get a residence permit in Gdańsk, Poland

Applying for a residence permit in Gdańsk

If you need to apply for a residence permit in Gdańsk, there are three possibilities as to how you can submit an application.

Just a bit of background before I describe the three options.

On December 1, 2022, my wife became eligible to apply for permanent residency after holding a temporary residence permanent for two years on the basis of a marriage to a Polish citizen.

Even half a year before December 1, I often checked the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office’s online reservation system. This was because the system was absolutely hopeless. Either it was out of service, or there were never any appointments available. 

When my wife and I visited the Office for Foreigners last year, the lady at the information desk told us that the “system refreshes at midnight”. In other words, appointments become available only at midnight. Well, I tried that a few times and the reservation system froze or crashed – no doubt due to high traffic.

In the autumn of 2022, I noticed that the online reservation system had somewhat improved. Appointments for the spring and summer of 2023 at least became available for reservation. Even though my wife’s temporary residence runs until the end of 2023, we wanted to apply for permanent residency at the earliest opportunity. Hence, we applied for a residence permit in a different way, as I will explain below.

It’s possible that things are starting to improve with the Internet reservation system. I’ve just seen that it’s possible to make a reservation for tomorrow.

 

Three ways to apply for temporary or permanent residency in Gdańsk

If you need to apply for a temporary or permanent residence permit in Gdańsk, there are currently three possibilities as to how you can submit an application. Let’s check them out:

1. Make an appointment at the Office for Foreigners through the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office’s online reservation system 

As I’ve already alluded to, the most direct way to submit an application for a residence permit in Gdańsk is at the Office for Foreigners. To do that, you have to make an appointment via the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office’s online reservation system.

You can only submit a complete application with fingerprints when attending an appointment you made through the online reservation system.

Any copies of documents you submit are certified to be true copies of the originals when you submit an application at the Office for Foreigners.

Providing that you honour the deadline for submitting an application, and there are no doubts regarding the legality of your stay in Poland, you will receive a stamp in your passport at your appointment at the Office for Foreigners.

Where do you have to go for your appointment for a residence permit?

It is true that the address for the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office (Pomorski Urząd Wojewódzki) is Okopowa 21/27. 

However, be aware that the entrance to the building for the Office for Foreigners is from Rzeźnicka Street:

get a residence permit at the office for foreigners in Gdansk
Office for Foreigners, Rzeźnicka Street side

2. Submit an application for a residence permit inside the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office

Not many people know this, but you can submit your documents in person at the Customer Service Section inside the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office (Pomorski Urząd Wojewódzki) located at Okopowa Street 21/27. You will see the sign ‘WEJŚCIE B’ (i.e. ENTRANCE B) above the main entrance.  

The building and entrance look like this:

Pomeranian Voivodeship office where you can submit an application for a residence permit in Gdańsk
The Pomeranian Voivodeship Office

When you enter, you will see two or three customer service desks to the left hand side of the entrance behind which one to three officers collect documents.

These officers are only there to collect documents. Do not expect them to go out of their way to help you with any enquiries you may have. 

A few important points:

  • The customer service officer will give you a small piece of paper on which is written: Potwierdzam przyjęcie wniosku w sprawie legalizacji pobytu, którego wnioskodawcą jest: _____ (NAME). Essentially, this means that the official confirms the acceptance of the application for the legalisation of your stay in Poland;
  • Only officers employed by the Office for Foreigners can verify the correctness of the application form and attached documents. Therefore, these customer service officers only collect your application and documents;

All in all, my wife didn’t have to wait very long in the queue to submit her documents on December 1, 2022. There were only two or three people waiting in front of her. 

Even if there were 15 people waiting, I imagine that you wouldn’t have to wait very long to get to the front of the queue. As I’ve already stated, the officers here only collect the application form and supporting documents and give applicants a piece of paper as confirmation of receipt.

3. Submit an application for a residence permit by post:

You can submit an application for a residence permit by post using this address:

Pomorski Urząd Wojewódzki w Gdańsku 

Oddział ds. Legalizacji Pobytu Cudzoziemców 

Ul. Okopowa 21/27

80-810 Gdańsk

 

Any Regrets?

In the autumn of 2022, the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office’s Internet reservation system either didn’t work, kept crashing, didn’t have any appointments available or only offered appointments for the spring and summer of 2023.

So, the most logical option for my wife was to go to the Customer Service Unit in the Pomeranian Voivodeship Office at the earliest opportunity (December 1, 2022).

When I started writing this article, I checked the online reservation system and noticed that the Office for Foreigners was offering next-day appointments.

Of course, I didn’t know that the Office for Foreigners would finally get its act together when it came to sorting out the online reservation system. Therefore, I don’t have any regrets about something that was out of my control. However, it’s a little frustrating that submitting an application at the Customer Service Section feels like one step forward, two steps back. This is because fingerprints are not taken. Furthermore, the supporting documents you attach to the application are not verified to be compliant with the originals. 

In a nutshell, you have to deal with a great deal of uncertainty when you apply via post or at the Customer Service Section. After all, you have no idea when you will receive a request to go into the Office for Foreigners on Rzeźnicka Street to give your fingerprints and be informed whether your application is complete, incomplete or deficient in any way.

FAQ – Getting a residence permit in Gdańsk

The email address for the Office for Foreigners in Gdańsk is:

cudzoziemcy.pobyt@gdansk.uw.gov.pl

However, experience suggests that they will not respond to your email.

The Gdańsk Office for Foreigners online reservation system has been offering next-day appointments since the start of 2023.

You should confirm your appointment by clicking the link in the confirmation email within 8 hours from making the appointment. 

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