Getting a residence card is another way of legalising your stay in Poland. Apart from a visa, it is one of the most common documents held by foreigners. Some foreigners may confuse a residence card with a visa. Both documents allow them to legally stay in Poland, however, there are very significant differences. As you have already learnt, visas are issued by Polish consulate offices abroad, whereas a residence card is obtained through a relevant Voivodship Office in Poland. The former are more occasional in nature – you obtain a visa in order to visit Poland with a particular purpose in mind. When you apply for a residence card, it usually involves some long-term plans and therefore the document allows you to stay in Poland for even up to 3 years and cross the Polish border multiple times without the necessity of having a visa. It is common practice for foreigners to apply for a residence card towards the end of validity of their visa (at least 30 days before its expiration date). There are a lot of types of residency, theyre different and has a lot of differences. Read our general introduction to the subject of residence cards.
Commonly there are two sorts of residence:
- Work and economic activity – residence permits for persons employed in Poland
- Education – residence permits for students
- Marriage and family reunification – residence permits for spouses of Polish citizens