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British in travel. Many trips to Poland within a year - do I need to register?


BritNomad 1 | 3
10 Jun 2015  #1
I'm from the UK and I've started travelling a lot more. I've been spending a lot of time in Poland. The longest I've stayed so far this year is about 10 weeks, so not more than the 90 days you would normally need to register for a residency permit. In fact I won't ever stay here more than 90 days, I want to go back to the UK more often than that. I know that with a Schengen visa you can stay 90 days out of 180, but as I understand it with a British passport I am allowed free travel around the Schengen area. Is there any need for me to apply for a temporary residency permit?

Thanks :-)
JollyRomek 7 | 481
10 Jun 2015  #2
No need to register even if you stay beyond the 90 days
jon357 63 | 14,122
10 Jun 2015  #3
Very true - they have no legal basis whatsoever on which to enforce the registration thing anyway, and unless you're actually settling as a resident to work there, pay taxes and vote, would probably prefer that people didn't.

I know that with a Schengen visa

Schengen Visas are for people from outside the EU.

with a British passport I am allowed free travel around the Schengen area

Not only that, but you have a right to live and work there as well as vote in certain elections. If you're ever asked by (say) the police about the basis in which you're in the country, you should say that you are there as a citizen of an EU member state. Anything else (like humming and hah'ing about registration) would confuse them and cause delays while they checked it out, not least because the police here in Poland are not generally either very worldly or among life's intellectuals although this is slowly getting better.

Is there any need for me to apply for a temporary residency permit?

None at all. Enjoy Poland - it's a great place!
OP BritNomad 1 | 3
10 Jun 2015  #4
Thanks for the info! I was concerned I would be able to clock up enough time here that I would be required to register.

I'm renting a flat here, so in that sense I'm "resident" (I don't know if that changes anything), but then I also have a home in the UK. To me, this is just a very long temporary stay (or series of stays).

I'm not intending to work here. However I'll almost certainly be here more than 183 days in the year, which presumably will make me tax-resident. In a way I'm less worried about that, though, as it's something my accountant can deal with.

@jon357 - Thanks, I'm enjoying it a lot!
jon357 63 | 14,122
10 Jun 2015  #5
I'm renting a flat here, so in that sense I'm "resident" (I don't know if that changes anything), but then I also have a home in the UK. To me, this is just a very long temporary stay (or series of stays).

You shouldn't worry about the flat - it doesn't make any difference.

I'm not intending to work here. However I'll almost certainly be here more than 183 days in the year, which presumably will make me tax-resident. In a way I'm less worried about that, though, as it's something my accountant can deal with.

Not that I'm advocating tax evasion or anything like that (of course...), however they can't prove you're actually in country or haven't popped over the border elsewhere in Schengen etc and I really really wouldn't complicate stuff by involving the Polish tax office. They are a pain in the proverbial at every level.

I just looked at my last post and one bit wasn't clear. If you want to vote etc, you do need to register, however there's no legal instrument by which they can make you register as resident nor is there anything they can do to you if you don't.

You can however work without registering, however you'd need to apply for a tax reference number (NIP) and they may have started asking for the card people get when they register since the days when I applied for mine. I was able to open 2 businesses though, one as a registered sole trader and one as a limited company (as well as half a dozen bank accounts over the years) without being registered as resident, and in fact there are tax advantages in not being resident.

If it sounds contradictory and a bit confused, don't worry - you've probably figured out by now that Poland is a land of contradictions, conflicting advice and regulations, anomalies and surprises - most of them nice ones.
terri 1 | 1,620
10 Jun 2015  #6
If you are covered by British travel insurance for any emergencies make sure that you read the small print, as they have a total number of days per year for which you are covered. Chances are that before they pay anything out (should the need arise) they will check your travel arrangements.

The fact that you have a flat (or 20 flats) in Poland does NOT make you a tax resident of Poland.
OP BritNomad 1 | 3
10 Jun 2015  #7
and I really really wouldn't complicate stuff by involving the Polish tax office. They are a pain in the proverbial at every level.

Heh, pretty much every single time someone has mentioned a Polish government office they've warned me of the bureaucracy :)

I was able to open 2 businesses though, one as a registered sole trader and one as a limited company (as well as half a dozen bank accounts over the years) without being registered as resident

That's interesting actually as I'd consider opening a business here, but again I've been warned about the bureaucracy. In fact I have a friend here who wants to start a software business, but intends to open a company in the UK as he says in Poland they just assume you're trying to cheat them. Maybe works the other way round for foreigners starting a business?

you've probably figured out by now that Poland is a land of contradictions, conflicting advice and regulations, anomalies and surprises - most of them nice ones.

Superfast broadband and mobile networks, reliable tram systems, banks that treat you like royalty not peasants... I've found a few nice surprises already :)

If you are covered by British travel insurance

Thanks for reminding me, this time I've come without cover (apart from the basic European emergency cover), but it's something I'm aware I need to sort out. I'll presumably be better getting domestic cover, I'll go and speak to some insurers.

The fact that you have a flat (or 20 flats) in Poland does NOT make you a tax resident of Poland

I understand, I didn't think it would make me tax resident, I just wondered if it would affect whether I'd need to apply for temporary residency (which it sounds quite clearly I don't).
jon357 63 | 14,122
10 Jun 2015  #8
That's interesting actually as I'd consider opening a business here, but again I've been warned about the bureaucracy.

It's not actually that bad (and getting better) though as with registering as resident you shouldn't assume that the person at the relevant government office (or whatever) knows what they're doing. In Poland people never admit they're wrong or don't know - they just come out with something and insist it's true. The person in the office down the corridor will say the exact opposite.

but intends to open a company in the UK

He'd still have to do most of the paperwork, in order to trade in Poland if he wants a bank account here or to issue an invoice. That may well however have changed. Poland wasn't really prepared for the single market and government agencies don't really talk to each other in order to make plans for things or formulate strategies etc.

The whole thing about registering as resident is part of that.

Superfast broadband and mobile networks, reliable tram systems, banks that treat you like royalty not peasants... I've found a few nice surprises already :)

And restaurant dining cars with tablecloths and proper food, cheap tickets to the National Ballet, 24 hour booze shops, cheap taxis in the capital, and long, glorious summers and warm autumns ;-)
OP BritNomad 1 | 3
10 Jun 2015  #9
long, glorious summers and warm autumns

Ha, yes! Earlier in spring after I went back to the UK a friend asked "So how's Poland? Cold?" and I replied... "No not really, it was about 20 degrees and sunny when I left" :-)


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