Poland - Visa Information
Citizens of the 27 member states of the European Union do not need a visa to enter Poland. This also applies to citizens of countries belonging to the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein), as well as citizens of countries which have signed an agreement on free movement of people (Switzerland). Once you have arrived, you should apply for a one-year temporary residence permit. You should apply for a temporary residence permit at the Wydzial Spraw Obywatelskich (Department of Citizenship Affairs) at ul. Przy Rondzie 6, tel. +48 12 4223105. The staff of the Centre for European Studies will be able to help you when dealing with this office (for directions, see 4.1.). In order to get a temporary residence permit you will need to have:
- A filled-in application form – one original and three photocopies, available from the Wydzial Spraw Obywatelskich as well as online
- medical insurance (European Health Card or private coverage)
- proof of funds to cover your stay in Poland (a written statement that you have enough funds for your planned stay or a copy of your bank statement)
- a copy of your travel document (usually a photocopy of the photograph page of your passport)
- information about your place of residence in Poland. (If you are staying in the student halls of residence, you only need your residence registration – meldunek. If you are staying in private housing, you will need your meldunek and a contract.)
- a letter from the Jagiellonian University
Registration of your stay and a document certifying your registration may be issued to you immediately. You would need to pay a fee of zl. 1. The process of issuing a permit takes usually about a month. Dependents and family members will not be covered by temporary residence permits issued to students. The card is issued for the time that you indicate in your application but for no longer than 5 years.
Polish law requires that all non-EU, non-EFTA citizens who wish to study in Poland must get a student visa from the Polish Consulate nearest to them in the home country. (Your country's consulates in Poland are unlikely to know much more than you do about Polish visas.) Persons wishing to study in Poland may apply for the national long-stay visas (D). Please note that this kind of visa entitles the holder to travel through the Schengen area for up to 3 months.
Entrance visas issued by the Polish consulate in your home country should be valid for one year. The visa should be free of charge, although the various consulates have a lot of autonomy in requiring you to pay additional fees for processing. Make sure that you request a multiple-entry visa. The visa permits continuous residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland or multiple consecutive periods of residence, not exceeding jointly, in the case of a long-term visa – a year within the period of visa validity. You are not usually legally allowed to work in Poland on a student visa during the regular academic year (see 3.1 below). In order to get a student visa, you must have:
- a valid passport (the passport validity must exceed the required date of departure from Poland by at least 3 months) with at least one blank visa page
- one colour 4.5 cm. x 3.5 cm. photograph which shows your left ear (not a profile, but a slight turn of the head)
- a letter of invitation addressed to the consulate from the Jagiellonian University (the letter addressed to the consulate is provided by the CES administration office)
- proof that you have the financial means to travel to and from Poland and maintain yourself while you are there without working. (Usually a printout of your bank statement showing that you have some money is sufficient. If you will be receiving grants or loans, those are good things to show as well. The most recent official recommendation is that you should be able to show that you can be expected to cover at least zl. 800 per month.)
- A filled-in application form. (available from the Polish Consulate as well as online)
Please note that individual Consulates might have more specific rules about the documentation for the visa: Consulates have the right to request additional documentation where it is deemed necessary. For example, students have been asked for:
- proof that the student has paid the application registration fee or even a portion of the tuition fee for their programme (even if the Jagiellonian University deadline is still in the future)
- medical coverage – either medical insurance or proof that you have sufficient financial means to purchase medical insurance. All visitors from outside of the EU to the Schengen area countries should have basic health and accident insurance that will cover up to 30,000 euro. Students may be asked to show insurance coverage for the first few months of their stay and/or a statement that the student intends to get Polish insurance upon matriculating as a student.
- the address of the student residence where the student will be living
Most Consulates can issue a visa within 7 to 10 working days of the application and most offer an express service (one or two days) for an additional fee.
If you are a EU/ EFTA and you have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) then you are entitled to receive free health care services. Using your card you can go to directly to a General Practitioner.
Citizens of the EU/ EFTA who are not insured in their country of origin or students from countries outside the EU/EFTA should purchase insurance before they arrive in Poland or purchase insurance in the Polish National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia – NFZ). The monthly cost of such insurance for students is around 40 PLN (9 EUR). Foreigners insured in NFZ, are treated equally to Polish citizens and have the same access to health care benefits and the financing of these benefits. Persons without health insurance coverage in Poland or any other
member state of the EU/ EFTA, may – as a general rule – use health benefits for a fee. In the event of presenting an appropriate health insurance policy (for example the policy required for the Schengen visa), a facility offering medical assistance may settle the costs directly with the insurer.
Cost of Living
The official currency of Poland is Polish Zloty (PLN).
The costs of living in Krakow differ depending on the preferred standard and lifestyle, and they vary from around 1300 PLN to 2200 PLN per month (300 - 495 Eur), a rough guide can be found below:
Accommodation - student dormitories - 375 - 400 PLN
Accommodation - renting a room - 700 - 1200 PLN
Food - minimun 600PLN
Public Transport - around 50 PLN
Insurance - around 50PLN
The average cost of a dinner is about 15 - 20PLN depending on the place, a meal at the university canteen usually costs around 15PLN.
The cost of a student monthly ticket (tram&bus) is 50 PLN (11 EUR). The Krakowska Karta Miejska (KKM) is a card for city transportation which you can buy in any MPK outlet and extend its validity in any ticket machine. The best option is to purchase a semester ticket which costs 184 PLN (41 EUR).