Most probably the words you have often heard in your first days in Poland were rejestracja and zameldowanie. In a language we all understand this mean residence permit and temporary stay registration. According to Polish law if you are living here for a period exceeding 3 months then you have the obligation to register your stay.
In order to register you stay in Poland you will need a proof that you have a place to stay (renting agreement), the reason why you are in Poland (work contract), your ID and a filled standard from.
So before worry about registering here you should find a nice place to stay. There are a lot of websites and also FB groups were you can find something to suit your requirements and needs.
Most of the owners are signing an agreement for a year with the possibility to be extended after that.
Now that everything on the required list of documents is checked, pick a day and go to Przy Rondzie 6 at Foreigners’ Affairs Unit of the Department of Nationals’ and Foreigners’ Affairs of Małopolska Provincial Office in Cracow (ground floor, foreigners’ affairs room). You need all documents in original and also copies of ID, renting agreement and work contract.
The people working there are very helpful and speak english. It should not take more than 30 minutes to check your documents and submit your request.
This step takes up to two weeks and you will receive an e-mail or phone call when the residence card is ready. You have to pick it from the same office you submitted the request.
With a fresh residence card you can now apply for your place of residence registration (temporary stay) and PESEL number. PESEL (Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population) is the national identification number used in Poland. It always has 11 digits and identifies just one person.
Registration for temporary stay can be made for a period no longer than specified in the visa or the renting agreement and it starts from the day you are submitting the application.
You can do it in the same day you have picked up the residence card and it also does not take more than 30 minutes.
Depending on the address you are registered you might have to go to a different office in Cracow. When you are picking up the residence card ask were you should go to register for temporary stay (zameldowanie).
For your temporary stay registration you need the residence card, ID, work contract, renting agreement and a filled standard form. Also you will have to pay a fee (approx. 17 zl).
In order to register for a temporary stay you will need a PESEL number which will be done by default at the same office and in the same time.
Now with all these 3 documents you are officially living legally and happy in Poland.
The process is not complicate and it requires maximum 2 hours of you time. All you need is clear and specific information from the beginning.