Once you arrive in Poland, you’ll encounter a full round of offices and paperwork. In this article, we will try taking you through the whole process step by step to make the entire procedure as easy as possible for you. What awaits you? Declaration of temporary residence in the place of residence, the registration of residence as a citizen of the European Union and, last but not least, we will also deal with questions on health insurance. Ready? Let’s get started!
Declaration of Temporary Residence
If you plan on staying in Poland for more than 30 days, you should declare your stay. This will make your stay in Poland official and may also help you in the future, for example when you apply for permanent residence or even citizenship. If you apply for permanent residence, you’ll need to prove that you’ve been living in Poland for some time, and a temporary residence permit is perfect for this purpose.
Who files the documents?
You can apply for temporary residence in Poland in person. If you do not have this option, you can authorize a third party to do so. This power of attorney must be in writing, no other form is acceptable.
If you have children (under 18), you as their legal guardian must declare their residence. This also applies to the incapacitated persons in your care.
What documents will you need to prepare?
You will need to prepare a few documents to successfully declare your temporary stay. Start by downloading and completing the temporary residence declaration form. If you do not have the possibility of printing the form, you can collect it in person at the municipality office.
In order to register your residence, you will need to prove in some way that you have the right to use the property at the address where you live. If you are renting an apartment, you will need a lease agreement. In case you are the owner of the property, prepare an extract from the land registry. In addition to these documents, you must also have some form of ID. It can be a passport or an ID card. Once you leave the office, you’re done. The declaration of residence takes effect immediately.
PESEL is the Polish equivalent of our birth number. If you are planning to stay or live in Poland for a long time, it is advisable to arrange one. You will need it for more than just communicating with the authorities. If you want to arrange, for example, a contract with a mobile operator in Poland, you can’t do it without a PESEL number.
Before you visit the office to register your residence, make sure you also prepare the application for a PESEL number. You kill two birds with one stone and you won’t have to return to the office for some time.
Please note that both obtaining a PESEL number and reporting your residence are free of charge. In case you want to issue a confirmation of registration of your stay, you will pay an administrative fee of 17 zlotys. You can also have this certificate issued retrospectively, so if you don’t need it urgently, you don’t have to have it.
Registration Certificate of a European Union Citizen
If you are a citizen of the European Union and plan to stay in Poland for more than three months, you will also need to obtain this document. This obligation applies to all foreign nationals from EU countries and the European Economic Area, as well as nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area benefiting from the free movement of persons under the Treaties. In addition to the registration requirement after the 3-month period, this document will be useful if you want to enter into a contract with a mobile operator or, for example, if you apply for a bank loan.
- 1 copy of the application for registration of residence
- Passport or other proof of identity and citizenship (e.g. ID card)
This is the very foundation that you can’t do without. Depending on the purpose of your stay in Poland, you may also need to provide additional documents. If you have come to Poland to work, your employer will need to give you a written confirmation of your work or intention to work. If you work “on your own”, most often as a sole trader, prepare a written declaration of registration in the KRS (Register of Legal Entities) or CEIDG (Trade Register). However, not everyone goes to Poland to work, and we must not forget about students. They will need to provide a confirmation from the university that they have been admitted to study at, a document confirming that they have health insurance, and a written declaration that they have sufficient financial means.
How much will it cost and how long will you wait?
The whole process of registering your residence and issuing the document is free of charge. Registration takes place immediately after the application is submitted and you will receive the finished document within 30 days (usually the waiting time is considerably shorter).
Where and how to apply?
You will have to go in person to get this document. If you are not going to Warsaw for work, you will have to make a trip here anyway, visit Mazowiecki Urząd Wojewódzki w Warszawie – Wydział Spraw Cudzoziemców at Marszałkowska 3/5 and go to number 21. Here you will receive a serial number and wait…or you can use the online calendar and book an appointment with a clerk in advance.
You can visit the office from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on Mondays and from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on Tuesdays to Fridays. If you have all the necessary documents, the registration itself should not take more than 20 minutes.
Health Insurance in Poland
The possibility of going to the doctor, incapacity support, top-up funding for medicines. It is difficult to live without health insurance today. How do I obtain health insurance in Poland? The easiest way is to be employed on the basis of an employment contract (Umowa o pracę) or an agreement (Umowa zlecenie). In this case, your employer does all the paperwork and deductions for you, and you just use the health insurance benefits. Poland has a fairly sophisticated electronic healthcare system, so you don’t need to carry any insurance cards with you. When you arrive at the doctor’s office, you just need to enter your PESEL and all the verification of whether or not you have health insurance is carried out within the system.
Entrepreneurs and Freelancers
It is slightly more complicated for sole traders. They have to sign up for health insurance themselves. They must also arrange all related administrative closures themselves. Another group are people who have neither a work contract nor a trade. This can include various artists and, in general, persons focusing on creative activity working under a work contract. No health insurance contributions are paid on this contract. How to proceed in such a case?
Fortunately, there is voluntary health insurance in Poland. To enter into a contract with the NFZ, print out the application, prepare your identity document and visit the nearest NFZ branch. After signing the voluntary insurance contract with the NFZ, go to the nearest branch of the ZUS, here you will have to submit the form, in which you will indicate 24 IO XX as “kod Ubezpieczenia”. You must submit this form no later than 7 days after the date of the voluntary insurance contract. For the duration of the contract, you will be required to file a ZUS DRA statement each month and properly pay the monthly contributions.
In addition to NFZ, there are many companies that offer their own health insurance packages. Most often, you will find them in the form of employer benefits. These private companies offer easier access to specialist doctors, state-of-the-art outpatient clinics and hospitals, and some even arrange for a doctor on the phone. The most well-known companies of this type are LUXMED, Enel-Med and Medicover, but all the larger insurance companies usually offer their package as well.
That will be all for today. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably ready to start your story with Poland. You know where to register for temporary residence, where and how to register a stay of more than 3 months, and you have at least a minimum idea of how the health insurance system works in Poland and how to arrange it. Don’t forget to read our article on how to get housing!
And something else! Once you have successfully completed your interview and arrived in Poland, our Community Manager will help you during the first days and weeks in your new country. Whether it’s help with arranging a bank account, information about important offices or advice on how and where to find suitable accommodation, you’ll have a contact person to turn to from day one.