After arrival: registering your stay
All foreign citizens are obliged to register their long-stay in Poland. This obligation applies to citizens of member states of the EU as well as to all other foreign visitors. Rules for registering with the authorities are described in the 'EU citizens' and 'non-EU citizens' tabs.
Citizens of member states of the European Union and EFTA can enter the Republic of Poland without a visa. They do not need to register their short-term stay (shorter than three months). After three months, they should register their long-term stay.
Registration of stay – long-term (for more than three months)
Citizens of member states of the EU and EFTA who reside in Poland for more than three months are obliged to register their stay with the authorities. A registration application needs to be submitted stating the reasons for an extended stay, e.g. being a student of a Polish university. The application should be submitted in person to the appropriate voivodship office, no later than one day after three months from the date of entering the Polish territory. In Kraków, this procedure is dealt with by the Lesser Poland Voivodship Office.
Detailed information (including the list of required documents, addresses, list of exemptions from this obligation) can be found in English on the Lesser Poland Voivodship Office website.
Citizens of countries that are not member states of the European Union or EFTA enter the Polish territory on the basis of an obtained visa. After arrival, they are obliged to register their short-term stay as well as long-term stay if it exceeds the visa period.
Short-term stay registration
Citizens of countries other than member states of the EU and EFTA have four days for registering their short-term (shorter than three months) stay, counting from the moment of entering the Polish territory – unless they do not wish to spend more than 14 days in Poland. Short-stay registration should be done in a community office (in Kraków: in an appropriate vital records department of the Kraków Municipality Office (website in Polish only)).
More information can be found on the website about a temporary stay permit to enter a full time higher education.
Long-term stay registration
Citizens of countries other than member states of the EU and EFTA Norway who wishes to stay in Poland for longer than their visa allows should apply for a fixed time residence permit. Such application can be justified by admission to a Polish university. Documents should be submitted at least 45 days before the visa expires to the voivodship office (in Kraków: the Lesser Poland Voivodship Office, Office for Foreigners). Applications can be sent by regular mail. You need to pay a fee for this permit, and it is issued for a period no longer than two years.
More information can be found on the Lesser Poland Voivodship Office in Kraków website.
After receiving a positive decision regarding the residence permit, a foreigner is also granted a residence card. A residence card allows its holder to stay on the Polish territory and to travel abroad without the need to obtain another visa. There is a fee for issuing a residence card. The card has to be collected in person and proof of registration of stay will be needed.
More information about residence card can be found on the Polish Office for Foreigners website (in English, Polish and Russian).
Krakow is a wonderful place to study and housing is generally more affordable than in the United States or Western Europe. Student housing is generally inexpensive. A month's rent for a flat, including utility fees (electricity, gas, water etc.), will generally come to anywhere between U.S. $150 (110 EUR) to $500 (380 EUR) and for a room at a JU hall of residence you will pay around 360 PLN (about $100) a month. Please note that the tuition fee paid to the Jagiellonian University does not cover accommodation or board.
If you want to apply for the accommodation at University halls of residence, please fill in the Housing Application Form and send it to our office: email@example.com.
You might also want to rent a room or a private apartment. Krakow is a student city and offers many options for private accommodation. Student rental agencies are the best choice for getting additional information about available housing. Private real estate agencies are also helpful, but with additional charges.
Once you have arrived in Krakow, you will find that the process is not as difficult as it may seem. Thousands of foreign students live here and find housing within a few days of their arrival. We do, however, advise that you arrive in advance of your course of studies to give yourself time to secure a flat. We will provide you with support you might need in finding accommodation in a dormitory or residence.
Jagiellonian University halls of residence in the centre or close to the centre include: Żaczek, Piast, and Nawojka and our international students usually choose one of them, Żaczek being the most popular.
Student card is a document confirming student status (it entitles to discounts on public transport). It includes basic personal details and a photograph. As every student card is valid for one semester, all card holders are required to renew the document every semester.
In order to make sure that the student card is valid, you should look at its reverse and check the date on the hologram. With subsequent renewals, your student card will obtain new holograms.
The student cards is electronic – which means that apart from information printed on the card's surface, it also contains information imprinted electronically which can be read out with the help of a special card reader. If you have a computer with a card reader, you can check the data inscribed on your card. All you need is to download free software from https://www.usosweb.uj.edu.pl/els/ and to insert your student card into the reader.
The student card is also a proximity card, which means that special devices can retrieve data from the card even without direct contact but from a close distance.
Issuing and renewing the student card lies within the responsibility of the front office of your department. This is also the place where all issues and problems related to the student card should be reported.
Apart from being a confirmation of a student status, the student card may also be of use in the Jagiellonian Library (then it may serve as a Library Card) or as a season ticket for public transport provided that, beforehand, you have visited Krakowska Karta Miejska Centre and adjusted your student card appropriately. When configured successfully, the card may be charged up in special charging machines available at selected bus and tram stops around Kraków.
In the future, the student card will entitle its possessor to enter particular university halls and access university databases. Take care not to bend or scratch it. In case of damaging or losing the student card, you may apply for a duplicate (payable at the front office). The duplicate is not equivalent to the original – if you use the student card as a season ticket, it is necessary to configure your new student card once again in KKM Centre.
If the student card fails to work properly despite being properly handled is can be exchanged for a new one free of charge. More information is available at the front office of your department.
The fee for the student card will be charged at the beginning of the academic year (in October). It must be paid on individual account, which is the same as for the tuition fee.
All foreign citizens, however short their stay in Poland, are obliged to hold a valid medical insurance. If they fail to provide a proof of an insurance in need of medical aid, they will have to cover costs of medical services.
Citizen of member states of the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland who hold a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can get free medical aid in surgeries and hospitals marked with a National Health Fund symbol (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia). EHIC is issued in the country of origin of a foreigner. More information can be found on the National Health Fund website and on European Committee websites.
Citizens of countries other than a member state of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland who study in Poland need to provide a consul with a proof of a medical insurance upon submitting their visa application. After they arrive in Poland, they benefit from an insurance policy obtained in their country, if the policy allows it. If not, they can sign an agreement with the National Health Fund or with a Polish insurance company. We do not recommend buying travel insurance as it may have limitations regarding the length of stay in a given country (usually 30 days).
Citizens of countries from outside the EU who are of Polish descent can apply to their university for a medical insurance coverage. First they should sign an agreement with the National Health Fund (passport, proof of residence and university admission certificate will be necessary), then contact the JU Office for Student Affairs (website in Polish only).
All students, including international students, call also obtain a voluntary accident insurance for 25 PLN a year. For further information, contact the JU Students Union (website in Polish only).
SCANMED – treatment
In cases of illness, students may go to the Scanmed Health Centre on 5 Armii Krajowej Avenue, phone: (+48) 12 629 88 00, where they may consult general practitioners and specialists. When making an appointment with a doctor, it is necessary to present your PESEL identification number. The PESEL number is also necessary to obtaining medical services (appointments with doctors). In case of an emergency, you should contact a district hospital emergency ward.
5 Armii Krajowej Street
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM Monday-Friday
call 999 from a landline phone or
112 from a mobile one.
Documents which enable their holders to obtain national medical services in Poland free of charge
European Insurance Card
Temporary Certificate of Insurance issued by EU/EFTA
Secured electronic document S045 issued by EU/EFTA
NFZ (Polish National Health Service) certificate issued upon presenting E106, E109, E121, S1 forms – for a full range of healthcare services
NFZ (Polish National Health Service) certificate issued upon presenting E123, DA1 forms – for a limited range of healthcare services
E112, S2 forms in which an authorized health service institution grants a consent for treatment planned in a member country.
Students from the countries outside the European Union planning to study in Poland may sign an agreement on voluntary health insurance with a given NFZ unit, provided they have a student status and have paid an insurance tax.
Every foreigner who has registered his/her residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland for more than 3 months obtains a PESEL identification number. The PESEL number should be collected three weeks after registering residence in the relevant municipal office of Referat Ewidencji Ludności (Population Records Office) on 10 Powstania Warszawskiego Avenue.
Kraków, a city with over a thousand years of history, is a former capital of Poland.
Krakow is one of the best places to study in the world. It is an elegant medieval city that played a leading cultural role in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance and it is the cultural heart of Poland today. One of the advantages of studying in Krakow is the relatively low cost of living.
UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town, the most beautiful Market Square in Europe.
Kraków is a city that was home to figures from world politics (Pope John Paul II), cinema (Oscar Winners Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański), theatre (Tadeusz Kantor), literature (Nobel Prize Winners: Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz; Stanisław Lem).
24 universities, almost 200,000 students, of whom 50,000 study at the Jagiellonian University.
Poland's cultural capital – galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert venues, international events and festivals.
One of the most fashionable hotspots in Central and Eastern Europe for young people from around the globe.
Competitive costs of living.
Thousands of cafés, bars, bistros, international and traditional restaurants offering great cuisine.