Information and services website for entrepreneurs

A permit to acquire real property by a foreign national

Are you a foreign national from outside the European Economic Area or from Switzerland and planning to buy an ownership title to or a right of perpetual usufruct of real property? First, you need to apply for a permit. Read below to find out how to apply.

How to proceed

This procedure can be completed:

  • at an office
  • by post

What you should know and who can use this service

Who should apply for a permit to acquire real property?

Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (the EEA includes the Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or from Switzerland who are planning to buy real property in Poland should first obtain a permit from the Minister of the Interior and Administration. Exemptions from this obligation that result from the Act on acquisition of real property by foreign nationals are described in section "When the permit is not required" below.

A foreign national is:

  • a natural person without Polish citizenship
  • a legal person based abroad
  • a partnership (without legal personality) of persons listed above, based abroad and established under the legislation of foreign countries
  • a legal person and a commercial company without legal personality based in Poland, controlled directly or indirectly by persons or partnerships listed above

If you are a citizen of or a business operator having your registered office in one of the countries that are parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area or in Switzerland (regardless of the origin of the capital), from 1 May 2016 you do not need a permit to buy real property, including any agricultural or forest real property.

Conditions that need to be met

The Minister of the Interior and Administration will issue a permit only when you submit a relevant application.

You will be issued a permit if the purchase of real property does not pose any risk to the national defence, national security or public order, and is not in contradiction with social policy and public health considerations.

Also, in order to obtain such permit, you need to prove your ties with Poland. For instance, you may indicate that:

  • you are of Polish nationality or Polish origin
  • you are married to a Polish citizen
  • you have a residence permit, such as:
    • temporary residence permit (except for temporary residence permits issued to victims of human trafficking and issued when circumstances require a short stay of the foreign national in Poland)
    • permanent residence permit
    • permit of a long-term resident of the European Union
  • you are a member of the management board of a commercial company
  • you pursue business or agricultural activity in Poland in accordance with Polish law

Please note that the area of property acquired by a foreign national in order to meet their living needs may not exceed 0.5 ha.

If you are a business operator and you are purchasing real property for business activity, you need to demonstrate that such purchase is connected with the real needs arising from the nature of your business or farming activity. 

Acquisition of agricultural real property by foreign nationals is subject to the Act of 11 April 2003 on the formation of agricultural system.

 

When the permit is not required

You do not need to apply for a permit if you are purchasing:

  • a separate residential premises - that is premises composed of rooms and additional space (such as kitchen, bathroom) that provides you with appropriate housing conditions. Such premises may include also: a cellar or an attic, even if they are not located directly next to it;
  • premises or a share in premises to be used as a garage - if you wish to have a garage as a buyer or owner of real property or separate residential premises, to ensure you have appropriate housing conditions
  • real property - if you have been living in Poland for at least 5 years after the grant of a permanent residence permit or an EU long-term resident permit
  • real property to be entered into joint marital property - if you have a spouse who is a Polish national and you have been living in Poland for at least 2 years after the grant of a permanent residence permit or an EU long-term resident permit
  • real property that is bought from a person who has been its owner or perpetual user for at least 5 years, and if on the day of acquisition you are entitled to intestate succession from such person (e.g. a daughter, son or grandson or granddaughter purchases real property from their mother, father or grandparents)
  • real property as mortgage creditor (bank) - if you are taking over the ownership of real property as a result of an unsuccessful auction conducted as part of enforcement proceedings

Please note that you need to apply for a permit in the situations described above if the real property is located in the border area or is agricultural land with an area of more than 1 hectare.

When you will not be granted the permit

You will not be granted the permit in the event of:

  • conversion of a commercial company
  • when buying real property by way of statutory intestate succession according to the laws of your country of origin. If the laws of your country do not provide for such intestate succession, you must observe Polish legislation.

The provisions of the Act on acquisition of real property by foreign nationals do not apply if any of the above situations is present, which means that in such an event you do not need to have a permit from the Minister to purchase real property.

In Poland, statutory intestate succession is when the deceased has not left any will or the will is invalid, or if persons indicated for succession reject the inheritance or cannot accept it.

If you are not one of the heirs-at-law, you can exercise the right to statutory intestate succession. This will be possible if under Polish law you are, for instance, a child, a grandchild, a parent or a relative of the deceased (grandparent, aunts, uncle). In this event, if you have purchased real property under a will, within a period of two years from the date of the opening of the succession, must apply for a permit acquire that property. Otherwise, the property or the right of perpetual usufruct will be acquired by persons who would be appointed to inheritance by statutory law.

Application to be granted a promise of the permit

If you are planning to purchase real property, you can apply for a written promise that you will be granted the permit. Submit your application together with any documents that prove your right to the real property. These will be the same documents that should be attached to the application for the permit.

Submit this application before purchasing the real property.

Pay the fee for the promise in the amount of PLN 98, and attach the proof of payment to the application.

Being granted the promise of the permit does not mean that you do not need to apply for the permit. Such written promise is valid for one year from the date of its issue. It specifies the conditions that need to be met in order to apply for the permit. If you have met the conditions, then the minister may not refuse to grant you the permit, unless there are any changes in the facts that are relevant for the matter.

When you should complete this procedure

At any moment of your choice, but please remember to submit your application in advance so that the decision could be issued before the end of the validity period of the statement of will on the sale of real property and before the expiry of your residence permit (if this is the document proving your ties with Poland).

Where you can complete this procedure

MINISTERSTWO SPRAW WEWNĘTRZNYCH I ADMINISTRACJI ul. Stefana Batorego 5, 02-591 Warszawa

What to do step by step

  1. Submit your application for permit

Documents

You can submit a document as:
Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
How to obtain a document
Decyzja o ustaleniu lokalizacji inwestycji celu publicznego
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał, Uwierzytelniona kopia
You can submit a document as:
Oryginał

Time limit

At any moment of your choice, but please remember to submit your application in advance so that the decision could be issued before the end of the validity period of the statement of will on the sale of real property and before the expiry of your residence permit (if this is the document proving your ties with Poland).

  1. Formal verification of the application

The Minister of the Interior and Administration carries out formal verification of the application. Then, the Minister requests the opinion of the Minister of National Defence, and in the case of agricultural real property, also of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. If the Minister of the Interior refuses to issue the permit (due to, for instance, a failure to comply with legal requirements, your lack of ties with Poland), the opinion from the Minister of Defence is not required. 

If any formal shortcomings were identified in your application (such as mistakes or missing documents), the Minister of the Interior and Administration will request that you correct your application, within the time limit no shorter than 7 days. If you fail to correct your application, it will not be processed any further.

Before making the decision on the permit, the Minister of the Interior and Administration may request that you present additional evidence and information necessary to consider the application and to check whether your case has any impact on the state defence, state security or whether it is in line with the interests of Poland. If the Minister finds it necessary, he will ask competent institutions to check whether the acquisition of the real property by you may pose any such risks.

Also, the Minister of the Interior and Administration may request opinions from other public bodies or professional organisations, and also request additional documents or information. Such materials may be necessary to issue the permit and to keep the registers of real property, shares and stocks, acquired or taken up by foreign nationals.

  1. Opinions on the application from competent authorities

If the Minister of National Defence, and in the case of agricultural real property, also the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, raise no objections as regards your application within 14 days, the Minister of the Interior and Administration may continue to process the application.

Please note that in justified cases, the Minister of the Interior and Administration, at the request of the ministers entitled to raise objections as regards the application, may extend the time limit for raising any objections, up to 2 months from the date of such request.

If the ministers present their objections, the Minister of the Interior and Administration will refuse to issue the permit. Ministers present their objections in the form of a decision. You will not be issued any justification for the refusal, where this is necessary for defence or State security.

Time limit

The time limit for raising objections by the Minister of Defence and by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development is 14 days, and by other authorities - 30 days, however, this time limit may be extended up to 2 months at the request of the body issuing the opinion.

  1. The decision on the permit will be issued

If you have met all requirements, you will be granted the permit, in the form of an administrative decision. The Minister of the Interior and Administration may specify in the permit special conditions that need to be met to acquire the real property.

A permit is valid for 2 years from the date of issuance. 

The Minister of the Interior and Administration may refuse to issue a permit if:

  • you have failed to comply with the legal requirements, for instance as regards the ties with Poland
  • a negative opinion on your application was issued by the Minister of Defence or by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

If the permit is not granted, you can apply to the President of the capital city of Warsaw for a return of the fee for the permit.

The Minister may also discontinue the procedure as regards your case if:

  • you requests so
  • the owner or the perpetual user of the real property has declared that they do not want to transfer the ownership right to the real property to you

Documents

You will receive a document as:
Oryginał
  1. Certificate confirming that the decision is final/valid

If a notary requires that you present a final or valid decision of the Minister of the Interior and Administration, you need to apply for a certificate confirming that the decision issued to you is final or valid. Submit the application together with proof of payment of stamp duty of PLN 17, made in cash or by bank transfer to:

Urząd Miasta Stołecznego Warszawy (City Office of the capital city of Warsaw)

Centrum Obsługi Podatnika (Taxpayer Services Centre)

ul. Obozowa 57

01-161 Warszawa

Bank Handlowy S.A. w Warszawie bank account no.: 21 1030 1508 0000 0005 5000 0070

The application for the certificate, together with the original proof of payment of stamp duty, should be submitted to the Minister of the Interior and Administration.

How much you will have to pay

PLN 1570 – for the permit

PLN 98 – for the promise concerning the permit

The fees should be paid to the City Office of the capital city of Warsaw

by bank transfer to the account number: 21 1030 1508 0000 0005 5000 0070  

Centrum Obsługi Podatnika (Taxpayer Services Centre)
ul. Obozowa 57
01-161 Warszawa

or in cash:

at the cash desk of Centrum Obsługi Podatnika (Taxpayer Services Centre)
ul. Obozowa 57
01-161 Warszawa

or at the cash desks at the District Offices of the capital city of Warsaw

How long you will have to wait

The Minister will handle your matter without delay. However, please be advised that the matters regarding acquisition of real property by foreign nationals are usually very complex, and thus the time limits for their completion may be extended, in comparison with other matters under the Code of Administrative Procedure. A procedure on a particularly complex matter should last no longer than 2 months from the start date of the procedure, if the application is submitted together with all the required documents and the bodies issuing the opinions on the matter (the Minister of Defence, and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for agricultural lands) present their opinions within the prescribed time limit. Such time limit of 2 months does not include the periods specified for various actions by legal provisions, any periods for which the procedure is suspended, or any delays through fault of the applicant (such as the need to provide clarify any discrepancies between the application and its attachments, or to submit additional documents), or for reasons outside the control of the authority. In practice, this type of administrative procedure, due to the ample correspondence and the need to obtain opinions from other bodies and institutions, may last up to 3 or 4 months, and even longer in some cases. If your case is not resolved within the time limit, a new time limit will be set, and you will be notified accordingly. A decision on a permit to acquire real property located within a special economic zone, will be issued within one month from submitting the application.

How can you appeal

If you are dissatisfied with the decision issued by the Minister of the Interior and Administration in the first instance, you may:

  • apply to the Minister of the Interior and Administration for re-examination of your case
  • submit a complaint against the decision directly to the court (without submitting an application for re-examination of your case first)

In your application for re-examination of your case, explain why you are dissatisfied with the decision. You do not need to describe the case in detail. Such application should be submitted within 14 days from the receipt of the decision on the refusal to issue a permit.

Please remember that you may also resign from the right to apply for re-examination of your case in writing. If this is done by all parties to the proceedings, the decision will become final and valid earlier.

Good to know

Please note that any acquisition of real property by a foreign national in violation of Polish laws is invalid. This is decided by the court at the request of:

  • wójt (that is head of the rural gmina, or the city mayor/president) of the gmina where the real property is located
  • poviat starost
  • marshal of the voivodeship or the voivode
  • the Minister of the Interior and Administration

Additional information on acquisition of real property by foreign nationals is available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration.

Was this page useful?