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New Residency Application Forms

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We have all been waiting for the Polish Government to publish the new forms required for the British community in Poland to be able to apply for their shiny new residence papers (or indeed replacement Residence Cards) for some time.

The good news is the forms have finally started to appear on the regional sites of the Office of Foreigners – and the initial verdict on these new forms? WOW!

Yeah, you heard me WOW! We’re in shock. Yes, they still have to be filled out in Polish, and no the online form creator tool is not working yet – but this all pales in comparison to the fact that these new forms are actually pretty simple and straightforward. We were promised so many times that the process would be simple, we always knew it would be a bit more complex than a straight-up swap, but actually, it’s not much more difficult than that after all. Good work Poland!

Depending on what documents you already hold, if at all, there are a few different options available, so we will try to run through and link to the most relevant ones. We are using links in this article to the Poznan regional office because in our opinion they have the best website from all the regional offices, with the content almost fully available in plain English – and the application forms and supporting info should be the same regardless of which region you live in.

A list of the regional offices is available here.

Most if not all offices now require you to make an appointment online in advance, they should provide an online form to do this on your local office’s website or provide a phone number where you can call to book. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we understand none of the offices allow walk-in appointments.

One thing to be aware of is regardless of what kind of application you need to make, they all come with the requirement to physically attend and supply fingerprints. The applications will also take longer as they will now need to be accompanied by a Police Check that can take up to 60 days alone. You can submit your application by post during the covid-19 pandemic, but you will still have to physically attend at some point in the future.

Replacement of an EU Residency Registration(zaświadczenie o zarejestrowaniu pobytu obywatela unii europejskiej)

Example of the registration document (the colour may vary, they came in white, pink, yellow or even blue for some people).

If you have not yet reached 5 continuous years of residency in Poland, and you hold one of these certificates, then you need to replace it for the new one in 2021. The new certificate will not only confirm your rights but will also be a valid residency document in the eyes of Border Guards to help you move across the EU borders smoothly.

The instructions and form are available in English here: https://migrant.poznan.uw.gov.pl/en/procedury/replacement-registration-stay-certificate

You only need to fill in pages 1 to 3 of the form, supply 2 passport-style photographs, a copy of your valid UK Passport and a copy of your original registration certificate. If you make the application in person, just make sure you take a couple of photocopies of each document with you. If you make the application by post, you will need to take the originals with you when you get called in to collect your new papers and/or give your fingerprints.

During the early phases of the new scheme, we already have seen examples of regional offices asking for more documents such as proof of Pesel, or Zameldowania as well as other documentary evidence. Whilst there is nothing in the official protocols requiring this, we anticipate they are also adjusting to the new schemes and as such are being overly cautious. In light of this, it would be wise to take all possible supporting documentation with you when you apply to ensure a smooth process.

[Update] Thanks to one of our kind friends who managed to get an early meeting at their local Foreigners office we now have an example of the certificate you should be issued whilst waiting for the final documents to be ready. This certificate is officially quoted as an acceptable form of proof to allow you to cross EU Borders(subject to other restrictions like Covid-19 regulations of course).

Example Certificate of Registration

Replacement of a Permanent Residence Card

The Permanent Residency cards come in a few flavours, thanks to various updates to the design over the years, it could even be a booklet.

They may also be labelled differently, sometimes they may be called “Karta Pobytu” and other times “Dokument potwierdzający prawo stałego pobytu”, ultimately regardless of the naming of the card, if you received the card whilst Poland was a part of the European Union (after 2004) then we understand it will almost certainly have been issued based on EU rules and it will need to be replaced in 2021.

We have reached out to the British Embassy who are working with the Polish Office for Foreigners to ask them for absolute confirmation of the types of cards with examples that must be replaced. We will endeavour to update this article when new information becomes available.

There is a type of permanent residency card based on what was formerly known as a ‘Settlement Permit’ these kinds of permits are only issued to 3rd country nationals, and not EU citizens or British Citizens who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement. If you received permanent residency in Poland prior to the accession of Poland to the European Union, you may not have to exchange your card if it is one of the Settlement Permits. Regardless of which card you hold we would strongly recommend checking with your regional Office for Foreigners regardless to ensure you do not miss the December 31st 2021 deadline.

The application process is very similar to replacement the temporary registration permits above, but the form is slightly different. You will also need to include 2 new passport-style photographs and copies of your UK passport.

Additionally, you are required to also submit a signed statement in Polish confirming that you have not lived outside Poland for more than 5 consecutive years since your Permanent Residency was issued and that you continue to stay in Poland after the end of 2020.

You can find the forms & information in English here:
https://migrant.poznan.uw.gov.pl/en/procedury/replacement-document-confirming-right-permanent-residence-0

First applications for Temporary Residence Registration, for people who have never applied previously.

If you have lived in Poland for less than 5 years, but have never applied to register your stay you still have a window of time to legalise this and assure your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

The process will be a little more complex than had you applied for documents previously, but only insofar as you need to show evidence that you came to Poland before then end of 2020 intending to stay.

There is a detailed list of what evidence would be accepted, such as utility bills, rental agreements, tax bills and the like. Or if you arrived very recently your flight tickets or other documents proving when you entered Poland.

For full details please refer to the application page where you can find the application form and instructions on how to apply. As a new application, you will need to provide 4 passport style photographs.
https://migrant.poznan.uw.gov.pl/en/procedury/registration-stay-certificate

First applications for Permanent Residency.

If you have registered your stay before and hold a registration paper(zaświadczenie o zarejestrowaniu pobytu obywatela unii europejskiej) or if you have never registered previously but have been residing in Poland for 5 years(or 3 years if married to a Polish Citizen, the length of the marriage is not relevant) already then you can apply immediately for Permanent Residence.

There is an obligation to provide evidence you have resided in Poland for at least 5 consecutive years(or 3 years if married to a Polish Citizen, the length of the marriage is not relevant), and have not been outside of Poland for more than 182d per year in the previous five years. However, the evidence required seems relatively light, such as annual bank statements(from your Polish bank of course) or annual property/land tax bills and suchlike.

We understand in some regional offices they may be more demanding over the evidence required to support an application, we know from past experiences Tax or ZUS printouts (ideally from the relevant office with Stamps, or a digitally signed copy) have been also used. You should refer to your local office for their specific requirements.

If you have broken the 182d limit in one year only of the previous 5 years but have a valid reason, such as being posted abroad for work by a Polish company, or sickness or suchlike you may provide evidence to explain the extended absence and your application may still be accepted and processed.

Like all new applications, you will also require 4 passport-style photographs, photocopies of your UK Passport and any other evidence you wish to submit if you do not want to leave originals. If sending non-original documents by post you may send notarized copies also, although it is not yet clear if this is an obligation.

For full details please refer to the application page which includes the application form and more specific instructions:
https://migrant.poznan.uw.gov.pl/en/procedury/permanent-residence-0

Other cases?

There are a number of other scenarios where you might need to make a new application, for example, if you have a spouse or dependent that is not an EU citizen, there are also forms available for such applications but they are not the most common cases, therefore, we will not go into details here but would recommend you check the regional Office for Foreigners in your state.

A similar alternative application exists for Border Workers, however, once again this is a complex matter and we would advise you seek individual advice from your region Office for Foreigners.

Additional support may also be obtained for free from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which has been granted funding until the end of March 2021, to support British Nationals who may be vulnerable with ensuring they are able to register under the new schemes.

Please note: All information supplied in this article is based on best endeavours and we do not warrant nor offer any guarantees of the accuracy of the information, if you are in doubt seek professional legal advice, reach out to the IOM or contact your regional Office for Foreigners.