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Renewing Karta pobytu in Warsaw

gtd 3 | 639  
8 Sep 2008 /  #1

First off I am American as I know it is different for EU folks.

I have a one year Karta Pobytu and I need to renew it before the end of the year. This time I am trying for a working version. Can anyone tell me what additional documents I will need? Just a contract from the job or additional things from the employer?

Have any of the requirements changed from last year? Before you needed Insurance, proof of income for your time here, 5 copies of passport, registration in a flat owned by a Polish person, pay a 300zl fee....

I have heard the working cards are normally 2year cards...true or not? Does anyone know how long from the time you give your application that you get the card now? Last time it took two months.

I am dreading doing this as last time was such a hassle...if anyone has tips to make it smoother I would be grateful.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
9 Sep 2008 /  #2
I'm also American and went through this process last year. I'm going back on Friday to renew it. My school is handling all the documents this year so I've got no tips for you. Last year I needed one copy of my passport, four photos, a copy of my CELTA and university degree, birth certificate, a copy of my contract with the school, and a copy of my lease.

They also asked for a police report which I didn't have so they accepted a statement that I'm not a criminal. Same with a bank statement and IRS forms. Statements that I had some money and didn't owe taxes were acceptable.

Funny how the requirements vary from place to place, but this is Poland. Oh, it took three months from the time they approved my application until I actually got the card.
Easy_Terran 3 | 312  
9 Sep 2008 /  #3


That seems to be as hard for you, Americans, to settle down in Poland as it is to the Poles to settle down in America.

Quite surprising, well... to me, knowing that the gov. of Poland has been doing nothing but kissing an American ass for whole last decade...
OP gtd 3 | 639  
9 Sep 2008 /  #4
Scottie was this in Warsaw? Are they asking for educational proof now?

Anyone else?

I can't believe with all the people on here nobody knows.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
9 Sep 2008 /  #5
Scottie was this in Warsaw? Are they asking for educational proof now?

No, it was in Gdansk. We non EU citizens have to jump through a lot of hoops but it's worth it for me. I love it here and will probably stay in Gdansk until I croak.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
9 Sep 2008 /  #6
Yeah I just want to find out what the requirements are NOW as they seem to change all the time. The info office on Dluga is always full and I cant seem to get answers from anyone there anyway. Last time they waited until I was in submitting my application after waiting forever to tell me all the documents I needed that weren't listed anywhere...there is no standard. If I had a list I could get it all together.

I read things on here about people getting temporary papers rather than cards...all sorts of stuff and cant even get good info from the horse's mouth...I'm just trying to survive here ;)
scottie1113 7 | 898  
10 Sep 2008 /  #7
gtd, what kind of work do you do? I'm a teacher and my school helps with all the red tape. Tell us a little about yourself.
mafketis 24 | 9,358  
10 Sep 2008 /  #8
my school helps with all the red tape.

Oh go ahead, rub it in! (muttering obscenities)

To gtd, the problem is that the old system is kind of obsolete and they don't have anything new in place yet. And Polish bureaucracy is at its worst in ambiguous, novel situations (like this!).

My only advice is keep slogging away at it, being as polite as possible and realize that the people you're dealing with are profoundly uncomfortable not having regulations they can rely on. If they get to the point where they recognize you from frequent visits (and realize you're not going to cause nasty scenes) you probably won't have any problems in the future with them once there are regulations in place (no matter what they are and warning: Polish laws tend to be poorly written and ambiguous and often contradictory, how the loopholes and contradictions are handled are the prerogative of the people in charge at the local level which is why you want them to not dislike you).

Try to view the process as helping to build your character (and teaching you a lot about Polish society).
OP gtd 3 | 639  
15 Sep 2008 /  #10
It's not about patience or building character...I have been here a while and I do ok day to day.

It is about them not even knowing the rules and then me being punished as a result. They can't even tell you the full requirements...and then later they tell you to come again with some document they NEVER in writing, on a sign, or to your face told you about.

Does ANYONE know if there is a written standard with FULL info I can reference? The instructions they give you at Dluga and the "Info" office there are not accurate or complete. And if you point that out when you are being dismissed they just shrug their shoulders or yell at you.

I know how Poland is...I know I can't make it how I would like...I am just trying to manage but how can I follow rules and be a good boy when they can't even tell me the rules?

The only reason I worked it out last time is I met someone who worked there and they gave me detailed info of what to do...hell when I submitted my application that time they acted shocked that there was nothing missing...hell they said they didnt even need some of the documents I had...

I swear they just arbitrarily make up rules for the day during morning briefings.
(sarcasm for those who would berate me)

I KNOW all countries have rules and bureacracy..and I am doing my best to work within that but for the love of god just tell me what you want me to do....even if it is unreasonable, complicated or irritating.....fine....but I can't do IT unless I know what IT is!
dcchris 8 | 432  
15 Sep 2008 /  #11
hey I went through the same thing this past year so Im feeling your pain. really. so thats the key. get somebody who can help you. it is frustrating beyond belief and time wasting and you feel like you have to do a song and dance just to stay but what options are there? It took me 5 months. You just have to keep asking questions and call them before you go tell them what you have and if that is enough. If you pm me I will tell you more.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
15 Sep 2008 /  #12
I feel your pain.

I suggest you just do the application as best you can based on the rules as you understand them (rightly or wrongly). The burden is then on them to process your application and if it is wrong or has mistakes they will have to tell you why. Keep on going and eventually you will get there...

I recently used this strategy at the USC when I got sick of going around in circles being told different things and them stalling me/fobbing me off.

Good luck.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
16 Sep 2008 /  #13
dcchris I wrote you a PM...please let me know here if you don't get it or when you do reply.


Does anyone here know how to streamline the Work Permit process from Urzad Pracy?

I have heard there are certain things you need to say to get the 2 year permit. Anyone know those magic words?

One rumor also said for English Teaching there was a different or all together waived permit? Sounds bunk but thought I would ask anyway

dziekuje thanks gracias spaseeba merci shukrahn danke hvala
scottie1113 7 | 898  
17 Sep 2008 /  #14
As an English teacher you don't need a work permit but as an American you do need a residency card. I went on Monday to renew mine and only spent 10 minutes in the office, most of it watching the woman stamp all my documents. Now I'm waiting for it to be approved. Last year it took six weeks and another three months until I actually got the card but I had a paper saying it had been approved so that was OK.It's not an easy process but it's worth jumping through all the hoops to be able to live in Poland.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
17 Sep 2008 /  #15
Scottie are you in Warsaw? They told me I DID need the work permit for English...I'd sure like to get a verifictation on this.

For the work component they said I needed 1.contract 2. work permit or promise of the permit 2. register at tax office

I will get the NIP (tax number) or at least apply for it this week...been told it takes 2-4 weeks.

The other requirements I am familiar etc.

So you just submitted all the other documents required but didn't need to submit the permit from the Urzad Pracy (Labor Office)? I hope you dont really need it as the application is ridiculous and I would rather not go through that process.

mafketis 24 | 9,358  
17 Sep 2008 /  #16
It's not about patience or building character...I have been here a while and I do ok day to day.
It is about them not even knowing the rules and then me being punished as a result. They can't even tell you the full requirements...and then later they tell you to come again with some document they NEVER in writing, on a sign, or to your face told you about.

Okay, apologies for thinking you're a newcomer.

But my basic advice still stands. The problem is that _they_ are not sure what the rules are now and that makes Polish bureaucrats _very_ nervous. With Poland's entry into Schengen, the old system isn't really valid anymore but no new system has been put in place (and I know of no plans to put one in place).

When Polish bureaucrats know just what the rules are, they're much more confident about waving and/or bending them. When things are unclear they retreat to "Everything you've done is wrong" mode (so that they won't be held responsible in the face of regulations that eventually do show up).

It sucks that this has come up while you're trying to get your paperwork in order but I still think the best you can do is store up your patience and contain your rage (and never let them see the latter) and keep plugging away at it, smiling and thanking them for letting you know about the latest paperwork they've asked for.

If you're seeing the same people more than once, then that's good. Once they come to recognize you (and know you're not gonna be making nasty scenes) they'll be much more inclined for your paperwork to finally get through.

On work permits: From what I recall (this might be dated) foreigners don't need work permits to teach their native languages but this might depend on the level you're teaching at. Unversity level instructors definitely didn't need a permit a few years ago (when helping a co-worker jump through some hoops) but lower than that I'm not sure.

But again, Polish laws are almost always badly written (without thinking through all the consequences) and/or ambiguous. It's usually up to the local person in charge of how to interpret bad and/or ambiguous regulations.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
17 Sep 2008 /  #17
This is the problem...I am hearing English teachers don't need the true that would make things a lot easier.

The info office at Immigration (Dluga) said I DO need it and the Residency Card will be issued for 1 or 2 years depending on the if the Work Permit is issued for 1 or 2 years. People here including those who have been recently say you don't need this permit. I am going to the Labor Office this week to ask...but am not confident I will get a straight answer...I wish I could somehow find out for sure if the permit is needed or not for a Private School English Teacher.

Also pushing for the 2 year residency card and some have mentioned you need to word things correctly for this...anyone share what that is?
away guy 10 | 343  
17 Sep 2008 /  #18
I have a one year Karta Pobytu and I need to renew it before the end of the year. This time I am trying for a working version.

Why do u need a working one ?? All my mates have a normal 1year Karta and they all work using it ..........
OP gtd 3 | 639  
17 Sep 2008 /  #19
I need it...and want to get it the right cannot legally work as an American if your karta pobytu doesnt say you can...but thanks...can anyone answer the question that is getting lost above?

Do American/Non EU English teachers need a work permit? If no can you point to a source?

Thread attached on merging:
Getting a 2 year Karta Pobytu.

I am trying to get a working Karta Pobytu on the basis of teaching English at a private school. I have heard a few people say you can get a 2 year card by wording things properly on the application. Does anyone know exactly what this is?

Last time I asked for a 2 year card but was only given 1 year although it was not a working card.


Can I get this UN-merged please? I started a new one on purpose. This one is getting cluttered and the question not answered.
mafketis 24 | 9,358  
21 Sep 2008 /  #20
"the question not answered"

Excuse me? In the other thread I pointed you directly to the Polish government's own page with the relevant regulations (including links to any changes to said regulations). How much more of an answer do you need?

I'd suggest breaking out the słownik and improving your knowledge of (shudder) legal language in Poland (first rule never use 10 words when you can use 100 and never use easy to understand vocabulary when you can be obtuse). It's not fun but it's probably necessary in your case.

As for wording things correctly, it's probably best to just call the school a school and not mention that it's private unless you're absolute forced to (and/or look for a second job at a public school).
OP gtd 3 | 639  
21 Sep 2008 /  #21
Maf...I appreciate your links...but the answers are not there. Polish friends have read them AND the people in the immigration office even say they don't know as the law "depends". That is not an answer to a YES or NO question. Especially when they can't even tell you what it depends on.

My questions are NOT being answered. What I need is a clear response. Links to laws those implementing them don't even understand or follow don't help me at all. In addition, the exact things I want to know aren't listed in those laws.

1. Do American's need a Work Permit or is their a waver. If so who told you this or where did you reference it.

2. What is the "proper wording" to get 2 years as was mentioned above.
mafketis 24 | 9,358  
21 Sep 2008 /  #22
What I need is a clear response.

I don't think one exists and "it depends"* is as close as you're gonna get (reread that a few times until it sinks in).

For an American on their own, living in Poland for the first few years requires a high tolerance of uncertain and ambiguous situations. It does get easier over time.

Just file the application without a work permit. After printing out the info that Americans don't need a work permit to teach their language in a 'school' for the people in the immigration office (again try to avoid mentioning that it's a private school) and hope for the best. If the people at the immigration office don't hate you they'll do what they can to help you stay.

*if you really want to know, my guess is that "it depends" on the person that makes the decision, Poland hasn't completely caught up with the 'rule of law' concept and instead goes with 'rule of boss'.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
22 Sep 2008 /  #23
There IS no info that Americans don't need the permit...not that I can find. The first I heard of this was in a post here but that person won't respond and say how they know this. The "law" doesn't say this anywhere anyone can show me. I asked a few people in the Immigration office and one guy said 'sometimes' it is true but others flat out said no you MUST have it...well it can't be both. It is or isn't ALWAYS required. If it is not...there has to be a criteria.

I need to know before I start if it IS needed I will go another route.

Last week I went and was told to go today and ask for a certain person. I went today and the jerk shift must have been working as a few people told me "WE CANNOT CALL THIS PERSON..GO TO THE INFORMATION!!" Well the Information TOLD me to ask for this guy. It's ridiculous.

They wonder why people flip out and go on rampages in government offices.
mafketis 24 | 9,358  
22 Sep 2008 /  #24
Okay you're making me mad now.


Allow me to quote:

"Rozporządzenie określa przypadki, w których powierzenie wykonywania pracy cudzoziemcowi na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej jest dopuszczalne bez konieczności uzyskania zezwolenia na pracę.

4) będących nauczycielami języków obcych, którzy wykonują pracę w przedszkolach, szkołach lub placówkach, o których mowa w przepisach o systemie oświaty, .... którzy są obywatelami ....Stanów Zjednoczonych Ameryki, .... jeżeli język, którego nauczają, jest ich językiem ojczystym;"

If your Polish isn't up to reading that I posted a link to an unofficial translation (there is no official translation as only the Polish version counts).

That's as clear as it gets. That is the answer. There is no more answer. Yes, there is a possible hole in the regulations that YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FILL.

If you can't understand that then maybe you don't belong in Poland afterall or you're just a troll who I've wasted too much time on already. Stop bothering people with your inability to cope.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
22 Sep 2008 /  #25
Well....I showed the link to several Poles and they said it didn't say anything about American's not needing the permit. Explain to me how that is my fault or me not coping if I was given bad information? I can only know what I am told or experience...

I find it ridiculous that you can be angry at ME for the system being broken. I assure you I am not the only one having these issues.

Your reaction is typical here. People can't figure something out and they take it out on the person trying to sort it.

You tell me to stop bothering people? How about people post reliable TRUE and complete info rather than more ambiguity? I'd loved to have only asked once and gotten the true response...just like people would love to only have to go to the offices ONCE and not 20 f'ing times.

Put the blame where it belongs.
mafketis 24 | 9,358  
22 Sep 2008 /  #26
TRANSLATION (which I linked to previously and which you obviously didn't try to read):

"Work may also be performed by foreigners without the need for a work permit in the following cases:
4) foreigners who are teachers of foreign languages performing work in preschools, schools and institutions stated in the regulations on the educational system... if they are citizens of ...the United States of America... if the language they teach is their native tongue"

Is that too hard to understand or did you even read it before? As for your "friends, they're either illiterate, too stupid to understand legal regulations, blew you off by not even trying to read it or they're trying to get rid of you. If it's the last I'm not sure if I blame them.
OP gtd 3 | 639  
22 Sep 2008 /  #27
What is it with people here and the personal attacks?

If it makes you so angry stop replying. You are making excuses for Poland's faults and blaming it on me. I would not presume to blame you if you were in the US and some idiots or contradictions blocked you from accomplishing something. Typical for here...don't know something or feel stupid yourself?? Well the answer is to turn it on the other person and treat them like crap. See it all the time in shops.

And you insulted my friends too. That is disrespectful and you can't justify it.
22 Sep 2008 /  #28
Typical for here...don't know something or feel stupid yourself?? Well the answer is to turn it on the other person and treat them like crap. See it all the time in shops.

Hmmmmm, well after reading all your posts gtd I am afraid I have to agree with him. Many people come here and cope and enjoy their life here but you seem overly frustrated with a system that is what it is.

You seem to rely on a forum that is made up of peoples' opinions which is a recipe for disaster, and when you become frustrated with confusing information you are surprised, get real!!

Does 'when in Rome', mean anything to you?
OP gtd 3 | 639  
22 Sep 2008 /  #29
If you went into a shop and took some bread to the kasa and they would not tell you a price but told you must pay. What would you do? If you walk out they call the Police as you are stealing...if you leave it you don't eat.

How is this my fault?

I can't get true info from the people who make the I thought I'd ask some people who have done it. Thats the only reason I asked in this "forum". Clearly that was a mistake and the problem is not the office but the attitude of the people here.

None of them answered with accurate info...and somehow I am the bad guy.

In "ROME" the "ROMANS" dont need a ******* karta pobytu!

The people who don't have a problem with this system have someone else arranging it for them. I don't have that luxury. You said 'many' people cope fine...well every single expat I know ******* constantly about this place...don't kid yourself that because they are polite in mixed company that they have no problems and everything works great.

My irritation stems from the fact that nobody knows answers to **** they require YOU to know. decency are in short supply in this country.

Thanks to those who were polite...and **** those who weren't. I extend politeness and respect as a matter of fact until people treat me like ****. I guess it is more fun to insult people than to help and be nice.

You can have your forum for Arabs to get dates and to argue about which girls are hotter. You have several posters here who are really poor quality people and say some awful things yet they don't get this much grief.

Generally I turn the other cheek. But I also believe in treating others the way you wish to be treated...but when they stop...I stop.

So to that end:

**** you mak****head. I didn't do a ******* thing to you yet you felt the need to berate me and insult my friends. Go suck a dick you arrogant ******* jack off. Ironically I will likely be banned and or the post deleted when those attacking me weren't. But at this point it doesn't matter as nobody here knows what the **** they are talking about anyway.

To the few good folks here like offense to you all but this site is overrun with people who are full of **** and get their jollies trying to knock others down. Usually it is a ****** minority ruining it for the masses. Here the masses are the problem.

Save your "see ya" and "good riddance" replies. It isn't clever nor bothering. Nor will I read them. But that won't stop you. "Internet" badasses just have to show how tough they are.

And you wonder why Poland gets so much grief...look in the mirror you twats. All you had to do was be polite. But that was too much to ask. Next time I see some dick shoving an old woman as they get off the bus I will think of you. Poland's finest.
22 Sep 2008 /  #30
And you wonder why Poland gets so much grief...look in the mirror you twats.

unfortunately the people you are complaining about are not Polish.:)

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