If you are interested in teaching English in Poland you will need to be familiar with the visa options open to you when planning your trip. Your visa options and how to go about getting one might depend on your nationality, the type of job you end up with, and whether you secure a position before leaving home or once you have arrived in the country.
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Most foreign ESL teachers working in Poland will have a work visa stamped in their passport. This type of visa currently costs $82, although this could change at any time so you should check with a Polish Embassy or Consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date details.
Take a look at details of Polish representation in the USA
Take a look at details of Polish representation in the UK
If you have found a job in Poland from within your home country the employer should help you to arrange the necessary paperwork for your application. This is done by visiting your nearest Polish Embassy or Consulate where your application will be processed. If you are already on the ground in Poland when you secure a teaching position your application will be processed within the country. Your new employer should be familiar with the process and willing to help you through it. This initial application will require the following documents:
- Completed and signed visa application form
- Biometric photo
- Visa fee
- Proof of health insurance
- Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your intended length of stay
Once issued your work visa should be valid for one year. However, if you plan to stay in Poland for longer than three months you will also need to apply for a temporary residence permit.
To apply for a temporary residence permit you will need to apply in person at a Voivodeship Office. Your new employer should be able to help you with this application as they are likely to have been through it several times before. It is possible to file the application through an agency, but you will still need to visit the office to have your fingerprints taken within seven days. The documents required typically include:
- Four copies of the temporary residence permit application
- Three copies of a valid travel document, plus the original
- Four color photographs
- An application fee of around $90
- An additional fee of $13.50 for the issue of a residence card
Once your temporary residence permit has been issued you will be free to live and work in Poland for up to three years or until your work visa has expired and is not renewed.