can a foreigner buy a house in Poland
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Can a Foreigner Buy a House in Poland?

Here on Finding Poland, I’ve already dealt with the issue of buying an apartment in Poland. A colleague of mine has also written about the rights foreigners have when it comes to purchasing various types of property in Poland. This time around, I’d like to devote specific attention to the question: “Can you buy a house in Poland as a foreigner?”


Who is a Foreigner according to Polish law?

According to Article 3 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners, a foreigner is a natural person who does not have Polish citizenship (1).

From a legal perspective, a foreigner is:

  1. a legal person with a registered office abroad;
  2. a company without legal personality of persons who do not have Polish citizenship or a registered office in Poland. Hence, the company has a registered office abroad which was established in accordance with the legislation of a country that is not Poland;
  3. a legal person and a commercial company without legal personality, that is based in Poland, and is controlled directly or indirectly by persons or companies listed in points 1, 2 and 3 above.

For the purposes of this article, it’s vital to go beyond the above-mentioned definitions of a ‘foreigner’. The laws for foreigners who wish to buy a house in Poland revolve around whether they have citizenship of an EEA/EU country or not. It’s worth adding that citizens of Switzerland have the same rights as EEA/EU nationals.


Can EEA/EU/Swiss citizens freely buy houses in Poland?

Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) – Norway, Iceland Liechtenstein and all other countries of the EU, as well as Switzerland – can FREELY PURCHASE ANY KIND OF REAL ESTATE in Poland, including houses.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens don’t face any restrictions when it comes to the purpose of buying a house. It doesn’t matter whether their intentions are to live in, rent out or run a business in such a property.


Can non-EEA/EU/Swiss citizens purchase houses in Poland?

The question – “Can you buy a house in Poland as a foreigner?” – is extremely relative when you consider that those who don’t possess EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship require a permit to purchase a house in Poland. 

However, regardless of your place of residence, you don’t have to acquire a permit to buy a house in Poland as a non-EEA (EU) and Swiss citizen in the following two cases:

Exception 1:

You have been living in Poland for at least five years from the day you received a permanent residence permit or Permit for Residence of a long-term EU resident

Exception 2:

The house will be part of a property community. This occurs when you have a wife or husband with Polish citizenship*. Moreover, you must have been living in Poland for at least two years from the day you obtained a permanent residence permit or a Permit for Residence of a long-term EU resident.

* Please note that if you have been living in Poland for at last two years on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a Permit for Residence of a long-term EU resident, and you have also been married to a Polish for at least three years, you have the right to acquire Polish citizenship through marriage.


Acquiring Real Estate in Poland by Inheritance

It is not necessary to obtain a permit if you acquire real estate by inheritance and you are a person entitled to statutory succession in accordance with the laws of the country from which you come. If there is no such form of inheritance in your country, then Polish law applies.

The exemption from the obligation to obtain a permit applies to both the acquisition of real estate by way of statutory and testamentary inheritance. However, the persons appointed to inherit under the will must also be among the statutory heirs. The determination of the circle of statutory heirs is based on the testator’s national law.


You must obtain permission to acquire real estate by inheritance if you are entitled to testamentary inheritance and you are NOT among the statutory heirs.


Conditions you must meet if you wish to buy a house in Poland as a foreigner from outside the EEA and Switzerland

You will get permission to buy a house if:

  • your purchase of real estate will not pose a threat to defence, state security or public order
  • you can prove that there are circumstances confirming your ties with Poland

To demonstrate ties with Poland, you can indicate that:

  • you have Polish nationality or origin
  • you have a wife or husband who is a Polish citizen
  • you are a member of the management board of a controlled commercial company
  • you run a business or agricultural activity in Poland, in accordance with the provisions of Polish law.
  • you have a residence permit:

(a) Temporary residence permit (this does not apply to a temporary residence permit for victims of trafficking in human beings or due to circumstances which require a foreigner’s short-term stay in Poland)

(b) Permanent residence permit

(c) Permit for Residence of a long-term EU resident

Important notes:

  1. If you buy real estate for the purpose of living in it, its area cannot exceed 0.5 ha.
  2. If you are an entrepreneur and you purchase real estate in order to conduct business activity, you must prove that the acquisition of real estate is connected with genuine needs which result from the nature of your business or agricultural activity.


Why should you buy a house in Poland if you’re a foreigner?

Finding Poland’s property expert and owner of Class Properties, Marek Królikowski, had the following to say on the matter of why a foreigner might choose to buy a house in Poland over other countries:

First and foremost, most foreigners buy houses in Poland as they have jobs and they wish to settle down here. However, many foreigners might be tempted by the idea of buying a house in Poland for leisure purposes. Alternatively, it could be a very prudent move to buy a house as an investment property in the form of a long-term or short-term rental business. 

Apart from the lure of huge urban centres such as Warsaw and Kraków, Poland benefits from access to stunning mountain ranges and mountain resorts. Regions which attract tourists for their mountains include Lower Silesia (Dolnośląskie) and Lesser Poland (Małopolska). Lesser Poland contains the famous resort town of Zakopane right at the base of the Tatra Mountains.

Let’s not forget the beautiful lakes in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in North-East Poland, and, of course, seaside resorts on the Baltic coast. Poland’s national parks, with their huge forest complexes, are also tourist magnets.

All in all, Poland’s housing markets offers excellent opportunities for a foreign investor due to the country’s pristine landscapes and natural areas which Polish people are proud of and are certainly keen to visit.” 


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