Information on the acquisition of real estate, shares and units in Poland by foreign entities.
A foreigner may purchase real estate in Poland only after receiving permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration (after approved by the Ministry of Defence and, in the case of farmland, also after receipt of approval by the Minister of Agriculture)
Purchasing property by foreigners is governed by the provisions of the Act of 24 March 1920 on Purchase of Real Estate by Foreigners with further amendments.
Foreigner' within the meaning of the Act is:
- An individual who is not a Polish national
- A corporate entity having a registered place of business abroad
- A partnership of persons referred to above, which does not have a legal personality, has a registered place of business abroad and is incorporated under laws of foreign countries
- A corporate entity which has a registered place of business in the Republic of Poland and is controlled directly or indirectly by persons or partnerships referred to above
The general rule is that foreigners require a permit from the Minister of Internal Affairs to buy real estate.
But from the day of accession to the EU (1 May 2004), foreigners who are citizens or entrepreneurs of the EEC countries do not need permission to purchase real estate
Exceptions to the above are:
1) Farms and woodlands - permission is required during the first 12 years from the date of Poland's accession to the EU. However, permission is not required if several conditions are fulfilled: if the person who wants to purchase the real estate is a leaseholder over a defined period (7 years for western regions of Poland and 3 years for the remainder ... and if the leaseholder personally conducts agricultural activities and lives legally in Poland
2) "Second House" - permission is required during the first 5 years from the date of Poland's accession to the EU (however, permission is not required if a foreigner lives legally and continuously in Poland for 4 years or if he purchases a "second house" in order to conduct business activities in tourism services
Authories issuing opinions are:
- Minister of National Defence,
- Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development - in the case of agricultural land,
- Minister of the Environment - in the case of forest estates.
- The permit is only a prerequisite for purchase and is not binding for the seller. The purchase of real estate must be executed in a notarised form.
The permit is valid for two years from the date of issue. A binding purchase agreement should be made and executed within that time limit.
Exceptions from the obligation to obtain a permit:
Purchase by a controlled corporate entity, for its statutory purposes, of undeveloped real estate in urban areas if their total area in the entire country does not exceed 4,000 m2
Purchase of independent residential premises (apartments)
Purchase of real estate by a foreigner who has been residing in Poland for at least five years from the issuance of a permanent residence permit
Purchase by a foreigner whose spouse is a Polish national and who has resided in Poland for at least two years from the issuance of a permanent residence permit, of real estate that will become the joint property of both spouses
Purchase of real estate by a foreigner if, on the day of purchase, the foreigner is entitled to statutory succession after the assignor of the real estate, provided that the assignor was its legal owner or perpetual usufructuary for at least five years
Purchase of real estate by a foreign bank, which is a mortgagee, after an ineffective auction under enforcement proceedings
Acquisition or taking up by an indirectly or directly controlled bank of shares in a company which has a registered place of business in the Republic of Poland and is the legal owner or perpetual usufructuary of real estate in connection with enforcement of the bank's claims for banking services rendered
Exemption from the obligation to obtain a permit does not apply to real estate situated in the vicinity of state borders and agricultural land of more than 1 hectare.