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Cracow is the oldest academic centre in Poland, one of the oldest in central Europe. The academic traditions of the city are being constantly cultivated. Cracow for years has had a reputation of a very attractive place for studying thanks to the wide range of studying possibilities and high standards of education, but also because of the intense, interesting student and cultural life.Every year, these factors attract tens of thousands of young people, willing to start studying. Among them there are also people from abroad. Nearly 200,000 people (which is almost a quarter of all inhabitants of the city) studies at over 20 universities (state as well as private ones) in Cracow. So it is safe to say that Cracow is all about students!

When one wants to start studying in Cracow, one should find some general information about the opportunity to come, regularisation of stay and residency registration in Poland [link].

The issues related to the regularisation of stay/residency registration in Cracow are handled in Wydział Spraw Obywatelskich i Cudzoziemców (Department of Nationals’ and Foreigners’ Affairs) in Małopolski Urząd Wojewódzki (Małopolska Provincial Office in Krakow):

Oddział ds. Cudzoziemców (Foreigners’ Affairs Unit)
ul. Przy Rondzie 6
31-547 Kraków
tel.: (+48 12) 392-18-08
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The hall for servicing foreigners is on the ground floor, on the right. At the entrance, it is necessary to take a ticket with a number, according to the kind of a problem and/or the country of origin, and then to ask for relevant documents (e.g. “Wniosek o udzieleniezezwolenianapobytczasowy” – the application for temporary residence permit; it can be also downloaded from the website. A completed application should be submitted together with necessary attachments.

For students, a complete set of documents should include:

• a completed form “Wniosek o udzieleniezezwolenianapobytczasowy” (the application for temporary residence permit)
• 4 current photographs, 35 mm x 45 mm in size
• the copy of the travel document (original available for inspection)
• a certificate of being admitted to studies or a preparatory course
• a proof of payment of the studies fee, if applicable
• documents attesting that a foreigner has health insurance
• documents attesting that a foreigner has financial means of subsistence
• a document attesting that a foreigner has a place of residence

Detailed guidelines concerning the attachments can be found on the website.

Residency registration is handled in UrządMiasta(Town Hall) competent for the place of residence:

For districts I-VII, the area of the city centre, Śródmieście and Krowodrza
Al. PowstaniaWarszawskiego 10
31-549 Kraków

Districts VIII-XIII – the area of Podgórze
Ul. Wielicka 28a
30-552 Kraków

For districts XIV-XVIII – the area of NowaHuta
Os. Zgody 2
31-949 Kraków

The town halls are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The following documents and attachments should be submitted:

• the completed registration form„Registration of temporary stay for more than 3 months” – it can be found in a town hall or downloaded from the website

• confirmation of one’s residence by an owner or any holder of title to the property in the form of a legible signature together with the date of signing

• a document confirming a title to the property (e.g. tenancy agreement/lease) – available for examination. Note: a foreigner does not have to be a party of a tenancy agreement; it has to be a document confirming a title to the property of a person (entity) that confirmed one’s residence at a given address in the registration form

• a document confirming legal residence in Poland – a visa, a residence card, a residence permit, a decision on giving the refugee status

• an identity document (preferably a valid travel document, on the basis of which a visa/residence card has been issued)

A foreigner that is a citizen of the European Union, EFTA, EEA or Switzerland, and a member of the family of such a foreigner residing within the territory of the Republic of Poland is required to register in the place of temporary residence lasting more than 3 months by the 30th day following the arrival to the place.
Any other foreigner residing within the territory of the Republic of Poland is required to register in the place of temporary residence lasting more than 3 months by the 4th day following the arrival to the place, unless their stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland does not exceed 14 days.
The registration is handled instantly, i.e. after submitting all documents, one receives a registration certificate.


It is possible to choose either the accommodation provided by the universities (dormitories) or find a place on one’s own (purchase, hire). More detailed information about the market of immovables (what are the prices, where to look for a room/a flat) can be found in the section „Flats” [link]. The information about the dormitories at particular universities can be found in the section “Universities” in the side menu.

Costs of living

Academic centres are located mainly in bigger cities. Costs of living in such places are quite considerable and Cracow is no exception. However, the costs of living may differ in various cities. The information about the costs of living in Cracow can be found in the section “Everyday life” [link].

Health Insurance

Students have to have health insurance in Poland. The matters concerning the insurance are handled in the District Units of the National Health Fund (NarodowyFunduszZdrowia – NFZ). For Cracow, it is:

Małopolski Oddział Wojewódzki Narodowego Funduszu Zdrowia (Małopolska District Unit of the National Health Fund)
Ul. Batorego 24
31-135 Kraków

Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

It is necessary to submit the completed application for the voluntary health insurance.

Then it is necessary to go to ZakładUbezpieczeńSpołecznych (ZUS; Social Insurance Institution) in order to confirm the insurance and complete the procedures.

Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, Oddział Główny (ZUS; Social Insurance Institution, Principal Unit)
ul. Pędzichów 27
31-080 Kraków

ZUS units can be also found in the following localizations:

ul. Świętokrzyska 12, 30-015 Kraków
ul. Zakopiańska 33, 30-418 Kraków
os. Teatralne 8, 31-946 Kraków

Opening hours: on Mondays 8 a.m – 5 p.m., from Tuesday to Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.