There are different types of Poland visas depending on the reason for your stay: work, studies, or simply tourism. So, the type of visa you apply for depends on the reason you are traveling.
However, before you apply for a visa, you also have to check whether you even need one at all; and if you do, you must learn how to apply for one.
Do I Need a Visa for Poland?
You do not need a visa for Poland if:
- Your country is part of the EU/EEA countries or any Schengen country.
- Your country of residence has a visa-free agreement with Schengen. This includes citizens of the US, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia, among others.
If you are from a country that does not have a visa-free agreement (such as India, China, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey, Egypt, etc.) you have to apply for a visa to visit Poland.
Remember: Even if you can visit Poland without a visa for short trips when it comes to working or studying, a visa is required for everyone who is not an EU citizen.
Types of Poland Visas
There are different types of Poland visas depending on why you want to visit Poland. The types of Poland visas are as follows:
- Poland Schengen Visa. If you plan on staying in Poland for less than 90 days, you will need to acquire a Polish tourist visa. This visa is perfect if you want to visit Poland for tourism, business, or even medical treatment. It is referred to as a Schengen visa because it allows the holder to visit all other Schengen countries within the visa’s validity period.
- Poland Airport Transit Visa. The Polish airport transit visa allows the holder to enter the international transit area of an airport in Poland, so they can switch flights. It is aimed at passengers who are traveling to a third country, but whose flight connects in Poland. Not everyone needs a Polish transit visa if they do not leave the international transit area.
- Poland Work Visa. If you want to work in Poland, you must apply for a Polish work visa. You must have an employer who will submit a request for a work permit on your behalf, at the local Voivodeship office (which is the Polish equivalent of a municipal office). There are different types of work permits depending on the duration and nature of your work. You can only start working after your employer provides you with a work permit.
- Poland Student Visa. If you are from a non-EU country and have been accepted to a university in Poland, you need to apply for a Polish student visa and student residence permit.
- Poland Family Visa. If you want to join either your spouse or parents who live in Poland, you have to apply for a Polish family visa. The family visa is valid for 2 years, and you are allowed to work in Poland during this time. You have to provide proof of your family status, such as a marriage certificate (for spouses) or birth/adoption certificate (for minor children).
Difference Between Poland Schengen Visa and Long-Term Visa
The differences between Poland Schengen Visa and a D-Type Long Term Visa are:
|Poland Schengen Visa:||Poland D-Type Long Term Visa:|
|Is a short-stay visa||Is a long-stay visa|
|Your stay cannot exceed three months||Is issued for up to one year and can be extended|
|Recommended for travel||Recommended if you want to study and work in Poland|
|You cannot obtain a residence permit if you enter Poland with a Schengen visa.||You can obtain a residence permit and extend your stay in Poland for years or indefinitely if you enter with a long-stay visa.|
|You do not need a strong reason to obtain a Schengen visa for Poland.||You need a strong reason to obtain a long-stay visa. It could be a work contract, acceptance letter from a Polish university, or having a close family member who lives there.|
Poland Visa Application Process
To apply for a Polish visa, you have to:
- Contact the nearest Polish embassy or consulate. You have to set up an appointment with the embassy/consulate to submit an application.
- Prepare your documents. The embassy/consulate will provide you with a list of the required documents for your visa.
- Submit the visa application. On the day of your appointment, you may also have to enter a visa interview.
- Wait for a decision. It could take several weeks to process your visa application, so make sure you apply well in advance of your trip.
You can find a more detailed explanation of each of the steps to apply for a visa to Poland here.
Required Documents for a Polish Visa
There are a few documents that you will need when you apply for a Poland Visa, such as:
- Poland (Schengen) visa application form. You must fully complete the application form and sign it at the end.
- Two passport-sized photos of yourself.
- A copy of your passport. Your passport must be valid for at least three months after the return date.
- Proof of travel health insurance. You need a travel insurance policy that’s compliant with the Schengen visa requirements (€30,000 coverage in all the Schengen area).
- Cover letter. You may be required to write a letter describing the purpose of your trip, what you intend to do in Poland, etc.
- Proof of accommodation in Poland. You must submit a hotel reservation, Airbnb booking, a letter from a host, etc.
- Proof of sufficient funds to provide for your stay in Denmark.
- Proof of your relationship status. If you are married, you must provide a marriage certificate.
- Proof of your flight date and time. You can submit a flight reservation itinerary – you do not need to actually purchase the ticket before your visa is approved.
- Paid visa fee. If you are required to pay the visa beforehand, you must submit the proof of payment.
- If you are employed, submit the following documents:
- Your work contract
- Bank statement of your income of the last 6 months
- If you are a student, you will need to provide these additional documents:
- Any proof that you are enrolled in a school/university.
- A NOC (No-Objection Letter) as proof that you are allowed to leave and intend to return after your trip.
Processing Time for a Poland Visa Application
Your Poland visa application time will take from 10 to 14 days to process. The Poland embassy or consulate will give you an answer after this time frame. In some conditions, the processing time for a visa application may take longer, and you will have to wait for your answer up to 45 days.
What If My Application Is Rejected?
Your Poland visa may be rejected even though you have correctly completed all of the application steps. If your visa application is denied, you can appeal within 8 weeks.
To learn how to appeal your rejection, make sure to check your rejection letter, as it will include information on how to start the appeal process. Remember that you may be required to pay an appeal fee of around €80.
Your visa application may be rejected for the following reasons:
- If you have falsified documentation.
- If you have not submitted enough explanation on why you want to visit Poland.
- If your passport is damaged.
- If your passport is invalid.
- If you do not have sufficient funds to provide for your stay.
- If your marriage or birth certificate is not valid.
- If your travel health insurance is invalid.
- If you have not submitted valid accommodation proof.
Poland Visa Duration
After your visa application is approved, you can stay in Poland for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, if you have applied for a short-stay visa. You can visit other Schengen countries with the Poland Schengen visa as well; the days spent anywhere in Schengen will count in your 90-day visa timeframe.
Staying in Poland Longer Than Three Months
If you want to stay in Poland longer than three months (90 days), you have to apply for a D-type visa and then a residence permit. A Poland D-type visa is a long-stay visa and will allow you to stay in the Republic of Poland for no more than a year; it can last from three months to twelve months at most. However, with a long-stay visa, you can apply for a residence permit once you enter Poland, which can be issued for years.
This visa is not the same as a Polish residence permit. The long-stay visa allows you to enter Poland with the purpose of work, studies, family reunion, etc. and is acquired at an embassy abroad. You must switch the long-stay visa into a residence permit after you enter Poland.
Poland Visa Extension
Long-stay visas for Poland can be extended past their validity, as long as you continue to meet the conditions of the visa. For example, you can extend a student visa if you are still enrolled in university. However, it is more difficult to extend a Poland Schengen visa. A tourist visa may be extended only in exceptional circumstances, such as:
- Conflict in your country which would make it unsafe for you to return.
- Medical reasons, which make it impossible for you to travel.
- Other force maujeure.