Poland is a famous tourist destination due to its historic architecture, beautiful landscape, and low prices. From Warsaw to Krakow, Poland leaves no shortcomings in providing a good time. If you want to visit Poland for a short time, you might need a Poland Schengen visa.
Poland’s tourist visa is referred to as a Schengen visa because Poland is part of the Schengen Agreement. This means that a single visa, issued by Poland, also grants you the right to visit all the other Schengen countries. Likewise, you can visit Poland with a visa issued by another Schengen country (like Germany or France).
Do I Need a Tourist Visa to Visit Poland?
No, you do not need a Schengen tourist visa for Poland if:
- Your country is part of the EU/EEA or Schengen.
- Your country of residence has a visa-free agreement with Schengen, such as the US, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia.
If you are from a country that does not have a visa-free agreement (e.g. China, Egypt, India, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey, etc.), you must apply for a Schengen visa to visit Poland.
How to Apply for a Poland Schengen Visa?
The steps for applying for a Poland Schengen visa are:
- Locate the nearest Polish consulate or embassy. Your first step is to learn where you have to submit the application, so you can either visit, call, or check the website of the nearest Polish embassy or consulate.
- Set up an appointment. You must set an appointment at least two weeks in advance.
- Complete the application form through the e-Konsulat website. The e-Konsulat is the Polish consular website; you can complete the application form via this website, but you are still required to submit all the documents in person.
- Collect the required documents. See “Document Checklist for Poland Schengen Visa” below.
- Submit the application in person at the Polish embassy or consulate. Once you have all the documents, submit them in person on the date of your appointment.
- Attend the visa interview (if it is required). Sometimes, the embassy or consulate may ask you to enter a visa interview on the day of your appointment.
- Wait for the decision. You will usually hear back within two weeks.
Document Checklist for Poland Schengen Visa
The required documents for a Poland Schengen visa application are:
- Poland visa application form. You can fill out the form online via the e-Konsulat website or pick it up in person at the embassy. Ensure which are the preferences of the embassy before you do either.
- Two passport-sized photos of yourself. The guidelines should follow the Poland Visa Photo Requirements.
- Your passport. The passport should be valid for at least three months after the return date and have at least two blank pages for the visa stickers.
- Proof of travel health insurance. You need Schengen insurance that covers at least €30,000 for medical emergencies in the entire Schengen area, not just Poland.
- Cover letter. Include the purpose and duration of your trip to Poland, and what you intend to do there.
- Proof of accommodation. Depending on where you will be staying during your trip, you can submit a hotel or Airbnb reservation.
- Proof of sufficient funds to provide for your stay in Poland. Usually, you submit your bank statements from the last three months. If someone else will fund your trip, they must write you a letter of invitation or guarantee.
- Proof of a flight reservation. You must submit the confirmation for a booked flight. It is not necessary to always purchase a ticket beforehand; a reservation is sufficient.
- Paid visa fee receipt. Submit the receipt from when you paid the visa fee.
- Civil status documents, as required by the embassy or consulate.
Poland Schengen Visa Processing Time
Your Poland visa application will take 10 to 14 days to process. The Poland embassy or consulate will give you an answer after this time frame. In some cases, the processing time for a visa application may take longer, and you will have to wait for your answer for up to 45 days.
Remember: The Poland Schengen visa processing times will take longer during the summer season due to the high visa application number.
Poland Schengen Visa Fee
The Poland visa fee is calculated depending on your age and your choice of visa type. You can pay the Poland visa fee online at the E-Konsulat website. This fee needs to be paid when you go and submit your application.
Is it Easy to Get a Poland Schengen Visa?
Yes, it is relatively easy to get a Poland Schengen Visa. Poland is considered one of the top 10 easiest places to get a visa for. Most countries situated in the center of Europe provide higher acceptance rates for Schengen visa applications.
How Long Can I Stay in Poland With a Schengen Tourist Visa?
You can stay up to 90 days during a 180-day period in Poland with a Schengen visa. You can also visit other Schengen countries with this visa during this timeframe. If you wish to stay for longer than 90 days, you may apply for an extension of your visa at the Civil and Migration Affairs Departments in Voivodeship Offices.
Can I Extend a Poland Schengen Visa?
Yes, you can extend a Poland Schengen visa, but you will need a strong reason, such as:
- It is not possible for you to leave Poland before the expiry of the visa, for humanitarian or professional reasons.
- You provide evidence of important personal reasons justifying the extension of your Schengen visa.
You can apply for a Schengen visa extension at the Civil and Migration Affairs Department in Voivodeship Offices.
Can I Study in Poland With a Schengen Visa?
You may take a short study course of up to three months on a Schengen visa. However, for long-term courses, such as BA and MA, anyone who is not from an EU/EEA country has to apply for a Poland student visa. Student visas require extra information and documentation such as proof of enrollment at a Polish school, a no objection letter, and a letter of invitation.
Can I Work in Poland With a Schengen Visa?
No, you can not work in Poland with a Schengen tourist visa. If you are interested in working in Poland, you need to apply for a Poland work visa. The Schengen visa can only be used for other purposes like tourism, visiting your friends or family members, business, medical purposes, etc.
Best Tourist Attractions in Poland
Poland will not leave you hanging when it comes to historical and natural architecture that you just have to see with your own eyes. Here are some of the top tourist attractions that you should definitely not miss when in Poland:
Crooked Forest in Gryfino, West Pomerania
The Crooked Forest has to be one of the biggest mysteries when it comes to Polish attractions. Located in Gryfino, West Pomerania in Poland, the Crooked Forest is exactly what it sounds like. The forest pine trees have a mysterious 90-degree angle bent at their base. Yes, really.
Although they were planted in the 1930s, it took the trees almost ten years to get today’s bent form. Conspiracy theories on how the trees got to the point they are today are still talked about.
Old Market Place in Warsaw
The oldest part of Warsaw, the Old Market Place, was previously blown up by German forces and rebuilt to the state it is in today. It’s a symbol of resilience, and it is a famous tourist spot for foreigners. There are many cafés and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Wolf’s Lair in Gierloz
The Masurian woods hold more than just trees and plants. Hidden deep into the woods, you will be able to see the Wolf’s Lair. Named after Hitler himself, the Wolf’s Lair, what was once a military base protected by mines and armed forces, can now be visited by tourists as a part of a day trip program from Warsaw.
Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków and Malbork Castle in Malbork
Poland is known for its beautiful and historical architecture, and the castles are part of it. Both castles are available for visits as they have been turned into museums for visitors. The Wawel Royal Castle once served as a way for King Sigismund I the Old to express his art, and today it is an art museum. The Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world by landscape, so if you are visiting Poland you should definitely not miss seeing it!