Unless you are a citizen of an EU country, you will need a student visa in order to study in Poland as an international student.
If you are from an EU member state, you will only need valid ID and travel documents, and to register your residency with the Voivodship (Provincial) Office to study in Poland.
All other international students will need a D type visa, which allows you to stay and study in Poland for one year. To stay longer you need to apply for a temporary residence permit before your visa expires.
Polish student visa process
- Confirm your university place: You must have accepted an offer from a Polish university and have proof of your place before you can apply for a visa.
- Find your nearest Polish consulate: You will need to visit a Polish embassy or consulate in your home country to have you visa application processed. You can find your nearest Polish consulate here.
- Set a visa appointment with the consulate: You will probably need to register online through the Polish consulate website first.
- Prepare your documents: See below for a full list of the documents you’ll need. The specific requirements may vary between consulates, so confirm with them first.
- Attend your appointment and submit your documents: Submit all the documents including a printed and signed application form and the visa fee. You should receive a decision within two to three weeks.
Applying for a Polish residence permit
The type D visa allows you to stay in Poland for one year, so you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit in order to stay for longer, for example, if you’re studying a three-year bachelor’s program.
You can apply for a permit by visiting your local Voivodship Office. You will need to submit:
- An application form
- Identity documents
- Proof of your studies
- Health insurance documents
- Proof you have sufficient funds
Your first permit will be valid for 15 months, but can be renewed for up to three years, but not longer than the remainder of your studies. You can only apply when you are legally living in Poland, but before your visa expires.
Poland student visa requirements
Here are the documents you will need to provide when you apply for a Polish type D visa:
- A completed and signed Poland student visa application form
- Valid passport (must be valid for three months after your planned departure from Poland)
- Official letter of acceptance from a university in Poland
- Your CV
- School certificates and diplomas
- Proof of your English language proficiency
- Evidence you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your studies
- Health insurance documents
- One passport-size photo
- Proof of accommodation in Poland
- Transport documentation, such as a rail or air ticket
Polish student visa processing time
Once you have submitted your application and all of the required documents, it should take 15 days for your visa to be reviewed and for you to receive a response.
Although this turnaround is pretty quick, you should still start your application way in advance of your departure date. In some cases, processing can take much longer, and delays can occur if you forget to include all your documents.
You can start your application three months before your enrollment date once you have your acceptance letter.
Working with a Polish student visa
There are no restrictions on working with a Polish type D student visa. International students can work in Poland without needing a work permit, provided you have a valid residence permit.
Although it is possible to have a full-time job while you’re studying in Poland, you need to make sure working doesn’t affect your studies. If working long hours has a negative impact on your grades, you may find it harder to renew your residence permit.
What to do if your visa application is rejected
Having your Poland student visa application declined can be disappointing, but it doesn't mean your study abroad plans are over.
Some of the most common reasons for a rejected application include:
- Insufficient financial evidence you can support yourself during your studies
- Incomplete application form
- Missing or inadequate documents
- Invalid passport
- Lack of appropriate travel insurance
Most of these issues can be resolved by submitting a new application providing any missing or insufficient information.
If your visa has been rejected and you don't agree with the decision, you can write a letter of appeal. Your letter should be addressed to your local consulate, and outline why you think your application should be accepted.