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Questions regarding visa (a bit specific situation)

nedamise 1 | 2  
12 Aug 2009 /  #1
(I apologize in advance if this is too long of a text but I want to be as clear as possible.)

I live in Croatia which is outside the borders of the EU. And although a candidate it will take at least several more years until we join so I can't move freely to Poland.

My problem is simple: My girlfriend is Polish and it's getting a bit difficult for me to travel back and forth every time I want to spend time with her so I would like to make my move permanent which would necessitate a live and work in Poland visa.

However, I'm a web/flash designer and a freelancer so I don't actually need to find work in Poland since I work with people all over the world and on top of that I'm a part of a two man team with my friend living in Croatia so I could continue taking on Croatian jobs. All I need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Having spent time in Poland for personal reasons I was exposed to the language and culture and I believe I would fit well (language I would have to learn but I plan on taking courses before moving and it's similar to Croatian, especially regarding grammar) and the city I want to move is Wroclaw. I like the city and she lives in the vicinity so it's a big plus. Naturally, before I move I assume I would have to bring some savings with me to rent an apartment and so on.

My problem is this:

How big are my chances of getting a permanent visa? For now I can spend up to 90 days in Poland with just my passport. I could (and I will) ask in the Polish embassy however I prefer to get some info that is somewhat "unofficial" and from people who have experience first.

I'm 24 years old.

Thank you in advance.
12 Aug 2009 /  #2
First of all you need to apply for a temporary resident's permit (a karta pobytu). It is possible to get one without the right to work. You just need to find somebody who will confirm that they will support you. But you won't be able to work in Poland with only a karta pobytu, you'll need to get a work permit.

The easiest way to do that is to set yourself up in Poland as a one-person company (działalności gospodarczej) and then get a work permit for yourself. With help from your girlfriend, you should be able to set up the company without too many problems (it's basically just a case of going to city hall, waiting two weeks and then going to GUS (statistics office), ZUS (national insurance office) and tax offices (regular tax office and VAT office), a bank and a stamp making shop). That is assuming that Croatians are allowed to set up one-person companies in Poland (they certainly should be but I'm not sure).
vndunne 43 | 279  
12 Aug 2009 /  #3
Hi. following on from harry's mail, if you do need to set up a one man company in wroclaw, i can give you name of my translator. She helped me set up a one man company in wroclaw and knows all the offices to go to. though i appreciate that your girl friend will probably be able to assist you as well.
lowfunk99 10 | 397  
12 Aug 2009 /  #4
I would be interested in doing this when I go back to Poland. What kind of cost is involved?
12 Aug 2009 /  #5
As far as I remember (I opened my company about three years ago, but the system is still the same), opening a działalności gospodarczej is pretty much free (there are some very minor expenses, like buying a stamp for your company). How much a work permit costs, I have no idea.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
12 Aug 2009 /  #6
Is a work permit needed for someone that's self employed? I was under the impression that this was a way to dodge the need for one...

Apparently the cost of a work permit in Poland is tied to the minimum wage according to
OP nedamise 1 | 2  
13 Aug 2009 /  #7

Działalności gospodarczej sounds good however, what are my obligations to the state, tax wise? In Croatia there is a specific amount in taxes you need to pay every month to keep such a company running and those taxes ain't low.


I just may take you up on that offer as soon as I decide what would be the best course of action here.
jonnydeep 1 | 2  
19 Aug 2009 /  #8
According to what Harry has written, I have been doing all those works since 1and half month, and is ready now .I am going to poznan to make a final step, which is applying the temperorary residence.

I got the 11 pages of application forms, and all the documents what need, the question is , where should I go and submit? I am contacting a polish lawyer, but I would like to know a general idea about the procedure of applying the residence. It is better to know the clear information while in the new country to avoid extra unuseful work and of course extra cost.

Because I am settling with my entire family altother in poznan, it is a bit complicated specially we don' t speak polish at all. Usually, if I ask this polish lawyer, how much do you think I should pay him for all the following application work?

Many thanks to this forum, it is a great help. I am taking notes from any useful info from here, and I had asked twice questions, hopefully, I could be able to share my experience in settling in poland in the future with all of you.
19 Aug 2009 /  #9
Działalności gospodarczej sounds good however, what are my obligations to the state, tax wise?

You need to pay 19% income tax plus ZUS. For the first two years ZUS is 250zl per month (flat fee) and after that it is 850zl per month.

where should I go and submit?

According to it's the Department of Citizens and Foreigners Affairs at pl. Wolności 17, 61-739 Poznań

(tel.: +48 61 854 19 17, 61 854 17 74, 61 854 13 97
fax: +48 61 854 18 43)
that handles among others; issues pertaining to passports, foreigners, citizenship and repatriation.

You probably won't need a lawyer, just somebody who speaks Polish.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
19 Aug 2009 /  #10
if I ask this polish lawyer, how much do you think I should pay him

Don't pay a lawyer, as Harry says, just get a Polish person to help you out with the translations and so on. A lawyer wil just take a ridiculous amount of money off you for very little - it should be pretty easy to find an American in Poznan that's gone through the entire nonsense before.
OP nedamise 1 | 2  
20 Aug 2009 /  #11
Thank you a lot Harry, I think you suggested the perfect solution. Hopefully I won't run into too many issues regarding red tape.
lowfunk99 10 | 397  
21 Aug 2009 /  #12
Don't pay a lawyer

I agree, Polish lawyers charge a lot.
pgtx 30 | 3,156  
21 Aug 2009 /  #13
what nationality lawyer doesn't charge a lot? lol....

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