Overview of Poland
Poland is a central European country situated on the Baltic Sea, bordered by 6 countries, including Germany and the Czech Republic to the west, and Ukraine and Belarus to the east. Polish is the official language for its population of almost 38 million.
The 6th most populous country in Europe, over 17.5 million people visit Poland each year as tourists. Its capital Warsaw is located on the Vistula River, and features many historical and cultural sites, including Royal Castle and the Palace of Culture and Science. The city’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site-all the more remarkable for being rebuilt from the ruins of World War II. Just south of Old Town is the 18th-century park, Lazienki, complete with an historic palace, lake, and strolling peacocks. Krakow, a city in Poland’s south, offers a preserved medieval center and Jewish quarter. Its historic Cloth Hall, a 14-century merchant building has been beautifully restored and offers terraces and cafes and views of St. Mary’s Basilica. Travelers to Poland’s city of Gdansk on the Baltic Sea can view the country’s muscular maritime industry, especially its historic Solidarity Centre, commemorating the 1980s trade union movement. Gdansk is famous for the wall murals of Zaspa, and the Long Market, one of the most photographed streets in the world. For nature enthusiasts, Poland offers Tatra National Park in the south and to the east, the mammoth oaks of the Białowieża Forest. Travelers throughout the country can sample Polish cuisine, including bigos, a hunter’s stew, and the Polish staple: pierogies.
Poland signed the Schengen Agreement in 2003, becoming part of the Schengen are in 2007.
- Schengen visa eligibility for Poland includes third country nationals from the following states, who are excluded from visa-free to Poland/the Schengen area, and are therefore eligible to apply for a Schengen visa to Poland:
14. BURKINA FASO
19. CAPE VERDE
71. NORTH KOREA
20. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
74. PAPUA NEW GUINEA
25. COTE D’IVOIRE
27. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
79. SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
80. SAUDI ARABIA
29. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
82. SIERRA LEONE
32. EQUATORIAL GUINEA
84. SOUTH AFRICA
85. SOUTH SUDAN
86. SRI LANKA
- Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.
- All documents required for your Polish Schengen visa must be filled in using Roman capital letters, completed/translated into Polish or English. Applications for all Schengen visas to Poland will contain the following Basic Required Documents:
- Valid passport
- Passport sized photos
- Application form
- Fingerprints (biometric data)
- Travel medical insurance
- Visa Fee
- Materials related to your trip:
- Reason for visit
- Where you will stay (accommodation)
- How you will fund your trip (finances)
- Proof that you will leave Poland before your visa becomes invalid/expires. This is often in the form of a paid roundtrip plane ticket (proof of return).
Note: For more information on what to include in your application, including a detailed description of required materials, please see: Basic Required Documents. Please note that you may have to submit additional Polish Schengen visa supporting documents related to your specific purpose for travelling.
- The standard Polish Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 Euros. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees. To get a Schengen visa for Poland, you will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application-this is a separate cost from the visa fee. Please note that these fees are non-refundable in the case of visa rejection.
How to Apply: Steps
- Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling to Poland, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
- Step 2: Determine how many Entries to Poland/the Schengen area you need.
- Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
- Step 4: Schedule a Polish Schengen visa appointment (if applicable).
- No matter where you are applying from, you will likely have to schedule an appointment at your Polish Consulate/visa center in order to submit your application. In certain cases, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours. Contact your consulate/visa center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
- Alternatively, you can go ahead and schedule an appointment through Poland’s e-Konsult site via this link.
- Step 5: Fill out your application.
- Access your application online by registering for an e-Konsult account here. After filling out the application, print it out and sign it. You will submit this paper copy to whichever Polish Consulate/visa processing center you are applying through.
- Step 6: Pay the application fee.
- Step 7: Submit your Polish Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months) at your visa appointment.
- Different Polish Consulates/visa centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through.
- When you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Children younger than 12 years are likely exempt from having their fingerprints collected. If you have previously submitted fingerprints (within the last 59 months), you likely will not need to resubmit them.
- Please note, after submitting your application, you may be asked to return at a later date for a personal interview to provide further information/materials related to your trip.
When to Apply
- Submit your application at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.
Where to Apply
- Applications for Schengen visas to Poland should almost always be submitted in person, at either a Polish Consulate/Embassy or a visa application center that has a relationship with Poland.
- Ideally, you will lodge your application in the country where you legally reside/hold a residence permit.
- In countries where there is no Polish consular presence, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing Polish consular interests.
- The Polish Schengen visa processing time is generally 15 days, although it can take up to 60 days in certain cases.
If your visa was approved:
- Collect your visa and make sure the information it contains is valid and complete.
If your visa was denied:
- If you receive a Schengen visa rejection for Poland, you (or your legal representative) have the right to an appeal within 14 days of receiving your rejection.
- You should submit your Schengen visa appeal to the consul that rejected your visa.
- If the consul upholds your rejection, you can submit a final request for appeal to the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw via the same consul.
- While there is no appeal fee for the initial appeal request. However, if you the counsel rejects your appeal, and you chose to proceed with a final appeal through the Polish courts, there is a fee, which can in certain cases be refunded, but is in some cases not refundable, regardless of the outcome of the appeal (positive or negative).
Finally, once you obtain your Schengen Visa for Poland, please note the following:
- Your visa may be revoked if you do not notify the Polish Consulate/visa application center of any changes to your trip itinerary that occur after you have submitted your application.
- Being approved for a Polish visa does not guarantee you entry to either Poland or the general Schengen area – you can still be refused entry to both places upon arrival.
- Alternatively, you may have to show additional documents regarding your finances or accommodation in order to enter Poland/the Schengen area.