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In Poland, different regulations apply to foreigners, depending on whether they are citizens of the European Union or of third countries. In case of the second group, a stay may be legalized on several grounds. Among the most frequent reasons for the legalisation of a stay are: work, studies, economic activity, marriage to a Polish citizen and reunion with family. Besides, depending on the duration of a stay on the territory of Poland of third countries’ citizens, different forms of the legalisation of a stay may be applied: a residence permit for a fixed period, a permit to settle, a residence permit for a long-term residents of the European Communities.

In case of a positive decision on the legalisation of a stay in Poland, irrespective of the type of legalisation (a residence permit for a fixed period, a permit to settle etc.), the foreigner receives a residence card, which confirms his/her identity during a stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him/her, along with a travel document, to cross the border on many occasions without a visa. Detailed information concerning the residence card can be found on the website of the Office for Foreigners.