On December 1, 2020, the amendment to the Act on foreigners and several other acts enters into force. The changes adjust Polish legislation to the amended Community Code on Visas and are also related to Poland's accession to the US Visa Waiver Program.

The most important changes refer to:

Place of applying for a national visa for the purpose of performing work:

  • a foreign national will be able apply for this type of visa in the place of legalised residence / stay, and not, as it has been before, in the place of permanent residence.

Health insurance presented when applying for a visa and entering the territory of Poland:

  • foreign national travelling to Poland in order to perform work (not covered by ZUS insurance) will be required to present travel medical insurance for the entire period of the intended stay in Poland. The existing regulations have allowed for the possibility of presenting an insurance policy covering the period until the foreign national was covered by ZUS insurance - usually providing a policy for the first two weeks of stay in Poland was sufficient.
  • insurance companies will have to meet additional requirements, including regular audit in case of companies not having their registered offices/branches in the EEA or the Swiss Confederation. The list of companies meeting the criteria will be published and updated on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Visa issuance time limits:

  • extension of the maximum time limit for examining a national visa application to 60 days and an application for reconsideration (as a result of a negative decision) from 7 to 14 days
  • possibility to apply for a national visa as early as 6 months before the planned departure (instead of 3 months, as it has been so far) - this way the discrepancy that had occurred since the amendment of the Community Code on Visas was removed.

Visa application form:

  • national visa applicants will be required to provide in the application form information on a work permit, university or field of study.

Other regulations of the Community Code on Visas:

  • non-compliance with the requirements concerning the travel document has been removed from the catalog of grounds for national visa refusal - according to the Code, it will now be the basis for declaring the visa application inadmissible;
  • the code requirement, according to which no more than two weeks should elapse between scheduling an appointment to submit a visa application and the appointment itself, has been excluded.

Criminal records of officials:

  • it is required that officials handling administrative proceedings concerning foreign nationals have no criminal records on offenses committed intentionally.

Visa based on humanitarian grounds, interest of the state or international obligations:

  • this type of visa has been removed from the catalog of visas based on which it is not possible to perform work in Poland, even in case of having a valid work permit*.


*Currently, legislative works on the provisions allowing for performance of work based on the indicated visa without the necessity to hold a valid work permit are in progress.