HOW TO APPLY FOR A VISIT or A TOURIST VISA TO POLAND
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Though often neglected in European travel itineraries, Poland is a country that has more to offer than you might think. From its unique placement at the heart of Europe to its lively culture and vibrant cities, you’d be mistaken to give it a pass.
Poland has a tricky language. Curious as to why? — Because is the only country in the world where Polish is the national and official language. As an EU member, Polish is also an official language of the Union.
Foreigners are quick to point out just how hard Polish can be to learn as a beginner. If you already speak a language Polish is closely related to, such as Czech, you might have a different view. However, for most, Polish remains very tough to master indeed.
What makes Polish so unique is that it features many sounds not found in almost any other language.
More than that, it uses a modified Latin alphabet to represent these sounds – unlike even most other Slavic tongues.
For centuries, Poland has been at the heart of Christian Europe, with a very devout Catholic population that rivals only that of Italy in its dedication to the church.
With that in mind, it is easy to imagine the excitement when a young Polish cardinal called Karol Józef Wojtyła was elected to be pope in 1978. He took on the name Jan Paweł II, or John Paul II as it is often rendered in English.
Today, the former pope is commemorated all over Poland. His likeness is displayed in the form of statues, postage stamps, and on coins, and other memorabilia.
He is considered one of the most beloved Polish citizens to have ever lived and remains a national role model and icon.
Speaking of Polish traditions, there’s no way this list would be complete without mentioning Pierogi! If you’ve never tried them – stop reading right now and do yourself a favor.
The little dumplings have made a name for themselves on every continent, but few people really identify them as an aspect of the rich and unique Polish cuisine.
If you really want to visit Poland, here’s a guide on how to apply for Schengen Poland Visa with your Philippine Passport. This will be helpful in your journey in the Schengen Zone.
An Overview of Schengen Visafor Short-term Stay in Poland
Poland is a part of the Schengen area i.e. a group of countries which carry out no checks at their common borders and which have brought their efforts to fulfill the right of free movement of persons to a successful end.
More information about the Schengen area can be found here.
In order to enter Poland as a Philippine passport holder (and any other countries in the Schengen zone), you must obtain a Schengen Visa first. You can get a tourist visa (if touring the country is your primary purpose) or a visit visa (if your main objective is to visit a family, friend, or significant other).
With a Schengen Visa, you may come and stay to Poland for up to 90 days total starting from the date of entry to the date of exit. This 90-day stay may start and end anytime within the dates stipulated in the visa validity period (180 days).
Poland Visa Conditions for Philippine Citizens
If you are a Philippine passport holder and you are planning to apply for a Polish Schengen visa, you must fulfill these conditions:
- Poland is your main destination. It means that you will visit Poland only and have no plans of visiting any other neighboring Schengen country (sa Poland ka lang pupunta at mag-stay); or
- You will stay the longest in Poland. You have plans of visiting other Schengen countries, but Poland is where you will be staying the longest. (Pupunta ka pa sa ibang Schengen countries, pero sa Poland ang pinaka-mahabang stay mo).
Example: You will stay in Poland for 14 days to visit a family member or a relative. After that, you will go to Belgium, France, and Germany for a 2-week side trip, before returning to the Philippines.
- The main purpose of your travel is in Poland. You have plans of visiting other Schengen countries, but the focus of your travel is in Poland.
- Poland is your port of entry. You have plans of visiting multiple Schengen countries for the same number of days, pero Poland ang iyong first point of entry.
Important Documents to Prepare
All Poland visa applications will be coursed through VFS Global Poland Schengen Visa Application Center.
You can submit your application up to 6 months before, but no later than 15 days before your intended departure date. If you apply less than 15 days ahead, there may not be enough time for your application to be processed as this takes at least 15 days.
Now, depending on your circumstance or Visa type that you wish to apply for, click the symbol ‘▼‘ below to view the corresponding requirements for each section. Take note that I have listed the requirements in order — meaning that the Embassy requires you to arrange these documents in such order upon submission (so take note of the order/numbering below).
Of course, always make sure that you have authentic, original, and complete documents at all times.
Below are the list of documents that are required to be submitted when applying for a Poland Schengen Visa for the purpose of tourism or visiting family or friends in this Schengen area.
Note: Prepare two sets of each document—one original set and one photocopy.
1. A duly filled out and signed Schengen Visa Application Form. You may download the form by signing up here.
Form must be filled out on-line, printed out and signed personally by the applicant (for minors, the application shall be signed personally by at least one of the parents or a legal guardian while submitting the application).
All entries should be properly filled out – no blanks.
2. Two current biometrical passport photos
- Size 35 x 45 mm
- White background
- Not older than 6 months
- Printed on high quality paper
- Complying with ICAO guidelines (International Civil Aviation Organization)
3. Original Passport and a Photocopy of it as well as the Bio Page– must be valid at least 3 months calculating from the date of intended departure from the Schengen area.
Must contain at least two blank visa pages, excluding the endorsements pages.
Not older than 10 years (extended passports are not accepted).
4. Travel Insurance – the coverage must be applied during the entire duration of the trip and must be valid for all Schengen countries. Coverage sum must be AT LEAST EUR 30,000 (Php 2.5 million or USD 50,000). I highly recommend Pioneer Insurance which you can avail yourself through me. Feel free to directly inquire through JASTravel on Facebook and I would be very glad to assist you.
5. Documents indicating the purpose of the journey and countries to be visited – At this part, it’s good practice to include a cover letter along with this itinerary document so that you can properly explain the purpose of your trip. We can help you plan your trip by availing our itinerary service.
6. A copy of your roundtrip flight reservation. Do NOT buy flight tickets before the visa is issued because the Polish Embassy would NOT take any responsibility for the costs you’ll incur if your visa gets denied. We can assist you with a dummy ticket for your flight reservation requirement; get it here!
7. Proof of Accomodation, copy(ies). These are confirmed hotel reservation(s) only for the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen countries containing the name and contact details of the hotel(s) as well as the reservation number.
8. Proof of financial capacity to show that you (or your sponsor) can support your expenses for the whole duration of your travel.
• For those traveling without a sponsor: this means that you will cover all your expenses during the entire duration of your travel.
- Bank statements – must show records of the past six months. A bank statement shows your transactions in your account at a specific period. It will show debits (withdrawals, payments, taxes, service fees) and credits (deposits, interest earned.) Bank Statements can also be seen online especially if you have a registered account. There is no signature for the manager or a bank officer.
- Bank Certificate – it is a confirmation by the branch manager or a bank officer that you have an existing account in their bank. It shows the account number, the type, and other details such as the opening date of your account, your account balance as of the date of request, and your average daily balance.
- Other proof of income (supporting documents) – although it is not really required, you can submit invoices and pay slip equivalent to prove that you earn enough to support this trip financially.
9. Evidence of your rootedness in the Philippines – Evidence of deep-rootedness a.k.a. strong family and social ties to your home country, is one of the most critical requirements when applying for a Schengen Visa. It is what the Consul will look for in your visa application. So how do you prove that you are firmly established in the Philippines and that you will go back to your home country? This can either be: Confirmation of employment / private business / studies / pension
You need to convince them that you will return to the Philippines. Insufficient evidence of deep-rootedness to your home country is also one of the chief reasons for visa denial.
For company employees – original letter from employer confirming the position in the company, date of employment, salary for the last 6 months and period of holidays granted (certificate of leave of absence). The letter must include the name and position of the person who signed the certificate, registration and contact details of the company.
For private business – confirmation of business registration, license, income tax return, business financial statement;
For students – proof of enrolment, certificate from the school with confirmation of leave of absence and the valid student’s ID card. You may be also requested to submit a student’s record-book;
> Recent certificate of enrollment from the school
> Letter authorizing the student’s absence from school
For pensioners – pension certificate indicating the amount of pension;
For unemployed – a written and signed explanation on the applicant’s labour situation;
For Solo parents:
› A copy of your birth certificate- PSA Authenticated
› A copy of your child/children’s birth certificate- PSA Authenticated
› Solo parent ID
› Barangay Certification as Solo parent
› Notarized Affidavit of Solo Parent with Undertaking
› Money remittances to support your dependents
- For those who are supporting or watching over the health/well-being of the family:
› A copy of my parent’s birth certificates- PSA Authenticated
› If parents are already Senior Citizens: a copy of their Senior Citizen ID and Barangay Certification as Senior Citizens
› If parents have sickness/ illness: Medical history of parents (diabetes, hypertension, etc.)
- Documents confirming ownership of real estate property in the Philippines (if applicable)
> Land titles
> Car registration certificates
> Deeds of Sale
- For Minors
> Joint affidavit of both parents or legal guardians granting consent
> Photocopies of the passports of both parents or legal guardians
> Birth certificate of the minor. Must be recent, original, and issued by PSA.
> DSWD Clearance, if the minor is not traveling with either parent or legal guardian
Aside from the same documents under Category A Checklist, below are some additional documents that you need to add or to prepare:
10. A Copy of the host’s/ guarantor’s passport
11. Invitation letter / officially registered invitation (“ZAPROSZENIE”) – Please note that there is no obligation in registering official invitation in Poland by the host person – this procedure is a choice as it is connected with legal responsibilities. Regular invitation letter issued by the host person (not registered at “Urząd Wojewódzki”) must indicate personal data of the inviting and invited parties, the purpose and duration of the visit, the place of residence of the applicant, relations between the host and applicant, a written commitment to cover the applicant’s living, return and healthcare costs if necessary, signature of the inviting party.
Additionally, if the invitation is not officially registered at “Urząd Wojewódzki” the applicant will be requested to submit a document proving the host’s ability of covering costs associated with the applicant’s stay as well as a document confirming the host’s legal title to the residential premises or a document confirming the host’s ability of providing accommodation to the applicant elsewhere, e.g. an ownership act, rent contract, reservation in the hotel.
12. Travel history of the sponsor in case of non-formalized relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend)
13. Documents proving family ties with apostille stamp or legalized by the competent authorities issued with the past 6 months – The certification must be submitted only if the applicant and the host person are relatives, e.g. marital status, birth certificates, etc.
14. Marriage certificate certified with apostille stamp or legalized by the competent authorities issued within the past 6 months- If family member of Polish/EU/EEA citizens only.
15. Confirmation of sufficient financial means for the applicant – e.g. bank statements presenting the transactions / movements of the last 6 months or the tax clearance for the previous year.
Please note that officially registered invitation (“Zaproszenie”) may confirm financial means for the applicant. Nevertheless, presentation of regular income does prove ties with the country and may serve as one of the guarantors of return before the visa expiration.
16. Confirmation of sufficient financial means for the host person / guarantor– e.g. notary sponsorship letter covering the period of the requested visa, bank statements presenting the transactions / movements of the last 6 months or tax clearance for the previous year. Please note that a document proving financial means is not required when officially registered invitation is presented.
NOTE: If in case you are a Philippine national living or residing in a foreign country and you wish to avail a Schengen tourist visa, kindly inquire with the appropriate Polish Embassy in the country that you’re living/residing in about the requirements and procedures that you need to take (as the process and requirements will not be similar).
Also, the Polish Embassy may request more information or additional documents other than those listed above in order to verify the contents and truthfulness of the documents you’ve submitted.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for a Schengen Visa to Poland
If you are currently living in the Philippines and you are a citizen of this country, then you will need to apply for a visa to be able to visit Poland.
You can apply up to 6 months before you intend to travel to Poland, but no more than 15 days before. This is because it takes 15 days for a decision to be made. If you apply less than 15 days before, there may not be enough time for your application to be processed.
Step 1: Determine the type of Polish Schengen visa you need to apply for and have a look at the checklist of requirements to gather all the documents that you need to submit.
The first step is to determine which visa type you need, and check whether you’re eligible to apply for it.
You’ll also need to know the documents that you’ll have to submit along with your application, how long the application might take and fees you’ll have to pay.
Each application must comply with the guidelines applicable for your visa category.
If your documents are not in English , you may need to get translations prepared before applying.
Additional important information:
Financial resources required from foreigners to enter the Republic of Poland – click here.
Step 2: Begin your Visa Application. Get started with you visa application.
Once you are ready to apply, please fill the visa application form and arrange your documents as per the checklist.