On 21st December 2007 Poland, together with 8 other new EU Member States, will join the Schengen area – a territory with no checks at internal borders formed by 24 States. These States apply uniform rules concerning entry and short stays in their territories.
To enter the Schengen territory third-country nationals must be in possession of a valid travel document and a visa if it is required. They also have to meet the following conditions:
- they justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and prove that they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the period of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third State into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully;
- no alert has been issued for them for the purposes of refusing entry;
- they are not considered to be a threat to public policy, national security or the international relations of any of the Schengen States.
After undergoing the single check at the external border it is possible to move freely within the Schengen territory. However, checks at the new Schengen States' airports will only be abolished at the end of March 2008.
Schengen States issue the following types of uniform visas which entitle the holder to enter and stay in the Schengen territory:
airport transit visa (A) – valid only for airport transit, does not entitle the holder to leave the transit zone of the airport,
transit visa (B) – valid for transit through the Schengen territory for a period not exceeding 5 days,
short-stay visa (C) – valid for stays of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.
Apart from uniform visas, Schengen States issue national long-stay visas (D) and residence permits which are valid only for the territory of the issuing State. Long-stay national visas entitle their holders to a maximum 5-day visa free transit through the Schengen territory.
Holders of residence permits issued by one of the Schengen States are allowed to travel within the Schengen area during a maximum 3-month period.
Visas and residence permits issued by Poland after 21st December 2007
On 21st December 2007 Poland will start issuing uniform visas (A, B, C) valid for the entire Schengen territory and will continue issuing long-stay D visas and residence permits, valid only for Poland.
Holders of Polish D visas (issued before 21st December 2007 as well as after that date) will be entitled to a maximum 5-day visa free transit through the territory of other Schengen States.
Holders of Polish residence permits will be allowed to enter the Schengen territory and stay there for a period not exceeding 90 days.
Entry conditions for third-country nationals under visa obligation
Third-country nationals will be allowed to enter and stay in Poland, if they are in a possession of one of the following titles:
- uniform short-stay Schengen visa (C),
- Polish long-stay national visa (D),
- C or D visa issued by Poland before 21st December 2007, provided it is still valid,
- Polish residence permit,
- residence permit issued by another Schengen State.
The following titles will be valid only for the purpose of transit:
- uniform airport transit Schengen visa (A) – only for airport transit,
- uniform transit Schengen visa (B),
- A or B visa issued by Poland before 21st December 2007, provided it is still valid,
- D visa issued by another Schengen State,
- C visa issued before 21st December 2007 by one of the Member States that joined the EU in 2004, provided it is still valid,
- residence permit issued by Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
COUNTRIES WHICH DO NOT OBLIGE THEIR CITIZENS TO OBTAIN VISA ON ENTERING SCHENGEN/POLISH TERRITORY
Visa is or may be required on long term arrivals (more that 90 days), permanent residence, work or any other business activity on Schengen territory.
Before arrival ask for present Visa regulations at any Polish Diplomatic or Consular departments in your country or at Foreign Affair Office in Poland at http://www.msz.gov.pl
This chapter's information is taken from Polish Foreign Affair Ministry; source: http://www.msz.gov.pl
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Last update May 2009