The EU long-term residence permit (zezwolenie na pobyt rezydenta długoterminowego UE) is issued on a foreigner’s demand if he or she:
- Resides in Poland legally and continuously for at least five years immediately prior to the submission of the application for the EU long-term residence permit,
- Has stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain him or herself and the dependent family members;
- Has appropriate medical insurance;
- Knows Polish language at least on level B1 (the documents confirming having this knowledge are required).
Resources are considered sufficient, if for 3 years immediately prior to the submission of the application a foreigner had income higher than the income threshold for obtaining social assistance in Poland.
The entire period of a refugee’s stay in Poland during the asylum procedure is taken into account in the calculation of the 5-year period, if the asylum procedure lasted more than 18 months. In other cases, half of this period is taken into account. If the previous asylum procedure ended with refusal of the international protection, the period of this procedure is not taken into account at all. A procedure for an EU long-term residence permit cannot be not initiated if a foreigner is a humanitarian protection beneficiary or is seeking asylum.
Refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection may also apply for a permanent residence permit (zezwolenie na pobyt stały), if they continuously stay in Poland for at least 5 years immediately before the submission of the application. The asylum procedure is taken into account in this calculation. The same rules apply to beneficiaries of humanitarian protection but the asylum procedure is not counted to the 5 years period.
The fee for an EU long-term residence permit and a permanent residence permit is 640 PLN / 150 €. The 2019 report published by the Institute of Public Affairs emphasized that ‘Poland represents the country with the least favourable conditions, applying high fees and costs which constitute burdensome obstacles for BIPs given the very low level of social assistance benefits. BIPs are subject to costs of issuing a residence permit and initiating a procedure for permanent/ long-term residence that are higher than 50% of the minimum amount of the monthly social assistance benefit’.
The authority responsible for issuance of the EU long-term residence permit and a permanent residence permit is Voivode having jurisdiction over the current place of stay of the applicant. The Office for Foreigners is a second instance administrative body competent to handle appeals against first instance decisions. The procedure should last maximum 3 months at the first instance and additionally maximum 2 months if an appeal was lodged. In practice though it lasts often much longer. In 2020, the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights send the letter to the Prime Minister expressing his concerns that in general foreigners must wait months or years for a decision on a legalisation of their stay.
In 2016, 23 beneficiaries were granted EU long-term resident status. No data were made available for 2017-2020. Also, the specific data concerning only beneficiaries of international protection who were granted permanent residence permits are not available.
 Article 211(1) Law on Foreigners.
 Article 211(1)(3) and (3) Law on Foreigners.
 Article 211(2) Law on Foreigners.
 Article 212(1) (2) and (3c) Law on Foreigners.
 Article 212(2)(8) Law on Foreigners.
 Article 213(1)(e)-(f) Law on Foreigners.
 Article 195(1)(6) and Article 195(3) Law on Foreigners.
A. Wolffhardt, C. Conte, T. Huddleston, The European Benchmark for Refugee Integration: A Comparative Analysis of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism in 14 EU Countries (Institute of Public Affairs, Warsaw, 2019), available at: https://bit.ly/39rQCNS, 62.
 Articles 201 and 218(1) Law on Foreigners.
 Articles 210 and 223 Law on Foreigners.
 Commissioner for Human Rights, ‘Cudzoziemcy coraz dłużej czekają na legalizację pobytu w Polsce. Adam Bodnar interweniuje u premiera’, 30 December 2020, available (in Polish) at: http://bit.ly/3pfx3zB.