Legalization of a foreigner’s stay

Legalization of a foreigner’s stay
Joanna Kegler

Joanna Kegler

Senior associate / Attorney-at-law

Our collaboration step by step

Scope of service for the legalization of a foreigner’s stay

How does the legalization of a foreigner’s stay proceed? We provide reliable guidance to foreigners throughout the process of applying for stay legalization. Our goal is to enable foreigners to continue their stay in Poland and work legally from the day they start their employment.

We prepare the necessary application, gather the required documents, and represent our clients in proceedings before the competent voivode (local government authority).

In cases that require the applicant’s personal presence, we accompany the foreigner during visits to the relevant offices (voivode office, district labor office). Throughout the process of applying for a residence card, we maintain constant communication with the foreigner to provide them with accurate information regarding the status of their case.

Both the foreigner and the employer (with the prior consent of the foreigner) can monitor the current status of the case through the Client Panel available on our website.

We verify the possibility of legalizing a foreigner’s stay

The legalization of the stay of foreigners on Polish territory requires fulfilling several basic conditions. The most important of these seems quite obvious. It pertains to the necessity for the foreigner to cross the Polish border in a manner prescribed by law, which means, in simpler terms, in accordance with the law.

The rules and conditions for the entry of foreigners into Polish territory are defined by the provisions of the relatively new Act on Foreigners of December 12, 2013 (Journal of Laws of 2014, item 463, 1004).

This act regulates issues related to immigration, including the transit of foreigners through Polish territory, their stay on this territory, departure from it, and the procedural aspects of matters concerning the stay of foreigners in the Republic of Poland. We verify whether the foreigner is exempt from the obligation to obtain a work permit

Legalization of a foreigner’s stay – what does it involve?

It is important to note that a foreigner must submit an application for the following no later than the last day of their legal stay in Poland: extension of a Schengen visa, extension of a national visa, granting of a temporary residence permit, granting of a permanent residence permit (permanent residence permit), granting of a long-term resident EU residence permit, extension of the stay period in Poland within the visa-free movement for an additional 90 days, in the case of citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore, and Uruguay. From the day of submitting the residence application to the day of the decision, the foreigner is granted a legal stay.

At the same time, third-country nationals are required to have a valid residence and work permit. The legalization of employment for foreigners under these conditions includes, among others, citizens of Ukraine who can engage in legal employment in Poland based on a work permit or declaration. For EU citizens who entered the territory of Poland in search of employment, fulfilling residence conditions is not required.

In some cases, a stay lasting longer than 3 months requires registration. This applies to EU citizens, EEA citizens, and Confederation of Switzerland citizens.

We verify the completeness of documentation

In accordance with the aforementioned provisions of the law, every foreigner crossing the border is required to have a valid travel document (e.g., ID card, passport – it is advisable to have one even if you are a citizen of a European Union member state and travel within the Schengen area).

There is also a group of countries listed in Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001, whose citizens must meet an additional requirement. In addition to a valid travel document, they must have a valid visa that allows them to cross the Polish border.

Foreigners who have crossed the border under the visa-free regime and plan to stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than three months should submit an application to the relevant voivode based on their place of residence, requesting a temporary residence permit. The aforementioned application should be submitted personally or through an authorized representative, no later than the last day of their legal stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

We establish the basis for submitting a residence permit application

According to statutory guidelines, the application should primarily state the purpose justifying the foreigner’s stay in Poland for a period exceeding three months (e.g., employment). It should also include various identifying information about the person, such as name, date of birth, place of residence, information about spouse, children, etc. The Polish legislator specifies the grounds for foreigners to apply for a temporary residence permit, which include:

  • Temporary residence permit for conducting business activity
  • Temporary residence permit for employment purposes
  • Temporary residence permit for employment in a profession requiring high qualifications
  • Temporary residence permit for foreign employees delegated to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland by a foreign employer
  • Temporary residence permit for the purpose of higher education studies
  • Conducting scientific research
  • Temporary residence permit for family members of Polish citizens and family members of foreigners residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland
  • Temporary residence permit for other circumstances requiring a short-term stay

The above list has been further described in detail in the respective sections of the immigration law department’s service. However, it is important to note that it does not constitute a closed catalog. Therefore, it is entirely permissible to apply for a temporary residence permit based on other circumstances that can be reasonably justified. We provide information on specific conditions that entitle individuals to apply for a residence permit.

Distinction between situations of foreigners from EU countries and third countries

The legalization of stay depends on the country of origin of the foreigner. Those coming to Poland can be divided into two groups:

  1. Citizens of the European Union, EEA, Switzerland (and their families)
  2. Citizens of third countries

Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can stay in Poland for up to 3 months without the need for any registration of their stay. After this period, they must proceed with the so-called registration of stay. The registration of stay is done upon the request of the EU citizen. The application is submitted to the relevant Voivode based on the place of residence of the foreigner. The EU citizen must personally submit the application no later than on the day following the expiration of 3 months from the date of entry into Poland. If the stay is registered, the EU citizen is issued a certificate of registration of stay. The certificate of registration of stay for EU citizens is valid for 10 years.

On the other hand, citizens of third countries can enter the territory of the Republic of Poland based on a previously obtained visa or within the visa-free regime.

Citizens of countries covered by the visa-free regime to Poland can stay in our country for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. This privilege includes, among others, citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, but only those who possess a valid visa or fulfill other entry requirements.

Citizens of countries covered by the visa-free regime to Poland can stay in our country for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. This privilege includes, among others, citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, but only those who possess a biometric passport issued in accordance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Possibility of working legally in Poland – EU citizens and third-country nationals

Foreigners from the EU/EEA/Switzerland are treated the same as Polish citizens in the labor market. They only need to take care of the formalities related to their stay, particularly those exceeding 3 months.

A foreigner who is a citizen of a country outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland can work legally in Poland if they meet the following conditions:

  1. They have a residence permit that entitles them to work, such as a Schengen visa or a national visa with the “06” code.
  2. They have a work permit in Poland. The employer has submitted a declaration of entrusting work to the foreigner, registered in the declarations register, or a notification of entrusting work to a Ukrainian citizen. They possess a seasonal work permit and have a certificate of entry of the application for a seasonal work permit into the application register.

The employment of such a foreigner will also be legal if they possess a unified permit, which is a temporary residence and work permit.

We are conducting legalization proceedings

In addition to examining the grounds for legalizing a foreigner’s stay in Poland, we prepare and submit applications on behalf of our clients for the aforementioned permits. Individuals who wish to apply for the mentioned permits based on specific circumstances will find detailed information in the relevant sections describing the services of our immigration law department. We provide an approximate timeframe for obtaining a temporary residence permit under specific circumstances.

Furthermore, we represent applicants at all stages of these procedures and assist in gathering all necessary documents.

Are you an employer considering hiring a foreigner? Are you unsure whether to apply for a work permit or a unified permit for temporary residence and work? Contact us. Our specialists will answer these and other questions. We will assist you in correctly submitting the application and smoothly navigating the permit acquisition process. We have been offering residency legalization services for over 10 years.

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Joanna Kegler

Joanna Kegler

Senior associate / Attorney-at-law

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