Guidance

Living in Poland

Official information British people moving to and living in Poland need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

EU exit: what you need to know

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Poland while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate the EU exit, you should:

Before you go

See our travel advice for Poland and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Poland in our travel advice.

If you’re staying in Poland for more than 3 months, you must register your address with the Department of Foreigners at your local Voivod office.

You can also find out how to apply for permanent residency at your local Voivod office.

Healthcare

See our travel advice for Poland.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Poland.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Poland.

You should check your prescriptions are legal in Poland. If your medication requires needles and syringes, carry an explanation from your healthcare provider or a medical certificate with you.

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Poland and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pension Centre.

Working in Poland

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

You might also have to get your UK qualifications recognised in Poland – see recognition of professional qualifications.

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

Once you’re resident in Poland, you’ll be taxed on your total income, regardless of where the income is earned – see paying income tax in Poland and personal income tax in Poland.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Poland.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

If you have worked in Poland, you should contact the Polish Social Insurance Institution about your pension.

If you haven’t worked in Poland, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Polish social security benefits.

Driving in Poland

See driving abroad and road travel in Poland.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

When driving, you should always have your:

  • driving licence
  • ID
  • car registration papers
  • insurance papers

Voting

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Poland, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies and English-speaking funeral directors in Poland.

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

Emergencies

As well as the European emergency number 112, Poland also has:

  • 997 – police
  • 998 – fire brigade
  • 999 – ambulance

See Poland – emergency numbers.

If you need urgent help, contact the British Embassy Warsaw.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Polish authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 12 November 2013
Last updated 27 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  2. First published.