2 February 2017

Summary: Legalization of Stay in 2016

152 thousand of foreigners applied for permission to stay in Poland in 2016 – 30% more than 2015. Almost 142 thousand of applications originated from third-country nationals (non-EU), 10 000 from residents of the EU countries. The Ukrainians have asked for permission to stay the most often.

The voivodship offices submit documents certifying the right of residence in Poland to foreigners who want to legalize their stay in Poland (for a longer period than the visa allows). The number of applications for residence permits for three years is characterized by an upward trend. Ukrainian citizens most frequently applied for permits, who in 2016 submitted 96.5 thousand of applications (68% of the total) – 40% more than 2015,

Apart from the citizens of Ukraine, the largest number of requests are issued by Belarusians (4.8 thousand), Chinese (4.7 thousand), Hindus (4.1 thousand) and Vietnamese (4,000). In 2016, the vast majority of cases (90%) concerned the issues of a temporary residence permit, which entitles them to stay in Poland for up to 3 years. 8 percent of foreigners applied for residence permit. 87 percent of all cases ended with the issuance of a residence permit, 9 percent of foreigners received refusals and 4 percent of matters were discontinued.

In 2016, the largest number of applications for permission to stay was received by the Mazowieckie Voivodship Office – 45 thousand, which is about 1/3 of the proceedings conducted throughout Poland. Outside of Mazovia, many foreigners wanted to settle in the following voivodships: Dolnośląskie (15.5 thousand), Małopolskie (14.6 thousand) and Wielkopolska (12 thousand).

In the case of citizens of the EU Member States in 2016, Poland registered 10 thousand. Of foreigners. Most often were Germans (2.4 thousand), Italians (1.1 thousand), Bulgarians (0.8 thousand), Romania and UK citizens (0.7 thousand each).