Legal staying
Documents allowing Belarusian nationals to stay in Poland.
Visas

You can stay in Poland with a visa. For example, you need a visa if you are going to:
· take on a job;
· set up a business;
· pursue a degree;
· if you have a Polish Card and would like to stay in Poland.

An application for a visa must be filed with a Polish consulate:
· at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Minsk;
· the General Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Brest;
· or the General Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Hrodna (Grodno).

Visa applications may be processed at other locations in Belarus through VFSGlobal, a private visa agent. Their visa centres are located in Minsk, Mohylau, Homel, Hrodna, Lida, Brest, Baranovichy, and Lida. The addresses of the visa centres and other relevant information can be found on this website.

Important information on the three types of visas available can be found on the website of the Republic of Poland:
· Schengen visa;
· Polish visa;
· Transit visa.

From September 2020, Belarusian citizens can also apply for a visa for humanitarian reasons. Visa applications can be filed with a Polish consulate or at the visa centres operated by VFSGlobal.

Visa applications must be accompanied by the requisite documentation, including that which is needed to confirm the purpose of your stay. Complete lists of the required documents are available on the above-mentioned websites.

Visa applications are available on the e-consulate website. Applicants must complete and print the application and schedule a consular appointment via the website.

The table of consular charges is available here.

Residence permits

Depending on your situation and the purpose of your stay in Poland, you can obtain various types of residence permits. You can apply for these permits at the department dealing with immigration issues of the relevant provincial office (you can find the list of them here). The stamp duty fee for the permit is also paid at this office.

Please note that all relevant templates are available on the www.cudzoziemcy.gov.pl website (in Polish, English, Russian, and French).

Temporary residence permit
A temporary residence permit – in the form of a card – is issued for up to three years. You can apply for a temporary residence permit if you are going to:
· take on a job, including a highly skilled position (Blue Card);
· set up a business;
· pursue a degree;
· earn a living or receive training in Poland.
The application should be accompanied by documents showing:
· the purpose of your stay;
· that you are insured;
· that you have sufficient funds to finance your stay;
· that you have a place of residence in Poland.
Further information on temporary residence permits is available on the website of the Office for Foreigners (in Polish, English, and Russian).

Permanent residence permit
A permanent residence permit is issued for an indefinite period, but the residence card which is proof of your entitlement to stay must be renewed every 10 years.
You can apply for this permit if:
· you hold a Polish Card or are of Polish origin; or
· you have been married to a Polish citizen for more than three years and, just before you applied, you were in Poland continuously for at least two years; or
· you are a recognised refugee and have been living in Poland for more than five years; or
· you have been granted a tolerated stay and have been living in Poland for more than 10 years.
This permit may also be issued to minors if one parent has a permanent residence permit or an EU long-term residence permit (see below), provided that additional requirements are met.
Further information on permanent residence permits is available on the website of the Office for Foreigners (in Polish, English, and Russian).

EU long-term resident permit
The EU long-term resident permit is issued for an indefinite period, but the residence card which is proof of your entitlement to stay must be renewed every five years.
You can apply for this permit if:
· you have been staying in Poland for five years;
· you have had a regular and stable source of income for three years;
· you have not left Poland for any period of more than six consecutive months or for a total period of 10 months.
You must support your application with evidence showing that you meet all the above-mentioned requirements:
· speak Polish;
· have a place of residence in Poland;
· have health insurance;
· have enough funds to finance your stay.
Information on EU long-term resident permits is available on the website of the Office for Foreigners (in Polish, English, and Russian).


When your residence permit expires
You must apply for another permit before your valid permit expires (before the last day of your legal residence).
Once you have successfully applied, an official at the provincial office stamps your passport with the application date. The stamp confirms that you have applied for a temporary or permanent residence permit or an EU long-term resident permit.
If you have this stamp, you are allowed to return to your home country, but you would be unable to come back to Poland because this stamp does not entitle you to return. It also does not entitle you to travel in the Schengen zone.


Irregular stay
If you do not have a valid document entitling you to stay in Poland, you can face serious consequences:
· on entry or exit, the border guard can expel you and ban you from re-entry for a period of six months to five years;
· your irregular stay may also be detected during border guard checks within the Polish territory.
If you leave the country within the period indicated by the re-entry ban, you can apply to have the ban removed.
For more information on the commitment to return, please visit the website of the Office for Foreigners (in Polish, English, and Russian).
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.