Residence titles

A foreigner who wants to establish one of the partnerships or companies does not have to legalize his stay in Poland and apply for a work permit in Poland. Such a foreigner is the owner of a company and does not have to physically reside in Poland – he can register a firm via the Internet, for example. The person who will actually conduct business activity in Poland is, for instance, a company director. In case the director is a foreigner, he has to apply for a permit to work in Poland and have grounds for residence in Poland.

A foreigner who conducts business activity in Poland may apply for a visa to Poland on the basis of conducting business activity. Apart from the basic set of documents necessary to obtain a visa, one has to file documents at a consulate of the Republic of Poland that confirm the conducting of business activity in Poland, such as an entry in KRS, Articles of Association certified by a notary and a certificate of no tax arrears. A Polish visa cannot be issued based on the intention to conduct business activity unless the applicant proves his intention and justifies his arrival in Poland. In such a case, the consul will decide whether the evidence presented by a person is sufficient. In the case of a company that has to be registered in CEIDG, an application for registration can be submitted via the Internet - the registration does not require the physical presence of a person in Poland.

If a foreigner is staying abroad and intends to do business in Poland, but he does not yet have grounds for the stay in Poland (visa or residence permit), he can set up a business via the Internet, and after being entered in CEIDG submit an application to the Polish consulate in his country of origin for a visa on the basis of conducting business activity. In order to conduct business activity on the same principles as Polish citizens, a foreigner must have an appropriate basis for residence in Poland.

Who Needs a Residence Title?

EU citizens do not require any residence title to be able to settle or work in Poland.  Non-EU citizens generally require a Schengen visa for entry and short-term stays in Poland. However, individual rules apply for certain countries. For example, nationals from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States, and Hong Kong can stay in Poland for up to 90 days (in any 180-days period from the date of first entry) without a visa. For long-term stays, non-EU citizens require a residence or settlement permit. The respective local polish mission initially issues a national visa for entry into Poland. The national visa is subsequently converted into a residence permit by the competent local Immigration Office. Non-EU citizens from those countries exempt from the short-term stay visa requirements also require a national visa when entering Poland for long-term stay purposes. Exceptions apply for nationals from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States who may enter Poland for long-term stay purposes without a national visa. These foreign nationals can directly apply for the necessary residence or settlement permit at the Immigration Office in Poland. 

Types of visa in Poland


"A (airport transit visa)"

"B (transit visa)"

"C (short-stay visa)"

"C (circulation visa)"


"D (long-stay visa)"


Transit through the international zone of Schengen airport without entering the Schengen territory


Transit through Schengen countries by car, coach or traveling different airports on your way to another non-Schengen country


Visit Schengen countries for tourism, family business visits.


short-stay visa, it’s mainly issued for a business visits that have an invitation letter from a Schengen country, to aircrew members, to people having a special interest in the Schengen territory


Study, work, retire and so on.



Period of staying


less than 5 days


Up to a maximum of 90 days in a given 180 days period


Valid at least a year

Staying for more than 3 months


Establishing a Company in Poland.

For most of the activities in the formation phase of a company, a Schengen business visa is sufficient.It enables its holder to stay in Poland for up to 90 days, during which time all fundamental establishment activities can be performed.

Employment in Poland.

Non-EU citizens employed in Poland require a residence permit for the purpose of taking up employment. As with the residence permit for self-employment, the residence permit for the purpose of taking up employment is limited for a period of up to three years. This can however be extended. A permanent settlement permit can be issued after five years. 

Certain occupational groups are however entirely exempt from the FEA (Federal Employment Agency) approval requirement.

Occupational groups, exempted from the FEA approval.

Employed managing directors

Specialist, holding a Polish university degree (only full-time graduate)

The granting of an Blue Card

Specialists (for example: truck driver, housekeeper).


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