Entry & Exit Formalities
Poland is an EU member state and part of the Schengen Area.
- Travellers arriving from non-EU countries can bring in up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of pipe tobacco; and up to 2L of alcoholic drink (of 22% ABV or less), and up to 1L of spirits (above 22% ABV).
- Travellers arriving from an EU member state can import up to 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars or 1kg of pipe tobacco; and up to 110L of beer, 90L of wine and 10L of spirits. This is seldom checked.
- The export of most items of an age exceeding 50 years and of a value exceeding 16,000zł is prohibited without an export permit (pozwolenie eksportowe). Official antique dealers may offer to help you out with the paperwork, but the procedure is bureaucratic and time-consuming.
Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days.
EU citizens do not need visas and can stay indefinitely. Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and many other countries can stay in Poland for up to 90 days without a visa.
Other nationalities should check with their local Polish embassy or on the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (www.gov.pl/web/diplomacy).
Poland is a member of the EU’s common border zone, the Schengen Area, and frontier crossings to neighbouring EU countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania, don't involve checks of passports or visas.
This situation does not apply for visiting Belarus, Ukraine, or Kaliningrad, which is an exclave of Russia.
A 30-day visa-free regime is in place for most visitors as long as they arrive in and depart from Minsk National Airport. If arriving or departing by land, everybody needs a visa – unless you are targeting either Brest or Hrodna, the two visa-free zones, or if you're hiking into Belarus from Białowieża National Park.
For stays longer than 30 days, everybody needs a visa.
Citizens of the EU, USA and Canada do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period, but citizens of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand need to get a visa in advance. Check the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry website (www.mfa.gov.ua) for details.
Most travellers need a Russian visa to enter Kaliningrad. Apply at the Russian embassy in your home country, and allow at least four weeks for processing.
EU citizens need only a valid ID to travel in Poland. For everyone else, a passport is required. Note some airlines may deny travel to passengers whose passports are within six months of expiration from the date of departure.