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Polish citizenship guide

 
Article
 

Residence of 3 months to 5 years

EU citizens and their family members exercise the right of residence for a period longer than three months, providing that:

  • the EU citizen is employed or self-employed in the accepting Member State, or
  • the EU citizen has sufficient resources for him/herself and his/her family members so as not to become a burden on the welfare system of the accepting state, or
  • the EU citizen is a student or vocational trainee, and has sufficient resources for him/herself and his/her family members so as not to become a burden on the welfare system, and is covered by full medical insurance in the accepting state.

A Member State may require EU citizens and their family members to register in an appropriate office within three months of the date of entry. Then they receive a certificate of registration providing they prove that they are an employee, a student, self-employed or financially self-sufficient. Member States may require the family members of the EU citizen to prove the existence of family bonds or a permanent relationship, and to meet other above-described requirements (appropriate age, financial dependence, health issues). Then such persons receive a certificate of registration.

The family members of an EU citizen who do not hold EU citizenship themselves are required to apply for a residence permit within three months of the date of entry. They are obliged to provide similar evidence as listed above. The residence permit is valid for five years (or shorter, if the declared period of residence is shorter) from the date of issue. The permit may lose its validity in the case of prolonged absence of a given person in the state that issued the permit – the maximum approved period of absence is six months in a year. This period may be prolonged to twelve months for important reasons, such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, studies, vocational training, delegating to another state or obligatory army service.

Neither the certificate of registration nor the residence permit are required to commence employment in the state of residence. Family members of an EU citizen who are not EU citizens themselves and would otherwise need a visa are exempt from this obligation if they have a residence permit.

Family members of an EU citizen may retain the right of residence in a Union Member State even when the person is deceased or leaves the state. If they are EU citizens, they have the right of residence based on the same regulations that apply to all EU citizens, i.e. they have to meet the requirements concerning employment, entrepreneurial activity, studies or financial self-sufficiency. However, when they are not EU citizens, the requirements enabling them to retain the right of residence are much stricter:

  • they do not lose the right if they have resided in the Member State as family members of the EU citizen for at least a year prior to his/her death,
  • the children of the EU citizen and their parent who looks after them do not lose the right either, provided the children reside in the Member State and go to school or study there.

In the case of divorce (or marriage/partnership commitment annulment), family members of the EU citizen who do not hold EU citizenship themselves do not lose the right to reside, providing that:

  • the marriage or the partnership had lasted for at least three years prior to the moment the divorce procedures started or the partnership commitment ceased, including at least one year in the accepting state, or
  • following the spouse or partner agreement, or court verdict, the former spouse or partner is appointed the guardian for the children of the EU citizen, or
  • exceptionally difficult circumstances exist, for example, a family member who does not hold EU citizenship was a victim of domestic violence while married, or
  • the former spouse or partner has the right to visit a minor child, provided that the visits, following the court verdict, have to take place in the accepting Member State.