Polish Diplomatic Missions in the United States
US citizens enjoy a visa-free entry for up to 90 days . Otherwise US citizens have the following extended-stay visa categories:
Type D is a national visa allowing a stay for up to 1 year on the basis of work, study, dependant(s)
Once your Type D visa is nearing its expiration you'll need to apply for Temporary Residence Card or Zezwolenie na pobyt czasowy/Karta Pobytu, which allows you to stay for an additional 1-3 years before needing to renew. It is important to inform the respective Voivodeship Office [Urząd Wojewódzki ] whenever your change employers, places of residency and personal information.
Afer 5 years of continuous stay in Poland, you may qualify for a Permanent residence card [Zezwolenie na pobyt rezydenta długoterminowego UE]
This category also applies to American citizens who have married a Polish national who have been married for a minimum of 3 years and in Poland for an uninterrupted period of 2 years.
If you are a US citizen with Polish roots (such as your parents or grandparents are/were Polish citizens) you may qualify to be granted citizenship yourself. This not only opens doors to Poland but other EU member states as well. Dual-citizenship is allowed between the US and Poland. Contact DokuPol for more information.
If you are a holder of a valid US driver's permit and you wish to exchange it for a Polish one, you must reside in Poland for a minimum of 185 days first in order to qualify. This driver's permit will require sworn translation into Polish and candidates most likely need to pass a theory exam (also available in English). For more information contact DokuPol.
Registering your stay/ PESEL
Once you arrive in Poland you should register your stay [Zameldowanie na pobyt czasowy] within 30 days. This document is issued by your respective City Hall [Urząd Miasta/Gminy] for a period that corresponds to your basis of legal stay (e.g. work, housing contract). The certificate is issued for a cost of PLN 17 and is useful when registering your stay or filing taxes. Non-Polish citizens automatically receive a PESEL number when registering their stay. PESEL numbers are similar to a Social Security number. This number helps with banking and other government applications.
Legal Matters for Polish citizens living in the US
Should you be a Polish citizen living in the US and require legalization of documents, DokuPol can assist. This includes registering birth, marriage and death certificates from American institutions into the Polish database. DokuPol can also assist with legal name changes or divorce entries.
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