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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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
When driving, you should always have your:
- driving licence
- car registration papers
- insurance papers
If you’re resident in Poland, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.
See travelling with pets.
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.
Accommodation and buying property
Other useful information
Returning to the UK
To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.
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.