1 Guidebook for foreigners Learning and studying in Poland District Chamber of Legal Advisors
2 Guidebook for foreigners Learning and studying in Poland
4 Guidebook for foreigners Learning and studying in Poland Katarzyna Rowińska, Iwona Zemanek District Chamber of Legal Advisors Warsaw 2009
5 Guidebook for foreigners. Learning and studying in Poland Compiled by: Katarzyna Rowińska, Iwona Zemanek Copyright by District Chamber of Legal Advisors in Warsaw, 2008 District Chamber of Legal Advisors in Warsaw 15 Żytnia St. room no Warsaw tel (72) fax On commission by the District Chamber of Legal Advisors in Warsaw Graphic design and print: Foxrabbit Designers
6 Table of contents Introduction... 7 I. Before you enter Poland... 9 II. Entry to Poland III. Residence in Poland IV. Work in Poland Appendices Appendix I. Basic deeds on residence of aliens in Poland Appendix II. List of countries which citizens are exempted from visa duties up to three months Appendix III. Application for Schengen visa Appendix IV. Application for Polish Charter Appendix V. Addresses and telephones of Citizen s Affairs and Aliens Departments in voivodship offices Appendix VI. Application for uniform visa for the purpose of stay or national visa extension Appendix VII. Application for the residence permit for a specified period of time Appendix VIII. Application for registering the residence Appendix IX. Application for the issue / replacement of the EU citizen family member residence card Appendix X. Application for replacement of the residence card... 85
8 Introduction Already some time ago Poland became an increasingly attractive country to various types of foreigners: economic migrants, entrepreneurs, persons from scientific, cultural or sports fields. One of the most visible and numerous groups are those, who begin studies or education on lower levels in Poland. According to Ministry of Science and Higher Education there were foreign students in Polish public higher schools in academic year 2008 / 2009, 40% of which are of Polish descent. It proves that level of Polish higher education and possessing a Polish diploma of higher education is increasingly recognized among aliens. It is also important from perspective of development of the higher schools themselves and their abilities to finance activities and research. It is in Polish interest to provide foreign students with attractive conditions of their studies and stay, as well as to make the most of their intellectual potential and knowledge after finishing education by them. Legalization of the residence in the territory of our country plays an important role in the appropriate course of studies. It is not simple due to relatively strict regulations and procedures of entry rules, permits for residence and travelling to other countries covered by European Community law which are in force since Poland joined the European Union and signed the Schengen Agreement. Moreover, permissions and obligations of different types of aliens may vary in mentioned range and negligence resulting from lack of knowledge or not applying to formal regulations may hinder taking up an education in Poland. With regard for those I was glad to approve a project of the District Chamber of Legal Advisors in Warsaw to prepare a guide for aliens on taking up an education and studies in Poland and a kind request to take the publication under a patronage of Ministry of Interior and Administration. I am glad that this guide has been compiled by employees of the Office for Aliens, who are essentially the most competent for writing such publications, which guarantees materials of high quality and being up to date. The guide contains important information on formalities which should be carried out by a alien before coming to Poland, conditions of entry and residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland and on possibilities to work in our country (including a situation of third country or a European Union citizen or a Member of his / hers family). The publication presents the alien step-by-step what activities should he / she out from the moment of
9 8 deciding to come to Poland up to the moment of obtaining a work permit, if he / she also intends to take up a job. The guide presents in detail the most important and the most difficult regulations of the Act on Aliens from the perspective of legalizing a stay in our country. It concentrates, among others, on types of visas, information on bodies which issue visas, instructions on filling out application forms for certain permits for residence, procedures of obtaining certain forms of legalization of residence in our country, documents necessary to carry out the proceedings. The publication also covers issues of the Polish Charter and related permissions for persons of Polish descent. From a practical point of view an information about obligation to register in case of European Union citizens and information about possibility of taking up or continuing vocational trainings in Poland may be useful. Moreover, the guide presents the regulations concerning taking up a job in Poland by persons who are studying, in relation to their residence permit. It also contains appendices to basic deeds regulating issues of aliens residence in Poland, a list of countries whose citizens are exempted from visa duties for up to three-months stay, examples of application forms required while applying for residence permit and contact information to Citizen s Affairs and Departments for Aliens in voivodship offices. This publication may remarkably help those who are planning to begin studies in Poland to obtain information about Polish law and procedures by presenting all fundamental issues of entering the country and residing in Republic of Poland. It writes itself into activities which intend to popularize information about possibilities of legal migration which should especially concern citizens of the countries in Eastern neighbourhood of the European Union (including holders of the Polish Charter) according to Polish migration priorities. I hope that publication of this guide will not be a single one from a wide range migration issues worth to be popularized. I also wish that the District Chamber of Legal Advisors in Warsaw will initiate similar projects in future, in the same time declaring a will to further cooperation. Piotr Stachańczyk Undersecretary of State in Ministry of Interior and Administration
10 Before you enter Poland I Before you decide to take up education or studies in Poland and come to our country you need to know what to do to cross the Polish border. Everything depends on whether you are a) a citizen of third country or b) a citizen of country European Union Member State or a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, or a member of a family of such person. In following parts of this chapter you will learn what you need to enter Poland, how to obtain a visa and what the Polish Charter entitles to. 1. Do you need a visa Citizens of third countries If you are not a European Union or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland citizen you may cross the border and stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland provided you have a valid travel document and a visa if it is necessary. In case you had already stayed in Poland and obtained a residence permit for a specified period of time you should possess a residence card which stands for visa and entitles you to cross the border without a visa more than once. Aliens may also enter and stay in the Polish territory on ground of visa-free traffic agreements. If you are a citizen of a country listed in Annex II of Council Regulation (EC) No. 539 / 2001 of 15 March 2001 listing third countries whose citizens do require a visa to cross the external borders of community countries and those, whose citizens are exempted from this requirement, it means you do not require a visa to enter Poland or a territory of any other country in the Schengen zone. Visa-free stay cannot exceed 3 months in 6-month period following the date of first entry. It should be remembered it concerns the whole territory of the Schengen zone. During a visa-free stay it is allowed to i.e. stay in Poland for three months during 6 months following the date of first entry or in Poland and in other Schengen States in total up to 3 months during 6 months counted from the first entry. In order to re-entry to the territory of Poland or other Schengen State on ground of visa-free traffic after the expiration of 3-month stay in
11 10 this territory one should leave the Schengen zone and re-entry after 6-month period counted from the date of first entry. In case of stay in the Schengen zone shorter than 3 months one may re-entry this territory before 6 months counted from the date of first entry, but it will be necessary to leave the Schengen zone not later than before exceeding a 3-month stay in total and before 6 months following the date of first entry. It results from that the following first entry to Schengen States is calculated only after first 6-month period. Rules of entry and visa-free stay described above may be slightly modified in case they would concern citizens of countries which signed international visa-free traffic agreements with Poland before Poland entered the Schengen zone covering entry and visa-free stay on territory of Poland regulations according to the tenor of these agreements. In the Appendix II to this guide you will find a list of countries for which visa-free traffic to Poland or other Schengen zone countries applies. Moreover, since Poland entered the Schengen zone, a alien may travel and stay in the Schengen zone (also in territory of Poland) without a visa, on ground of residence permit issued by one of the Schengen zone countries for the period of time not exceeding 3 months in 6-month period provided all other requirements to enter and stay in the Schengen zone territory have been satisfied. These requirements are as follows: a alien possess a valid travel document, is able to justify his / hers motivation and conditions of the planned stay, owns sufficient funds or is able to raise funds in compliance with the law, is not regarded as a public menace or a menace to international affairs of any Member States and especially has not been recorded in any Member-state database in relation with above in order to refuse an admission to the certain country. The Schengen zone countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Norway and Iceland (last 2 countries are in the Schengen zone but do not belong to the European Union). We would like to remind you that United Kingdom and Ireland are Member States of EU but do not belong to the Schengen zone. Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania so far are also outside the Schengen zone. European Union citizens and members of their families If you are a citizen of a European Union Member State other than Poland or a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland you may enter territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of valid travel document or other valid document which confirm your identity and citizenship. Entering Poland on the basis of conditions listed above you can stay here up to 3 months. In case you are not a citizen of European Union, Norway, Island, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, but you are a member of a family who is accompanying or reuniting with a EU citizen or a citizen of a country listed above, you may enter the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of valid travel document and visa (if necessary). You may also enter the territory of Poland on the basis of general regulations of visa-free traffic, on the basis of residence permit in the other country in the Schengen zone or on the basis of permanent residence card, temporary residence card of a family member of a EU
12 i. Before you enter Poland 11 citizen or permanent residence card of a family member of a UE citizen issued in Poland. Besides that, citizen of a third country who is a family member of a EU citizen or a citizen of countries listed above, may also enter the territory of our country without a visa provided that she possess a valid document equivalent to temporary residence card / permanent residence card of a family member of a EU citizen issued by other EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. Remember! According to Polish law in force a person is regarded as a family member of a citizen of European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, when he or she is: a) a spouse of a EU citizen or countries listed above, b) a direct descendant (child) of a EU citizen or countries listed above or his / her spouse, under the age of 21 or remains financially dependent of a EU citizen or countries listed above or his / her spouse, c) a direct ascendant (parent) of a EU citizen or countries listed above or his / her spouse financially dependent of a EU citizen or countries listed above or his / her spouse. 2. How to obtain a visa Visa types Visa is an indication that a person is authorized to enter the territory of Poland or other country in the Schengen zone, cross and stay on that territory for a determined time, with certain purpose and on certain conditions. Visas are issued by specially appointed authorities. Visitor s visas are issued as uniform or national visas. Documents listed below belong to uniform visas, also known as Schengen visas: transit visa authorizing to stay in transit zone of an international airport marked with the A symbol, transit visa authorizing to pass through the territory of Poland of other countries in the Schengen zone on way to the territory of the country outside the Schengen zone, under the condition the transit does not exceed 5 days. This visa is marked with the B, symbol uniform visa marked with the C symbol. National visas are marked with the D symbol. Uniform visa marked with the C symbol authorizes to multiple entry provided that neither the period of continuous stay nor the period of 12 following stays in total on the Schengen zone territory would not exceed 3 months during every 6-month period counted from the date of first entry. National visa marked with the D symbol authorizes an entry and continuous stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland or several following stays lasting more than 3 months in total but not exceeding period of 1 year in visa duration. Visa is placed in the travel document as a sticker with information of countries where is valid. Visa also contains photography, name and surname and a passport number of
13 12 a alien, date of issue, the time that the visa is valid, the period that the person may stay in the country or in the Schengen zone measured in days (i.e. 90, 180, 365) and a place of issue. Besides, visa authorizes to certain amount of entries to the territory of Poland or the Schengen zone (in case of a uniform visa). Visa may authorize to one, two or unlimited entries. In visitor s visa also a purpose of entry and stay is determined and recorded by writing on the visa a special number code. If you would like to take up an education or studies in Poland you should apply for a visa on ground of scientific, training or didactic purposes or for a visa on ground of intention to take up a BA / BSc (first degree) studies, supplementary MA / MSc (second degree) studies, MA studies, postgraduate (third degree) studies or for a resident visa. These visas may be issued either as a uniform visitor s visas (marked with the C symbol) or as national visas (marked with the D symbol). If you are a family member of a citizen of European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland whom you are accompanying or with whom you are reuniting, you should apply for a visa with aim to reunite with the citizen of a European Union country, a European Free Trade Association Member State side of an agreement on European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation or staying with his / hers. In this case a uniform visa (marked with the C symbol) or a national visa (marked with the D symbol) will be issued. Authorities which issue visas Outside Poland the Consul of the Republic of Poland is an authority compliant to issuance of visas. If you would like to come to Poland to begin studies or education, you should find the Polish Consulate of your place of residence and apply for a visa there. In the territory of the Republic of Poland, as a matter of principle, there is no possibility to obtain a visa (including subsequent visas). Members of family of EU citizens or citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, accompanying or reuniting with them may apply for a visa also on entry to Poland at the commander of Border Guard on certain border crossing. Application for visa You should visit the consul of consular district of the place of residence in order to obtain a visa. A request should be made on a special form entitled Application for Schengen visa. The name suggests it is intended for aliens applying for an issue of Schengen visa, but it is also appropriate when you apply for a visitor s visa. The form is free of charge and the same for all types of visas except repatriation visas. You will find this form in Appendix III to this guide. Members of family of EU citizens or citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, accompanying or reuniting with them are not required to fill out some fields in the application, i.e. about sufficient means of subsistence. Those fields are marked with asterisk. All required fields should be filled out. Only true information should be given, without keeping in secret any required information. Please remember, application for a visa or submissions to the application containing untruthful personal data or information, as well as
14 i. Before you enter Poland 13 providing false information during a process of applying for a visa, concealment of truth, forgery or using a counterfeit document may result in refusing an application for a visa or visa cancellation. What documents are required a valid travel document, 2 up-to-date photographs, documents which confirm the purpose of entry, sufficient means of subsistence (except family members of EU citizens, family members of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland citizens or reuniting with them), health insurance (except family members of EU citizens, family members of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland citizens or reuniting with them). No matter for what kind of visa you are applying for, despite a correctly filled out application form you will also have to present a valid travel document in the Consulate. Please remember, that a validity period of the document cannot be shorter than 3 months counting from the date when entry to the territory of the Republic of Poland or the territory of the Schengen zone will be made, in case of uniform visa, on the basis of visa you are applying for. Besides, you are required to attach two up-to-date, colour, 4.5 cm 3.5 cm, intact, clear photographs of the applicant presenting a person from the top of the head to the upper part of the shoulders without a head-dress or dark glasses, looking straight with open eyes, with uncovered hair, natural face expression and closed mouth, with a regular balance of light on the face. A person with sight defect wearing dark glasses may attach his / hers photographs in dark glasses to the application form. A person wearing a head-dress according to his / hers religion his / hers photographs with a head-dress, provided that the head-dress do not prevent from recognizing this person. In the consulate you should also present documents which would confirm the purpose of your entry. If you would like to take up an education or studies in Poland, you are required to present appropriate documents. In case of studies it would be an attestation of being approved for studies in Poland or documents which confirm their continuation. In case of education on different levels an attestation from a school or other educational institution. Family Members of EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland citizens, accompanying or reuniting with them present proofs or documents which confirm that they are a family members accompanying or reuniting with the citizens mentioned above and if necessary that they are financially dependent of a UE, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland citizen or his / her spouse (see Catalogue of family members). In the consulate you will be also required to present documents which confirm that you have sufficient means of subsistence necessary to cover the expenses of planned stay in Poland. According to Polish regulations, a alien entering the territory of the Republic of Poland for more than 3 days should posses at least 100 PLN for each day of stay or the equivalent of this value in foreign currency to cover expense of accommodation, food, transit and coming back to the country of origin. A alien entering the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to take up or continue the studies, take part in scientific research or trainings should posses 1600 PLN or its equivalence in foreign currency to cover expense of accommodation and food for 2 first months in Poland.
15 14 Documents which may confirm possessing sufficient means of subsistence are: 1) attestation of owning legal tenders in bank or credit-union with premises in Poland, confirmed by a seal and a signature of an authorized officer of the bank or credit-union issued not later than one month before crossing the border, 2) traveller s cheque 3) credit card valid in Poland together with an attestation of the credit limit, 4) debit card valid in Poland together with an attestation of the present balance of the bank account or current bank statement, 5) original of the invitation, 6) document which confirms being granted a scholarship. Document which may confirm purpose of your planned stay is an attestation of being approved for studies, an attestation of taking part in scientific research or trainings. If the alien would be charged for the studies, scientific research or trainings a payment receipt for the first year or the whole period of studies (if it is shorter than one year) is required. An attestation of being able to finance the mentioned expenses would be also sufficient in this case. An original of the invitation recorded on inviting person s request by the voivode of the place of residence in the registry of invitations is a formalized document which confirms the ability of the alien to obtain sufficient means of subsistence in the territory of the Republic of Poland during the period the alien have been invited for determined by the date provided on the first page of an invitation document. The invitation is valid for one year counting from the date it has been recorded in the registry of invitations. The invitation confirms that the person inviting the alien to Poland is obliged to cover the expense of his / hers stay and departure, including the costs of possible healthcare or possible expulsion from the territory of the Republic of Poland. Persons, who are permitted to invite aliens: 1) Polish citizens living in the territory of the Republic of Poland, citizens of European Union Member States, citizens of European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States sides of an agreement on European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation and their family members living in the territory of Poland and possessing a residence permit or permanent residence permit, 2) aliens staying legally, immediately and continuously for at least 5 years in the territory of the Republic of Poland or possessing a residence permit or a long-term permit for EU resident preceding the issue of the invitation, 3) corporate and non-corporate entities with premises in the territory of the Republic of Poland. In order to obtain an invitation form, an inviting person should visit the voivodship office of the place of residence. In section V. of this guide you will find information on addresses of the voivodship offices. An inviting person is obliged to fill out the special application for including the invitation in the registry of invitations. Besides, the inviting person should present documents which confirm his / hers ability to cover expenses related to the alien s stay, especially documents which confirm possessing the sources of income or possessing own financial resources, their amount and documents which confirm a legal title to occupied dwelling or which confirm a possibility to provide the alien with accommodation. The consul will also ask you to present documents which confirm your health insurance. Type of the insurance depends on the type of requested visa. If you are applying for
16 i. Before you enter Poland 15 a uniform (Schengen) visa, you will be required to present a proof of possessing a health insurance valid on the whole territory of the Schengen zone and valid for the whole period of your stay. Such insurance should cover any expenses which may be related with your coming back as a result of medical issues, medical aid or sudden hospital treatment. Insurance for minimum EUR is required. If you are applying for a national visa, you should have a health insurance, as understood by regulations on common health insurance, or confirmation for coverage of treatment costs in Poland by the insurer (insurance policy) valid during the planned stay in our country. What is the procedure If you are planning a trip to Poland on ground of a visa you should apply for a visa in advance, not later than 2 weeks before planned entry. Issue of a uniform visa may require an agreement of other the Schengen zone countries which may prolong the process. Before you present a filled out and signed appropriate application form a consular fee for acceptance and processing of the application should be paid. Visa fees are basically collected in currency of the state where a certain diplomatic or consular post is situated. In case of uniform visas the fees may be also collected in other exchangeable currency. The fee should be paid in cash, by certified cheque, by postal order or bank transfer in the post s cash office or on its bank account. Two photographs and documents mentioned above should be attached to the application form. After applying you may be asked for a personal interview or to deliver additional documents required to process your application. When the consulate finishes processing your application, you will be asked to pick up the visa or you will be informed about a refusal to issue the visa. You cannot appeal against the Consul s decision except the case of family members of citizens of European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland accompanying or reuniting with citizen of mentioned states. In this case an appeal may be made through the consul to the ministry of foreign affairs in 14 days since delivery of the decision. Consular fees Consular fees are paid for accepting and processing visa application forms. Consular fee for processing an application for uniform visa or national visa amounts to 60 EUR. In case of citizens of third countries which signed a Visa Simplification Agreement with the European Community a fee of 35 EUR is required. The mentioned agreement concerns Russian Federation, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova and Balkan countries: Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Albania, Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Serbia. Children up to 6 years, pupils, students, postgraduate students and teachers accompanying them, who are travelling in educational or training purposes are exempted from fees for issuance of uniform visas regardless of their citizenship. In case of national visas various consular fees may apply depending from agreements signed by Poland with specific third countries. This may also depend from decisions of the ministry of foreign affairs. For example, pupils, students, postgraduate students and teach-
17 16 ers accompanying them from of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, who are travelling in educational or training purposes, are exempted from visa fees. Besides, a national visa fee does not apply to scholarship holders taking up the education in Polish secondary or higher schools and from participants of Polish language courses regardless of citizenship. In case of citizens of third countries not subjective to mentioned national visa fee exemptions a reduced fare of 45 EUR applies to minors, pupils and students up to 26 years regardless of citizenship. Family Members of citizens of European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland accompanying them or reuniting with them and not possessing a citizenship of mentioned countries are also exempted from visa fees. In case of refusal visa fees are not returned. 3. Polish Charter (Karta Kolaka) What is a Polish Charter and what does it entitle to Polish Charter is a document which confirms belonging to the Polish nation. The rights of the holder are specified in the Act on the Polish Charter. Granting the card does not however mean acquiring Polish citizenship or confirmation of Polish origin. The Charter does not entitle to cross the border without the visa or to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland. Polish Charter does not legalize the stay in Poland, but its holder gains a number of rights making contacts with Republic of Poland easier. A holder of Polish Charter has the right to: 1) apply for exemption from fees for examination of an application for a country visa and granting it or for refund of the fees, 2) be exempt from obligation to present financial means or documents which confirm the ability to obtain sufficient financial means on entry to Poland on the basis of visa in order to use the rights resulting from possessing a Polish Charter, 3) exemption from the obligation to have a work permit for aliens on the basis of the Act of 20 April 2004 on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions (Journal of Laws No. 99, item 1001 with amendments), 4) set up a company on the same basis as citizens of Poland described in the Act of 2 July 2004 on Freedom of Economic Activity (Journal of Laws of 2007 No. 155, item 1095 with amendments), 5) study, do a doctorate and participate in the other forms of education, as well as participate in research and development work as described in Act of 27 July 2005 Law on Higher Education (Journal of Laws No. 164, item 1365 with amendments), 6) preschool, primary and secondary education in Poland as described in the Act of 7 September 1991 on the Education system (Journal of Laws of 2004 No. 256, item 2572 with amendments), 7) use of health care services in the states of emergency as described in Act f 27 August 2004 on the health protection benefits financed by the public funds (Journal of Laws of 2004 No. 210, item 2135 with amendments) provided the international agreement signed by Republic of Poland does not provide better principles,
18 i. Before you enter Poland 17 8) 37% discount on public transport omnibus, flier and express rail travels on single tickets as described in the Act of 20 June 1992 on the Entitlements to Reduced Fares on Public Transport (Journal of Laws of 2002 No. 175, item 1440 with amendments), 9) free admission to state museums. Holders of the Polish Charter are entitled to use the educational system on the same conditions as citizens of Poland. This includes public over-junior high schools, hitherto public over-primary schools, public schools of art, public institutions of teacher training and other public posts. Holders of the Polish Charter may also work, study and do a doctorate studies in Poland, including studies on public high schools or take up other forms of education on the same conditions as citizens of citizens of Poland. Besides, they retain the right to apply for scholarships and other forms of aid for aliens. Enforcement of the rights listed above will require the presentation of the Charter and a valid document which confirm the identity of the holder. Holder of the Polish Charter who intends to enter in the territory of the Republic of Poland should legalize his / hers stay in accordance with general rules. Alien outside from the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland or a family member accompanying or reuniting with a citizen of a county listed above should apply at the Polish consul for a national visa in order to enforce the rights resulting from holding a Polish Charter (visa symbol D ). Such alien may also apply in accordance with general rules for a residence permit for a determined period of time in the territory of Poland in order i.e. to begin studies, work, keep a business or as a result of any other conditions justifying the stay in Poland for more than 3 months. Procedure of granting a Polish Charter According to legal regulations, the Polish Charter can be granted to a person who in the day of applying for the charter is a citizen of Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Estonia, Georgia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Republic of Uzbekistan or possessing a status of stateless person in one of the listed countries. The Polish Charter can be granted to a person who declares belonging to the Polish nation and meets the following conditions: 1) proves his / hers relationship with Polishness by at least a basic knowledge of the Polish language, which he / she considers to be his / hers mother tongue, knowledge and cultivating Polish traditions and habits, 2) in the presence of the consul of Republic of Poland submits a written declaration of belonging to the Polish Nation, 3) proves that at least one of his / hers parents or grandparents or two grand grandparents were of Polish nationality or had Polish citizenship, or present an attestation of Polish or Polonial organization acting in the territory of one of the states mentioned above, confirming that he / she have been actively involved in activities on behalf of Polish language and culture or Polish national minority for a period of at least the past three years. Besides, the Polish Charter can be granted to a minor on parents request if: 1) both parents hold a Polish Charters,
19 18 2) one of the parents holds a Polish Charter the consent of the other expressed in a statement before a consul is necessary (on condition he or she has parental responsibility). 3) Granting of the Charter to a minor who is over 16 years old may occur only with his or her consent. If you would like to apply for a Polish Charter please address the application to the consul of consular district of the place of residence. You can find an application form in Appendix IV to this guide. The procedure of applying for the Charter and following administrative decision is free of consular fees. You should provide a photograph ( cm) took during previous 6 months, with solid bright background and regular balance of light on the face, without hair-dress and dark glasses together with the application form. Besides you will be required to attach a copy of a document which confirm your identity. The applicant is required to present documents or other evidences confirming compliance with the conditions for the granting of the Charter. Examples of documents and evidence are: 1) identity documents issued in Poland, 2) vital records or their copies, baptism metric, school certificates or other documents proving relationship with Polishness, 3) documents attesting military service in the Polish military formations, 4) documents proving the deportation or imprisonment which include information of Polish origin, 5) documents of rehabilitation of deported person which include information of Polish origin, 6) foreign identity cards with information about the Polish nationality of the holder, 7) attestation of entitled Polish or Polonial organization acting in the territory of one of the states mentioned above, confirming that he / she have been actively involved in activities on behalf of Polish language and culture or Polish national minority. 8) legally binding decision on the determination of the Polish origin, as it is prescribed by the procedure established in the Act of 9 November 2000 on repatriation (Journal of Laws of 2004 No. 53, item 532 with amendments). During the procedure of granting a Polish Charter the consul will estimate your Polish language proficiency and knowledge of Polish traditions and habits during the interview. After the interview and verification of documents presented by you the consul will issue an administrative positive or negative decision of grating you a Polish Charter. You should provide only truthful information in the application form and do not keep in secret any required information. Please remember, that submission of an application form or attachments containing untruthful data or information, as well as providing false information during a process of granting a Polish Charter, concealment of truth, forgery or using a counterfeit used on purpose as an authentic document will result in refusing an application for a Polish Charter or cancellation of the issued Polish Charter. In the case of a negative decision of a consul, you may appeal to the Council for Poles in the East within 30 days since delivery of the decision. In case of positive decision, the consul will issue a Polish Charter for you (you will find an example of Polish Charter in Appendix IV to this guide).
20 i. Before you enter Poland 19 The Polish Charter is issued for a 10-year period with a possible further extension of another 10 years provided that the holder would apply for extension at least 3 months before the expiry date. In case of persons over 65 years old a Polish Charter is issued for unlimited time. The Polish Charter expires in the moment of gaining a Polish citizenship or in the moment of gaining a residence permit in the territory of the Republic of Poland.