You don’t need a language exam to apply for a long term EU residence permit

A recent change in legal provisions regarding the language requirements for long term EU residence permit opens a lot of new possibilities for foreigners in Poland. So far many of them were not able to apply due to not being able to pass the language exam.

Long term EU residence permit makes living in Poland easier

The long term EU residence permit allows its holder to stay in Poland indefinitely. It also provides them with most of the rights that Polish citizens benefit from. It is very similar to a permanent permit, with only a few differences (you can find a list of differences here). With this permit, a foreigner living in Poland doesn’t have to apply for a temporary residence permits anymore. Applying for a temporary permit every few years can be a very long and demanding process. For this reason, a lot of foreigners looks up to a possibility of getting this permit.

Language requirement

What prevented a lot of foreigners from applying for a long term EU residence permit was the Polish language skill requirement. In order to apply you had to prove your skills in Polish by:

  1. passed official Polish language exam on B1 level;
  2. graduation from Polish school or university with Polish as the language of instruction for all classes.

Fortunately, on 23th June 2023 the rules were changed

Currently, the following options are available to prove your Polish language skill:
(naturally you only have to prove one of the below)

  • passed official Polish language exam on B1 level;
  • graduation from Polish school or university with Polish as the language of instruction for all classes;
  • European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL) certificate;
  • telc GmbH, WBT Weiterbildungs-Testsysteme GmbH (TELC) certificate;
  • sworn translator certificate;
  • passed Polish language class on B1 level in one of the following types of universities: a university approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs or any academic university, military university, vocational college, government service university or church university, that hasn’t been restricted from admitting foreigners. The main language of instruction for all the classes doesn’t have to be Polish. It’s enough that there was a Polish language course as one of the classes.

The last option listed above is especially worth of note, since it includes many foreigners. If you graduated from a university in Poland, you possibly can now apply for a long term EU residence permit without a need to pass any language exam (even if your studies were in English). Still, not all universities are included, so be sure to check if the one you graduated from, provides you with this benefit.

Also, in order to apply for a long term EU residence permit, you have to also meet other requirements – not only language skills. In order to apply, you need also to:

  1. stay in Poland legally and uninterruptedly for at least 5 years
  2. have a stable and regular source of income for the 3 years before submission of the application (in the case of Blue Card holders a 2-year period of stable income is required);
  3. have a health insurance,
  4. have a place of residence in Poland.

Would you like to know more? Do you want to apply for long term EU residence permit?

Feel free to contact us and take advantage of our services.

39 thoughts on “You don’t need a language exam to apply for a long term EU residence permit”

  1. hello Piotr, how can i check if the university i graduated from provides me with this benefit? do you have a link that you can share for us to check?

  2. Hello,
    I’m wondering if you know the law (what article and which subsection) that confirms the above?

    Thank you

    • I do 🙂 It’s all regulated by points 1)-4) of Załącznik do rozporządzenia Ministra Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji z dnia 31 maja 2023 r., included in rozporządzenie Ministra Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji z dnia 31 maja 2023 r. w sprawie wykazu poświadczeń znajomości języka polskiego potwierdzających znajomość tego języka wymaganą do udzielenia zezwolenia na pobyt rezydenta długoterminowego Unii Europejskiej (Dz. U. poz. 1076).

  3. Hello Mr Piotr,

    Thank you very much for the insight on the new law. I have graduated from a Polish University (studies in English) and I had taken Polish classes. However Polish language was not part of the curriculum. Would a document that certifies I have taken Polish classes in the university be enough to apply for long term EU residence permit?

    Thank you

    • Good afternoon,
      this certificate can be recognized, provided that it is complient with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

  4. “graduation from Polish school…”

    Does this also mean graduating from a Polish language school and receiving certificate with skill level from said school?

    • It has to be a school that is a part of the school system. You can check if it is such a school here:
      Language school that basically offers only a language course won’t be recignized here.

      • its just the same, how about non slavic people who lives in poland for 10yrs, without slavic roots, its really hard to learn polish, we pay taxes , stayed in poland for 10 yrs. nothing we get, only the people who studied, married, and how about real working people who doesnt have time to study

        • Without Polish language skills, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, but you have to meet one of the other listed requirements. The most common is being married to Polish citizen or having Polish origin.

  5. Hello ,

    I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inquire about the new language rule for the EU long-term residents permit. Specifically, I would like to know if the completion of Polish language courses at your esteemed university in 2019 would serve as acceptable proof of language proficiency for applying for the EU long-term visa.

    I am pleased to inform you that I successfully completed the Polish language courses offered by my university. Throughout the four semesters, I diligently prepared for and passed all the required Polish exams. As a result, I possess the examination results for all four semesters, which I believe demonstrate my proficiency in the Polish language.

    Considering the importance of language proficiency in obtaining an EU long-term residents permit, I kindly request your guidance on whether the aforementioned completion of language courses and examination results would be deemed acceptable as proof of my language skills for the visa application.

    I would greatly appreciate any information or clarification you can provide regarding this matter. Thank you in advance for your attention and assistance.

    Thank you,

  6. I finished the Polish language courses at my university successfully. For four semesters, I worked hard and passed all the necessary B2 Level Polish exams. So, I have the exam results for all four semesters, which I think prove I’m good at Polish.

    Could you please help me figure out if completing these language courses and having the exam results would be enough to show I’m good at Polish for my visa application?

    One more thing, as you mentioned in your above comment, ‘this certificate can be recognized, provided that it is compliant with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).’ I do not understand, even if I receive the certification from my university that I have completed the Polish language course B2 level. Do I still have to recognize my certificate through CEFR, and how can I do that?

  7. Hello,

    thank you Piotr for this insights, it helps alot

    i would like to shortly ask, if Polish Languages courses for 1 year at Szkola Policealna Pascal ( registered in can be enough to prove the language proficiency?

    thank you in advance for your reply

    • Good afternoon,
      it won’t be enough, sorry. You need to graduate from a school or university (i.e. achieve an education level or gain professional degree). Language course won’t be enough.

      • Hello 🙂 Great news Mr. Kamler!

        I have a question. I graduated from University of Wroclaw (2 years master degree) and living in Poland since 2018. Working already 3 years and have a 3 years temp. residence card. I think, now I can apply to long term res. card, right?

        Thank you 🙂

        • Good afternoon,
          you need to stay in Poland for 5 years legally (based on visa, residence permit or visa-free regime). However, time spend based on student visa or student residence permit counts only as 50% (i.e. 1 years of stay counts as 6 months).
          Also, during these 5 years, you cannot stay outside of Poland for longer then 6 months at a time and all stays outside of Poland combined cannot be longer then 10 months.

  8. Hi Piotr,
    I would like to ask you if Polish Driving License courses can be approved to being exempt from language exam? Do you have any information for that? Thank you

    • Good afternoon,
      the driving license cannot be used for this purpose, sorry. Only the documents listed here can be used for the purpose of exemption.

  9. Hi Piotr, About the below option, in which language and which level do we need to pass the exam? Thank you
    “European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL) certificate”

  10. is it not just fair for us working people that pay taxes? not finishing in a university?? law should be changed, I myself live all my life in Poland for 10 yrs, and how? B1 is too high for non slavic roots

    • I wholeheartedly agree. A lot of foreigners live in Poland for many years and have their entire life built here. There should be an easier way of getting the permanent residence or long term EU residence permit (if not citizenship). Polish is a difficult language to learn and shouldn’t be requirement to legalize your stay for good.

  11. Hello Mr KAMLER thank you first for your help and if i may ask ; the diploma for one year as florist from żak Szkoły kursy szkolenia will be recognised as Certificate B1 for a permanent card ??

    Thank you in Advance

    • Good afternoon,
      if all the classes in this school were in Polish, then it should be enough to prove languege skills.

  12. Hello Piotr,
    Thank you very much for your legal advises to the questions asked by audience.
    I have a question regarding completion of Graduation. If an individual attended all lectures in a one year post secondary school, also given the exam, but failed in exam. Is an individual eligible to apply and get EULTR?

    Thank you

  13. I would like to Apply for the long term EU residence permit. I did my studies in English and graduated in 2022 and i’ve a stable source of income since December 2020.

    I recently travelled out of Poland to visit my family and i do not know if i am still qualified.

    Can you please advise?

  14. Dear professor Piotr,
    Thank you for the infos shared.
    I have a PRC since 2016, and im straggling with the polish language requirement to apply to be recognized as a Polish citizen.
    Does the ECL/TELC at B1 level , can be recognized as a certificates confirming knowledge of the Polish language not only when applying to LTERP ALSO for citizenship?
    The artical in GOV.PL is confusing

    Many thanks

    • Good afternoon,
      ECL/TELC certificate and all of these new rules only work for long term EU residence permit. They don’t work for citizenship cases.

  15. Dear Piotr,

    I will finish post graduate studies on Wyższa Szkoła Kształcenia Zawodowego, with all exams done in polish. Do you think I can use this post graduate diploma instead of B1 language certificate?
    Thanks in advance for your answer.
    Kind regards,

    • Dear Milos,
      if the main language of instruction was Polish, then you can use this for the purpose of proving language.

  16. There is not requirement under the EU Directive 2004/38 and its overarching treaties for any EU citizen to know Polish language to obtain permanent residence in Poland.

    The conditions of permanent residence are quite clearly laid out. So, anyone encountering such, should just take legal action under the Code of Administrative Procedure for not following law.

    Member statues of EU try to control immigration with this fake language requirement, but it is simply not applicable to EU citizens who have obtained the right of permanent residence.

    • There rules don’t apply for EU citizens.
      EU citizens can only apply for a right of permanent stay (prawo stałego pobytu) – which is a completely different application then permanent residence permit.
      The requirements for this permit are different entirely.


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