Polish authorities stepped up measures to find foreigners residing in Poland without permission last year, according to figures provided to the Polish Press Agency by border officials.
In 2018, there were 19,700 checks on the legal status of foreigners, up from 10,600 the previous year. Furthermore, they audited 45,400 foreigners, a 14,400 increase compared to 2017.
If someone from outside the Schengen Area (of which Poland is a part) is found to be in Poland without proper documents, they typically have 15 to 30 days to leave – although this could be extended up to a year depending on the circumstances. The penalty is usually a ban from the country from six months to five years.
It should be noted the the higher figures also come with an increase in foreigners in Poland overall.
The Polish government has taken additional steps this year. Last week, following an EU directive, the Sejm approved an amendment to the Act on Foreigners which places greater government oversight over some people coming to Poland on the basis of studying or doing research. It aims to eliminate “fake students” who merely use a student/research visa as a pretext to live here without actually engaging in the activity connected to it.
The amendment also targets non-EU nationals who apply for temporary Polish residency visas on the basis of having a visa in another Schengen country, using this method to overstay their welcome.
If you want to apply for a Polish residency card, the Polish government has English-language instructions and documents.