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Moving to Poland - cover

If you are planning a move to Poland, you will be pleasantly surprised by the amenities it provides. The country is located in Central Europe and borders Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia. Its geographical location is favourable and predisposes to good business opportunities with its neighbours, promising conditions for employment and affordable travel in Europe. The country is welcoming to foreigners, attracting people with its rich culture, history and interesting cuisine. Before you decide to live there, however, it is advisable to learn a little more.

Let's start with the Polish language

The official and most widely spoken language in the country is Polish. It is used in government offices, media, television and educational institutions. You may encounter difficulties in some institutions if you do not have a basic knowledge of Polish. To avoid them, research in advance what you need to ask and exactly where to go when certain queries arise.

Polish is one of the most difficult Slavic languages to learn. Poles use the Latin alphabet, but with some modifications to suit the needs of their language. Do not be frightened by the specifically spelled “buzzing” sounds. Most people will be delighted that you are trying to speak their language, and learning basic words and expressions will help you adjust.

English is common in larger cities. There, you will be able to find a job with English relatively easily because it is accepted as a second and business language in the country. The Polish economy attracts many start-up businesses and welcomes all foreign professionals.

Moving to new accommodation

Finding suitable accommodation in Poland can have some pitfalls. Estate agencies will make it easy to find a new home, but make sure you can set aside enough money for this service. If you decide to go at it alone, you should start researching the market a few months in advance. On-site viewings are your best alternative. Keep in mind that the minimum period to rent a permanent home in the country is 1 year. You can rent a temporary room or stay in a hotel while you look for your new home.

In Poland, you can easily find accommodation that is not too expensive. However, most of them are small and compact. The main varieties of property in the country are a private room (pokoj), a studio (kawalerka), an apartment (mieszkanie) or an individual house. If you're moving to Poland on your own and have no problem sharing a kitchen, living room and bathroom with several other people, look into renting a separate room in a shared apartment. If you want more privacy, a studio is a good option. Most have a furnished kitchenette and enough space for one person.

If you want to rent an apartment or house in Poland, you should know that the number of rooms listed includes the total number of rooms, not just the bedrooms. An apartment with one bedroom and a separate living room will be referred to as a 2-bedroom apartment, while one with two bedrooms and a living room will be referred to as a 3-bedroom apartment. If you come across an apartment labelled as 1-Pokoj, it equates to a studio. Be careful and ask all your questions before signing a rental contract. Check with your landlord in advance how utilities and common area maintenance will be paid.

New job in Poland

If you are an EU or EEA national, you can move to the country and apply for a job without needing a visa. If you want to move to Poland for more than 3 months, you must register with the local office. Polish law requires a residence visa for all representatives from third countries.

The average salary in the country is 7,560 PLN per month (about 1,600 EUR). It is strongly influenced by your field of development and location. Larger cities such as Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan and Gdansk offer relatively higher wages. Remember that the cost of living in these cities is higher.

The standard full-time working week is 40 hours. The working day starts at 8 am and lasts until 4 pm, and does not include a paid lunch break. You will need to stay longer at work to rest. The nation is hard working, direct and respects hierarchy in the corporate world.

Moving to Poland with children

Before enrolling your child in a school, familiarise yourself with the education system in the country. Education from the age of 7 to 18 is compulsory. Kindergartens in Poland are not, but most Poles take advantage of them. If you're moving with a child under 7, they're a good place for them to get to grips with the language. Depending on the municipality you live in, you will find different conditions for fees and enrolment. Most state preschools cover about 5 hours of free care per day, and you have to pay an additional fee for the rest of the time, meals, and stationery.

All state schools in Poland are fee-free and taught in Polish. The language is complex to learn and the requirements for proficiency level are high. These are the first to be taken into account, and then the current age and training of the child. If they do not have a good command of Polish, they will have to complete an equivalency year zero in which they will study the language intensively.

In case you want to avoid this delay in their education, you can go for paid tuition. Most international schools are located in larger cities. The class groups are smaller and the teachers can give individual attention to the children. These institutions are mostly chosen by expats and this would place your child in an environment with peers who live similarly. Private and parochial schools are also suitable alternatives, bearing in mind that not all subjects are taught in English in these schools.

You can benefit from free higher education in Poland if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen. Other international students can apply for scholarships, support programmes and have to pay relatively affordable fees for their studies. State universities teach mainly in Polish. There are also such in the country that provide education in English and other languages. If you want to move to Poland but do not speak Polish or are not confident in your English, you can apply for the Zerówka programme. These are 9-month preparatory courses for learning Polish and English, which are designed for prospective international students.

Urban view in a Polish city

With a pet in Poland

Moving to Poland with a pet will go smoothly if you familiarise yourself with the entry conditions beforehand. Your dog, cat or ferret must have a valid passport, a microchip compliant with ISO 11784/11785 and the AVID 9 and AVID 10 extensions. Animals must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to their arrival date. Poland has specific provisions for countries with low and high rates of rabies. If you are coming from a non-EU country, you must obtain a health certificate for your pet that has been issued by a certified veterinarian.

Animals such as birds, rabbits, fish, reptiles and exotic mammals do not need a rabies vaccination. They must have a health certificate before entering the country. Before undertaking a move to Poland, make sure they have all the necessary documents and there are no restrictions on their visit.

If you intend to enter with your pet by air, this can only happen via certain airports - Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin and Wrocław. If possible, warn your chosen airline about the animal in advance. Poland is welcoming to most dogs, but there are restrictions for some breeds that are more prone to aggression. Some of these are the American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, Caucasian Shepherd, Dogo Argentino and Dogo Canario.

Dogs can visit public transport in Poland freely and free of charge. Smaller breeds must be in a suitable bag and larger breeds with a leash and muzzle. When using a train with a larger dog, you have to pay a low fee for its seat. Unlike other European countries such as the Czech Republic and Germany, Poland has some restrictions on visiting indoor restaurants with a pet. When booking a table, ask if you can enter with it.

Driving in the country

All EU, EEA or Swiss nationals can drive in Poland only with their personal driving licence. If they wish, they can replace it with a Polish one by applying by post or in person at the relevant municipal office.

If you are a third-country national, you can drive with an International Driving Licence (IDL) for the first 6 months of your stay in the country. The same principle applies to persons with a national driving licence. If your documents do not meet the accepted requirements, you must obtain a new licence. For this purpose, you will have to pass the theoretical part of the state driving test in Poland.

All motor vehicles must have third party liability insurance, whether they are in use or not. If you are importing your private car, which is registered in another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, you can drive it for up to 12 months and then you must register it with the local office. Vehicles imported from the UK and other third countries must be registered with the office within 6 months of entering the country.

Poland has a well-established road and rail network. Thanks to the developed public transport system, many people do not use a car in their daily life. You can easily travel around the country and see its natural sights.

Consider health insurance before moving to Poland

The state health system in Poland allows all insured citizens to receive free healthcare. If you are a citizen of an EU, EEA or Swiss country, you can use your EHIC card for the first 6 months. To receive free medical care after this period, you would need to submit documents to join the public system and obtain a personal identification number (PESEL) and a health card.

To become part of Poland's healthcare system as a UK or other third-country national, you must apply for health insurance in advance. Many people choose private insurance, which gives many advantages to its users. When you enter into an employment or salary contract in Poland, your employer should assist you in preparing the paperwork to obtain public healthcare.

Many of the pharmacies in Poland are open 24 hours a day, which makes buying medicines easy and affordable. This requires a prescription from a doctor and your health card. For medications that are covered by the health insurance, you will have to pay a one-off fee of 3.20 PLN. You have to pay between 30-50 percent of the price of all other medicines.

Nature and climate

Poland is a country that is rich in numerous forest and mountain areas. Greenery also spreads into the cities in the form of large parks such as the famous Łazienki Park. This allows residents to be close to nature and predisposes them to spend more time in it.

Before moving to Poland, you should prepare for a temperate to continental climate. You'll welcome plenty of sunny and hot days in the summer. The winter season is harsh, snowy, and keeps temperatures below freezing for long periods of time. The most favorable season in the country is autumn. During this time, you can indulge in long walks and explore the many lowlands, forests and lakes located near the cities. Common and popular ways for Poles to spend their free time outdoors are climbing, sailing and canoeing.

If you have decided to move to Poland, start your preparations as early as possible. The transportation of your belongings and overall organization can happen easily and smoothly if you trust professionals. The Movega Removals team is here to assist you and answer all your questions. Contact us for a free consultation using our contact form or chat bot.

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