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R like registration of residence

The law has many faces – the theory may be helpful while dealing with them. However, the thing that encouraged me to write this article was the everyday experience of Foundation Ternopilska concerning registration of residence. Step by step, I will write how to register your place of stay in Poland.

When the registration of residence of a foreigner is necessary?

In order to receive PESEL number. Similar numerical identifications function in any country, where tax and evidence data of its citizens is collected and stored.

PESEL is given to a foreigner after two weeks, after registration of a stay for a period longer than 3 months – it may concern 92, 95, 100 or more days. If the stay is shorter than 3 months – PESEL number will not be given.

Why this article is concerned so much with PESEL, when it was meant to provide information about registration of residence? For a foreigner the registration of residence, as I have mentioned above, is the only way to receive PESEL number. Having such identification number makes the life in Poland easier.

We will be asked to provide our PESEL number in following institutions and situations:

- bank

- clinic

- ZUS (Social Insurance Institution)

- tax office

- in a hospital, on ER

- when signing an agreement with employer

- university, higher education institution

If we do not have the PESEL number, we are obliged to present international passport, but still not all institutions are allowed to identify a person on the basis of this document, as the number of the passport may change, just like a surname – PESEL is always the same.

When the registration of residence is helpful?

- when applying for a residence card

- when registering as an unemployed

- for the sense of stability in a foreign country

When the registration of residence is substituted by other documents?

Very important institution for us foreigners is the Office for Foreigners, located in Voivodeship Offices. When applying for a residence card, it is necessary to deliver all the required documents certifying our stay in Poland, and providing certain place of residence. The department demands one of the following documents: confirmation of registration, rent contract, lending contract, deed of ownership of the apartment we live in. It is worth to obtain one of the documents required by the institution, but do not panic if you are not able to get the registration of residence or the rent contract.

I am emphasizing the moderation because in case of registration of residence the good will of the flat owner is crucial – if the owner does not want to register our stay there is nothing much we can do. Owner of the apartment has such right and registration of residence of the others is a right, not duty.

If the department insists on the certification of registration of residence, it’s worth to write a declaration: “I declare that the owner of the apartment I currently reside, has not assented to my registration of residence.” This should be enough to make our case carry on.

Registration – step by step

You would like to register your place of residence but you are convinced that it’s complicated and time consuming. I’ll prove you wrong – there is nothing easier.

You are no longer obliged to deregister your previous place of residence. Now all the formalities may be solved in the office. The whole procedure of registration of residence takes 10 minutes – you only need to collect necessary documents. You may already have some of them:

  1. Personal ID – probably it’s in your wallet
  2. Filled out registration of residence form – collectible in the office
  3. Birth certificate (a certified copy) – applies to minors. If you have such document at home, take it with you. You don’t own one? Doesn’t matter, we can handle this without it.
  4. Document certifying the legal basis of the place of residence (original – available for inspection).

What else you should know? (Changes from January 1, 2013)

  1. The time for notification of the registration of residence has extended to 30 days.
  2. You don’t have to register your stay up to 3 months.
  3. All formalities concerning registration of residence may be commissioned to your assignee.
  4. You won’t pay a penalty fee for not registering in term.
  5. Registration of residence for a period exceeding 3 months for foreigners and citizens of European Union and their relatives (close family). Foreigners, citizens of European Union member countries, citizens of EFTA member countries, or citizens of Swiss Confederation and relatives of such foreigner residing on the territory of Republic of Poland are obliged to register the place of residence lasting more than 3 months, 30 days at the latest, counting from the day of arrival in this place.

Foreigners other than mentioned before residing on the territory of Republic of Poland are obliged to register the place of residence 4 days at the latest, counting from the day of arrival, if the stay is longer than 3 months. But if the stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland does not exceed 14 days, there is no such obligation.

Source and more information: Ministry of the Interior

By Marija Jakubowycz (October 2014)