Basic information

Permanent residence permit – basic information

This information does not constitute a source of law. The authors have made due diligence to ensure that it complies with applicable legal regulations. However it should be remembered that it applies to typical, frequently occurring cases, and may not fully refer to individual cases. The number and type of documents that may be requested by administrative bodies during the proceedings may differ from those specified depending on the specific case. In case of any doubts please contact the competent authority to examine an individual case or familiarise yourself with the law.

Permanent residence permit

Legal basis – Act of December 12, 2013 on foreigners – Art. 195, Art. 210 of the Act – together with implementing acts.

To whom and for what period it can be granted

Permanent residence permit is granted in cases specified in Art. 195 of the Act on foreigners discussed in detail in individual tabs on this website.

Permanent residence permit is granted for an indefinite period.

Where and when to submit an application

The foreigner submits the application in person, no later than on the last day of legal residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland voivode competent for the place of residence of the foreigner.

When submitting the application the foreigner is required to submit fingerprints.

In the case of foreigner who is a minor the application for granting him/her a permanent residence permit is submitted by parents or by guardians appointed by the court or by one of the parents or one of the guardians appointed by the court.

When applying for a permanent residence permit for a foreigner who is a minor, who by the time of submission of an application turned 6, his/her presence is required.

Fees related to granting the permit:

Stamp duty is PLN 640.

Fee for issuing a residence card PLN 50.

A minor foreigner who by the date of submitting an application for a temporary residence permit is under the age of 16 is entitled to a reduction in the fee for issuing a residence card in the amount of PLN 25.

Necessary documents:

  1. Application form for granting a permanent residence permit completed as instructed;
  2. Four current photos;
  3. A photocopy of a valid travel document (original for inspection), in particularly justified cases, when a foreigner does not have a valid travel document and is not able to obtain, he/she may provide another document confirming his / her identity.

Note: Lack of any of the above documents will result in the foreigner being requested to complete it within a period of not less than 7 days from the delivery of the call otherwise the application will be left without examination.

Typical documents confirming the circumstances indicated in the application:

Note: Attaching the following documents to the application when submitting it may reduce the amount of official correspondence and shorten the time of handling the case. Documents prepared in a foreign language used as evidence in the proceedings should be submitted together with their translation into Polish made by a sworn translator.

  1. Documents confirming the fulfilment of the conditions for granting a temporary residence permit are discussed in detail in the individual tabs on the website.

Note: Should there be a need to clarify or specify the evidence held by the authority in the case during the proceedings the foreigner may be called in to provide additional documents or to testify confirming the circumstances referred to in the application.

Refusal to initiate proceedings on granting a permanent residence permit

Initiation of proceedings on granting a permanent residence permit to the foreigner is refused when on the day of submitting the application for such permit the foreigner:

  1. Residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland:
  2. Illegally or
  3. On the basis of a Schengen visa authorizing only to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland, and stay in this territory that was issued for the purpose of entry for humanitarian reasons, due to the state’s interest or international obligations or
  4. On the basis of a temporary residence permit due to circumstances requiring a short stay or
  5. On the basis of a EU long – term resident residence permit or
  6. Is detained, placed in a guarded centre, or in detention for foreigners, or a preventive measure is applied to him/her in the form of prohibition to leave the country or
  7. Is serving prison term or is temporarily detained or
  8. Stays in the territory of the Republic of Poland after he/she has been obliged to return, and the period for voluntary return specified in the decision obliging the foreigner to return has not yet expired, also in the case of extension of this deadline or
  9. Is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland in the event of refusal to grant or withdrawal of residence permit or in the event of refusal to grant or withdrawal of international protection or
  10. Stays outside the borders of the Republic of Poland.

In addition to the abovementioned cases the foreigner is refused to initiate proceedings in the matter of granting a permanent residence permit when at the time of submitting an application or in an additional time allowed by the voivode he/she has not submitted fingerprints in order to grant such permit.

Note: Items 1-5 do not apply to a foreigner who has been granted an asylum in the Republic of Poland.

Item1 l. a does not apply to a minor child of a foreigner born in the territory of the Republic of Poland who has been granted a permanent residence permit, or a EU long-term resident residence permit, and to a child of a Polish citizen who remains under the parental authority of that citizen.

Item 1 l. c does not apply to foreigners of Polish origin who intend to settle permanently in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Residence status after submission of application

If the application for temporary residence permit was submitted during the legal residence of the foreigner and the application did not contain formal defects or formal defects were supplemented within the time limit, the voivode shall put in the foreigner’s travel document a stamp imprint that confirms the submission of the application. The foreigner’s stay is considered legal from the day of submitting the application to the day on which the decision on granting a temporary residence permit becomes final.

NOTE: Placing a stamp in a travel document does not entitle a foreigner to travel within the territory of other Schengen countries, however foreigner may travel to the country of origin, but in order to return to Poland he / she should obtain a visa if he / she comes from a country covered with a visa requirement.

Time needed to settle the matter

The proceedings on granting a permanent residence permit should end not later than within 3 months from the date of its initiation, and the appeal procedure – within 2 months from the date of receipt of the appeal.

Document issued after obtaining the permit

A foreigner who has obtained a permanent residence permit in the territory of Poland is issued with a residence card. This document is collected personally. If the residence card has been issued to a foreigner who until the day of its receipt is under the age of 13 the card is collected by his legal representative or curator.

During the period of its validity, the residence card confirms the identity of the foreigner during his stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland, and entitles him/her together with the travel document to repeatedly cross the border without the need to obtain a visa.

The first residence card is issued ex officio by the voivode who granted a permanent residence permit for a period of 10 years from the date of its issuance. A new residence card must be obtained before the expiration date. In addition, in some cases an obligation to replace residence card arises.

The right to work

A foreigner who has a permanent residence permit is entitled to work in the territory of Poland without the need to hold a work permit. In the residence card issued in connection with granting a permanent residence permit there is an annotation “access to the labour market”.

Refusal to grant a permanent residence permit

A foreigner is refused a permanent residence permit if:

1) He/she does not meet the requirements for granting permanent residence permit or

2) His/her data entered into the list of foreigners whose stay is undesirable in the territory of the Republic of Poland is valid or

3) His/her data can be found in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry or

4) It is required for reasons of national defines or security or for the protection of public safety and order, or

5) This is required by the interest of the Republic of Poland or

6) The basis for applying for a permit is his/her marriage with a Polish citizen, and the marriage was concluded or exists to circumvent the rules and conditions governing the entry of foreigners into the territory of the Republic of Poland, their passage through that territory, stay on that territory, and leaving it or

7) In the proceedings for granting him/her a permanent residence permit:

  1. a) He/she has submitted an application containing false personal data or false information or has attached documents containing such data or information or
  2. b) He/she testified untruthfully or concealed the truth or forged or altered the document in order to use it as authentic or used such document as authentic or
  3. He/she is in arrears with the payment of taxes except when he/she has obtained legally required exemption, postponement, payment in instalments of overdue payments or suspension in full of the implementation of the decision of the competent authority or
  4. He/she did not refund the costs related to the issuance and implementation of the decision on the foreigner’s obligation to return which were covered by the state budget.

Note: If the foreigner’s data is in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry (item 3), a temporary residence permit may be granted taking into account the interest of the state that entered the data into Schengen Information System, if there were serious reasons justifying the granting of the permit in particular humanitarian reasons or resulting from international obligations.

Granting a permanent residence permit to a foreigner of Polish descent who intends to settle permanently in the territory of the Republic of Poland is refused in the cases referred to in tem 1, 4 or 7.

Withdrawal of a permanent residence permit

A temporary residence permit for a foreigner shall be withdrawn if:

 1) This is required for reasons of national defines or security or for the protection of public safety and order, or

2) This is required by the interest of the Republic of Poland or

3) In the proceedings for granting him/her such permit:

  1. He/she has submitted an application containing false personal data or false information or has attached documents containing such data or information or
  2. He/she testified untruthfully or concealed the truth or forged or altered the document in order to use it as authentic or used such document as authentic or

4) He/she was sentenced by final and binding sentence in the Republic of Poland for an intentional crime for least 3 years imprisonment or

5) He/she left the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding 6 years.

Permanent residence permit which was based on the fact of remaining married to a Polish citizen can be withdrawn if the foreigner divorced within 2 years from the date on which he/she was granted a permanent residence permit.

Note: A permanent residence permit granted to a foreigner of Polish descent intending to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland is permanently withdrawn in the cases referred to in item 1, 3 or 5;

Permanent residence permit granted to a foreigner who holds asylum is withdrawn if he/she is deprived of asylum in the Republic of Poland.

The obligation to leave Poland after refusal, cancellation or withdrawal of a permanent residence permit

A foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 30 days from the date on which the decision to refuse him/her a permanent residence permit, decision on discontinuation of proceedings in the abovementioned case, or the decision on withdrawal of the permit hold by him has become final, and in the case of a decision by a higher-level authority from the day on which the final decision was delivered to the foreigner unless he/she is entitled to continue staying in the territory of Republic Poland on a different basis.

Other important information

A permanent residence permit expires by law as of the date of obtaining by a foreigner of EU long-term resident residence permit or Polish citizenship.

Appeal proceedings

A party dissatisfied with the decision of the competent voivode issued in regard to temporary 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 put 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 put a signature under it.

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