What documents need to be prepared in order to cross the border of the Republic of Poland?
Third country nationals arriving in the European Union, including the Republic of Poland, should be in possession of a valid travel document authorising them to cross external borders, namely, first of all, a travel document (a passport): valid for at least three months after the planned date of the departure from the territory of the EU Member States; issued in the last 10 years; valid Schengen visas or other permits necessary to cross the border (e.g. national visas, residence permits issued by other EU Member States, residence permits for family members of EU nationals etc.) if they are citizens of the countries covered by the visa requirement; fulfill additional entry conditions, i.a.:
- they justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay;
- they have sufficient means of subsistence, or guarantees of their provision, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin;
- they cannot be persons whose data is registered in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry;
- they cannot be persons whose data is registered in Member States' national data bases as undesirable persons or who may constitute a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of these Member States.
When planning a trip to the EU/the Republic of Poland, in order to avoid a refusal of entry and its consequences: disappointment, costs and trouble – first of all, you need to make sure you have a required travel document, find out whether you belong to the category of citizens subject to the visa obligation or those exempt from that requirement on entry into the EU/the Republic of Poland, and, if it applies to you, take action to obtain a visa with a Republic of Poland’s or other EU MS’ consul and fulfill other requirements necessary to enter and stay in the EU MSs/the Republic of Poland.
The information on the list of countries whose nationals may travel to Poland without a visa can be found on the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website: www.msz.gov.pl.
Citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and other countries that do not belong to the EU, but on the basis of agreements concluded with the EU enjoy the right of free movement in accordance with the Union law may enter the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of a valid document confirming their identity and citizenship.
NOTE: a driving licence, a school/student identity card, an insurance card, a confirmation of the application for a passport or identity card, a birth certificate, a marriage certificate or temporary documents issued to third country nationals in the refugee or asylum procedure pending the final decision on their status do not authorise to cross the border or stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
Nevertheless, it is worth having documents of that kind with you, because in crisis situations e.g. of a loss or damage of a passport or an identity card their possession can facilitate identity and citizenship confirmation and it can facilitate obtaining a relevant travel document necessary to travel back to your country. In such a situation it can be helpful to have a photo of the biodata page of the passport/ID and the visa/residence card in e.g. a smartphone.
What to do when I lose documents during the travel/stay in the Republic of Poland?
- Go to the nearest Police station to report a lost document and obtain a relevant confirmation on that basis. Such a report is really important in order to prevent unlawful use of that document by an unauthorised person. (Note: the Polish Border Guard does not issue confirmations of a loss of documents)
- You should apply for a relevant emergency travel document at an embassy or a consular office of your country, which will enable the return to your country of origin or residence.
NOTE: The majority of airlines do not agree to a travel by persons without relevant travel documents. Thus, having only a confirmation of a loss of e.g. a passport or an ID from a Police station may result in an unpleasant surprise in the form of a refusal of taking onboard a passenger who is not in possession of such documents.
Are vaccinations required when entering Poland?
No, vaccinations are not required.
What are the controls in the territory of the Republic of Poland about?
The Polish Border Guard, on the basis of its powers, apart from border checks carried out at border crossing points, can also carry out the controls of the legality of stay of foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Poland. During these controls, the officers have the right not only to control travel documents, verify the legality of stay of persons, but also to check vehicles, including authorisations to possess and drive these vehicles. In case of a detection of traffic offences, public order offences or other offences under the Polish legislation, the powers of the Polish Border Guard and the powers of the Polish Police are identical and the officers of both services have the right to punish the persons commiting these offences – also by imposing financial fines
During the inland controls, Polish Border Guard officers can carry out activities similar to those carried out with travellers during the crossing of external borders. Upon revealing that a foreigner does not possess relevant documents authorising them to stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland or does not fulfill other requirements necessary to consider their stay legal, such a person may be given an administrative decision on the obligation to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland.
In what cases may a third country national be refused entry into the Republic of Poland/the EU?
The following may constitute the basis for issuing an administrative decision on the refusal of entry into the territory of the Republic of Poland/the EU:
- lack of a valid travel document,
- lack of a valid visa/residence permit, if required,
- possession of a falsified (forged, counterfeited) travel document, visa or residence permit,
- lack of relevant documentation justifying the purpose and conditions of the stay,
- lack of sufficient means of subsistence for the duration and form of the stay or means for the return to their country of origin,
- staying in the territory of the EU Member States for 90 days within the last 180 days;
- a person’s data is registered in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry as an undesirable person,
- constituting a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of one or more of the EU Member States.
24-hour phone lines:
- National Hotline of the Polish Border Guard - 24-h - +48 800 422 322
- Phone number of the duty service of the Border Guard Post in Kraków-Balice - +48 12 258 3300/ +48 721 961 338