Last update: 28 July, 2016

Long-term EU resident permit

The long-term EU resident permit is a permit entitling the holder to stay in Poland permanently. The decision on granting such a residence permit is issued for an indefinite period. The residence card remains valid for 5 years, which means that it should be replaced every 5 years. The foreigner is not entitled to take up work in a country other than Poland pursuant to a long-term EU resident permit issued in Poland. The long-term EU-resident permit entitles the foreigner to travel to other Schengen Area countries for up to 3 months in a half-year period for tourism purposes (which countries belong to the Schengen Area ->?).

Who may be granted a long-term EU resident permit?

A long-term EU-resident permit may be granted to a foreigner who:

  1. has been staying in Poland legally and uninterruptedly for at least 5 years (what is an uninterrupted stay?);
  2. has maintained a stable and regular source of income (what is the stable income condition ->?) for the 3 years of their stay in Poland immediately preceding the submission of the application (in the case of Blue Card holders (what is a Blue Card ->?) a 2-year period of stable income is required);
  3. has health insurance (documents confirming the possession of health insurance ->);
  4. has a place of residence in Poland;
  5. presents a temporary residence address certificate – what is the residence address certificate? -> or a declaration of inability to obtain such a certificate.

Procedure of application for a long-term EU resident permit

The procedure of application for a long-term EU resident permit is conducted at the Office for Foreigners of the competent Voivodeship Office for the place of residence of the foreigner.

Addresses of Voivodeship Offices are available here ->

The application must be filed by a foreigner who is legally staying in Poland.

In order to apply for a long-term EU resident permit the following documents must be filed:

  1. application for a long-term EU-resident permit completed in Polish (form available here ->);
  2. a foreign passport for visual inspection (what to do if you do not possess a valid travel document ->?);
  3. 4 current photographs (guidelines concerning photographs are available here ->);
  4. documents necessary to confirm the information contained in the application and the circumstances justifying the application for a long-term EU resident permit;
  5. a guaranteed place of residence in Poland (what is a guaranteed place of residence ->?).

When a foreigner files an application for a long-term EU resident permit during his legal stay in Poland, the Voivode places a stamp in the travel document of the foreigner confirming that the application for a long-term EU resident permit was filed. The stay in Poland pursuant to such a stamp is legal (even in the event the visa or preceding residence card expires) until the date of issuing the decision on the residence card, and in the case of appeal against negative decision of the Voivode until the date when the decision issued in the 2nd instance becomes binding.

Note! The stamp in the passport does not entitle the foreigner to travel to other Schengen Area countries. The foreigner may leave for their country of origin pursuant to the stamp, but they will not be able to re-enter Poland (in order to re-enter Poland, a valid visa or residence card is required).

Fees

Stamp duty for initiating the procedure of granting a long-term EU resident permit is 640 PLN. This amount is reimbursed in the case of a negative decision, upon request of the applicant. If a positive decision is issued, an additional 50 PLN must be paid for issuing a residence card.

These amounts can be paid at the cash desk of the Voivodeship Office where the case is being considered, or by bank transfer to the account of the Municipal Office. The bank account number can be received at the relevant Voivodeship Office.

Duration of the procedure

The case should be considered within 3 months.

If the Voivodeship Office fails to consider the case within the period specified above, it shall notify the foreigner of this fact, stating the reasons for the delay and specifying a new deadline for resolving the matter.

Period of validity of a long-term EU resident permit

A long-term EU resident permit is valid for an indefinite period, although the residence card has to be replaced every 5 years.  Application for a subsequent residence card should be filed not later than 30 days before the expiry of the current residence card.

Appeal procedure

A foreigner who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Voivode may appeal to the Head of the Office for Foreigners (UdsC) in Warsaw, via the Voivode who issued the decision. A written appeal should be filed within 14 days of the date of receipt of the decision. The case on appeal should be considered within 2 months.

The foreigner may file an appeal against the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners in an administrative court within 30 days of the date of receipt of the decision.

Important: filing an appeal in an administrative court does not legalise the stay. This means that unless the foreigner has another valid document authorising them to stay in Poland, they should leave Poland.

Refusal to initiate proceedings for granting a long-term EU resident permit

A foreigner may not initiate the procedure of applying for a long-term EU resident permit, nor be granted such permit if:

  1. he is staying in Poland:
    – without documents entitling him to stay; or
    – pursuant to a Schengen visa authorising him only to enter and stay in Poland, if the visa was issued due to humanitarian reasons;
    – for the purposes of participation in a course of study or vocational training;
    – for the purposes of starting or continuation education in Poland,
    – pursuant to consent to stay due to humanitarian reasons, tolerated stay, asylum or temporary protection,
    – pursuant to a temporary residence permit that was issued due to circumstances requiring a short-term stay,
    – pursuant to a permit to cross the border under the local border traffic regime,
  2. he is an employee delegated by a service provider for the purpose of providing cross-border services or is a service provider providing cross-border services (a cross-border service means that a service provider who owns a business established in one Member State may temporarily render a service in another EU Member State);
  3. he is staying in a guarded facility or detainment facility for foreigners or if an order prohibiting him to leave the country has been issued;
  4. he is imprisoned or under arrest;
  5. he was obliged to return and the period of voluntary return specified in the decision obliging the foreigner to return has not yet expired; this also applies in the case of prolongation of such a period;
  6. he is obliged to leave Poland;
  7. he is staying outside the borders of Poland;
  8. he did not submit his fingerprints in order to receive a residence card.

Refusal to grant a long-term EU resident permit

The foreigner will not be granted a long-term EU-resident permit if:

  • they do not meet the requirements specified above;
  • it is required for considerations of public security and order or the interests of the Republic of Poland.

Withdrawal of a long-term EU resident permit

A long-term EU resident permit may be withdrawn, i.e. cancelled.

This takes place in the following cases:

  1. the long-term EU resident permit was obtained illegally;
  2. the foreigner constitutes a threat to state security or defence or to the protection of public safety and order;
  3. the foreigner has left Poland for a period longer than 6 years;
  4. the foreigner has left the territory of the European Union for a continual period of:
    a). 12 months;
    b). 24 months if they held a temporary residence permit issued for the purpose of employment of high-skilled workers or if they are family members of a foreigner who had such a permit;
  5. the foreigner has obtained a long-term EU resident permit in another EU Member State,
  6. the foreigner’s refugee status or subsidiary protection was withdrawn pursuant to legal regulations, if the long-term EU resident permit was granted in connection with their stay in Poland pursuant to refugee status or subsidiary protection.

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