On this page we explain what the Schengen Area is, who needs a visa to enter Poland, how to apply for a visa at a Polish consulate and what you can expect while crossing the border of the Schengen Area.
Poland is a part of the Schengen Area, a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. The Schengen Area countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland (not a European Union Member State), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein (not a European Union Member State), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway (not a European Union Member State), Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (not a European Union Member State).
Do I need a visa?
Canadian citizens are allowed to enter and remain in Poland without a visa for up to 90 days within a six months period no matter what the purpose of the visit is (tourism, study, work, business, etc.). A work permit might be required to work legally in Poland even if a visa is not required. If you intend to stay in Poland for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a visa at a Polish consulate before your departure or request a resident permit at the Voivodship authority once you arrive in Poland without a visa.
If you are not a Canadian citizen, you might need a visa to enter Poland. Check here if you are allowed to travel to Poland without a visa. If your country is not mentioned on the list, you need a visa to enter and remain in Poland. If you intend to work in Poland, you will need to apply for your visa at the Polish consulate in your country of residence. In case of doubt, please contact us.
Family members of European Union citizens
Family members of citizens of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who accompany or join them while they move to or reside in a European Union member state other than their state of origin and need a visa, are issued their visas free of charge and through an accelerated procedure. As a general rule, this facilitation applies to spouses, civil partners, if civil partnership is recognized by the receiving state, dependent children aged below 21 or dependent parents of the citizen of the European Union or their spouse or partner.
A European Union passport of your family member, an original copy of your civil status document showing that you are a family member of a European Union citizen and a proof of your family member moving to or residing in a European Union other that their state of origin will be required to take advantage of this facilitation. You will not need to submit any further documents regarding the purpose of travel and means of subsistence.
When to apply for a visa at a Polish consulate?
You can apply for a visa at a Polish consulate only if Poland is your principal destination or you are going to stay in more Schengen Area states for equal periods of time and Poland is your first point of entry.
How to apply for a visa?
Every visa application must be filled up and filed through our on-line registration system available at: www.e-konsulat.gov.pl. Once you have filled up your application form, you have to print it, sign it, and deliver it to our consulate. You are allowed to produce your application not sooner than 3 months before your planned entry into the Shengen Area.
Normally we require that you produce your application form and your documentation personally at the consulate. Visa applications for minors should be signed and produced by the parents (legal tutors). You may be invited to an interview with the consul any time before the decision is made.
Types of visas
Depending on the length of your stay in Poland or in the Schengen Area, you may apply for:
- a Schengen visa, if you intend to stay in the Schengen Area for no longer than 90 days within a six month period starting from your first entry into the Schengen Area, or if you need to transit the Schengen Area to reach a third country;
- a national visa, if you intend to stay in Poland for more than 90 days and less than 1 year starting from your first entry into the Schengen Area. Holders of a national visa are allowed to travel within the Schengen Area for 90 days within a six month period starting from their departure from the state granting the national visa;
- an airport transit visa (ATV), if you are a citizen of one of the following states: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka.
Holders of an airport transit visa are not allowed to leave the airport transit area while staying in a Schengen Area state. Holders of a valid resident permit issued by Canada or a Schengen Member State are exempt from ATV obligation even if they are citizens of an above mentioned state.
Should your stay last more than 1 year, you will need a resident permit. You can ask for more information and apply for a resident permit at the Voivodship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) in Poland.
What documents should I submit?
- your application form duly filled and printed;
- your valid passport or another travel document recognized by the Polish authorities. Its validity must be longer than 3 months starting from the intended end of stay in the Schengen Area and in any case may not be older than 10 years. There should be at least 2 blank pages;
- 2 photos fulfilling these standards;
- documents proving your right of entry to the state of your final destination (Canadian resident permit, Canadian visa, permit of stay or valid visa of the state of your final destination);
- flight itinerary or flight reservation;
- health insurance certificate covering the entire period of your stay in the Schengen Zone with a minimum value of 30.000 EUR (approximately 40.000 CAD);
- bank account statement covering last 3 months or other documents confirming sufficient means of subsistence while staying in the Schengen Zone – does not apply to family members of European Union citizens;
- documents justifying the declared purpose of your travel (invitation, work permit, hotel reservation, resident permit of a third country in case of transit, etc.) – does not apply to family members of European Union citizens.
Please, produce original documents and their photocopies. The originals will be returned to you.
How long shall I wait for the decision?
Normally, the decision should be issued within 15 days.
How much does it cost?
The fee is 89 CAD for a visa of any type (Schengen visa, national visa, airport transit visa).
You can pay cash, with a certified cheque, or a Money Order only. Credit cards, debit cards, and personal cheques are not accepted.
Familiy members of a European Union citizen - free of charge.
Should you be refused a visa, the fees will not be reimbursed.
What if I am refused a visa?
If your application for a visa is refused, you may be able to appeal against the decision. You can produce your request for review at our Consulate within 7 days from the visa refusal date. The review should be carried out and the final decision issued within 15 days.
The application fee for a visa review request is 89 CAD.
Entering the Schengen Area
What do I need to have at the border?
- your valid passport or another travel document recognized by the Polish authorities and a visa (if applicable);
- proof of sufficient means of subsistence (100 PLN – approximately 35 CAD per day);
- health insurance certificate covering the entire period of your stay in the Schengen Zone with a minimum value of 30.000 EUR (approximately 40.000 CAD).
Will I be allowed into Schengen Area?
Even if you have obtained a Polish visa or you are a visa exempt citizen, you may be refused admission into Poland by the Polish Border Guard. It can happen for a series of reasons, for example; if the purpose of travel you declared is not compliant with the actual one, if your means of subsistence are not sufficient or you have no right to enter the state of your final destination. You may also be refused entrance into the Schengen Zone if you are registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS), you may be considered a threat to public policy, internal security, public health, or international relations of any Schengen Member State.
Declare the money
If you enter or leave the European Union, you need to report to the customs service amounts equal to or greater than 10.000 EUR or its equivalent in a foreign currency, shares, state bond, traveller’s cheques, etc. that you are bringing into or taking out of the European Union.
Consequences of illegal stay
Bear in mind that extending your stay beyond the legal limits of your visa or non-visa travel as well as changing the purpose of your stay contrary to the declared one exposes you to a series of consequences, including detention, criminal charges, expulsion, and ban on further travel to the Schengen Area countries. If you are invited by a Polish resident or an institution based in Poland, they may also be held liable for your offence.SEE MORE