UK nationals coming to Poland from 1 January 2021

End of free movement of persons

UK nationals not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement coming to Poland from 1 January 2021 will be covered by general rules concerning entry and stay of third country nationals. These rules are regulated by the Act of 12 December 2013 on Foreigners (OJ of 2020 item 35 as amended) as well as by the Schengen regulations. No additional transitional measures for UK nationals are planned.

Outbreak of coronavirus – information on rules of entry and stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland you can find HERE.

Generally the following stays of third country nationals on Polish territory are possible:

  • Short-term stays up to 90 days in each 180-day period in the whole territory of the Schengen countries, including Poland:

– in the framework of the visa-free regime (British citizens will be exempt from the visa requirement under the EU regulation),

– on the basis of a Schengen visa (C) issued by the Polish authorities or another country of the Schengen area (except for visas limited territorially to another country of this area) or

– on the basis of a long-term visa (D) issued for a period of stay exceeding 90 days or on the basis of a residence permit – both issued by another country of the Schengen area.

Foreigners may enter Poland and stay on a basis of the above listed short-term stays titles (including visa-free regime) also for business purposes (or work purposes – then work permit may be required). Tourist visas exclude work. Business activity should be conducted in accordance with the applicable laws.

In accordance with a general rule in the event of a planned stay in the territory of Poland for more than 90 days, foreigners should, as a rule, enter this territory on the basis of a long-term (D) visa issued by Polish authorities, unless they have already been issued with a residence permit issued by Polish authorities together with a residence card.

Conditions of entry for short-term stays up to 90 days in each 180-day period in the territory of the Schengen countries, including Poland are specified in Art. 6 (1) of the Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) (codification) (OJ L 77, 23.3.2016, p. 1–52, as amended):

Article 6

Entry conditions for third-country nationals

  1. For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay, the entry conditions for third-country nationals shall be the following:

(a) they are in possession of a valid travel document entitling the holder to cross the border satisfying the following criteria:

(i) its validity shall extend at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States. In a justified case of emergency, this obligation may be waived;

(ii) it shall have been issued within the previous 10 years;

(b) they are in possession of a valid visa, if required pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 (replaced by Regulation (EU) 2018/1806), except where they hold a valid residence permit or a valid long-stay visa;

(c) they justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, and they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third country into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully;

(d) they are not persons for whom an alert has been issued in the SIS for the purposes of refusing entry;

(e) they are not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Member States, in particular where no alert has been issued in Member States’ national data bases for the purposes of refusing entry on the same grounds.

It is also necessary that third country foreigners have sufficient means of subsistence when crossing the border / border check in the direction of entry, both for the duration of the planned stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third country into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully.

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland must possess means of subsistence amounting to at least:

– minimum PLN 300, if the period of the planned stay does not exceed 4 days,

– PLN 75 for each day of the planned stay, if the period of the planned stay exceeds 4 days

– or its equivalent in foreign currencies.

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland who:

1) is a participant in a tourist event, a youth camp or sports event,

2) has had the cost of the stay in the Republic of Poland paid,

3) comes to a treatment and sanatorium facility,

4) is a participant in the program enabling to perform holiday work on the territory of the Republic of Poland, which is not the main purpose of their stay, governed by an international agreement to which the Republic of Poland is a party

– must possess an amount of at least PLN 20 for each day of the planned stay, no less than PLN 100, or the equivalent of this amount in foreign currency.

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to take up or continue their studies, participate in scientific research or training, carry out development works as well as to take or continue education must possess an amount of at least PLN 1.270 for the first two months of their planned stay or the equivalent of this amount in foreign currency. A document confirming granting a scholarship to a foreigner may serve as evidence of possessing of the financial resources. A certificate of admission to studies or continuation of studies, participation in scientific research, training, conducting development works and on undertaking or continuing education are the documents that can confirm the purpose and duration of the planned stay by a foreigner.

In addition, it is necessary to have additional funds for return to the country in the amount equal to the ticket on the basis of which the foreigner arrived on the territory of the Republic of Poland, but not less than PLN 2,500, if he/she came from a country that is not a Member of the European Union and is not neighboring the Republic of Poland; PLN 500, if they came from a Member State of the European Union other than neighbouring the Republic of Poland, PLN 200, if they came from a country neighbouring the Republic of Poland, (unless during border clearance, the foreigner will present a return ticket entitling him/her to travel to the country of origin or residence).

The following documents may confirm the possibility of obtaining by a foreigner the above mentioned financial means:

1) traveler’s check;

2) certificate of the limit on the credit card issued by the bank or credit institution that issued the credit card;

3) a certificate of having means of payment in a bank or a cooperative savings and credit union or a credit institution having its registered office in the territory of the Republic of Poland or in another Member State of the European Union.

The certificates referred to in point 2 and 3, must be issued not earlier than one month before the date of crossing the border.

  • Long-term stays for periods of more than 90 days:

– on the basis of a national visa (D) issued by Polish authorities abroad (valid for up to 1 year). Such a visa entitles to short-term visa-free travel to other countries of the Schengen area,

In accordance with a general rule in the event of a planned stay in the territory of Poland for more than 90 days, foreigners should, as a rule, enter this territory on the basis of a long-term (D) visa issued by Polish authorities, unless they have already been issued with a residence permit issued by Polish authorities together with a residence card.

– on the basis of a temporary residence permit (valid for up to 3 years), a permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit, issued on the territory of Poland by a voivode. The residence card confirms the residence permit issued and entitles, together with the travel document (passport), to multiple border crossings without a visa and to short-term visa-free travel to other countries of the Schengen area.

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland is obliged to:

1) possess a valid travel document;

2) justify the purpose and conditions of the planned stay;

3) possess and present on request:

a) a document confirming health insurance within the meaning of the provisions of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1373, as amended) or travel medical insurance with a minimum amount of insurance in the amount of EUR 30,000, valid for the period of the planned stay of the foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland, covering all expenses that may arise during the stay in this territory in connection with the need to return travel for medical reasons, the need for urgent medical assistance, emergency hospital treatment or with death, in which the insurer undertakes to cover the costs of health services provided to the insured directly for the benefit of the entity providing such benefits, on the basis of an invoice issued by that entity – in the case of entry on the basis of a national D visa (travel medical insurance should comply also with additional specified requirements – see the information of the Minister of Foreign Affairs about insurers and the insurance they offer, meeting the required conditions: gov.pl/web/dyplomacja/wizy),

(b) sufficient funds to cover the costs of the intended stay and return travel to the country of origin or residence, or the costs of transit to the third country granting entry, or a document proving that such means are lawfully obtained.

The obligation to present funds or documents confirming the possibility of obtaining such funds in accordance with the law does not apply to foreigners crossing the border on a basis of visa issued for the purpose of work or residence card – issued by Polish authority.

National visas (D) may be issued, inter alia, for the purpose of visiting family or friends, pursue studies, in order to perform work (visa may be issued after work permit is issued unless not required) or to conduct business activity in the territory of Poland, as well as for purposes other than those specified in the Act on Foreigners.

In accordance with Art. 77 (1)-(7) of the Act on Foreigners:

A foreigner applying for a national visa personally submits:

1) a completed application form for this visa;

2) a current photograph;

3) supporting documents confirming:

a) purpose and conditions of the planned stay,

b) having sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of living for the entire period of the planned stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland and for a return trip to the country of origin or residence or for transit to a third country which will grant permission to enter, or the possibility of obtaining such funds in accordance with the law,

c) having health insurance within the meaning of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care benefits financed from public funds or travel medical insurance referred to in art. 25 sec. 1 point 2 lit. (specifed above at the entry conditions) and,

d) credibility of the foreigner’s declaration of intention to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland before the expiry of the visa,

e) other circumstances specified in the application.

In the case of applying for a visa in order to perform work, the information on the work permit possessed or certificate of entry of the application into the register of seasonal work applications or the information on exemption from the obligation to have a work permit should be provided in the application. The work permit or certificate on seasonal work should be attached to the application.

A foreigner applying for a national visa presents for inspection a travel document which meets the following criteria:

1) its validity period will expire no earlier than 3 months after the expiry of the visa for which the visa is applying;

2) it contains at least two blank pages;

3) has been issued within the last 10 years.

In urgent cases justified by the legitimate interest of the foreigner, the criterion referred to in point 1 may be omitted.

In special cases justified by the personal situation of the foreigner, the consul may waive the requirement to submit the application in person.

As a rule, to obtain Polish D visa British citizens will have to book an appointment via e-consulate either in Polish Consulate in London (other consulates in UK do not issue visas)  or any other consulate in the world, provided that they are allowed to lodge the application in this consulate (it depends on residence status). To lodge the application the applicant must appear in person. An adequate fee will be charged (currently 80 euros).The decision will be granted within 15 days.

UK citizens will be able to enter Poland immediately after the end of transition period for short-term stays or apply for a national D visa and enter Poland after the visa is issued.

A temporary residence permit may be granted when the circumstances which constitute the basis for applying for this permit justify the foreigner’s stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months. Application is submitted personally to the respective Voivodship Office in Poland after the visit is arranged also through on-line callendar. 

Detailed information on temporary residence permits for different kinds of purposes can be found HERE.