Non-EU citizens enrolled as regular, full-time studies in Poland are allowed to work in July, August and September. For the rest of the year a work permit is needed. A work permit can be granted but only if no EU citizen is found to fill the vacancy. Formalities must be done by the employer. International students are not allowed to work on a student visa basis only. Students who have residence permits in Poland are entitled to work without authorization.
Legalizing your stay: Non- EU/EEA citizens
Non EU and EEA citizens must apply for a long term visa at their local Polish consulate. The certificate of enrollment is required. The visa is valid for no longer than 12 months and must be re-validated in a local Voivodship Office. The visa allows to stay in Poland, and, for the first three months also to visit the other Schengen Agreement member countries. The prolongation of visa may occur only in exceptional circumstances. The general rule is, in the case of the planned extension of the period of stay in Poland over the period specified in the visa, to apply for residence permit. In order to acquire the permit, international students must have a valid health insurance policy and enough money to cover the costs of stay and return travel to the country of origin.
All international students must apply for a temporary residence certificate within 3 days from the date of crossing the Polish border. In order to apply, it’s necessary to visit the local Population Registry Bureau in the Municipal Office.
It’s mandatory for international students to have a health insurance in Poland. EU/EEA citizens are allowed to exercise their healthcare rights on a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) basis. Citizens of other countries must buy the commercial insurance policy covering the healthcare costs in their countries, or pay for a voluntary policy in Polish National Healthcare Fund. The policy cost ranges from 36 PLN to 279 PLN monthly, depending on a number of medical procedures included. To get a policy it’s necessary to present the university certificate of enrollment, student ID card, the temporary residence certificate and passport with valid visa or residence permit.
Studies in Poland cost around 2000 – 5000 Euro yearly, but it’s necessary to check out the price of the course of your choice, as it may by higher, depending on particular university’s decision. Scholarships are available for students with proven Polish origin. For graduate students the amount is 850 PLN, for postgraduate students 1270 PLN a month. All students from Belarus who are subject to political repression may participate in Kalinowski Scholarship Fund, offering 1270 PLN a month. The scholarship application must be posted to local Polish consulate before coming to Poland. Polish consulates provide all the necessary information.
Although the Roman Catholic Church is the dominant religious institution in Poland, practicing other religions is possible. Poland has a history of religious tolerance. The hate crimes on religious basis are very rare. Orthodox, Greek Catholic and protestant churches are present in almost all big cities, as well as Muslim prayer centers. Jewish Kehillas are available in ten cities. Many other religious societies are active, and their institutions available.
The crime rate in Poland is much lower than in EU countries, and significantly lower than in the USA. This applies to most kinds of crime, including murders, car theft, rapes and robberies. The safety level is high. Although, common sense behavior is necessary. One should avoid walking at night in most dangerous locations, keep an eye on personal belongings, remember about locking the apartments, and do not leave opened cars, or unprotected bicycles on the streets.