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September 21, 2022

All You Need to Know Before Moving to Poland

The Republic of Poland is located in central Europe and is the largest state in the region. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea to the north and the Carpathian Mountains to the south. It also shares borders with Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Poland might not be the most popular country in Europe, but it is definitely worth visiting. It is not only a country with delicious cuisine and beautiful nature but a welcoming and friendly nation. If you are considering moving to Poland, it is important to know how to move to Poland and what to expect after you arrive.

How to Immigrate to Poland

Moving to Poland to stay there permanently can be done in the following ways:

Education
Employment
Family Reunion
Business Owners
Polish Ancestry

Education

Applicants wishing to study at Polish universities or other educational institutions also have the opportunity to move to Poland legally. Confirmation of enrolment in a university is the basis for issuing a temporary residence permit and a polish student visa. After graduation, a foreigner has the right to start looking for a job and get a residence permit on the basis of employment.

Employment

Moving to Poland is possible for foreigners who wish to be officially employed in the country. Having an employment contract and a work permit allows you to apply for and receive a Polish residence permit. If the employer changes, the residence permit has to be reissued. Living in the country for 5 years is the basis for applying for a permanent residence permit.

Family Reunion

If a person is legally staying in Poland, his family members can come to him and get a residence permit. Family reunification is one of the most popular reasons for obtaining an EU residence permit. In this case, the inviting party does not have to be a Polish citizen.

When marrying a Polish citizen, a foreign spouse receives a temporary residence and work permit. After two years of stay on Polish territory, such persons have the opportunity to obtain a permanent residence permit.

Business Owners

Applicants who have opened their own business or purchased an existing company in Poland are issued a residence permit.

Polish Ancestry

Foreigners with Polish ancestry can immigrate to Poland under simplified conditions. It is possible to get a Pole's Card for such citizens. This document allows them to obtain a permanent residence permit in Poland, bypassing the stage of residence with a temporary residence permit.

First Steps upon arrival in Poland

Once you have landed, there are quite a few things better to be done during your thirst week. Write down these steps to ensure you do not forget anything.

  1. Apply for a PESEL.

    PESEL (Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności) is a Polish national identification number that must be obtained by foreigners moving to Poland for over 2 months. You will get the PESEL number automatically after registering your residence or you can submit an application at the local municipality/township office.

  2. Register your Residence.

    ToIf you are moving to Poland for over 30 days (non-EU nationals) and 3 months ( EU nationals), you must register your residence. The 3rd country citizens will only have 4 days to do so, in comparison to the 30 days for EU citizens.

  3. Open a Bank Account.

    After moving to Poland, open a polish bank account to receive your salary and get a debit/credit card. A foreigner wishing to open a bank account in Poland must present a valid identification document and required documents that differ from one bank to another.

  4. Driving License & Auto Insurance.

    Citizens of EU/EEA countries can drive in Poland using their driving license without an additional permit. Citizens of 3rd countries can drive in Poland if:

    • Hold an international driving permit issued by countries comprised into the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic ( valid for 6 months)
    • Hold a domestic driving license issued in countries comprised into the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic ( valid for 6 months

    Otherwise, they must exchange their license for a Polish driving license.

Healthcare in Poland

Similar to some other European countries Poland has a free and universal healthcare system that is used by both Polish and EU citizens. The Polish health care system is called Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia (NFZ) and is funded by obligatory taxation of 9% deducted from the employee’s net income. Self-employed and business owners are required to make a contribution directly to the NFZ.

A foreigner moving to Poland from a 3rd country must apply for a Polish national identification number ( PESEL) prior to being eligible to apply for state insurance. If the resident in Poland is not insured, he or she will be required to pay medical charges himself.

Citizens of EU and EEA countries, who hold EHIC are eligible for free public healthcare services provided in Polish hospitals. Those who wish to have less waiting time and more coverage get private healthcare insurance.

Earning and Spending in Poland

Income in Poland
Taxation System
Cost of Living

When moving to Poland, it is important to forecast your potential salary and understand what the market offers to avoid being undervalued. As of August 2022, the minimum wage in Poland is 3,010 PLN ( 647 EUR). In 2023 it will be raised to 3,383 PLN (728 PLN) in January, following 3,450 PLN (742 EUR) in July.

The average salary in Poland is estimated to be around 6,400 - 7,200 PLN ( 1372 - 1544 EUR) before tax. In 2021, Poland’s highest-paying jobs were in the medical, law, finance, and dentistry fields.

Any person moving to Poland, regardless of citizenship, who has personal and economic interests in Poland (such as residence and work) and works in Poland for more than 183 days per year automatically becomes a tax resident and must pay taxes in Poland.

From July 2022 the personal tax rate in Poland is:

  • Less than 120,000 PLN - 12% minus tax-reducing amount of 3,600 PLN
  • Income over 120,000 PLN - 32% on the excess over 120,000 PLN

In comparison to western European countries, the cost of living in Poland is relatively low. An individual moving to Poland would spend on average about 590 - 650 EUR to live in Poland without rent. A family of 4 is estimated to spend on average about 1,980 - 2,100 EUR per month without rent. These expenses include transportation, groceries, utilities, clothing, and basic entertainment.

Renting vs. Housing in Poland

Renting

A foreigner moving to Poland should be aware of accommodation types offered for rent to navigate through listenings easily. Typically, there are 4 main types of rental categories in Poland:

  • A room (pokoj)
  • A studio (kawalerka/studio)
  • Apartment (mieszkaie)
  • House (dom)

Once you decide what fits your needs, start researching options online or consult with a real estate agent who will provide suitable accommodations to rent in Poland.

The renting contract in Poland is normally signed for 12 months with a one to three months upfront deposit. Prior to signing the contract and making a payment, you must view the accommodation in person, overwise risk to get unpleasantly surprised.

The average cost of rent in Poland for a 1 bedroom apartment is 2,050 - 2,420 PLN ( 440 - 518 EUR). A 3-bedroom apartment would cost 3,100 - 3,820 PLN (670 - 820 EUR). In Warsaw, the capital city, the rent prices go up to 2,534 - 3,430 PLN (544- 736 EUR) for a 1 bedroom and 4,950 - 6,400 PLN ( 1,063 - 1,371 EUR) for a 3 bedroom.

Housing

The process of buying a property in Poland as a foreigner is relatively easy. If a non-EU/EEA citizen wants to purchase a house in Poland, he is required to gain the permission of the Minister of the Interior and Administration. The foreigner is not required to obtain the permit when buying an apartment, flat, or garage, and in the following cases:

Here are the some prices on properties:

  1. The foreigner is a spouse to a Polish citizen who has lived in Poland for more than 2 years. The house is bought for common use.
  2. The foreigner has lived in Poland for over 5 years with a valid Polish permanent residence.
  3. Properties located in the border zone and popular tourist destinations.

The average apartment price in Poland ranges from 10,408 - 15,020 PLN ( 2,235 - 3,226 EUR) per square metre. An apartment price in Warsaw costs 12,923 - 19.656 PLN (2,775 - 4,222 EUR). For example, a 36 m2 apartment in the central area of Warsaw costs on average 120,000 PLN. A 4-room average house in Warsaw could cost from 280,000 to 500,000 EUR and up.

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