The Residence Card is a document confirming the status of a person in Poland. At the same time, it is an identity card both on the territory of the Republic and, in some cases, in the EU and Schengen countries.
It is a plastic card that looks similar to other EU documents and contains essential information about the person, a photo, registration and biometric data.
Types of documents
According to the term and status, the documents for obtaining the card can be the following:
- Confirming the temporary residence permit (hereinafter referred to as the residence permit). It is issued for up to three years. It provides the right to stay in the Republic of Poland and to be employed for the entire period of validity.
- The documents that guarantee the permanent residence (hereinafter referred to as permanent residence). The term of such documents – up to ten years. The rights are similar to those provided by the residence permit and the document itself is a logical continuation of the previous one: after 3 years of residence in the country according to the card, you can apply for permanent residence;
- It is issued for five years, after a legal stay in the Republic of Poland in the previous five-years with confirmation of a stable income for three consecutive years.
The years of uninterrupted income are recorded immediately before the card is received.
Conditions for obtaining the residence card
Who has the right to receive the card? Unfortunately, not many people can obtain this document. These include:
- Students, officially enrolled in one of the Polish universities for a full-time studies, Including the students of long-term language courses.
- Participants in the program of “Reunification of the Family“: if one of the spouses is a citizen or has a permanent residence, the second can count on the card;
- Entrepreneur, who confirmed the existence of a functioning of legal business in the Polish territory;
- An employee who signed a labour contract.
Sometimes, those who signed a long-term contract expect to receive a card with a subsequent termination of the contract and new employment. In some cases, this operation is successful, but quite often the opposite also happens: the new employer may consider an early termination of the first contract as irresponsibility and refuse the employment.
General documents for a Residence Card
- Application form.
- Four photos similar to those made for visas.
- An original and at least two copies of all pages of the foreign passport.
- A check confirming the payment of the consular fee (340 PLN – for a residence permit, 680 PLN – for a permanent residence permit).
- Medical insurance for the whole period of stay.
- Registration (this data will be indicated on the card).
With regards to the documents described, insurance and the questionnaire must be prepared in advance; the rest documents (photos, copies, payment, fingerprints) can be made at the institution. However, some services are paid. So, the photos will cost about 25 PLN.
Specific documents for each category are also mandatory, and, as a rule, they are the grounds for the card and confirmation of solvency.
The documents for an employee
So, what do you need for a card in order to work as a citizen? The basis for obtaining of the card for employees is a long-term contract. The certified copy of such contract must be provided. In this case, no other documents are required, because the contract is also a confirmation of the necessary income.
The documents for a student
For a student, two documents are required:
- Certificate of admission to the university or long-term Polish language courses (long-term);
- Proof of income at a level of at least 800 PLN per month. These documents can be:
- an account statement confirming the required amount;
- a labour contract;
- certificate of sponsorship.
The documents for reunification of the family
For this category, the following documents have to be submitted:
- a Residence Card for the applicant‘s spouse or confirmation of his (her) citizenship;
- proof of income or the ability of one of the spouses to maintain the other.
The attention should be paid to the situation of reuniting children with their parents. If both parents have Residence Cards or Polish citizenship, getting of a residence permit for a child is easy. However, with a single relative, in case of guardianship and in other cases, additional documents may be required. Moreover, different voivodeships may have different rules. Thus, each case must be considered on and individual basis.
The following documents are not mandatory, but many voivodeships may require them:
- Birth certificate (sworn translation or original, both documents may be required in some cases).
- Lease contract of residential premises. Proof of ownership or certificate from the hostel (for the student) are also relevant documents.
The birth certificate must be translated into Polish language and certified.
- when presenting a valid passport and a card, you can cross the border without additional visa processing;
- employment without additional invitations, permits and other grounds (valid only in Poland);
- official acquisition and registration of real estate and transport;
- registration and doing business;
- basis for long-term visas for relatives;
- studies universities of the Republic of Poland, including studies for free;
- visa-free travel and residence for a period of up to three months every six months within the territory of the Schengen;
- visas to the United States and Great Britain on preferential conditions;
- the primary card (residence permit); upon expiry of its term, it gives an opportunity to obtain permanent residence.
Where to submit the documents?
Reception and processing of documents is being carried out by the departments for work with foreigners in the voivodships. They will issue a Residence Card.
Initially, you can provide all available documents or only an application form and contact information of the applicant. Within a few days (about ten), a letter or SMS (depending on the contact information) with a full list of necessary or missing documents will come from the voivodeship.
If there is not enough information for the card, the documents can be reported within a certain time: from two to four weeks.
What is the next step?
The legislation allows officials to “meditate” for up to 45 days after the delivery of necessary documents. During this period, the applicant can enjoy the benefits of residence permit within the territory of the Republic of Poland. But it is very important to check a special stamp in the passport. Put it in the voivodeship at the time of acceptance of documents for consideration.
After the decision of the voivodeship, it takes more than two weeks to produce the card, unless the refusal to receive the card has not come. Before producing the card, another notification will come – the applicant must appear in the voivodeship, sign the necessary documents and pay 50 PLN for the card itself. Upon completion of the process, a notification will come again. You will only need to come to the institution with a passport and get your card!
The Residence Card gives a lot of different preferences. It is not difficult to obtain it when legally staying in Poland. If you belong to the categories that can enjoy this document, it is worthwhile to find time and obtain it.