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.

A temporary residence permit for educational purposes at a university

Legal basis – Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners – Article 144 of Act – along with executive acts

To whom and for how long may be granted

Foreigners, the purpose of whose stay in Poland is education at full-time university studies or full-time PhD studies and foreigners intending to take up a preparatory course to start such studies in the Polish language, provided that these circumstances justify the stay of a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months.

Note for an important exception: The above permits cannot be obtained by, among others, foreigners who perform work or run business activities on the territory of the Republic of Poland, unless they apply for granting another permit for educational purposes at a university.

The first permit to study at higher education institution for foreigner who undertakes studies on the first year is granted for a period of 15 months. If the studies justify the stay of a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period shorter than 1 year, the first permit is granted for the term of the academic year or the studies, extended by 3 months.

Subsequent permit for temporary residence for the purpose of studying at higher education institution is provided for the period of study, extended by 3 months, but not longer than 3 years.

A temporary stay permit for foreigners intending to take up a preparatory course to start education at a university conducted in the Polish language, is granted for a period of duration of this course extended by 3 months.

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.

Fees related to residence permit:

Stamp duty PLN 340
Fee for residence card PLN 50

Foreigners, the purpose of whose stay is education at secondary school and university are entitled to a reduction in the fee for issuing a residence card in the amount of PLN 25.

Necessary documents:

  1. Completed form of the application for temporary residence permit, in accordance with information;
  2. 4 up-to-date photographs;
  3. Photocopy of a valid travel document (original available for inspection), in particularly justified case if the foreigner does not have a valid travel document and it is not possible to obtain such document, may present another document which confirms his/her identity.

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.

Standard documents necessary for examination of 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.

  1. A certificate of an entity conducting studies concerning enrolling for their study programme or continuation studies or accepting for a preparatory course;
  2. Evidence of payment of the fee for studies if a foreigner starts or continues studies for a fee;
  3. Documents confirming having health insurance as defined by the provisions of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from the public funds or the insurer confirming covering the costs of medical treatment on the territory of the Republic of Poland;
  4. Documents certifying having sufficient financial means to cover the subsistence costs and return to the state of origin or domicile or the costs of transit to a third state that will permit access and the costs of the studies.

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.

Residential status following the application

If the application for temporary residence permit was made during the foreigner’s lawful residence and this application did not contain formal defects or these defects were supplemented within the time limit, the voivode stamps the travel document which confirms registration of the application. Residence of the foreigner is deemed to be legal from the date of submission the application until the date when the decision on temporary residence permit 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

The residence permit decision takes place no earlier than after 1 month prior to initiation of the procedure.

The document issued after granting this permit

The foreigner who obtains temporary residence permit on the territory of Poland will be issued with the residence card. This document is issued ex officio by the voivode who granted the residence permit.

Residence card in the period of its validity confirms the foreigner’s identity during his/her residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him/her, along with the travel document, to multiple crossing of the border without the need to obtain the visa.

Information obligations related to the residence permit

The foreigner who gets temporary residence permit, has an obligation to notify the voivode who granted this residence permit within 15 working days, on cessation of the reason for granting this permit. If the permit was granted by the Head of the Office for Foreigners in the second instance, the notification is addressed to the voivode, who ruled on the granting of this permit in the first instance. Failure to fulfil this obligation may result in refusal to grant another temporary residence permit, if the application for another temporary residence permit was made before the end of the year from the end of the validity period of the previous permit or from the date on which the decision to withdraw the temporary residence permit has become final.

The rector of the university or the head of a different unit running studies is immediately under the obligation to notify in writing the voivode who gave a foreigner the permit, in order to receive education at a university, to cross out a foreigner from the list of students, as well as not to give credit for the year of study in the specified time.

Entitlement to work

After obtaining this permit, a foreigner may perform work in Poland without the need to have a work permit. The residence card, issued in connection with temporary residence permit, includes a note “access to the labour market”.

Obligation to leave Poland after refusal or withdrawal of the permit

The foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 30 days from the day when the decision on refusal to grant the temporary residence permit or the decision to withdraw the permit became final and in the case the decision was issued by a superior body, from the day when the final decision was delivered to the foreigner, unless he/she is authorized to reside on the territory of Poland on a different basis.