The Republic of Poland is a country in Central-Eastern Europe with Warsaw as the nation’s capital. In terms of population, Poland with roughly 38 million inhabitants ranks №9 in Europe and №5 among EU member states. In 2019, the country reported about 21 million international arrivals, as tourists from around the world come to visit Poland’s diverse attractions.
Citizens of many countries are allowed to enter without a visa, although applying for a Poland visa is relatively easy for the rest. According to official figures, the country rejects only 4.5% of Schengen applications and ranks seventh among EU member states in terms of high visa approval rate. For comparison, the average percentage of visa refusal among Schengen countries is 15%.
COVID-19 restrictions. Starting from March 2022, all restrictions related to the COVID-19 epidemic have been lifted, which means there is no need to show a vaccination certificate, test for SARS-CoV-2, or undergo quarantine upon entry.
Who Needs to Apply
Poland became a member of the Schengen Agreement in 2007. Therefore, citizens of EU member states can enter and stay in Poland without a visa. In addition, many non-EU countries have visa-free travel agreements with Poland and are granted permission for a 90-day stay on arrival. In total, citizens of 94 countries can stay in Poland without a visa, including the US, Canada, and Australia. The full list of visa-free countries is available on the official website (https://www.gov.pl/web/georgia/visa-free-countries).
Citizens of countries not included in the visa waiver list, as well as those planning to stay in Poland for more than 90 days, must apply for one of the visa types. Holders of valid Schengen visas can freely enter the country by any means of transport.
Poland Visa Types
There are four types of Polish visas, which are designated as A, B, C, and D.
A and B are transit visas with a short validity period. They allow traveling from one non-Shengen country to another via Polish territory. Visa A allows you to stay at the airport for up to two days, while visa B allows you to pass through the country, staying for up to five days.
Citizens of only 13 countries have to apply for a Poland visa in case of airport transit: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Cuba, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.
Poland Schengen visa is labeled as C and has several subcategories depending on the purpose of the visit. It enables you to stay in the Schengen area for up to three months within a six-months duration. Schengen visa C can be either a single-entry or a multiple-entry visa.
The Polish national visa is a long-stay visa labeled as D. Polish visa type D allows:
- stay in the country for more than 90 days (but no longer than 1 year).
- stay in the territory of the Schengen countries for up to 3 months within six months.
A national visa, as well as a temporary residence permit, gives you the right to engage in labor and educational activities.
Poland Visa Application Requirements
The following documents are required for visa application:
- A valid passport with at least two blank pages. The passport should be issued no more than 10 years ago. Check your passport expiration date: it should be valid at least 3 months after the supposed exit from the Schengen area.
- Two identical passport-sized photos. The photo should be not older than six months and taken on a light background. The full list of requirements & specifications is available here. (https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/photo-requirements/)
- A visa application form. It should be filled via the e-Consulate system, printed, and signed. (https://secure.e-konsulat.gov.pl/)
- Booked flights to enter and leave the Schengen area.
- Hotel reservations (or other proof of accommodation in Poland)
- Travel insurance with a min coverage of 30,000 EUR valid in all member states.
- Copies of past visas (if any).
- Proof of financial sufficiency (cash, bank statement, proof of employment, documents to attest that the sponsor will cover your expenses). For short stays up to 3 days, the total amount is approx 68€ (300 PLN/ Polish zloty).
- If the trip extends 3 days, the daily amount is approx 22.5€ (100 PLN). If the accommodation is already paid in advance by the traveler or covered by a third party, the daily amount is reduced to 4.5€ (20 PLN).
- Proof of civil status. Birth certificate of children, certificate of marriage/death of a spouse.
- A letter explaining the purpose of the trip, detailed itinerary, accommodation, and other details.
Additional documents depending on travel purpose
Depending on the travel purpose and other conditions, the applicant may have to prepare additional documents.
Based on current activity. Employed travelers are required to show their employment contract with leave permission for the whole trip duration, a bank statement of the past six months, and an ITR form. For self-employed applicants, the required documents include a business license, company bank statement, and ITR. Students have to present proof of enrollment and a no-objection letter from a college or university. Retired travelers are required to have a pension statement of the latest 6 months
Additional documents based on the purpose of the travel
Airport transit visa: Fight ticket and visa for the final destination country
Visitor visa: Invitation letter from the inviting person indicating the length and conditions of the visit; an official invitation registered at the Provincial office; copy of the inviting person`s ID.
Business visa: Invitation letter from a company in Poland.
Educational visa: Enrollment letter from an educational institution in Poland, no-objection letter from current place of study.
Medical Visa: Medical report from the home country stating the need for medical treatment in Poland; confirmation of the appointment by the receiving medical institution in Poland; Proof of financial arrangements for the treatment.
Spouse visa: Proof of Polish citizenship of the spouse; Polish marriage certificate.
Additional documents: requirements for Poland children visa
When applying for a minor, the additional requirements include a birth certificate, an application form signed by both parents, and certified copies of the parent`s ID. If the child is traveling with another person, the documents should include a notarized parental authorization.
Where to Apply for Polish Visa
You can apply directly through the embassy, consulate, or visa service centers, created to optimize the visa process and provide visa services. The application should be made in the country where you legally reside (i.e. you are a citizen or hold a residence permit). If you are in doubt whether there is a Polish consulate in your country of residence and where it is located, this information is available on the Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. (https://secure.e-konsulat.gov.pl/)
How to apply for Poland Schengen Visa?
Polish consulates and visa centers accept applications for short-term Schengen visas (C) and long-term national visas (D) by appointment. The application must be submitted at least 15 days before the date of the proposed trip but no more than six months. The application should be submitted in person only. It is strongly recommended to clarify the current list of required documents in advance before submitting an application. You can do this on the website of the embassy, consulate, or visa center of the country for which you are applying.
The step-by-step procedure of obtaining a visa:
- Book an appointment (in most countries, this can be done online on the website of the consulate or visa center)
- Fill out the universal visa form. Indicate only the correct information and leave no empty fields.
- Collect all necessary documents. Check carefully which documents are required for your type of visa.
- Attend the visa interview and answer all questions honestly and clearly.
- Pay the visa fee and wait for the response. Usually, a decision is made within 15 days.
- If the visa has been approved, learn the conditions and allowable duration of travel to avoid overstay.
- If a visa was denied, learn the reason to avoid mistakes in the future (or file an appeal if you think that everything was done correctly).
Poland Visa Fees
With a few exceptions, all Schengen visas cost the same. A Polish visa for adults costs 80€, for children from 6 to 12 years old 40 €, and for children under 6 years old — free of charge. Fees for single-entry and multiple-entry Schengen visas are the same.
If you decided on a short trip to Poland or are going for a longer period, fortunately, the visa refusal rate in this country is quite low. Of course, an application for a Polish Schengen visa should be made only if the country will be your main place of stay in the Schengen area (or in other acceptable cases). Obtaining a Poland visa is not difficult if you approach the process responsibly, study all the requirements, and refrain from giving any false information.