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Visas - general information

Visa types

Before you apply, you must decide which visa you need:

Airport transit Schengen visa (A-Type)

Choose this visa type if you plan to pass through an international transit area of a Schengen airport travelling with a passport of one of these states:  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka.

Schengen visa (C-Type)

Choose this visa if you plan to stay in Poland or other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days in each 180-day period of time. This means that you are allowed to stay in the Schengen zone legally only if your stay in Schengen countries did not exceed 90 days over the last 180 days. A special calculator on the European Commission’s website will help you count how long you can stay in Schengen countries.

You can apply for a Schengen visa if:

  • Poland is the only destination country of your visit to the Schengen zone;
  • you visit more than one Schengen country, but Poland is your main destination;
  • you do not know which Schengen country will be your main destination, but you cross the Schengen border for the first time in Poland.

In exceptional cases it is possible to issue a Schengen LTV visa which is valid only in the territory of selected Schengen states.

National visa (D-Type)

Choose this visa if you want to stay in Poland for more than 90 days. The validity of a national visa cannot exceed one year. You also need to apply for a national visa if you seek asylum, repatriation, or if you use Polish Card privileges.

Simplified Visa procedure for family members of EU citizens

Who is eligible:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This procedure applies only to family members of EU nationals who do not have Polish citizenship or do not have a permanent residence in Poland.

EU nationals include:

  • nationals of EU member states,
  • nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

A family member of an EU national is:

  • a spouse,
  • a partner with whom an EU national formed a partnership under the law of a given EU state, provided that this country’s law recognizes a formal partnership as equal to a marriage,
  • a child under 21 who is dependent on an EU national, his/her spouse or partner.

Under the procedure you are eligible to submit your visa application:

  • free of charge,
  • without prior appointment.

Required documents:

  • A printed and signed visa application (filled in online),
  • A recent photo in colour 35 x 45 mm size,
  • A valid passport,
  • A document confirming marriage or partnership with an EU national,
  • A document confirming that you accompany an EU national in his/her journey or join him/her in their place of residence.

Visa refusal:

You can have your visa application refused only if:

  • your data are in the register of foreigners whose stay on the Polish territory is undesirable,
  • visa authorities have considered that your stay might pose a threat to national defence or national security or to the protection of public safety, order and health.

A consul refuses a visa in the form of a decision. You can appeal against the refusal to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Biometric data

When you apply for a visa, you have to provide your biometric data: a photo in the case of a national visa and a photo and fingerprints in the case of a Schengen visa.

If you have already applied for a Schengen visa in the recent 59 months and if you have given your fingerprints, you do not have to give them again – the system will automatically transfer your data.

The following applicants do not have to give their fingerprints:

  • children under 12;
  • persons who are physically unable to give their fingerprints (because they do not have fingers or they suffer from a temporary finger trauma); 
  • heads of states or governments, members of national governments and their accompanying spouses and members of official delegations if they are invited for official purposes;
  • monarchs and high-ranking members of royal families, if they are invited for official purposes.

Personal data

The authority responsible for the processing of personal data that are in the Visa Information System (VIS) is the Central Technical Authority of the National Information System at the National Police Headquarters, address: ul. Puławska 148/150, 02-624 Warszawa.

Complaints concerning personal data protection are handled by the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection, address: ul. Stawki 2, 00-193 Warszawa.