“Schengenland” – what does this mean for students who come from non-European countries?
Schengen – what’s that?
Since 21 December 2007 Poland is a part of Schengen Agreement, the agreement between European states which deals with the abolition of systematic border controls between the participating countries. This means that we have to obey the European law concerning provisions on common policy on the temporary entry of persons, the harmonization of external border controls, and cross-border police co-operation.
Polish citizens can cross the borders with other European member states without visa’s – but we do have to have our ID’s as a confirmation of our European citizenship; there is also no border control between Schengen countries. Note that the Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland didn’t sign Schengen Agreement and they still have their border controls.
1. I’m international student from China – can I travel to France without the visa?
Schengen Agreement refers only to European citizens whose countries signed this agreement. Students from outside the EU (for example from China, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, USA, Turkey, Nigeria etc.) do not have right to cross the borders with other EU member states without their visas. It’s the common external policy that as a student you receive a country visa and not a Schengen visa – you have to apply for Schengen visa in your country of origin, but the Polish embassies usually don’t provide this European visas (it’s a long procedure and the application has to be checked in Brussels).
Holders of residence permits to a Schengen state, however, enjoy the freedom of travel to other Schengen states for a period of up to three months. It means that if you receive our Polish residence permit you can travel to other Schengen countries without their visas – with the residence permit you have the same right as Polish citizens, but you can stay in other European countries only for 3 months, and during first 3 working days you have to register in their Foreigners Department.
2. Temporary Residence Permit Card – short instruction
- application form which you get in Urząd Wojewódzki (original + 3 copies)
- a copy of your passport (1x all passport, 3x the page with your personal data)
- 4 copies of your accommodation registration
- a confirmation that you are our students (from your dean’s office)
- the information that you have financial resources to study and live in Poland
- health insurance
- 5 photos in color (3,5 cm x 4,5 cm)
- payment 340 zł for an application procedure
- payment 50 zł for a residence permit card
Check the validity of your Polish visa
Most of you receive a visa for 3 – 6 months, but this is the validity of visa and not the exact time during which you can stay in Poland. On your visa there should be also a number written: for example 90 days – it means that you can stay in Poland 90 days counting from the date of your arrival. The date of your arrival you will find on a stamp which you receive on the airport in Poland (the airport of entry).
Example: a student received a Polish visa which is valid from 1 January 2008 to 30 June 2008 (this is the visa’s validity); but this student can stay in Poland only for 90 days counting from the date of his/her arrival. Let say that this student came from India to Frankfurt (Germany) and than to Wrocław – he arrived on 1 February 2008 (stamp from the Wrocław airport) and this is the date from which we count this 90 days: it means that our student can legally stay in Poland only until 30 April 2008.
Begin with the application procedure for Temporary Residence Permit Card
The residence card procedure takes 45 working days – you have to begin with the whole procedure 45 days before the last day of your legal stay in Poland, so for example 45 days before 30 April (the situation above).
Three – check if you have all documents needed for the application procedure
To receive the Temporary Residence Permit Card you need following documents:
Apply for the residence permit card in Urząd Wojewódzki
For the temporary Residence Permit Card you have to apply in Urząd Wojewódzki, pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 50-951 Wrocław. Rooms: 0139, 0141, 0142, 0145, 0147.
For more details concerning your visa and Temporary Residence Permit formalities please contact the Student Support Service .