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Problems with Polish Bureaucracy, residency


comixk 2 | 2
14 Jun 2010 #1
So I have been living in Poland for three odd years and haven't had TOO many problems with Polish law. However, this year I filed my papers early and now they are taking forever to give me my decision for my karty pobytu. In fact, they gave me permission to work but haven't given me permission to stay here. I received a letter that I have to appear at the Urząd Wojewódzkie at 10 o'clock on Tuesday June 22nd. My temporary residency ends June 30th. They have said they want to ask me some questions. What exactly could they possibly want to know after submitting all my documents where not much has really changed?

I asked some of the other workers at the Urząd Wojewódzkie and none of them are saying they know what it is about and that I have to speak to this one lady, but she is impossible to get a hold of.

The only thing I could think is maybe they want to ask me about working in Poznan, which I will be working at an English camp in July. However, why would they schedule a meeting to see them and not even tell me what it is about, it seems a bit unfair doesn't it? I'm completely stressed out, my whole life is here in Poland and every year I feel completely ill-at-ease during this time.

If anyone has any thoughts, let me know.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
14 Jun 2010 #2
I received a letter that I have to appear at the Urząd Wojewódzkie at 10 o'clock on Tuesday June 22nd. My temporary residency ends June 30th. They have said they want to ask me some questions. What exactly could they possibly want to know after submitting all my documents where not much has really changed?

Could be routine, could be that they have some concerns - could be anything, really. It may just be an informal chat before giving you a 2 year Karta Pobytu (which does happen...occasionally) - or they may simply want to enquire about what you're doing in Poznan to make sure that you're applying in the right office.

However, why would they schedule a meeting to see them and not even tell me what it is about, it seems a bit unfair doesn't it? I'm completely stressed out, my whole life is here in Poland and every year I feel completely ill-at-ease during this time.

If you're complying with all the legislation, then there's nothing to worry about. It may not be about anything in particular, but rather just a chat to enquire what you're doing in Poland. Really - nothing to worry about. At the very least, you'll have 90 days once your residency expires anyway if you're from a tourist stamp country.

Can I ask by the way - who/what are you working for in Poznan over the summer? I was wondering if there was any truth to the rumours about summer camps being run here :)
OP comixk 2 | 2
17 Jun 2010 #3
delphiandomine,

Thanks for the advice!

I have decided to try and tackle the interview myself in Polish, it's not fantastic but I think I will be able to manage. I was wondering if you had any idea what kinds of questions they will ask me? To my understanding this is a standard interview that has been delayed for quite some time (3 years to be exact). I would like to prepare a little so that I can answer a little more clearly.

I'll be working for Bell in Poznan. It's only for the month of July at an English camp. Should be quite interesting.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
12 Sep 2010 #4
Thread attached on merging:
Debilitating Polish bureaucracy?

Poland has been part of East Central Europe known for its expansive brueacracy going back at least tio tsarist and Habsburg times. It is every well and alvie today, making life a nightmare for many Poles, as the media reprot almost daily. And yet tiny Slovakia has manaegd to break out of that mould and make itself attractive to foreign investors. The PO claimed to have created a 'single window' solution for businessmen, licence-seekers and other applicants queuing in administrative offices but not much has improved. Why are Poles having such a hard time chucking out the red tape?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
12 Sep 2010 #5
It is every well and alvie today, making life a nightmare for many Poles, as the media reprot almost daily.

I can't help but think that you really do know nothing about life in Poland today. Bureaucracy doesn't make my life a nightmare - in fact, it's safe to say that whenever I've encountered it, the most painfree way to deal with things is to do what they ask.

Many, many problems that people have in Poland are caused by not complying with requests (no matter how idiotic they might be). And if the request is outside the law - well, going armed with the law usually yields results.

The PO claimed to have created a 'single window' solution for businessmen, licence-seekers and other applicants queuing in administrative offices but not much has improved.

Wrong. In fact, things have massively improved - for anyone legally resident in Poland, starting a business is a very straightforward, simple process. Again - it's obvious that you aren't "on the ground".
Seanus 15 | 19,706
12 Sep 2010 #6
He's well out of touch with the reality here, Delph. There are different stages needed to put a company together but they are just step by step and hardly onerous.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
12 Sep 2010 #7
Well, I am constantly hearing complaints from PolAms who want to get Polish citrizenship through their Polish-born parents or grandparents who are given the run-around by Polish consualtes in the USA and officials in Poland. They often have to wait for years for simple confirmation.
cms 9 | 1,255
28 Sep 2010 #8
I haven't often complained about this in the past as I saw some steady progress (more of a spurt under PiS ironically than under PO) but my experiences in the last few months are that it is not getting better.

Past month has included

- 5 visits to Notaries, one of which lasted 9 hours because the notary and the other sides lawyers were so disorganized.
- A bank loan that required 55 different places for me to sign and 14 annexes.
- Buying an off the shelf company - was told it would take 3 days, in fact its been more like 3 weeks.
- A bizarre and farcical process for changing registered address - this is a one form job but the amount of things that need to be done subsequently was mind boggling.

I think at the heart of the problem is a real misunderstanding - in most of the capitalist world a senior person's job is to make decisions, find financing, ensure smooth execution

Whereas I think in Poland the govts view (and the view of banks) is that you are essentially there to sign documents and be liable and have nothing better to do than screw around in notaries' offices and stamp and initial documents which you have no hope of reading even if you are an expert speed reader.

I have a few businesses here and would say this - if its a simple one person job with a few customers then its not especially bureaucratic. This kind of job might make a few thousand zloty but not serious liviing.

If however you want to

- employ people
- rent or own a premise and use it for business
- borrow money
- make things
- export things
- import things
- use forex

then it quickly becomes a nightmare. And Poland's assessed place in the World Bank's ease of doing business report is in the mid 70s. One of the lowest in the EU. I worked before in UK, USA and Germany plus own a business in Czech and have to say that Poland is lagging all of those badly in reforming its bureaucracy.

Interested in other people's experiences - is anything getting better or has the reform stalled ? If I can think of concrete improvements in last 24 months I come up with simplified VAT filing and not much else.
richasis 1 | 420
28 Sep 2010 #9
Well, I am constantly hearing complaints from PolAms who want to get Polish citrizenship through their Polish-born parents or grandparents who are given the run-around by Polish consualtes in the USA and officials in Poland. They often have to wait for years for simple confirmation.

The process sure can be frustrating. For confirmation, I would recommend by-passing the consulate altogether and working directly with the Voivoidships. As for the passport, the consulate cannot be avoided - and that's where it gets to be frustrating. In the end, I think the waiting is the hardest part. :)
WhyMedSchool 6 | 35
28 Sep 2010 #10
It's hard enough for foreign students to stay in the country legally just to complete a few years of study let alone trying to live a real life in Poland.

The language of the law is written so unclear that every task ends up coming down to a "decision" by some lame bureaucrats.

All I can say is that I'm soooo happy not to be paying taxes in this country to support this madness and pay the salaries of thousands of useless people who barely do any work at all and seem to enjoy making the lives of others miserable.
richasis 1 | 420
28 Sep 2010 #11
While I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiment, the same could be said for other countries - say, for instance, the United Police State of America.
convex 20 | 3,978
28 Sep 2010 #12
Just have your lawyer draft up a POA and let someone else spend the day signing papers.
WhyMedSchool 6 | 35
28 Sep 2010 #13
While I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiment, the same could be said for other countries - say, for instance, the United Police State of America.

Fair enough, but somebody please try to explain this. In Canada I was able to go to the Polish embassy, hand them 5-6 papers and $100, come back in a week an have a 1 year Student Visa.

This summer I decided to stay in Poland with my wife and figured I'd get the Temp Stay Card instead (since it's also good for a year).

- I handed them a stack of papers two inches thick that took me at least two weeks to collect
- I was forced to have several documents legally translated (at my expense)
- I was forced to go through an hour interview (with a translator I paid for) after I handed in EVERYTHING that was required because they just "decided" to throw an interview into the mix

- I was forced to register my marriage which meant getting my marriage license sent from Canada (two weeks wait), having it translated, having my wife de-register herself from Krakow and re-register in Poznan (for some stupid reason) and after all that we still had to wait for a "decision" as to whether they would accept our marriage or not.

I have paid around 600 Złoty, wasted I don't know how many hours (it's taken me at least two months), I was temporarily an illegal citizen as my student visa had expired while I was attempting to take care of all this madness, and at the end of the day its for the EXACT SAME privelidge of being able to stay here legally for a year as a STUDENT. How does this make any sense???

They treat us like criminals and soooooooo many other students in my program are experiencing the same issues (some with the threat of deportation) simply because the bureaucracy is out of control. It is not uncommon for students to hear conflicting instructions time after time because none of the bureaucrats actually seem to know the law, let alone how to apply it properly.
richasis 1 | 420
28 Sep 2010 #14
How does this make any sense???

It doesn't. That's just crazy.

Unfortunately, from what I know of my own and others' experiences, this is more the rule than the exception. I too had the major-league runaround for what seemed the simplest of things. For what it's worth, I can empathize with what you've described here. It's plain insanity which really must change.

One last thought: I remember reading posts addressing this same issue and thinking to myself "it can't be THAT bad". My apologies to all whom I doubted.
cms 9 | 1,255
28 Sep 2010 #15
While I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiment, the same could be said for other countries - say, for instance, the United Police State of America

But when I lived in the USA myself the bureaucracy was much much less than Poland and tended to affect stupid things (I remember the residents association of the condo being a real pain about cooking smells and parking places) rather than essential things.
al111 13 | 89
28 Sep 2010 #16
What bothers me with the Bureaucracy in this country is that every law is prone to abuse by the same people who are supposed serve it. It is utter madness and totally rediculous the law should be more transperant and public service workers should be held accountable for their actions. The difficulties arise from the fact that they think they are actually the law. You can not get anything done beacause they have a different way of interpreting the law.

The other thing is even if you phone the Head Office for Home Affairs you get the same ignorant answer that "It depends with the official who is accepting the documents" nothing is clear and no one wants to be accountable.It's one country but it seems like there are actually 16different constitutions because of the people who administer the law.

How come in Warsaw you're less likely to go through what WhyMedSchool went through in Poznan. What is wrong with Poznan, in my experiences here on the forum and from what i hear why is it that Poznan specifically is a big Problem. Are there people out there who have noticed the same with the Poznan Office for Foreigners??
Harry
28 Sep 2010 #17
How come in Warsaw you're less likely to go through what WhyMedSchool went through in Poznan.

The Warsaw foreigners office once rejected my application for a karta pobytu because a very small part of right ear was visible in the photographs they had accepted with my application.


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