Personal appearance

Detailed explanation

An application for a residence permit is submitted by a foreigner (with some exceptions) in person. If the foreigner is a minor, the application is made by their parents (or one of the parents) or guardians elected by the court (or one of the guardians). In the case of an unaccompanied foreign minor, the application is submitted by a guardian, while on behalf of an incapacitated person – the application is submitted by a guardian appointed by the court.

When submitting an application for a residence permit, except for the exceptions specified in the regulations, the physical presence of the applicant foreigner is required. This obligation applies to a foreigner who has reached the age of 6 by the date of submitting the application.

If the application was not submitted in person (but e.g., by post or submitted to the office by a proxy), the voivode calls the foreigner on the basis of the Regulations of the Act on Foreigners to appear in person within a period of not less than 7 days from the date of delivery of the summons under pain of leaving the application unexamined. During a visit to the office, the foreigner is obliged to present a valid travel document (in exceptional cases, it may be another document confirming the identity of the foreigner). The requirement to present the above-mentioned document results directly from the Regulations of the Act on Foreigners and is one of the formal requirements of the application. Failure to comply with this requirement will make it impossible to conduct the administrative procedure.

It should be remembered that the restoration of the time limit for personal appearance is not permissible, because the deadline set in the summons is an instructional deadline (see: restoration of the deadline for supplementing formal deficiencies). Therefore, the submission of a request to restore the deadline for meeting the requirement to submit an application in person will result in the administrative authority refusing to initiate proceedings on this application. If the foreigner appears in person as a result of the summons but performs this action after the prescribed period of 7 days, but before the office sends a notification about leaving the application unexamined, the administrative body should initiate proceedings in the case, however, the date of filing the foreigner's application is considered to be the date of personal appearance at the office.

Fingerprints are also taken from a foreigner applying for a residence permit in order to place them on the residence permit. These imprints, after the issuance of the residence permit, are removed from the registers. Fingerprints are also taken each time the residence permit is exchanged, so the obligation to submit fingerprints also applies to foreigners who submit an application for the exchange of this document. Persons who are under 6 years of age on the date of submitting the application or from whom it is physically impossible to take these fingerprints are exempt from the obligation to submit fingerprints. If fingerprints were not taken during the foreigner's visit to the office (in order to meet the requirement to submit an application in person) or, for example, it was not possible for reasons attributable to the voivode, the voivode sets a deadline for performing this action not shorter than 7 days. If the foreigner does not submit fingerprints, the voivode refuses to initiate proceedings for granting a residence permit.

In the case of foreigners whose stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland is regulated by the Regulations of the Act on entry into the territory of the Republic of Poland, residence and exit from this territory of citizens of the Member States of the European Union and their family members, there are no precise Regulations regulating the issue of personal appearance in order to register residence, issue a document confirming the right of permanent residence, a family member card of an EU citizen or a permanent residence card a family member of an EU citizen, therefore the Regulations of the Code of Administrative Procedure regarding the lack of formal application (see: formal deficiencies) apply, i.e. the administrative body calls for personal appearance under pain of leaving the application unexamined.

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