Numerous changes to the law came into effect on the 1 January 2018 or will be implemented soon. Among other things, Polish lawmakers allowed all foreigners to automatically obtain their PESEL numbers while registering their addresses of residence. Due to that it is no longer needed to apply for a NIP number. Some information contained in this article may be no longer up-to-date. Work is ongoing to update and rebuild the blog by the end of January.
I’ve got no official statistics on this, but I would guess that out of all the duties and registrations foreign residents forget about the zameldowanie most frequently. So what is this zameldowanie for foreigners all about? And how do residents in Kraków complete it? Let’s start with some general knowledge and then we’ll go through the application process in Kraków step-by-step.
Zameldowanie = registration for a place of living
Each person in Poland must register their address of residence. This type of registration is called “zameldowanie” in Polish. Don’t confuse this one with the other registration that you submit to the Voivodeship’s office to legalize your stay. To complete zameldowanie you go to the municipality office instead of the voivodeship’s office. This type of registration is also always free, only the official confirmation costs 17 zł.
Anytime you come to Poland intending to stay longer than 14 days you should complete zameldowanie tymczasowe – temporary registration for a place of living. Remember to update your registration status when you move to a new flat, even within the same city.
According to the law: non-EU citizens should complete zameldowanie within 4 days after they move in a new flat. EU/EEA citizens have up to 30 days.
In practice it takes much more time. And in many cases it’s the system’s fault. For example, the office will refuse to register your address if your tenancy contract will only be valid for less than three months from the date of application.
In the past, failure to comply with the obligation of zameldowanie could lead to financial punishment. Right now these rules are no longer current – there are no penalties if you don’t complete zameldowanie. But it could be an obstacle in some other procedures.
Register your address in Poland: what do you need zameldowanie for?
Here are two examples of procedures that require that you have your zameldowanie completed:
- the application for a stay card in the Voivodeship’s office (only if you’re a non-EU citizen)
- a PESEL
Let’s start with a stay card
Voivodeship offices interpret rules and requirements differently, so first go to the website of your office to check if the zameldowanie confirmation is obligatory. In some situations a tenancy contract is enough.
What about a PESEL?
As I wrote in another article that should help you a lot („What to do upon arrival in Poland?”), there are two numbers used for identification in Poland: a PESEL and a NIP.
Until two years ago all foreigners in Poland used a PESEL number for taxes, for insurance, and for identification. A NIP number was only for entrepreneurs. Since the reform in 2015 it’s still very easy for EU-citizens to obtain a PESEL number, but most non-EU residents find it difficult to get one. The reform is widely considered to be useless and unfair, but it happened.
So right now all EU-citizens and their family members obtain a PESEL number the same way as they used to. Non-EU citizens have three options:
- To have no number. It’s possible for people who don’t work, because when you’re employed, your employer must be paying personal income tax (PIT) contributions for you, so you need a number for taxes.
- To apply for a NIP in a tax office. Learn more here: NIP for foreigners.
- To take some extra steps and apply for a PESEL in the municipality office. Lean more about this case here.
So why do you need a zameldowanie to get a PESEL?
Most of the time the same office is responsible for both procedures. When you’re an EU citizen you’ll get your PESEL number from a clerk who will complete your zameldowanie – same day, automatically, in no time, for free. When you’re a non-EU citizen and you want to obtain a PESEL anyway, you submit the special form to the department in which you completed your zameldowanie.
To sum it up: zameldowanie could be important when applying for a stay card and it is crucial when you wish to have a PESEL number.
Where to register your address in Poland
Generally you complete zameldowanie in a so-called urząd gminy – a municipality office.
When you live in a city, your urząd gminy is called urząd miasta. This institution is led by the city authorities. One of their duties is to keep track of who lives where. The department of the municipality office responsible for those registrations in Kraków is called Referat Ewidencji Ludności i Dowodów Osobistych.
When the city is big, there could be more departments responsible for zameldowanie for different parts of the city. Like in Kraków, where there are 18 city districts and 3 different offices. You need to find the office responsible for your district. If you go to the wrong one they’ll refuse to register you, because they won’t have right stamps for your district.
- Districts 1-7 go to the building of the urząd miasta at aleja Powstania Warszawskiego 10
- For districts 8-13 there is an urząd miasta department at ulica Wielicka 28a
- People from districts 14-18 go to the building at Osiedle Zgody 2
You could also go to one of the points in shopping centers, but you will wait longer in a queue:
- Galeria Bronowice, store number 157, Monday-Saturday 10:00-18:00
- Galeria Bonarka, 1st floor, G26, Monday-Saturday 10:00-18:00
I talked about that with the clerks of urząd miasta and they told me that they prefer you going to one of three regular offices, where it’ll be easier to register you.
That means that you should find the number of your district. How do you do that?
Go to the website JakaToDzielnica.pl, type in your address with the name of the city and click on “Szukaj” = “Search”.
After few seconds of waiting, click on “Kliknij aby pokazać wyniki wyszukiwania” which means something like “Click here for a search result”.
And in this example we now know that our district is called Stare Miasto.
What number could it be? Check it out here:
Register your address in Poland: documents
- form (check out the next point)
- tenancy contract that’s valid longer than 3 months after the date of application (contact me if you don’t have a tenancy contract)
- visa or a stay card
If you’re a non-EU citizen who came to Poland on the basis of a visa-free movement and you’re still waiting for your stay card from the Voivodeship’s office (so basically you have neither a visa, nor a stay card) you still can complete zameldowanie. On the basis of a stamp in your passport from the Voivodeship’s office you’ll obtain zameldowanie that’s valid for 3 months.
- tenancy contract that’s valid longer than 3 months after the date of application (contact me if you don’t have a tenancy contract)
- ZR: this document that you got from the Voivodeship’s office when you registered there
If a non-EU citizen is married to an EU citizen, he or she takes the card of an EU citizen’s family member. With this card the procedure is exactly like in case of an EU citizen, including automatic registration of a new PESEL number for the foreign resident.
In Kraków you only need to bring original documents to urząd miasta, and then they make xerox copies on-site, on their own. That’s a nice difference between them and the Voivodeship’s office and a tax office.
Register your address in Poland: how to fill out the form
The form is written in Polish and in English. You will find it easily in the urząd miasta, but the form is also available online here.
There are only a few problematic parts of the form.
- Point 7 is for the “address of the place of permanent residence” – if you haven’t registered for permanent residence then skip it. It’s for Polish citizens and permanent residents.
- In point 8 they ask for the “address of the previous place of temporary residence”. If it’s your first zameldowanie, just skip it.
- Point 9: “Address of the new place of temporary residence”: here you put the address of your flat.
- Point 10: “Period of intended stay” – the period should begin on the day when you submit the documents for zameldowanie, and finish on the last day of your legal stay in the flat. It will be either the final day of your tenancy contract, or the last day of your current visa/residence permit’s validity period. It depends on which one of those two dates comes first.
- [edit 05.08.2017]: If you have a tenancy contract skip the part with the statement: “I hereby confirm that the above-mentioned person stays at the address provided” signed by a a person who holds a legal title of the flat. It’s used only when people don’t have contracts confirming their right to rent a flat. When you have a contract you don’t have to notify your landlord about the zameldowanie procedure at all.
A clerk will ask you if you wish to obtain a confirmation of zameldowanie. You would need to pay 17 zł for that. The confirmation could be useful for non-EU citizens.
As you may see it’s not a problem to complete zameldowanie. Personally I consider Urząd Miasta as my second favourite office in Kraków – there are no queues, clerks are kind and helpful, there is no stress, finally the procedure itself is really easy. Actually it could be a good idea to go there just to take a rest after the crowded and stressful Voivodeship’s office. It really works! 🙂
FIND MORE USEFUL ARTICLES
You can find more useful articles in the Just After Moving to Poland section.
Excellent article. Well structured, detailed enough, direct, clear and easy to understand. I have no idea who you are, but this is a great help you are giving to foreigners. I currently don’t need these information as I have everything in place but I still want to say thank you and bravo for this pure gold article.
Karl, thank you for your wonderful feedback. Such exhaustive, descriptive and detailed comments are the best things that can happen to a blogger. If you wish, feel free to find out more about me here: https://www.justaskpoland.com/about-me/
Thanks to this article, I was able to finish my resident registration easily yesterday here, in Wroclaw.
I appreciate this and you. But I want to add just one thing to ‘a few problematic part of them’, making more clearly for one more thing. I mean, from the part 11 of the registration form.
There is “handwritten legible signature of the owner of the flat or a person who holds a legal title of the flat”
Actually, I thought I needed the signature of the property owner of the flat. So I asked the owner(landlord) to sign it.
Fortuately, he was a good guy and said he would visit my house for that the other day. But, when I stopped by the city hall
on my way home and when I asked about it, she said “you don’t need the signature of the property owner. just sign yours. you are the owner of the flat on this form, regardless of the property ownership.”
I think I has been the only who were confused with this until now,
But if you add this small thing to the explanations above, new comers in the future could registarate their residence more easily.
I ‘m not such a good English speaker, so there must be many broken sentences. Sorry for that.
Anyway, again, bardzo dziękuję!!
That’s very important! Thank you for letting me know, I will change this. And if you don’t mind, please let me know if you find anything that should be corrected in other articles.
Can you advise the address, or where should I go to register my residence? I leave in Dubois street, and how fast I can get the result, is this instant? sorry for my questions, kinda lost. thank you.
I leave in wroclaw
Thank you for your all seul comments with informations you provider with us. I will live in Warsaw on November 2017. And wonder what from I can full encore arrivons in Poland To anticipate on my immigration. I live currently in Central Africa Republic. I got an acceptance letter to study in Warsaw.
Thank you for the wonderful information!
I registered a year ago in Krakow. As you mentioned, it was fast and painless 🙂 However, my tenancy contract would expire in September 2017, and it seems that the registration now also expires in September. Must I re-register, or is it not necessary? My tenancy contract was renewed for another year.
Chris from South Africa
Hey Chis, thank you for contacting me. In principle, you should. There are no penalties if you don’t do it, but it doesn’t take too much effort and it’s still required.
Thank you so much for this article. I followed everything you said and today I got my pesel in Warsaw.
I’m a student from England who has been in Poland for a year. Only recently have I needed to get a pesel for work, and up until reading this article I had no idea how to obtain the pesel.
No idea what forms I needed, no idea where to go, no idea what to bring. So this has made my life infinitely easier.
The lady who processed my application didn’t speak English, and shamefully I don’t yet speak Polish, but to much relief there were no issues as everything I gave her was correct because of this article.
So thanks ever so much once again, and keep up the good work.
It’s so nice of you that you wrote this post just to give your positive feedback, thank you for your time. Please stay with me for longer 🙂
My name is tunde, and I will like to ask some questions. I just recently married to my Polish wife and we try to register my name under her house, but when we get to the office I was told that the stamp the immigration gave me was on a paper and it been since 2018. But I told them that I was refused and since that 2018 and I file for appeal since 2018 September but up till now I’m still waiting for my decision.. so what do I need to do?
I have a question. When you want to register family members also, each person should have their own form? Do we need to take all the members to the office when registering including kids(4 years)?
Hello Prasannah. Yes, each person should have their own form.
“Do we need to take all the members to the office when registering including kids(4 years)?”
For your family members older than 6 it depends on two factors: your legal basis for stay and the city where you apply. I’ve sent you further details on email. However, your 4 y.o. child doesn’t have to go to the office, because only children in the age of 6 or older than that need to be present for the TRP application.
I’m hoping you can help. I’ve been reading through a lot of your articles (all very helpful by the way!), and I’m wondering how to apply for the zameldowanie if I don’t have a tenancy contract. I’m currently on a work/holiday visa until August 2018, and living in a flat that is owned by my partner’s father (so his name is registered as the owner and resident).
I’m asking because I think I will want to stay longer (in Warszawa) in which case I would need to apply for the temporary residence and work permit, and either need to apply for a PESEL/NIP number – all of the applications which require my registration of residence, correct?
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Things can get so confusing!!
Hello Elyssa. Thank you for your positive feedback! 🙂 This will be super easy – you should simply go to the city hall with your partner’s father and he should confirm that you’ll be living in his flat. He has to bring his Wyciąg z księgi wieczystej (“excerpt from the Land and Mortgage Register”) in order to prove that he’s the owner of the flat. If he cannot go there with you, please try another solution: ask him to make a statement saying that you’re allowed to live in his flat from this to this date (more than 3 months, a year for example). Ask him also to sign your zameldowanie application form in places dedicated to the flat’s owner. Then go to the office with all three: the form, the statements and Wyciąg z księgi wieczystej (“excerpt from the Land and Mortgage Register”).
I was in the same case, your explanations are very helpful !! Thank you very much
i need some informition please giveme your contact details or Email address
I’m thankful for your wonderful article ruched of informations.
Please I live with a friend actually and I need a registration of residence but cannot rent anything before finding a job. Could you please tell me if my friend (who 8s not the owner) can help me having this registration of residence for my application.
Great information, just one question! do i need to bring my landlord along with me or take his approval before doing the Maldunek ? or i can just go straight away with my polish tenancy contract and do it ?
Appreciate the support!
shahzad here thanks for writing all informition about driving licence i have a qaution
i have an italian illimteed reidence card and i also apply POLISH TRC dated 27.06.2017 at warsawa my decision date was expeted 18.12.2017
wich was stil in waiting list.rule of the stay over 185days can i apply for exchange my licence.if yes so what can i have to do
Just registered my address, thanks for clear explanation. But form is changed and i think you need to update the link with https://obywatel.gov.pl/documents/10181/0/Zg%C5%82oszenie+pobytu+czasowego+2018.pdf/8cff78fe-3337-49fa-b308-d89ef5996b9e
Hi Maciek, thanks so much for this blog. You mention that if you don’t have a tenancy agreement to contact you. Do you have a generic polish TA which I could use ? Many thanks
you are right! i completed this in June 2019.
I recently bought a second hand car in Poland and for registering it under my name they ask me for the zamedowanie.
But to apply for the zamedowanie I do not have a 3 months tenancy contract to show.
I live in hotels, hostels.
Can you tell me how to get the zamedowanie in these circoumstamces?