How do I get a student visa for Poland?

Are you planning to studying abroad in Poland, but struggling with the complexities of obtaining a student visa? You’re not alone. Many students face hurdles in navigating the intricate application process, understanding the requirements, and ensuring they have all the necessary documentation in place. It can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to focus on your studies and plan for your future. In this quick guide, we’ll break down the steps to securing your student visa to Poland. Whether you’re struggling to understand the application requirements or feeling overwhelmed by the paperwork, we’ve got you covered. Stay tuned to discover how you can streamline your visa application process to Poland.

Is Poland Good for International Students?

Poland has emerged as a popular destination for international students seeking quality education in a vibrant and dynamic environment. 

Firstly, the high quality of education in Poland, influenced by European traditions and standards, along with the expertise of its academic staff, draws students from around the world. The student-university relationship model in Poland offers flexibility in curriculum design, including options like Erasmus+ exchanges and studying abroad. 

Moreover, the welcoming national society and multicultural environment make international students feel at home, fostering a sense of belonging. Support systems such as mentoring programs help students adapt quickly, fostering friendships and integration. The student-friendly infrastructure, including affordable accommodation, well-equipped labs, and accessible public transport, enhances the overall experience. 

Poland’s lower cost of living compared to Western Europe further adds to its appeal, making it attractive for students and investors alike. Additionally, Poland’s natural beauty, from the Mazury Lake District to the Tatra Mountains, provides a picturesque backdrop for studies and relaxation. These factors combined make Poland an increasingly attractive destination for international students seeking quality education and a supportive environment.

Read here our guide on why you should study abroad in Poland

Do I Need a Visa to Study in Poland?

As a rule of thumb, international students who are not from the EU/EEA and are not Swiss citizens absolutely need a student visa to enter Poland. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must obtain a student visa from the nearest Polish embassy/consulate. Upon arrival, they should apply for a temporary residence permit, ideally 45 days before the visa expires, to extend their stay. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens planning to study in Poland for over three months only need to register their stay, as visas aren’t necessary for them. Remember, your student visa is only valid for residing and studying in Poland.

Poland Student Visa Application Process

To apply for a student visa in Poland, follow these 7 simple steps:

  1. Find a Polish Consulate or the consular section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland handling visa applications.
  1. Read all visa application information on the consulate’s website and follow the instructions carefully.
  1. Schedule a visa appointment with the consulate, often done through the E-Konsulat website.  
  1. Gather necessary documents, including your university acceptance letter. Check the consulate’s website for the full list of required documents.
  1. Submit all documents along with the completed application form and visa fee.
  1. Attend a visa interview if required by the embassy to assess your eligibility.
  1. Await the decision. The embassy will inform you of the processing time, typically around 15 days. Early submission is recommended due to potential delays.

Where to Apply for a Poland Student Visa?

To apply for a Poland visa, you have several options:

  • The Polish embassy or consulate in your country.
  • Reaching out to the Polish embassy or consulate in a neighboring country.
  • Inquire at the embassy or consulate of another Schengen country, where Poland has delegated visa submission responsibilities.
  • Engage with a private visa application center or agency approved by the Polish embassy for visa submission services.

You can find Poland’s embassies and consulates addresses here.  

Poland Study Visa Requirements

Requirements for entry in Poland vary depending on whether you are from an European or a non-European country. 

Requirements for EU/EA and Swiss Citizens

As a citizen of an EU member state, gaining entry to Poland is straightforward. All you need is a valid travel document or a document confirming your identity and citizenship, such as your national ID card. 

Moreover, for stays in Poland lasting less than three months, there are no formal requirements. However, if your stay extends beyond this period, additional steps are necessary. 

This process involves registering with the Voivodship (Provincial) Office, within 90 days of arrival. Upon registration, they will receive a cost-free certificate with indefinite validity, confirming their right to stay in Poland.

Visa Requirements for Non-EU Citizens

As part of the Schengen Area, Poland allows visa holders to travel throughout Europe, with exceptions including the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and non-EU territories. The two main documents you will need to enter Poland if you are not an EU citizen are a valid travel document (passport) and a visa (if required). 

There are several types of visas to choose from: 

  • Schengen C type visa, which allows stays of up to 90 days in a six-month period, 
  • National D type visa, which permits longer stays and travel within the Schengen area. 
  • Students coming to Poland cannot use the airport transit Schengen visa.

Moreover, it’s crucial for non-EU students to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit before their visa expires to legally stay in Poland. 

Application involves submitting necessary documents to the local Voivodship Office, including proof of identity, purpose of stay, health insurance, and sufficient funds.

Documents Required For Poland Student Visa

Documents required for a Poland student visa include:

  • 2 Poland visa application forms, available on the E-Konsulat website.
  • 2 passport-sized photos following Poland visa photo guidelines.
  • Your passport, valid for at least three months after the return date, with additional copies of passport pages.
  • Health insurance covering the initial part of your trip.
  • Proof of accommodation, like dorms or student apartments.
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
  • University acceptance letter stating your name, study type, and length.
  • Invitation letter if unable to secure accommodation.
  • Document proving English or Polish language proficiency.
  • Scholarship document, if applicable.
  • Proof of relationship status, if married.
  • Proof of flight details.
  • Paid visa fee receipt.

Confirm consulate-specific requirements on their website. You must have completed secondary education and hold a valid Leaving Certificate or European Baccalaureate to apply for undergraduate studies.

Minimum Bank Balance For Poland Student Visa

When considering studying in Poland, it’s essential to account for various expenses beyond just tuition. Apart from tuition fees, living costs, and additional charges, prospective students should aim for an average bank balance of EUR 12,000. This amount serves as a financial prerequisite for applicants seeking to pursue their education in Poland.

Check here our guide on the living and studying cost in Poland for international students. 

Poland Student Visa IELTS Requirements

Interestingly, unlike some other countries, Poland does not universally mandate IELTS or TOEFL certifications for admission (although this may vary depending on the university chosen). However, it’s essential to note that evidence of English proficiency is still required, albeit through alternative means. 

Moreover, what’s particularly noteworthy in Poland is the increasing availability of study programs conducted in English. Many universities in Poland now offer courses entirely in English, catering to the diverse international student population seeking quality education in this historic European nation.

Poland Student Visa Fee

When applying for a D type student visa to Poland, applicants must pay a non-refundable fee of 78.20 EUR. This fee covers the initial visa application process. In addition to the visa fee, individuals seeking temporary residence permits in Poland must spend a processing cost of 87.7 EUR. Similar to the visa fee, this amount is also non-refundable and is essential for processing the residence permit. When it comes to modes of payment, applicants have the flexibility to choose from payments in cash, through card transactions, or via money order.

Health Insurance for Students in Poland

International students in Poland need to subscribe to a health insurance. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can get insurance from the Polish Health National Fund (NFZ) or a private company.
  • For NFZ insurance, bring your passport with visa, registration of residence, and student status confirmation from your university.
  • Private insurance is an option with local or international providers.
  • Without insurance, you’ll pay for medical costs yourself.

Poland Student Visa Processing Time

The next step once you’ve submitted your visa application is to wait for a decision. 

Here’s a breakdown of Poland student visa processing times:

  • Processing Time: Up to 15 days after submitting your application.
  • Ideal Timing: Apply soon after receiving the university acceptance letter, but not earlier than three months before your enrollment date.
  • Summer Season Alert: If applying during summer, expect possible extensions in the processing time for your Poland student visa application.

Poland Student Visa Success Rate

The success rate of a Poland study visa is 95%. This means that as long as you fulfill the basic criteria for study purpose, you’re most likely to obtain your visa to Poland. If your visa application is rejected, don’t worry. Common reasons include lacking financial proof, incomplete forms, missing documents, passport issues, or inadequate insurance. Make sure therefore to fix these and reapply. You can also appeal the decision by writing a letter to your consulate explaining why your application should be approved.

How Long is the Student Visa for Poland Valid?

Once you get your visa, the next question to answer is how long can you stay in Poland with a student visa. With a Schengen visa, it’s up to 3 months, and with a national student visa, it’s one year. For longer stays, you’ll need a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP), which takes 8 to 10 months to process. 

Additionally, you can extend your student visa for the duration of your program or reapply from your home country if needed. Temporary residence permit extension isn’t possible; you’ll have to reapply once it expires.

Can I Work With a Student Visa in Poland?

Yes, you can work in Poland with a student visa as long as you have a residence permit. During your studies, you’re allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during breaks. 

Getting a part-time job is relatively easy under new Polish regulations, requiring only a temporary residence permit. With a Polish student visa, there’s no need for a work permit, but ensure work doesn’t hinder your academic performance, as it may impact your permit renewal.

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