The long-term resident’s EU residence permit

This information does not constitute source of law. Authors were duly diligent to make this information consistent with applicable legal regulations. It is good to remember that it concerns typical and frequent cases and may not fully refer to different matters. The number and the type of documents which may be necessary for administrative bodies throughout the procedure may vary depending on the specific case. In the case of any doubts contact competent authority for examination the individual case and become familiar with legal regulations on their own.

The long-term resident’s EU residence permit

Legal basis – Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners – Article 211 of Act – along with executive acts

The long-term resident’s EU residence permit

The foreigner who has been staying legally and continuously on the territory of the Republic of Poland staying for at least 5 years directly prior to submission of the application for granting this permits and meets the following conditions:

  1. has a source of stable and regular income adequate to cover the means of subsistence for them and their family members who are subsisted by them;
  2. has health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from the public funds or a certificate confirming that the costs of medical treatment on the territory of the Republic of Poland shall be covered by an insurer;
  3. Has a proven knowledge of Polish.

The permit is granted for indefinite time.

Note for important exceptions:

  1. In the case of mobile holders of the so-called EU Blue Card: The required 5-year period of residence on the territory of Poland, shall include the total period of legal residence on the territory of the European Union, if the foreigner was staying legally and continuously at this territory for at least 5 years on the basis of the residence document with an annotation ” EU Blue Card ” issued by a Member State of the European Union, including Poland – for at least 2 years directly prior to submission of the application for granting the permit for stay of a long-term resident of EU on the basis of a permit for temporary residence for the purpose of work in profession requiring high qualifications.
  2. In the case of foreigners who stay for the purpose of studies or continue their legal residence in Poland after completing these studies: foreigners who stay in Poland for the purpose of studies not may apply for a residence permit for EU long-term resident. Foreigners residing in Poland due to their intention to take up or continue education also cannot apply for this permit. The 5-year period of residence, determining obtaining of the aforementioned permit shall include half of the period of stay on the basis of a visa issued for the purpose of study programs or on the basis of a residence permit for the purpose of receiving higher education.
  3. In the case of foreigners who have been granted refugee status, credited is either the half of the period of stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland during the proceedings on granting the refugee status or the whole period of stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland during the proceedings on granting the refugee status, if it has exceeded 18 months.The stay of the foreigner is not included in the 5-year period of stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland for foreigner:

    1) Who is an employee posted by the service provider for the cross-border provision of services or himself is a provider of cross-border services;

    2) Who stays in the territory of Poland on the basis of a Schengen visa authorizing only to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland and stay in this territory issued for humanitarian purposes for reasons of national interest or international obligations or;

    3) During his/her education in Poland;

    4) Who has been obliged to return, and the deadline for voluntary return specified in the decision in this case has not yet expired, also in the event of extension of this deadline;

    5) Who is obliged to leave the territory of Poland in the event of refusal or withdrawal of a residence permit or in the event of refusal to grant or withdrawal international protection or

    6) Who is a member of a diplomatic mission or consular office of a foreign country or another person equated with them on the basis of statutes, international agreements or universally established international customs;

    7) On the basis of a temporary residence permit for intra-corporate transfer or temporary residence permit in order to benefit from long-term mobility or a temporary residence permit due to circumstances requiring short-term residence;

    8) In the course of proceedings on granting him/her a refugee status if the proceedings ended with refusal to grant refugee status or subsidiary protection;

    9) On the basis of permit for crossing the border within small border traffic.

Requirement of uninterrupted stay – justified interruptions in the stay

Stay of the foreigner constituting the basis for granting them a residence permit for EU long-term resident is deemed uninterrupted, if none of the interruptions in it:

  1. was longer than 6 months, all the interruptions did not exceed jointly 10 months in the case of a stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland;
  2. was longer than 12 months and all the interruptions did not exceed jointly 18 months in the case of a stay on the territory of a member state of the European Union of a foreigner with a temporary residence permit for the purpose of work in profession requiring high qualifications.

The period of stay required to obtain this permit is not interrupt by periods of absence on the territory of Poland, caused by:

  1. the performance of professional duties or work outside Poland pursuant to an agreement concluded with an employer who has its seat in Poland, or
  2. accompanying the foreigner specified in point (1) above by a spouse or child under the age of 18, or
  3. extraordinary personal circumstances requiring the presence of the foreigner outside Poland, if the absence from Poland lasted longer than 6 months, or
  4. leaving Poland in order to participate in training or classes foreseen in the curriculum of a Polish academic institution.

Where and when submit the application

The foreigner makes the application personally, no later than on the last day of the lawful residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland to the voivode competent with regard to the foreigner’s place of residence.

During making the application the foreigner is under obligation to give his/her fingerprints.

In the case of a foreigner being an underage person the application for their residence permit for EU long-term resident shall be submitted by the parents or guardians appointed by the court or one of the parents or one of the guardians appointed by the court.

When submitting an application for a residence permit for EU long-term resident of the foreigner being an underage person who turned 6, their presence is required.

Fees related to residence permit:

Stamp duty PLN 640
Fee for residence card PLN 50

A minor foreigner who by the date of submitting an application for a residence of EU long-term resident permit remains under the age of 16 is entitled to a discount for the issue of a residence card in the amount of PLN 25.

Necessary documents:

  1. The application form for a residence permit for EU long-term resident completed in accordance with the provided information;
  2. Four up-to-date photographs;
  3. Photocopy of a valid travel document (original available for inspection), in a particularly justified case when the foreigner does not have a valid travel document and it is not possible for them to obtain it, they may present another document confirming their identity;
  4. Legal title to their housing premises in which the foreigner will be staying (a lease agreement for a flat is not regarded a legal title, unless the lessor is the foreigner’s descendant, ascendant or spouse, the spouse’s parents or the foreigner’s siblings).

Note: Lack of any of the aforementioned documents will result in margin call within 7 days from its delivery, under pain of leaving the application without examination.

Typical documents proving the circumstances indicated in the application:

Note: Documents listed below attached to the application may reduce the quantity of official correspondence and shorten the time which is necessary to handle the case. Documents in a foreign language serving as evidence must be submitted together with their translation into Polish made by a sworn translator.

  1. Documents proving at least 5-year legal residence in Poland (mobile holders of the so-called EU Blue Card – 5-year uninterrupted residence on the territory of the EU member states on the basis of a permit granted to them by another EU state, including 2 years of uninterrupted stay in Poland of prior to submission of the application on the basis of a permit for temporary residence for the purpose of work in profession requiring high qualifications);
  2. Documents confirming that residence on the territory of Poland was uninterrupted or documents proving causes of interruptions in the stay;
  3. Documents certifying a stable and regular source of income adequate to cover the means of subsistence for them and their family members dependent on them (for a person running household alone – in the amount higher than 634 PLN net monthly, for people in the family – in the amount higher than 514 PLN net monthly) over the last 3 years prior to submission of the application (in the case of mobile holders of the so-called EU Blue Card – for 2 years prior to submission of the application) e.g. PIT tax declarations concerning the foreigner’s amount of income for the aforementioned period, an employment contract, contract of mandate, concerning this period;
  4. A document confirming health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from the public funds or a certificate confirming that the costs of medical treatment on the territory of the Republic of Poland shall be covered by an insurer;
  5. Documents confirming the knowledge of the Polish language may include:
    • Officially certified knowledge of the Polish language referred to in Art. 11a of the Act of October 7, 1999 on the Polish language (Journal of Laws of 2011, item 224, and 455 of 2015, item 1132, and item 60 of 2017) at the level of language proficiency of at least B1;
    • Certification of school graduation in the Republic of Poland within the meaning of Art. 2, item 2 of the Act of December 14, 2016 – Educational Law (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 59, and 949) or a higher education institution within the meaning of Art. 2, para. 1, item 1 of the Act of July 27, 2005 – Law on Higher Education (Journal of Laws of 2016, item 1842 as amended) with Polish language of instruction;
    • Graduation certificate of a school or higher education institution with a Polish language of instruction, corresponding to a school or higher education institution within the meaning of Art. 2, item 2 of the Act of December 14, 2016 – Educational Law or Art. 2, para. 1, item 1 of the Act of July 27, 2005 – Law on Higher Education accordingly.

Note: The requirement of knowledge of the Polish language does not apply to a minor foreigner who by the date of submitting the application for residence permit of EU long-term resident is under the age of 16

Note: In the case of explanations or particularization of evidences during the administrative proceedings the foreigner may be called to deliver other documents or to submit testimonies which confirm circumstances referred to in the application.

Refusal to initiate proceedings in the matter of granting residence permit to long-term resident EC

Initiation of proceedings regarding the granting of residence permit to long-term resident EC is refused when the foreigner on the day of submitting the application for this permit:

1) Stays in the territory of the Republic of Poland:

  1. a) Illegally or
  2. b) On the basis of a Schengen visa authorizing only to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland and stay in this territory issued for humanitarian purposes for reasons due to the state’s interest or international obligations or,
  3. c) For the purposes of undertaking study or vocational training or
  4. d) In connection with the intention of undertaking or continuing education in the territory of the Republic of Poland or
  5. e) In relation to obtaining a residence permit for humanitarian reasons, consent for tolerated stay, asylum or temporary protection or
  6. f) In connection with applying for refugee status or asylum or
  7. g) On the basis of a temporary residence permit for intra-corporate transfer or a temporary residence permit for benefitting from long-term mobility or a temporary residence permit due to circumstances requiring a short stay or
  8. h) On the basis of permit for crossing the border within small border traffic or

2) Is an employee posted by the service provider for the cross-border provision of services or himself is a provider of cross-border services

3) Is detained, placed in a guarded centre, or in custody for foreigners, or is subject to a preventive measure in the form of a ban on leaving the country or

4) Serves prison term or is temporarily arrested or

5) Stays in the territory of the Republic of Poland after he/she has been obliged to return, and the deadline for voluntary return specified in the decision in this case has not yet expired, also in the event of extension of this deadline or

6) Is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland in the event of refusal or withdrawal of a residence permit or in the event of refusal to grant or withdrawal of international protection or

7) Stays outside the borders of the Republic of Poland.

In addition to the cases described above the foreigner is refused to initiate the abovementioned proceedings when at the time of submitting the application or in an additional deadline set by the voivode he/she did not submit fingerprints in order to issue a residence card.

Residential status following the application

If the application for a residence permit for EU long-term resident was submitted during a lawful stay of the foreigner and the application did not contain formal shortcomings or the formal shortcomings have been corrected within the time limit, the Voivode shall put a stamp print in the foreigner’s travel document confirming submission of the application. Stay of the foreigner shall be deemed legal from the date of submitting the application until the date when the decision on granting residence permit for EU long-term resident becomes final.

Note: Stamp in the travel document does not entitle the foreigner to travel through territories of other countries of Schengen area, while the foreigner may travel to the country of origin, however, in order to return to Poland he/she must obtain a visa, if he/she comes from the country which is subject to the visa obligation.

Time to handle the case

Proceedings on granting residence permit to a long-term resident EU should end no later than within 3 months from the date of its initiation, and appeal proceedings – within 2 months from the date of receipt of the appeal.

The document issued after granting this permit

The foreigner who obtained residence permit for EU long-term resident on the territory of Poland is issued a residence card. This document shall be received in person. In the case when the residence card was issued to the foreigner who did not turn 13, the card shall be received by their statutory representative or probation officer.

The residence card in the period of its validity confirms the foreigner’s identity during their stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland, and authorizes them, along with a travel document, to cross the border multiple times without the need to obtain visa.

The first residence card is issued ex officio by the Voivode, who granted the foreigner a residence permit for EU long-term resident for the period of 5 years from the date of its issuance. Before the end of its validity another residence card should be obtained. In addition, in some cases the obligation to replace the existing residence card may arise.

Entitlement to work

A foreigner with a residence permit for EU long-term resident is authorized to perform work on the territory of Poland without the need to have a work permit. The residence card, issued in connection with granting a residence permit for EU long-term resident to a foreigner, will bear a note “access to the labour market”.

Refusal to grant residence permit to a long-term resident EU

A foreigner is refused a residence permit for long-term resident EU when:

  1. He/she does not meet the requirements to grant the requested permit;
  2. It is required for reasons of national defence or security or for the protection of public safety and order.

Withdrawal of residence permit for a long-term resident EU

Long-term resident EU residence permit for the foreigner is withdrawn, if:

  1. Acquisition of a long-term resident EU residence permit was carried out in unlawful manner;
  2. It constitutes a real, and serious threat to the defence or security of the state or to public safety and order;
  3. He/she left the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding 6 years;
  4. He/she left the territory of the European Union for consecutive period of:
    1. 12 months or
    2. 24 months if he/she had a temporary residence permit for the purpose of work in a profession requiring high qualifications or is a member of the foreigner’s family who had such permit;
  5. Obtained long-term resident EU residence permit in the territory of another EU Member State;

He/she was deprived of refugee or subsidiary protection status if the long-term resident EU residence permit was granted in connection with the stay in that territory on the basis of refugee or subsidiary protection status.

The obligation of leaving Poland after the refusal or withdrawal of the long-term resident’s EU residence permit

The foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 30 days from the date when the decision on the refusal to grant the permit for stay of a long-term resident of the EU or the decision on the withdrawal of the permit became final, and in the case of issuing the decision by a superior body, from the date when the final decision was delivered to the foreigner, unless they are authorized to stay on the territory of Poland on a different basis.

Other important information

Permanent residence permit expires by virtue of the law as of the date of obtaining by the foreigner of a residence permit for a long-term resident EU.

The long-term resident EU residence permit expires by virtue of the law on the day of acquiring Polish citizenship.

Appeal proceedings

The party dissatisfied with the decision of the competent voivode issued on the long-term resident EU residence permit has the right to lodge within 14 days from the date of delivery of the decision the appeal to the Head of the Office for Foreigners

The appeal is lodged with the Head of the Office for Foreigners via the voivode who issued the decision. The person submitting the appeal is obliged to submit a signature under it.

A party dissatisfied with the decision of the competent voivode on refusal to initiate proceedings has the right to submit a complaint within 7 days of its delivery. The complaint is submitted to the Head of the Office for Foreigners via the voivode who issued the decision. The person submitting the complaint is obliged to submit a signature under it

Note: The methods and instructions for appealing against issued decisions or resolutions are also included in the instructions contained therein.