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:
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
Renting vs. Housing in Poland
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.
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:
- 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.
- The foreigner has lived in Poland for over 5 years with a valid Polish permanent residence.
- 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.