued to a foreigner who has not reached the age of 13, the card shall be received by a statutory representative or a curator thereof.

In its validity period the residence card confirms the identity of the foreigner during that persons stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland and, together with the travel document, provides the right for multiple crossing the border without the need to obtain a visa.

The first residence card is issued ex officio by the voivode who granted the foreigner the residence permit for EU long-term resident for the period of 5 years starting from the day of issuance thereof. Prior to the expiry date it is necessary to obtain a subsequent residence card. Moreover in some cases, there occurs an obligation to exchange the current residence card.

The right for performance of work

Foreigner who holds the residence permit for EU long-term resident, shall be entitled to work within the territory of Poland without the necessity of holding work permit. The residence card issued in relation with granting the foreigner the residence permit for EU long-term resident shall be annotated with “access to labour market”.

Refusal to grant residence permit for EU long-term resident

Foreigner shall be refused to grant residence permit for EU long-term resident, if:

  1. that persons does not meet the requirements for granting the permit applied for;
  2. it shall be required due to reasons of state defence or security or protection of public order.

Withdrawal of the residence permit for EU long-term resident

The residence permit for EU long-term resident shall be withdrawn for a foreigner, if:

  1. acquiring of the residence permit for EU long-term resident occurred unlawfully;
  2. that person poses a real and sever threat to state defence or security or protection of public order;
  3. that person has left the territory of the Republic of Poland for the period exceeding 6 years;
  4. that person has left the territory of the European Union for the period of consecutive:
    • 12 months or
    • 24 months, if that person held the temporary residence permit for highly qualified employment or is a family member of a foreigner who has obtained such a permit;
  5. that persons has obtained the residence permit for EU long-term resident within the territory of another member state of the European Union;
  6. that person was deprived of refugee status or subsidiary protection, if the residence permit for EU long-term resident was granted in relation with the stay within this territory on the basis of the refugee status or subsidiary protection.

The obligation to leave Poland upon refusal, discontinuation or revocation of the residence permit for EU long-term resident

The foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 30 days following the day, when the decision on refusal to grant the residence permit for EU long-term resident, the decision on discontinuing the aforementioned case or the decision on revocation of the permit has become final, in the case of issuing the decision by the higher degree authority, following the day of servicing the decision to the foreigner, unless that person is entitled to stay within the territory of Poland on another basis.

Other important information

The permanent residence permit legally held by the foreigner shall expire on the day of obtaining thereby the residence permit for EU long-term resident.

The residence permit for EU long-term resident shall legally expire on the day of obtaining Polish citizenship.

Appeal proceedings

The party dissatisfied with the decision of the competent voivode issued on the residence permit for EU long-term resident shall be entitled to lodge an appeal to the Head of the Office for Foreigners within 14 days from receiving the decision.

The appeal shall be lodged to the Head of the Office for Foreigners via the voivode who has issued the decision. The person lodging the appeal shall be obliged to sign it with a handwritten signature.

The party dissatisfied with the decision of the competent voivode on refusal to initiate the proceedings shall be entitled to lodge a complaint within 7 days from receipt thereof. The complaint shall be lodged to the Head of the Office for Foreigners via the voivode who has issued the decision. The person lodging the complaint shall be obliged to sign it with a handwritten signature.

Note: Manners and instructions for appealing against decisions are also contained in the instructions included therein.