Poland offers one of the most accreditable and highest education systems in Europe. The application process for Polish universities is very rigorous and therefore known for the quality of studies it provides.
If you are an international student looking to start your studies in Poland, you might need a Poland student visa.
Do I Need a Visa to Study in Poland?
If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you must get a student visa at your nearest Polish embassy/consulate. After you arrive in Poland, you must apply for a temporary residence permit, preferably 45 days before your visa expires to extend your stay.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen and you would like to study in Poland for longer than three months, you only need to register your stay in the country. This is because visas are not required for citizens with a “laissez-passer.”
Remember: You can not reside or study in any other country besides Poland with your student visa.
Where to Apply for a Poland Student Visa?
Depending on where you live, you can apply for a Poland visa at one of the following:
- The Polish embassy or consulate in your country.
- The Polish embassy or consulate in a neighboring country.
- The embassy or consulate of another Schengen country, to which Poland has outsourced visa submissions.
- A private visa application center or agency that the Polish embassy has outsourced visa submission services.
You can find Poland’s missions abroad (embassies and consulates) here.
Poland Student Visa Application Process
The steps you must follow to apply for a Poland student visa are:
- Find the nearest Polish consulate or embassy to set up an appointment. You can set up an appointment through the e-Konsulat website of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Complete the application form through the E-Konsulat website. Along with setting up your appointment, you can also complete the application form through the e-Konsulat website.
- Collect the required documents. There is a set of documents that support your visa application, such as your letter of acceptance to the university. See the full list of documents under “Supporting Documents” below.
- Submit the application in person at the Polish embassy or consulate. Once you have your documents, you must submit them in person on the date of your appointment.
- Attend the visa interview if it is required. Some embassies may require a visa interview, to get to know you and determine whether you should receive a visa.
- Wait for the decision. Once your application has been submitted, you just need to wait to hear a decision. The embassy will notify you how long it will take; usually 15 days.
Supporting Documents for a Poland Student Visa Application
The required documents for a Poland visa application are:
- Two Poland visa application forms. You can complete the application form on the E-Konsulat website.
- Two passport-sized photos of yourself. The photos must follow the Schengen visa photo guidelines.
- Your passport. It must be valid for at least three months after the return date and you should provide additional copies of your passport pages.
- Health insurance. Prior health insurance is important to cover you for at least the initial part of your trip until you set up long-term student health insurance in Poland.
- Proof of accommodation. You must prove that you have a place to live in, like dorms or student apartments.
- Proof of sufficient funds. This is necessary because you need to be able to provide for your stay in Poland.
- A university acceptance letter. The letter has to be official and signed by the Polish university you applied for, and it should state your name, type of study, and the length of your studies.
- An invitation letter. If you can not reach a dormitory contract or rental agreement for your accommodation during your stay in Poland, you can apply for your visa with an invitation letter. The invitation letter needs to be written by a guarantor, and it should state that they will be able to provide for your stay during your studies in Poland.
- Document proving your English or Polish language proficiency level*. To start your studies in a Poland university, you must prove your English or Polish language proficiency level. You can submit this proof in the form of a diploma or academic certificate. Your certificates can not be older than three years.
- Scholarship document (if applicable). Proof that you have obtained a scholarship for your studies in Poland will help you with your financial insurance. The scholarship has to cover a minimum of €631 per month for it to be considered a valid document for your visa application.
- Proof of your relationship status. If you are married, you must submit your marriage certificate.
- Proof of your flight date and time. You can submit the flight ticket as proof.
- Paid visa fee receipt. The receipt is given to you after paying the long-stay visa fee.
*Note: You do not have to prove your English language proficiency level if English is your native language.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Poland Student Visa?
Your Poland student visa may take up to 15 days to process after submitting your application. Once you have the university acceptance letter, you are advised to apply for your Poland student visa as soon as possible but not earlier than three months before your enrollment date. If by any chance you apply during the summer season, the processing time for your student visa application may be extended.
How Long Can I Stay in Poland With a Student Visa?
You can stay in Poland for up to 3 months with a Schengen visa and one year with a national student visa.
International students that want to stay in Poland for longer than three months need to get the TRP (Temporary Residence Permit). The first time you apply for a permit, you can stay in Poland for your studies for an additional two years.
Please be aware that due to a large number of applicants, you will have to wait 8-10 months for your Temporary Residence Permit to process.
Can I Work in Poland With a Student Visa?
Yes, you can work in Poland with a student visa provided that you have a residence permit. You can work part-time during your studies (20 hours a week) and full-time during breaks. However, you are advised to focus more on your studies than on work since it is crucial for your student visa. If you do not pass your exams and finish each semester in time, it could affect the renewal of your visa.
Is It Easy To Get a Job in Poland as a Student?
Yes, it is relatively easy to get a part-time job in Poland as a student due to the new regulations of the Polish Government. As an international student, all you will need is a temporary residence permit to find a job in Poland.
Can My Family Come With Me?
Your family can come with you to Poland if they apply for a residence permit as an accompanying family member. You must prove your stable and regular income to show that you can provide for the family member during their stay. Your family is also allowed to work and study in Poland with your student visa as long as you also have a temporary residence permit.
Can I Extend a Poland Student Visa?
Yes, you can extend a student visa to the full extent of your educational program. If your student visa is about to expire, you must apply for a temporary residence permit to study in Poland for longer. Another way would be to return to your home country and reapply for the visa. An extension of the temporary residence permit is not possible and you will be asked to reapply for the permit once it expires.
How Can I Stay in Poland After I Graduate?
If you would like to stay in Poland after graduation, you will need to find a job. You must apply for a residence permit to reside and work in Poland after graduating from a Polish university to get a job. If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you only need to update your stay permit.
How To Get Permanent Residence In Poland After Student Visa?
If you are an international student with a stable and regular income and have resided in Poland for four years continuously with a temporary residence permit, you can apply for a permanent residence permit.
You will be issued a residence card that is valid for ten years. This means that you need to replace the residence card every ten years. However, you do not need to re-apply for the residence card; this is just an update of your residence.
The permanent residence permit will allow you to work in Poland without applying for additional work permits.
Health Insurance for Students in Poland
As an international student in Poland, you can sign an insurance agreement with the Polish Health National Fund (NFZ – Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia) or with a private health insurance company. To obtain health insurance with the NFZ, you have to present the following documents
- Your passport, which shows your current visa or residence permit
- Your registration of residence
- Confirmation of student status (issued by your university)
If you opt for private insurance, you can sign an agreement with a local company in Poland or with an international health insurance provider.
If you do not obtain any sort of health insurance for students, then you will have to pay out of pocket for all medical treatment you receive in Poland.