Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Poland, including guidance on residency, passports, healthcare and the Withdrawal Agreement.
What you should do
You should follow the advice of the Polish Government and your local authority. You can also read our Poland travel advice for our latest guidance.
Stay up to date
- sign up for email alerts to this guidance
- sign up for email updates from the British Embassy in Warsaw
Attend a citizen outreach meeting
The British Embassy regularly holds events across Poland for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Poland.
The Withdrawal Agreement
The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.
If you are resident in Poland at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Poland.
Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information
In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Poland. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.
You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.
Visas and residency
Check the entry requirements for Poland.
If you are resident in Poland before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.
If you’re staying in Poland for more than 3 months, you must register your address with the Department of Foreigners at your local Voivodeship office if you haven’t done so yet.
You can also find out how to apply for permanent residency at your local Voivodeship office.
Check the locations of local Voivodeship Offices in Poland and where you should register your stay.
If the authorities think you may be a Polish national, for example if you have Polish parents, grandparents or great grandparents, they might research your family history. Your application may take longer than usual to process.
If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.
UK Nationals Support Fund
On 6 March 2020 the FCO announced funding for organisations to provide practical support to UK nationals who may have difficulty completing their residency applications.
These organisations will help individuals who may find it harder to complete the necessary paperwork to secure their residency rights, including pensioners, disabled people, those living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties, and those who require help with language translation or interpretation.
In Poland, this practical support is being provided by The International Organisation for Migration. If you or someone you know may have difficulty completing the paperwork, you can contact them using the details below to discuss how they may be able to help you.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Infoline : 224902044 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Email : UKnationalsPL@iom.int
Passports and travel
The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.
You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.
Driving in Poland
Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
UK licences are only valid in Poland for the first 6 months of residence. After 6 months, you must exchange your driving licence for a Polish licence. You can still use your Polish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.
For information on driving in Poland, read the information on:
When driving, you should always have your:
- driving licence
- car registration papers
- insurance papers
Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Poland
Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.
You should read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Poland. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so, you will need certificates of exemption.
If you are living in Poland or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Poland as you do now, provided you remain resident.
You must be registered for healthcare as a resident in Poland, and if necessary, with healthcare insurance.
Read the Polish Ministry of Health guidance about the transition period and your healthcare rights in Poland (in Polish).
State healthcare: S1
If you live in Poland and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.
You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are resident in Poland, you must not use your EHIC from the UK to access healthcare in Poland.
When you travel from Poland for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:
- the EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home
- an EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance
- for more information you can read our travel advice pages and advice on foreign travel insurance
There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.
You should also read guidance on:
- healthcare and studying abroad
- finding an English-speaking doctor in Poland
- checking your prescriptions are legal
Working in Poland
Read our guidance on working in an EU country.
You may need to apply for a UK police certificate.
If you are resident in Poland on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Poland.
Education and professional qualifications
If you are resident in Poland on or before 31 December 2020, your right to study will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Poland.
Read the Polish government’s information about access to education in Poland for children of UK nationals (in Polish).
Recognition decisions made on qualifications obtained in the UK or the EU before 31 December 2020 are not affected.
If you have not had your professional qualifications recognised, you will have until 31 December 2020 to submit an application under the current rules.
Read the Polish government website about professional qualifications and the guidance about professional qualifications issued by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Money and tax
The UK has a double taxation agreement with Poland to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. You should direct individual taxpayer questions about double taxation to the relevant tax authority.
Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Poland have not changed.
You should read the guidance on:
- tax if you leave the UK to live abroad
- tax on your UK income if you live abroad
- paying 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 to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.
If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.
You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.
If you retire in Poland, you can claim:
- your UK State Pension or new UK State Pension. Please contact the International Pensions Centre to claim
- your Polish pension from the Polish Social Insurance Institution, if you have worked in Poland
- pensions from working abroad, if you have worked in other EU countries
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.
Pensions after 31 January 2020
There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.
If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.
If you are living in Poland by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.
If you work and pay social security contributions in Poland, you will still be able to count your UK social security contributions towards your Polish pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.
You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.
You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Poland. You can:
- read our guidance on which benefits you can claim if you live abroad
- use our tool to check which benefits you can claim while you’re abroad
If you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks, many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit can’t be paid.
You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.
You may be eligible to claim some Polish social security benefits. To find out if you are entitled to Polish benefits and how to claim, read the EU’s guidance on claiming benefits in Poland.
Benefits after 31 January 2020
There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.
If you work and pay social security contributions in Poland, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Polish contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.
You cannot vote in local municipal elections in Poland or European Parliament elections.
The UK is working with the Polish government to explore whether any solution can be found for UK nationals to vote in future local elections. We will update this guidance when more information is available.
You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:
Births, deaths and getting married
If your child is born in Poland, you will need to register the birth abroad.
If someone dies in Poland you can:
- read our guidance on what to do after someone dies abroad
- read our guidance for UK nationals on bereavements in Poland
- find a list of English-speaking funeral directors in Poland
Find out how you can get married abroad.
Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Poland.
You may also need English-speaking lawyers in Poland.
Accommodation and buying property
Read our guidance on buying a property abroad.
You may need to get a permit from the Minister responsible for home affairs to buy property.
Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.
As well as the European emergency number 112, Poland also has:
- 997 – police
- 998 – fire brigade
- 999 – ambulance
If you need urgent help, contact the British Embassy Warsaw.
Returning to the UK
Tell the Polish and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.
To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.
If you get healthcare in Poland through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.
Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.
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.