Re-entry to Poland without a Residence Card

Re-entry to Poland without a Residence Card

Re-entry to Poland without a Residence Card

Clients ask about re-entry to Poland without a Residence Card. We answer the question below.

Consider the following situation. Clients who were previously employed in Poland had to leave the country due to circumstances (in this case the expiry of a visa) and temporarily leave Poland. The clients stayed in Poland on the basis of work permits and visas. Also during their stay in Poland, they applied for a residence permit and a Residence Card (Karta Pobytu- a document confirming the status of a foreigner allowing them to stay in Poland for more than 90 days). Clients have a need to leave and therefore cannot wait to obtain a Stay on their own. As a result, they have a number of questions.

Assuming that the decision on the residence card will be positive, is it possible to obtain information from the Provincial Office, certified by the Border Guard, that the decision on the residence card will be positive? Will such a decision be sufficient when crossing the Polish border? In the case of a positive decision, is it possible to obtain a residence permit and a residence card while absent in Poland by signing a notarised power of attorney to receive the cards for them?

The answer is: the only official document for the border guards will be the residence card. The decision itself does not entitle the person to cross the border. This is due to the law, which states that it is the residence permit and the card that give the right to do so. The provincial governor is not in a position to issue any special document that can be used to cross the border. Border guards have access to the visitor database, which contains information on the residence permit issued. The only problem is the legislation that links the right to cross the border to the residence card and not to the decision.

NOTE: There are cases where, in practice, border guards often allow entry in such situations (after the decision itself has been submitted). This has been confirmed by many clients who have entered Poland without a residence card. However, this depends on the goodwill of the officers who meet you at the border and in this case the risk that you may not be allowed in at the border is possible and real.

IMPORTANT: Unfortunately, there is no power of attorney that authorises you to obtain a Residence Card – this can only be done in person by the foreigner concerned.

If you still have questions or would like further advice on this topic, please email us at

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