Moving to Poland from the US

US to Poland – Why I moved

About seven years ago I moved from the US to Poland. Many people could not believe it. I moved from Boston’s Beacon Hill to Kraków, Poland.  Do not get me wrong, I am a patriot. I love America but that does not mean I have to limit my life experiences.

Since pictures speak louder than words, I took these photos today just walking around my house.  They are nothing special but gives you a real idea what life is like in Poland and why I would want to move from the US.

moving to Poland
Poland is so beautiful it is not hard to move from the US to Poland

My grandparents came from Poland many years ago. I have always had an interest in Poland and Polish history from afar. After taking several trips to Poland I decided to study the Polish language in Kraków for a few months. But why did I move? I meet the girl who was to be my future wife. It was my destiny.

We would not have stayed if I did not love Polska.

Polish workers
Hard working Polish workers making Poland greater everyday

Why I moved to Poland and stayed

  • The USA is about 200% to 300% more expensive than Poland for the same exact things.
  • People are very humble and sincere, churches everywhere and people take family and church seriously.
  • It is the center of Europe and from Poland you can go anywhere in a short distance. I often go to Lviv, Vienna , Africa, Greece or the Northern countries with ease.
  • A new experience.
  • Poland has great food, if you love Polish cooking and fresh home cooked meals, you will love Poland. Fresh food in Poland tastes nothing like these large farm grown produce in the United States.
  • Interesting history and culture and art.
  • Countless other reasons I moved from the US to Poland.

Poland gets better everyday

About five years ago people use to say Polish people complain a lot. I do not think that is the case much anymore. Poles are pretty optimistic and every year the economy is getting better and better. Life is pretty good in Poland.  Life is real in Poland, not some something that comes in a package and is heated in a microwave.  People enjoy their lives with 8 weeks of family vacations a year.

Poland shopping
You will feel no deprivation of consumer goods as Poland has huge shopping malls like or as nice than the USA

The people here have a strong sense of family and values.  I think in innocence and values it was like America in the early 1960s.  I hope it does not change too much.

market square Krakow Poland
Window shopping is always fun on the largest open square in all of Europe.

What about consumer goods when moving to Poland?

You can get anything you want in Poland and usually at a better price and quality. Many things are still made in Poland and most thins come with a two year EU warranty.

Polish trams
Modern Polish trams move people in Poland around their ancient cities.

Basically you have a USA lifestyle that is more interesting, mentally stimulating, 1/2 to 1/3 the price more peaceful, no guns and few violent crimes, free education to the University level and health care. Polish weather is better than the UK or Ireland or many northern countries but not as hot as Spain or Italy. But that is what vacation is for and I enjoy the four seasons in Poland. It is like living in New England.
Poland has mountains and the sea as well as lakes and ancient forests all very beautiful.

Polish country home
I am thinking of moving from the center of Kraków to a wooden house in the Polish countryside.

I have my apartment set up like I did when I lived in the USA. It is large and furnished with Ikea, high-speed Internet.  No standard of living difference.
I have no idea why the expensive USA is still the ideal to live in when the world now is global.

Gothic building Krakow Poland
Gothic buildings are everywhere in Poland.

If you need advice on moving to Poland from the USA or Canada or from where ever you live, leave a comment. If you need to know about work in Poland or a visa or citizenship I will answer the best I can.

Polish church my street
A Polish church on my street

If you need travel advice, or any ideas about moving to Poland again just write a comment and I will answer the best I can.




592 responses to “Moving to Poland from the US”

  1. Cam

    My husband is considering a job offer in Krakow that would relocate us from outside of Boston to Krakow for about two years. We’ve never traveled abroad so Krakow seems so foreign and we do not speak any Polish (although both my mother’s parents were born in Poland). We have 2 young children (8 and 5). It is hard for me to imagine what life would be like for us in Krakow. Can you tell me anything about the expat community there? Where do families tend to live in Krakow and what kinds of recreation is there? Our kids are very into sports, mainly baseball and hockey. Are there organized youth sports there like there are in the States? I’ve read many of the posts and responses and it’s been helpful. Thanks.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Krakow is a great city. There is Jordan park, which is really for children in Krakow, the Forest with the Zoo, Water Park, music schools and you can hire a tutor for languages for 8 dollars an hour one on one. There are hundreds other things to do in Krakow for kids as well as the school for foreigners for children if you want them to be in an English school. There are English speaking churches in Krakow if you are into that. I was from Boston and moved to Krakow. My only warning is it is in a valley so it can be smoggy. Try to get a place near a green area with trees or just outside Krakow as the city is amazing but has smog.
      Let me know if you have any other questions for concerns.

  2. Kamila Lucka Rauch

    Hi Mark 🙂
    It’s Kama here. I’m Polish and I’ve been living in USA for 10 years with my husband and 2 children. My husband Andy is American and he doesn’t have a Polish citizenship. We’re thinking about moving back to Poland. I have a family living in my lovely Kolobrzeg at the sea.
    I wanted to ask you about any papers, I should apply for, that my husband will need to live legally in Poland. Or is it better apply for them here in Ohio when we are still living? Thank you:) kama

    1. Mark Biernat

      It does not matter, it is more a convience for you. I personally would start he process before I go, so I know what to expect. However, they will give you time when you are there to get things in order also. For example, they were reviewing my case for a Polish greencard and gave me a temporary visa to stay in Poland.
      Similarly when you came to the USA, I imagine you got a I-130 before you got your greencard. Poland has the same type of process. The reason I say start the process before is it will be easier to gather documents like birth and marriage certificates, rather, than when you are moving across the sea. Just a logistical thing.
      Also you will know what to expect from the Polish Urząd.

      I love Poland and you know I recommend living there at least for a while. I ironically just moved from Poland to the USA after many years there, mostly beause I like warmer weather.
      But Poland it is like living in Vermont or some beautiful enchanting land up north. I think it is a wonderful place to live. Also you need to get set up ideas on how to make a living before you move from USA to Poland. Other than that it will be an adventure for your husband.

      1. Kamila Lucka Rauch

        Thank you so much for your help 🙂
        I have one more question, if you don’t mind, about finding a job for American people. I know I would like to teach English as I used to do that before leaving Poland but I’m just wondering about my husband. Do you know, by any chance, any American companies I could find in Polish cities that offer jobs for people from USA?
        I’m happy you love living in my country. When I go to see my family in summer I just want to stay in Kolobrzeg and live there all the time. I just miss everything so much. Thank you again :):):) kama

        1. Mark Biernat

          The number of starving expats living in Poland is zero to none. If you have any skill with English you can find a job in Poland. My friends, teach work in call centers work in investment and legal anything you want. Search Gumtree to get an idea of jobs. There are scores of American companies in oil and gas to computer companies anything you can imagine. You could open an American restaurant in Poland. Basically with imagination and patience you can have the same quality of life or better in the in Poland than the USA. I know this is a bold statement but it is true. Markets are less competitive in Poland and labor is cheap, so margins on a well thought out venture can be nice.

          The key is not get sucked into thinking you can not make a lot of money in Poland or that you need a job. A job is not what you need and are desperate. Many Poles have an attitude about work that nothing is fair and nothing works. I know many people living in Poland doing well. You can do anything you like, but it might take many years to find your niche.

          Ask questions if you have any.

      2. Piotrek H

        I am thinking of going back home after 40 years in the US tell me what can I expect as far as health insurance and how much will it cost.

        1. Mark Biernat

          You can buy public or private at lets say 200 dollars a month. You can get it for a lot less if you know how to work the system. Or you can pay for each visit which I did anyway. This costs lets say between 20 dollars and 50 dollars for visit depending if it is a specialist.
          Almost all hospitals are public with some private. You need ZUS to cover you unless you want to shell out a few thousand for an operation.
          In theory you should get free medical care, but it depends if you are retired or have your own company. But in theory everyone is covered. Homeless people are covered. But it depends what your status is and how much you will have to pay. There are no deductibles of course, you just show your medical stamp and you are in 100% paid for.

      3. Brandon

        Hello and thanks for your time. Been reading lots of info on moving to Poland and your site is excellent thanks. I’m curious, I’m 39 I get SSDI social security disability income about $1200 per month, I’m not physically disabled its an anxiety type thing. Question is would that make it more difficult for me to get approved by Poland to live there ? USA social security won’t cut me off of my money moving to Poland. Do I need to contact the consulate of Poland here in my state? Love the genuineness of the polish people especially the women and I have a few friends (Polish) that live there now. I don’t know how $1200 USA dollars would last on zloty but have been doing research. If I moved there and got married to a Polish woman would that make it a lot easier for me to stay there also? Thanks in advance.

        1. Mark Biernat

          To find the currency exchange for Polish Zloty type in “usd to pln” and you will see that your 1200USD is about 3800PLN. It depends where you want to live. I certainly could live well off of that, but many Americans could not. It depends on your expectations about lifestyle. As Poland progresses in the EU prices are becoming like US prices. The difference is people’s expectations are different. If you like in a small apartment in the US you are poor. In Poland it is normal. If your cell phone is a few generations old, its OK in Poland, in the USA everyone is into gadgets that are this years model.
          In Poland you do not need a car. In the USA you need one.
          So I think you alone would live a modest life with that money in Poland.
          If I were you and you had little money I would not choose Krakow or Warsaw or Sopot, but something like Lublin or Eastern Poland or a small town where people have less money and you would not feel poor. Yet on the other hand Western Poland is very nice as the cities have more opportunity to them and more action. I guess it depends on are you a city or county mouse.
          Let me know what you are thinking about where to life in Poland.
          That is not the problem.
          The problem is the visa. You are going to either need to be enrolled in a Polish language school, get married, work for a major Polish company that will sponsor you, or have Polish roots. So I can not imagine how you would stay on a visa?
          Staying in Poland is as hard as a immigrant staying in the USA. It is not easy if you are not of Polish blood. The whole world wants an EU visa, maybe more than the US now. You being American will put you on equal par with the billions of people from India and China or Africa or South America that want to live there. The only advantage is you have a 3 month travel visa as an American.
          However for living there, you need a way for the Polish embassy to issue you a visa. It will not be easy. There are billions of clever people from all over the world that are trying to start businesses and have advanced degrees that can not get into the EU.
          I do not want to dissuade you, but I want to set realistic expectations. You need to figure out a way legally to stay in Poland, as Poland is not a rich EU country and will has to abide by the laws in Brussels not just Warsaw.
          Let me know how you make out and how your move to Poland is going and if I can give any advice in that regard. I do not have all the answers but base it on experience.

  3. Brett

    Hey Mark, I’m glad I found this site on Poland and moving to Poland. My name is Brett I’ am 29 years old. I am moving to Poland in 2 months, I’m a retired Soldier and the reason I am moving to Poland is because of my girlfriend. I dated her a long time ago when I was stationed in Germany. I met her on one my of my crazy trips that I normally took with no map every weekend! I used to just get in my car and drive and see as much as I could see in a weekend. One weekend I went to Poland, I stopped in a little town called Legnica, There I was walking around trying to find a hotel and I stopped at a restaurant to ask for help. Of course nobody spoke english, however there was a beautiful girl who was eating with her friends and she over heard me speaking English, She came up to me and tried to help me as best as she could. She took me to a hotel and we said goodbye, then she asked me if I wanted her to come back in the morning to take a tour of Legnica. We fell in love.

    6 months later I was sent to Iraq for a 18 months and we lost contact. However with the help of Facebook and me leaving my dog tags at her house she found me 5 years later on Facebook. I just came back from Poland and I have decided that I’m going to move there.

    I agree with you about family life over there. I also agree that polish people have very good family values. I really believe that she is my soul mate and I trust her more than the women in the united states. Not saying that Polish women don’t cheat on their husbands, but I believe if you treat her well and you are faithful to her, she will always be there for you too. what do you think? haha

    Anyways thought I would share my little love story with you, but I do have some questions about Poland that my girlfriend has trouble answering.

    I know more about Poland than most well-educated Americans, I have spent a lot of time there more than most people. However I’m a little rusty about some things since most of my time spent there was 6 years ago. The country has improved a lot since I was there last, however your train can still be 2 or 3 hours late sometimes.

    Mark do you think I can find a school in Legnica Poland that can teach me Polish? If so how much will it cost me per month?

    I bought Rosetta stone but I think I will need a formal class as well.

    What about health insurance? I have coverage thru the Army but there are no bases in Poland, and in germany there is also no place for me to go. Do you have a polish health care plan. How much would that cost?

    I have all my documents for applying for temporary residence, I have been told my the polish embassy in D.C that it is way easier and faster to just travel to Krakow and submit it there? They told me that if I do it in D.C that it will take up to 6 months, but if I got to Kraków it will take 40 days.

    do you think I should apply for a student visa, or just say I am dating a Polish citizen?

    Thanks for your help. You are one of the only people on the internet that I have found that has useful information about moving to Poland.

    I really enjoyed reading what you wrote and agree with you 100 percent. To be honest with you I’m sick of living here in D.C. I’m tired of the 3 hour commutes, I’m tired of the fake people. I’m tired of the little games girls like to play with you. I’m just sick of it.

    The last question I have is employment. I have a degree in business and I plan on learning Polish. I’m currently a financial consultant and I also work for CBS news in Richmond Va as their financial consultant.

    I know the pay is lower in Poland by a lot, however I really don’t care about money, because I am 100% disabled by the army and I get a pension that will be around 6000 zlotys a month. I’ve been told this should be enough to live in Poland while I’m learning Polish and looking for a job? From my calculations it should be ok, what do you think? My question is how hard is it to find a job in Poland doing something similar to what I’m doing now. Like working at a bank or something? I really just want something to do during the day when my girlfriend is at work. Do you think I can find a job?

    Also is there any volunteer work that I could get involved in while I’m learning Polish. Like the red cross or something? do you know what I mean? helping old people or something?

    Thanks for all your help Mark!

    1. Mark Biernat

      Brett, that is god news you are moving to Poland. Here is what I think. The fastest way to make all this happen is you go to Poland, say Krakow, and get a student visa. Having a Polish girlfriend does nothing for your visa status unfortunately. If that were the case half the world would move to Poland with a girlfriend. You have to either be married, engaged soon to be married, have Polish family or a student, or working also. Poles like Americans so I do not think you will have too much trouble as long as your birth documents etc are in order.
      I personally would find a school via the Internet and calling around and find one that would support you in the visa process, that is a student visa in Poland. The truth is you do not need to go to school to learn Polish, in fact unless you are really studious it could be counter productive. The best way is to study on your own and talk to people, then take a class here or there as cream. But I come from the school of thought that all learning is self learning and often Polish natives speakers have little idea how hard their language is or how to teach it to a foreigner, so besides the visa advantage lets say the onus is on you.

      About your money, 6k pln is fine, but expectations about wealth are relative remember. For me that is great money, but if your expectations are high, it might not be. But with that money you can rent a house, buy a car and live well.

      I would buy either Polish national insurance called ZUS or private insurance. If you are in Krakow go to Galleria Kazimierz and buy insurance from Hestia for example. This is an insurance company that is private that insures foreigners. You can also call them from the USA of course.

      I had ZUS or public insurance because I am a Polish citizen and paid taxes with a legit job, but many times I went to private clinics and paid cash because medical care is so cheap in Poland relative to the west. I mean for a major operation you can have this for less than 1000 dollars.
      The one thing is the operation might be cheap but ZUS pays for the hospital unless you go to a private hospital. And if you real my article on Polish hospitals there are many nice private ones now.

      The only legal work you can have is being a student. You can not work unless you have a work visa. There are many jobs for foreigners as you are a native speaker in English and you can get sponsored by a company if you want, like a call center. However, some people teach English as a tutor under the table. I am not recommending that, I am just describing a reality that English speakers do to make money in a tight situation.

      Please ask any questions you have about moving to Poland, I know your time is only a couple of months so you must have a lot of questions. But please grammar check your comment as you did not capitalize the word Polish or Poland for example and other small things. I am no grammarian myself, mind you. Besides that ask away as I do not know if I answered everything and would be more than happy to help you with your move to Poland.

  4. Kamila Lucka Rauch

    Hey Mark, I’ve wanted to ask you about driving license.
    Did you have to apply for international driving license or perhaps you were able to use your American driving license living in Poland?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. Mark Biernat

      I always used my American driver license. In fact I renewed it remotely. I had an International driver licenses for a while, let it expire and used my American. My American friends did the same. If the police stopped anyone, people spoke a lot of English and played dumb and flashed their American passport, and it was usually too stressful for the police to get involved in it all. Maybe times are changing. I started to study for my Polish drivers license but in the US now for a while. If I were going to be there more than a year, now I would take the Polish drivers test.
      Let me know if you have any questions. The written test is real easy. Its on a computer, just have to go through the book of questions which is boring. However, the driving test is hard, but can be avoided if your give them your US license, which is something you have to evaluate depending on how long you will live in Poland.

      1. Magda G

        Hello. How did you renew your driver’s license online when a picture usually has to be retaken? This is a very useful information to know. Thank you in advance.

        1. Mark Biernat

          They use your old picture and work with you. I had no problem renewing my driver’s licence.

  5. Joe

    Hi Mark,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I am interested in traveling to Poland and other parts of Europe for about a month next summer. Money is not a big issue for me I just want to have some fun and enjoy European culture. I’m a single guy traveling alone and would love to meet some beautiful European women. Any suggestions about accommodations, places to go etc. Thanks.


    1. Mark Biernat

      Go to Poland, Ukraine . Lviv, Crimea, Romania but mostly Poland for nice girls as it is a nice western country but still untouched by western change of values.

  6. dmitriy

    Hello! I am Dmitriy and I am also Pole by nationality. My father and mother are from Poland originally. I,my self lived in San Francisco for 23yrs. But for the last four or five years very seriously thinking to move to Kraków or may be to some other city in Poland. I also have family, two kids. Planing to come and see Krakow and Wroclaw at first. My father serf in Polish army during WWII in lived and study in Krakow,so that is why I am very interested to go ther first. There are a many questions remain in my hade because I lived for almost 1/4 of a century in USA, so my view of the situation is not very objective as you will understend. This is a brief comment of what I am and what I would like to do,but the sence to do so very strong.
    Thank you if you will take a minute to respond and gave me you take on the subject

    1. Mark Biernat

      I have lived in Krakow, Poland for many years and I would say it is the most cultural of all Polish cities. However, there is a dark side that I can not ignore. That is the pollution. I think the pollution has become so bad in Krakow, that it affects people’s health. It is a cancer hot spot.

      Cracow has four times the air pollution of LA and ten times that of NYC. It is a small valley and a million cars and they have cut the trees down for new investments in blocks of flats. Krakow Poland is beautiful but the air quality is low. You can search it online yourself. The way I recommend people to get around it is buy about 30 to 50 large plants in your apartment at the flower market at the end of Krakow. The more the better. Further try to live near a green area.

      I have seen many people who look ancient in Krakow because of the air. Their faces have deep lines, they have Krakow face. When they are students they do not have this, but soon they start to look old. It is like smoking a pack a day. I kid you not. In the summer it is a little better because people are not burning coal and plastic to hear their homes. But the winter the air stinks.

      I moved out of Krakow because of that and for other reason. The city is beautiful to visit but there is a smog and haze that I can not ignore. If you want to move to Krakow, just be aware of this and take measure to help prevent getting toxic. Take a lot of vitamins and have lots of plants in your house and live if possible out of the valley of Krakow or near the forest.

      Many people think the Pollution is from Nowa Huta after the industrialization push by the communist. This is wrong. It is from the cars that were not there ten years ago; and the fact people have machines they buy that allows them to burn trash in the winter to heat their homes. I personally love Krakow, but the pollution is something I do not like. You have to worry about your family’s health. Many children in Krakow have breathing problems and other health problems from the pollution the city ignores.

      The Krakow government does not want to talk or address the issue of pollution as they are more about building football stadiums etc. However, it is not the place to live for fresh air.

      I also had some trouble with the Krakow Police being horrible and had to write the President before I got any reply. So as much as I have been singing praise of Krakow, because I do love it as I love Poland also. However, the city of Krakow is polluted and not a place for a family. If you are single and want to go out dancing and study art it is the place. But only for a few years. Not to raise a family.

      In the old town and Podgórze kids have learning problems maybe from the air quality being low.

      If I was moving to Poland maybe I would live in a city with fresh air and cheaper housing and travel to visit Krakow from time to time.

      1. Phil C

        Your comments seem a bit hysterical, you say Krakow is a cancer hotspot, evidence please.

        You talk about the ‘Krakow Face’ they probably do smoke 20 plus a day, don’t blame the air, blame the smoking.

        To suggest Podgorze kids learning difficulties could be down to air quality is ridiculous.

        1. Mark Biernat

          University of Columbia and University of Jagiellonian did a study on this. In the EU it is ranked I think last for air quality. I think these are pretty objective studies.

  7. dmitriy

    I got it, have you ever been to Wroclaw, is it something to see? Do you have anything to say about it?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Wroclaw is cleaner and a nice place to live. I think if you are moving to Poland you really need to come and see these cities as each one has pluses and minuses. I would say that Wroclaw is cleaner than Krakow. Krakow is in a valley and not healthy to live.

      1. dmitriy

        Hello Mark, What do you think or know about life for an artist, architect around thous city’s, and Poland in general sense I am an artist and architect. Is there a comfortable environment for such people with great experience in life, also from a very practical angle as well.

        1. Mark Biernat

          It is like asking are there jobs for accountants in the USA. Sure but it depends on your portfolio as an artists and your references from other clients. Can you speak the language enough to communicate what needs to be done on the job? I think in Poland there is a lot of economic activity, to capitalize on it, you need to be able to add value like anywhere else in the world.

  8. Julius


    I am a dual Australian / Polish citizen (my dads parents were Polish). I only have a very basic knowlege of the Polish language. I would like to move to Krakow and become fluent in the language. As I have a Polish passport, I have no need to visas etc. I have searched and found that language schools are quite expensive. I would like to know whether the Polish government provides financial and language assistance to Polish citizens who where born abroad but who wish to relocate to Poland. What support is available?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Poland give discount to Poles in official programs like at University of Jagiellonian summer school or Polish for foreigners. Once you are there you will meet a 100 beautiful Polish girls who teach Polish and have Masters degrees in Polish that will give you one on one lessons for like 20 pln an hour, which is 8 dollars an hour. One on one professional lessons. You could do this for one hour a day 5 days a week. Try a few of them as they each have a different style. Put an ad up in Gumtree Krakow and you will get endless replies. Many will try to milk you for cash and want 50 or 70 pln an hour. Be cheap as you need to maximizes your lessons as it will be a long road. Most Poles make like 8 pln an hour so do not let them charge you too much.
      You will have to study hard on your own. Also converse with everyone in Polish, use flashcards. You can give ESL lessons to make money and fund your lessons while over there. Watch out for those beautiful Polish girls, in all likelihood you will not stand a chance. I thought I was a confirmed bachelor and I am happily married. I do not know any guy personally that lives in Poland and does not end up married.
      Let me know if you have any questions.

  9. Mark

    I am writing to ask what types of paperwork has be completed both on the US side and the Poland side? For example, do you have to prove that you have a job in Poalnd before they allow you to move there? How difficult is it to find a job for certain professions or for opening a business?

    Please advise.


    1. Mark Biernat

      You need a visa status to get permission to work there. If you are coming from the USA, you have three months for a company to sponsor you and get the wheels in motion if you do not have an EU passport or greencard. I recommend a language school to start. If you want to set up a company, I would highly recommend you talk to a company in Poland that does this type of thing, as for me to write it here would make no sense. It all depends on what you want to do. The good news is many Americans move to Poland and live there on some visa, either work or as a business owner.

      1. Magda G

        Hi Mark –
        So I have few questions that possibly you can help or provide some insight on:

        If I marry a Polish citizen and I’m a US citizen. If I go to Poland and apply for visa – will I have to forfeit US Citizenship?

        Bank accounts – how did you manage US funds with Polish banks transfers? For example, TD Bank requires you to be there in person when generating an international wire obviously that would be an issue.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Neither Poland or the USA requires you to give up your other citizenship. The USA is mostly concerned you pay US taxes or at least file a return while in Poland. In most cases your income will be excluded, and Poland is mostly concerned with you obey their laws. Banks in this day and age are easy. I had US and Polish bank accounts and used and ATM and wire transfers.

  10. NancyAlltop

    Want to visit Poland and do some geneological research around Chestochowa. Need to see Skepe area and of course, Warsaw and Krakow. Is there an excellent tour guide company we can hire with a guide and perhaps a car. Trip is being planned for the fall. Thanks Nancy

    1. Mark Biernat – go to this website. It is in Polish but Anna who runs it speaks English. You can send her and e-mail – her contact is on the upper right as a widget.

      You can ask her for recommendations. She is 100% trustworthy as she is a friend of mine. I think she just had a baby so I do not know if she is going much now, but she will know someone who could set this up for you all I think.

      Let me know if this all works out for you.

  11. Tommie Olson

    Hello Mark,
    I am thinking about moving to Poland in approximately 5 years. I was wondering if you’re an American citizen living in Poland do you have to travel back and forth between the USA and Poland to keep your US citizenship? Also, I’m wanting to purchase a place in Nowy Targ, Poland, do you know of a reliable trusting real estate agent that I can deal with that speaks English. In addition, I’m wondering about health care insurance and real estate and vehicle insurance. Is this expensive or how does this work? And finally, do you have to pay property taxes on your home if you purchase one? Thank you in advance for addressing my questions. Have a pleasant day!

    1. Mark Biernat

      For real estate try these guys, for taxes they are very low if you are talking property taxes compared to the USA. Other taxes like income are a bit higher and there is a VAT but yearly real estate and insurance is low.
      Health care you can buy from the government ZUS or a private insurence comany like I recommend. I have used them a few times. It is not too expensive and nothing compared to the west.
      Car insurance is normal but again in PLN so relatively lower.
      Once a US citizen you always are unless you renounce it which I do no recommend. You always must report income, even if there is an IRS exclusion it must be reported world wide.
      Ask questions if you need to I want to be a resource to people.
      Basically Poland is great, but there are some differences which I do not want to go into and would rather you discover for yourself both good and bad. But ask questions if you like.

  12. Rebekah

    Hi Mark. I am looking into moving to Poland Warsaw area in the summer. I have never been there and need to know. What steps I would need to take in order to successfully move my family and myself there? If i apply for a student visa, what kind of visa would my husband and kids have to apply for? How easy is it to find an apartment over there with moving on a whim? Are there any good temporary places to move into for transition purposes? How is it with registering kids into school there?
    Thanks for any information you can provide me for a whimsical kove starting from scratch. 🙂

    1. Mark Biernat

      Hi Rebekah, the main thing is do you have a visa? After that everything else is easy. Really, you can look in for a flat or with – very easy to find many places. I like Warsaw actually, lots of shopping and history. Schools are easy, as there are public and private English schools. You have many choices and medical care can be cheap.
      The main thing is what is your visa. Someone can teach English at a school and get a work visa I think, do you have any connection in any way to Poland? If yes, even great grandparents you are in. You do not have to worry about anything except documentation. Even if you are Jewish Polish it does not matter. So that is my first question to you. Do you have any connection?
      You can live on a student visa and I think your family can do. There is an office or foreigner affairs in Warsaw and they can guide you. check this site for more answers, I know it is Krakow, but it has the same information. Ask me anything you like. I lived in Poland for many years and most(but not all) of the time it was an amazing experience. Poland is a special place.

      1. Rebekah

        Mark, Currently there is no visa for us but I was looking at a visitation visa since we currently do not know where to live and I dont know what school to look at for the language class to get the student visa. Any ideas on that one? I am going to be done with my TOEFL certification at the end of June and our goal is to be in Poland by the end of July. So my husband and I have just started working the passport issue and we are now beginning the visa process. Thanks for the heads up on it. The websites that you recommended are great. I was having a really hard time finding websites with good info on houses, flats, etc.
        Unfortunately there are absolutely no ties into Polish ancestory at all on either side. Do you think that will really hurt our chances of being accepted over there?
        Also, how easy is it to get a car over there? Are they fairly expensive?

        1. Mark Biernat

          Cars are cheap if you get a Fiat. I would recommend a Fiat or something basic. is one site for example. But they are all over Poland, good working cars and much cheaper to maintain than the USA, but gas is more.

          I mean you can pick up a car for a few hundred dollars or 50 thousand, it depends what you want. You can get a good car that runs for 3 thousand dollars and it would be great, but for 1000 it is possible too.
          I did not have a car most of the time I lived in Poland. If your city has trams there is no reason to have one. Consider Wroclaw for example, maybe more livable. I would say Krakow, but I am not advising this city now because of the pollution.
          I think you can teach at any school because English is always in need. If you can teach medical or business English even more.
          Visa is based on what you do. You can get a student visa for sure, and maybe a work visa, Polish or Jewish ancestory would have helped with a greencard.
          I think focus on schools that will sponor you, really it is all about the visa. If you can get this than your lifestyle will be very interesting and nice. You will be in the center of Europe and your kids will enrich their brains many fold compared to the average American.

          You can think of a business to start you will even be better off. A lot of opportunies to create a business in Poland. Each person I know that lives there has found their way, as it is a growing dynamtic economy. Foucs on the visas and ask questions.

  13. Sylvia

    Hi Mark,
    It is interesting to see an American living in Poland point of view. I have been living tin the States for 10 years now and had a good experience. In the past months things have been going downwards and the lack of family is getting to me. I am from Warsaw and decided to go back there to finish college. I lost my appetite for NY, maybe temporarily. The fact I do not have to cover living expenses makes the decision so much more appealing. What is your opinion on college degree from Poland and will it be valuable here in the US? I am considering architecture or computer science, also studied in English.
    Thanks for your input!

    1. Mark Biernat

      I am 48 and have a Master’s degree in Economics from Trinity. I have had a lot of business experience, including running large departments for big companies. So I think I can talk with some authority on the subject.

      The bottom line is if you have a degree you are in the door. It does not matter from one country or the other. I really think it is what you can bring to the table in terms of value added to a company. I use to hire people from all over the world and with all kinds of degrees like music or history in my accounting department if I thought they could do the job.

      People do not care as much of where or what you study as much as can you do the job. This is the USA. In Poland they do care. If you study something you are pretty much expected to be that. In the USA, I have seen ballet dancers who are bankers and stock brokers who studied art. It does not matter. It is a different culture.

      However, if you have specific knowledge like java programming and you can use it not just book knowledge you will be paid more, until all this get outsourced of course.

      So I highly recommend you study what you love and not worry about jobs as the job market changes and the skills needed are here today and gone tomorrow. If you are really worried about money, you can study something medical like speech therapy and you will always have work. In the USA you might need certifications but your education is transferable if you study in Poland. Computers or architecture are great as they are specific skills. I like them both. Go with what you love.

      English by the way will never hurt you, my friend studied English and now teaches in Poland and is an published author, write books about the Amish. – is his site.

      About dating and family. If you can find an American guy that would be great. But NYC is not the place to look. And NYC is very expensive. I could not afford it. After 10 years in Poland I now live in St. Augustine, Florida for a fraction of the price up north. I pay no heating bills, you can buy a house in the Palm Coast near the beach for 50,000 3 bedrooms 2 bath and have payments of 350 dollars or less a month. All new. Why anyone would pay so much in NYC or Chicago is beyond me. Life here is easy going and warm and sunny everyday. I buy locally grown food.

      I would not look for a guy in NYC many guys are players. Just just my advice with dating and family. I did not miss my family to much in Poland nor my wife her here as we have skype and are together 24/7 and have a daughter so we have our own family. I highly recommend this. It is like the meaning of life to have your own family. Nothing better.

      Poland Vs the USA in terms of life? Well it depends on what you like. Poland is romanitic and beautiful and sweet. But it is cold and dark most of the year. I prefer the sunshine of Florida to be honest now.

      1. Sylvia

        Mark, what a great reply! I am almost touched 🙂
        It’s as if you were speaking the words of wisdom… I was 18 when I came to NY hooked on the colorful streets and easy going attitude of everyone. I had so much motivation and energy that I literally dropped everything in Poland and escaped. I was in great highs school planning to go to college, as all of the “good” teenagers do, but I fell in fatal love in NY. And a guy I had met. Go figure.
        I had to start working right away and fell in a dental field, sort of by accident. Last 6 years I spent working as a dental practice manager in Midtown. As I was getting close to the 5 year mark, I could not stand my money-driven boss, looking at our daily production and always wanting more. He made me feel as if it was my fault patients were not willing to spend $2500 per crown…
        Recent family events, the fact I lost my eagerness, and a feeling of being stuck in the same place made me think of taking a break for a moment.
        You are so right, there is no good guys in NYC! So many people yet everyone is so unattainable. I have learnt the hard way. After the first looong relationship of 8 years, another one came along. It turned out to be a failure as well.
        At this moment, not having any emotional support, I am not seeing myself finishing school in NY. I was taking classes part time in city school, but can’t see myself restarting again.
        It was so refreshing to read your point of view regarding college. I fully agree that once you have that diploma, it can open a lot of doors. This is something Id want to do for myself. It will definitely give me a better standing and self-esteem. And when it comes to work in the US, and probably Europe, it’s what you bring to the cable that counts.
        As much as I am scared, I am also excited. College in Poland is a totally different experience.I have to remember though, that Poland is not as easy going as US. But I think I will survive.
        I too love warm weather. Florida is a great choice once you have established yourself to your satisfaction. Long term, I will probably want to move somewhere warm as well. Maybe I should make my mom come to live in Florida with me 🙂
        Mark, are you ever planning to go back to Poland?


        1. Mark Biernat

          The world has changed. I use to think I would live in my small town my whole life, when I was a kid. Then people started to move towns and states and now countries. The world is becoming smaller. I mean when my grandparents came to the USA in the early 1900s from Poland it was like crossing to another planet. Now people fly back all the time and have Skype and people are friendly in both places.

          I believe in God and see the world as one and do not define myself by political boundaries. Poland or USA does not matter as much as where you are supposed to be in your life. political divides I hope are becoming less meaningful like state boundaries. That being said I think we will build a small house in the Polish countryside some day and have a presence in both. My brother has done that with his dual US and UK citizenship now for 25 years. He lives most of the time in Florida and part-time in London.

          Portland is great I am highly recommend the series Portlandia to get an understanding of what it is like. My friend did move from there as he did get depressed with the rain, just for your information.

          I do not have any wisdom but just writing some of my ideas. I think your priority needs to start your family. Forget anything else. I mean of course you have to live work-study etc, but time stops for no one and you have to find your price. Sorry I realized that also. We are all young and beautiful but that is for a reason, to find our one and only so we can feel at home no matter where we live.

          NYC is the worst place to find this guy. I mean when I go there my adrenaline is pumping but you can not live on that high, it is not soul food.

          You do not need to live in Poland to find a Polish guy of course because there is and for example. He of coruse does not have to be Polish, you could meet a American cowboy speaking rounded American English. I am not saying this for you, but for anyone.

          I just can not stand how the men in the world have become players and cool. I guess this is the world today. Women give much of their life and beauty and have nothing to show for it. Just know if this happens it was not the right one.

          Also there are just as many hot good men as players. It is wrong that bad boys are the only hot ones. If you want to find a good man, he has to chase you and commit to you before he gets any of your time.

          My key advice is this. Read my lips: Find an idealistic guy. If any guy is not idealistic he will not get married. The guy has to be idealistic to have any sort of life. If he is not then in the first storm he will disappear or with time at least. Women go for none idealistic men because they think he is the best they can do. Wrong, go for a guy who reads Shakespeare and goes to church and believes in true love.

          Find a guy who beleives in true love and marriage and not divorce. I found Kasia who is my one and only and she see the world this way and I am very thankful to God.

          If you could find a guy like this, then Poland or America does not matter. You have your life together.

  14. Kay

    I have received my Polish Citizenship from the Wojovoidship in Warsaw and now want a Polish passport.
    What do I need to get this?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Proof of citizenship, two pictures and pay something, that is it. They have a little kiosk at the passport office for the photos. I would get an ID too if possible it makes it all easier. Let me know if you have any questions. The citizenship is the real think that is important the passport is just a simple application at the office.

  15. Chris

    Thank you for all your help on Polish related issues. My story is pretty common. My great grandparents came from Poland to the States in the early 1900s. I have heard two different responses (elsewhere) about when my great grandparents left Poland will determine if they were actual citizens and therefore, whether I can go for citizenship. We have their birth certificates that say Poland on them. My grandparents and mother were all born in the USA. So, what is your view on this issue?

    1. Mark Biernat

      The main issue is what year they moved from Poland. If they had a Polish passport that is one thing, however, more than likely if it was 1918 or before, then Poland did not exist and you can not get citizenship, by confirmatin but like I did with the long route. Further, you need to show in most cases a male clear line of succession of citizenship, as in that time citizenship was tranferred by the male. Even though my grandmother was Polish when she married an American from Eastern Europe her citizenship did not carry though to me. So there are many factors. You need to look at.
      I need more details, but I think you will have to go the long way, which is OK it is something I did.

  16. Alan Musielewicz

    I am 56 years old and am considering moving to Poland for the reasons stated in the main title. My son went to Poland for a week around New Years and fell in love.

    What about work for the older person in Poland? I have several degrees including a Juris Doctor, although I do not practice law? Would teaching advanced English business and law be a possibility?

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you can present yourself well I see no reason you can not get work as a private teacher or English or in a school. There is always someone that wants to practice their English with a native speaker. I know people much older than you who have moved to Poland or from Poland to the USA.

      1. Alan Musielewicz

        Thank you Mark. I meant he fell in love with the country and city. He also has many friends that have been to Cracow, and they all feel the same. My grandparent came from that area of Poland, and I have relatives in the area. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Poland is a magical place. I do think that finding a job seems easyer in Poland than the USA. I do not know why. I have a Masters from a top school and very specific skills in IT and finding a job in Poland at any age is easier than the USA. Sure in the USA you can get some job, but in Poland there is a need for technical people or people that speak English that they never seem to be able to fill.
          If you are a native speaker you can live an upper middle class life in Poland.

  17. Steve Marett

    My son just moved to Krakow to work. He is very excited about the opportunity. He has been there one week and has just found an apartment. When we ship items from the USA to Poland, there is obviously the cost of the shipping and then tax on the items. My questions are if you have found a cheap but reliable way to ship presents to Poland, is there any way to determine how much the tax will be, and is there any way for us to pre-pay the tax so he does not have to pay to get his presents? Some sites suggest we buy on-line from European sites and have it delivered. Any suggestions on this approach and sites that are in English. Unfortunately we do not read Polish.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Depending on what city you are in the USA there are shippers to Poland. You need to locate the Polish community in your area. In CT, I used to ship from a Polish guy I New Britain, CT or Hartford as there are large communities. Taxes do not worry about, for personal items I have never been taxed, unless you go via UPS or the post office them they might check, but not with a cargo ship type company. Polimex in Canada for example or Polonez in the USA for example.

      But look, unless it is personal things, he can buy everything there. They have Ikea of course and a store like Walmart, e-bay, amazon etc. Really consider the cost benefit of shipping, it gets a lot. I moved from the USA to Poland and brought nothing, and moved back to the USA with my family and we shipped personal things only.
      Let me know if you have more questions and if you give me more details of location from the USA and items I can guide you.

      Poland and Krakow will be great. My advice about Krakow is live not in the city center that is polluted as anything from cars, but by the forest. Consider the air quality. I wish I had.

      1. Steve Marett

        Thanks for the information. We are in the Atlanta, Ga area. Polonez does have a location here. When some personal items were shipped via FedEx (his computer hard drive, clothes, a few board games) he had to pay over $300 US equivalent in tax.

        I recognize he can buy everything there. We are planning ahead for birthday and Christmas. Did not want him to have to pay to get his presents. I have relatives who live in the UK and we use to avoid the shipping costs. They actually live in Jersey, Channel Islands so there is no VAT for them to pay. I did not find a Do you have any suggestions for a good general Polish e-commerce site that is in English?

        It was strongly suggested he live in ‘Old Town’, which is Slare Miasto I think. As he is young and single, without a car, he wants to be close to some social life. He also wants to attend University while in Krakow to keep his studies up. He is going to connect with some local people at work to figure out this process and what is available. Currently he has a 6 month lease on a furnished apartment. He works in the Krowodrza area. We were unaware of the air quality issue until you mentioned it. Where is the forest section?

        1. Mark Biernat

          Poland is great and he will love it. Anything I write is just to warn you not to scare you. Poland is safe, peaceful, beautiful and the people are wonderful. However, there are a few things to be aware of. The first is the pollution in Krakow and the second is maybe because of the weather or communism, Polish people do not walk around with smiles on their faces like Americans. Besides that it is the best place to live on earth maybe.

          The girls in Poland are beautiful and I highly recommend he considers marriage or at least love in Poland. Most Polish girls, are not as hyper consumptive and material as back home in the USA. I know my American friends that are on in the USA always complain the women there have income and lifestyle requirements for a husband, they in a sense shop for guys. In Poland the girls just want to meet their other half. I huge difference in the world view.

          I always used eBay UK and Amazon UK. They ship to Poland no problem. There is also a super Ikea which is a great store for household things too right in Krakow, and I think they have gift cards.

          Do not worry about taxes if the box is not shipped with an official UPS or FedX or USPS, I mean if it is on a cargo ship, which takes like 6 weeks than they rarely check.

          I lived in the old town for years. If you are single maybe it is OK. Lots of pretty girls and activities. But I went to Krakow with a baby face and since I have added on lines to my face like you might see on a smoker, it is free radical damage on the inside that matters. Maybe if he takes a lot of Resveratrol or something or does not live there long it should be OK. Look up “Krakow Pollution”. Do your own research on this.

          It is also a cancer hotspot. Of course people in the government or any tourist website will not mention this. People burn garbage with special machines they buy from Castorama, the Home Depot of Poland, to heat their homes.The city does nothing but 7 months a year you will wake up to the smell of burning plastic and coal.

          Poland is beautiful but the krakow old town is polluted. Do your own research on the subject.

          But I am not here to sell you anything,just the truth. It is a deep valley and they have removed many trees to make way for more buildings and the cars are unregulated and it has four times the pollution of LA. Not good for anyone, many kids have breathing problems etc in Krakow. I recommend near Las Wolski or just a little away from the pollution. But it is up to you.

          The good news is Nowa Huta has large medical centers to deal with toxic chemical issues. Put one and one together why.

          I love Poland and think Krakow is beautiful but really be aware of the smog. I had about 30 plants I bought at Gilda in the Flower market to help my flat have clean air. But when you step outside you will smell it and most Krakokovians are use to it an ignore it, but as an American I could see the effect it had on people. People who were 50 years old looked old while in the US 50 is nothing. I guess living in the old town is basically like smoking a pack or so a day.

          Trams are located anywhere and everywhere. I have walked the city from end to end many times and unless he does not walk, I would not worry about being right in the center. But I was and I loved the old town, I am just saying there is a price to pay beyond the rent.

          Bronowice is nice, Zwierzyniec, Ruczaj – Ruczaj is a great place for cost and location, I recommend it and the air is not bad, the best would be to be near Las Wolski, I have some American friends that live there.They go running in the park and forest and have easy access to the train or walk to the center. I would walk to the center.

          Kazimierz, Old Podgorze, Nowa Huta are sewers, nice buildings but you can not breath and will dream of escaping every weekend for some air. Dirt,noise traffic is what the old town of Krakow is about. Big cars whose owners have permission though the government somehow (you connect the dots) drive though the pedestrian walking streets at any time of day.

          For rent check in Gumtree, Technocasa is a good firm to help you find a place to live.

          What type of job will he have, let me know, if you have any questions as I know every brick and corner of Krakow, every part every business and like half the people.

          1. Hjrr

            Mark, I am not sure when you wrote that piece on pollution in Krakow, but I believe things are changing for the better in the old town area. They have changed the zoning to A, B and C zones. A zone is in the center of the old town and is restricted to all traffics except taxi’s and maybe deliveries. Zone B is also restricted and only people with B stickers can part there. Zone C surrounds the old town and also requires a parking permit or you can pay to park about 3-pln per hour. This change as well as some traffic flow changes has lowered then amount of cars in the city center and reduced pollution. In addition, a strong effort has been made to convert the coal fired “accumulators” to use electric at a 50% reduced rate. That is what I have in my apartment just in view of the Wawel.
            I don t smoke and I never noticed pollution here. Yes I read about it and hear about it. I think poor people everywhere are malnourished and this has a greater causality to sickness then pollution alone. All my friends back in the USA have like 90% white hair and winkles and I just have the white walls coming in and no winkles. So part might be genetics and part just feeling less stress in Poland.

            I love living in Poland and recommend it to all Americans of good character who wish to “start over”. Guess what in Poland your SS# and credit score means nothing, you start over here like a new born person.
            For 200 years the poor and down trodden of Europe came to American for a better life, leaving behind all the baggage of the past. As Americans you too can leave the baggage of a corrupt, consumption lead, life style and break the chains that hold you. Reverse emigrate to Europe (I recommend Poland and I am not Polish) and start over!
            There are many things to love about Poland, getting a new start is one of them!

          2. Mark Biernat

            Starting a new life in Poland
            Your perspective on Poland is just how I feel. In Poland you can start a new life. Not a life running away from anything but more running to something. Something peaceful and civil. If you saw the movie Kate and Leopold you know what I mean. I mean the USA is cool and all, Longhorns steak house and Taco Bell, but there is a price for that paradise and that is you have to work very hard to pay the bills to live the lifestyle. In Poland the expectations are less about comparing yourself to the Jones. Poland people just live and focus on family and yes work but not in the same way. I think Poland is a great place to start over, especially if you have it in your blood from a Polish background. It was very nostalgic for me to go Poland the land of my grandparents. If you go further East including to Crimea or Ukraine you will feel even more in a time machine.

            Poland is a beautiful country, what can I say.

            Pollution and health

            However, where I lived there was pollution in Krakow. It is changing and when it changes more maybe I will be back living there full time. Right now I live in St. Augustine, Florida. It is charming. We hope to buy a house and then buy something in Poland and live the dream, that is the best of both worlds. My brother did this in the UK for 25 years. But aha it takes money.
            However, you are right. Poland is a place to transform your life and start over in a positive way. Again, not that life in the USA was bad, it is just that your circuits get burned out playing the same old same old programs in your brain.

            Wrinkles are mostly pollution and sunlight. Pollution could be smoking or trans-fats or air or water pollution. Sunlight could be from too much Florida sun or from the northern regions of Europe where the ozone is thin and the UV come though the clouds. Like the epic of Gilgamesh tells us no one gets out alive.
            Yet like St. Ignatius tells us, living a long or healthy life is not preferable over a short and unhealthy life. All that matters is we glorify God.

            I think there are many ways you can stay healthy in Poland from the abundance of carrot juice and natural food to the mountain resorts in the south and the beautiful forests. However your peaceful attitude might do the most. Your brain is not burnt out from stress.

            Women in Poland
            Besides the girls in Poland are pretty and unless you doing the Henry David Thoreau and totally pursuing intellectual ideals, there is a good chance you will find yourself happily married in Poland.

            I am curious about your other views about Poland and hats off to you to take the plunge and unplug from the matrix and live in Poland.

  18. Paweł

    What do I need to do in order to move? Do I have to tell the the US government that I am moving to a different country? Do I need to become a citizen of Poland? How? What paper work do I need to do before moving?


    1. Mark Biernat

      All you have to do if file your US taxes, you do not have to tell the US government anything beyond that. The only real people in the USA I care about is the tax guy. All other US government agencies are just paper pushing wastes for the most part. However, the tax office is to be respected because of their power. Just report all income and if you live abroad you should be able to exclude it. It can take 20 minutes to file abroad in Poland.

      You can tell the US Embassy you are there, but I had some problems and they really did not help until I made a big deal of it. So again, besides taxes just fly there and live. Poland is great, and people leave you alone.

      You can reinvent your life or live anonymously for years if you want and no one will bother you. It is great to get out of the USA. The women are beautiful and life is good in Poland.

      To live there for more than three months you need a work visa or student visa. I have heard of Americans living illegally for years but some do get deported and it gets difficult as they need to see Polish ID. If you have Polish blood just get a greencard. There is an office of foreigners in every major city that will help you out.

      Ask me any questions about this and your next steps.

      1. Paweł

        Thanks mark, I appreciate this! My parents were born in Poland. I rather ask you the questions though because you went through it first hand. We do not have a house there though, but my grandma does.

        So I get the greencard first at a Polish Embassy? I know there is a Polish embassy in Chicago…Do I need a Polish passport? Then I need a PESEL and zameldowanie?

        My birth certificate and everything has my first name in the english form, in Poland I would like to have the Polish form. So do I first want to change it here in usa, or can I just use the polish form of my name when I fill out the greencard/Pesel/zameldowanie?

        1. Mark Biernat

          I did not know your parents are Polish. You do not need to apply for Polish citizenship, as you are already a Polish citizen. What you need is confirmation of citizenship. This is not a greencard, nor an application of citizenship, but rather just with an offical translator get your birth certificate translated to Polish and they should research your parents birth certificate as they will have records of it in Poland, just tell them where they were born.
          Step 1. To this website and fill out the forms and send it in. It should be pretty fast, a few months not like years in the case of applying for citizenship.
          Step 2. They will send you a letter in the main saying you are a Polish citizen.
          Step 3. Take that letter to the Polish office that handles the IDs and you will get a Polish ID and PESEL.
          That is all you really need. I have a Polish Passport also to travel around the EU and other countries where a Polish passport is easier or safer than a US passport. Yes sometimes being Polish is very convient.
          You can do these things in Poland or in the USA. If you are going in a few months start the process here, if it will be a few weeks start the process there. They will not kick you out of the country once the processes is started.

          I love Poland and highly recommend anyone considering moving there to go for it. Why not, life is an adventure. If you are a single guy I would highly recommend Poland as the women are not as materialistic, they are Catholic, they understand life in a different way, more intellectual. I do not want to offend anyone, but if you are an American guy you will know what I mean. Plus Polish girls are pretty.

          If you have any questions just ask about Poland or life in Poland.

          1. Paweł

            Thank you for your tips on moving to Poland.

  19. Roel

    Hello there,

    First of all I’m not an American but I think you could give me some help,

    So 2 years ago I met up with this girl and she is polish and we started dating and all went pretty well and now we are in love, but the only way for us to be together is if I step up and move to Poland with her by the end of the summer but this scares me a lot, so I wanted ask you a few things.

    Is it possible to a foreign to find a good job in Poland? When you moved there you could speak fluent Polish already? did it take a long time for you to find your first job?

    I am prepared to live with a budget of about $1500 per month till I can find a job, is that enough? should I try to save more money during summer?

    I could get an european passport, not Polish but Italian, does it help me? as it is European Union?

    Getting a degree in a Polish university could be a plus for me? I was going to start my studies here in my country in Civil Engineering but I’ve decided to start in Poland with my girlfriend, It would be easier for me to find a job there having a Polish degree or an American/Western European degree?

    About the language, how long it took you to learn it fluent?

    I would be very happy with a reply, we’ve got pretty much the same “problem”, I want to move there to be with the love of my life.

    Thanks, sorry for the grammar mistakes, hope you can understand.

    1. Mark Biernat

      On 1,500 dollars a month you can live well. You will be better than most families. You can teach your native language, Italian, English and find a job in weeks. It does not matter a western University or Polish univrsity, what matters is what you can do. I mean say some guy has a degree in web design. Do I care? No, I want to know if he can build websites, I do not care if he speaks English or Polish or have a degree. This is the world today.
      You can use whatever languages you know to your advantage and get a job in a call center for example.
      You can find a job in a month. Check Gumtree classified ads.
      I did not really know much Polish before I got to Poland, it takes months or years to learn depending on your motivation level. If you talk English Poles will speak English with you and you will never learn it. If you refuse to speak English in months you will be at a basic level and a year can speak it.

      It does help in finding a job but the most important thing is skills. What specific skills can you bring to the table and add value? If you have none you can develop some, or cook or be a waiter or DJ or something.

      If you have an Italian passport, you are in. It is the EU it is like the USA of Europe, not a problem. I highly recommend Poland as a place to live. It is a wonderful beautiful country and you can do it. Maybe the first six months will be hard but after that you will start to feel at home.

  20. Tarik

    Hello Mark ! I just have a few questions Im sure you’ve answered them before but Im sure it’s not a problem. Does Poland have something like what America has like the Permanent Residency/Green Card and how does it work with a person of my status having German and American Citizenship. Second Question could I find employment in the Hospitality Management field with my degree? I obviously assume Polish is plus when seeking employment as makes your chances very high but is there that possibility of getting a job without it? Third question what jobs are high in demand is today Polish work field ?

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you have German citizenship you are an EU citizens and need nothing else and yes no problem finding a job in Poland, I was a foreigner and think it is easier in Poland than the USA to be honest. In Poland, language and IT skills are the highest unless you have some very techical skill connected with oil and gas. But I would focus on Hospitality and languages.

  21. Paul

    Hi Mark. Do you know if it is possible to get a job in HVAC(Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration) in Poland?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Yes it is 100% possible. I would look on and also talk to some recruiters for a job with a firm or go to Gumtree and look for private work.

      Polish people are really into building and really into finding ways to heat their homes in different ways. There are many industrial jobs connected to ventilation of course.

      I would start with Gumtree to browse the ads with help of an online translate tool and see what you see. But the market is the same as any other country in the world, there is a real need for specialists. This is what a recruiter told who runs a firm in Krakow, they need specialists.

  22. HJRR

    If you are American or even Canadian and want to move to Poland to live and work, my advice is to work for a American multinational firm. I am talking about the bigger Fortune-500 companies that are making, developing or selling their products in Poland. These could be tobacco, drug, technology companies. Work for one of those companies and see about a transfer to Poland. You need to speak some basic Polish or be able to fake it in most cases. “fake it till you make it”. If you can not keep your USA pay, well you will get Polish pay. It is 1/3 to 1/4 as much and after that shock you will find you can still make it here. But it will require a lot of simple adjustments and a good sense of humor. If you come to Poland without any EU/Polish documents you will have to wait before you can legally work, so get your ducks in a row first.

    Poland is an awesome place – my youTube video channel is mostly about Poland “JoeBonsaiPoland”.

    If you are a happy, peaceful, well adjusted person Poland is for you. No freaks allowed.

  23. Nikky

    Hello Mark,

    I want to thank you for the many advise you give to people, and I am sure that is most beneficial to them.

    We live in DC (my husband and I) and we so tired of living in one particular country and would like to move, and Poland came to mind, however we do not have any Polish blood in us that might grant us any Polish citizenship.
    We are American Citizens, my husband is strongly considering leaving his 21 years as a police officer with all the street stress and nothing to show for it and he also a veteran in the Army and lastly a graduate in Political science.

    My question is, how do we start process and where and how do we begin? We have a home in Maryland and I am a LPN (licenced Practical Nurse) and pursuing a degree in Public Health, to graduate next year.

    Please your advise is needed as we strongly want to move, life is too short to not live to the fullest.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Life is a daring adventure or nothing – Helen Keller. Further with D.C area is over crowded with traffic and big cars clogging up the highway and shopping on the weekend and it all gets boring. Living like I did in another country in contrast is an adventure. Poland is a beautiful place and you may not get rich there but your experiences will be your pay.

      That being said, I would finish my degree and then decide, because planning will take time. You could take a vacation there initially, to protective cities like Wroclaw or Warsaw or Krakow or the Polish mountains you might live. In the past Americans just lived in Poland with no visas. But not with the EU and all they are strict just like the USA is strict. You need some visa or your time there will be limited to three months.

      If you can get hired by an American company, there are many, the visa issue will take care of itself. Even teaching English to foreigner like I did is what people do to get a school to sponsor you. Your husband could work for the foreign service or security contractors. Poland is a growth company and I always felt it was easier to get a job there then in the USA in many places. But initially it is very hard as you will be disoriented in living in such an exotic land.

      Once you are settled you could open your own business or restaurant like a lot of American do and you will get a business visa. I can guide with you firms that would help you with this. You have endless possibilities, to consider. My friends from the USA do everything there from business owners to workers.

      Poland is the center of Europe. You can travel East or west for vacation to exotic location you never would have gone to living in suburbia USA. You can go to Ancient Greek ruins in the Crimea or Moscow or to western Europe. Poland is a great place to travel and live.

      The question is how can you get a visa. Also are you really up for this? I think take some time or a vacation there. But I think a visa is as simple as seeing if you can open a business, get a job or be willing to teach ESL. I would look into these three areas. I think teaching ESL a school for like 10 to 20 bucks an hour part-time might do it, while you think of ideas. It might take a year or two but there is a lot of opportunity to get rich in Poland as the market is growing and new and capital is still needed.

      Take a simple idea in the USA and bring it to Poland. Americans have done this for the past twenty some years, but the ideas are evolving. In the 1990s just supplying consumer goods was good enough, not in 2012 you have to be a lot more clever. Poland has everything. I think consulting is always a good way to go as you are selling intellectual capital and an intagible in contrast to a physical good. This is just a hint.

      I think focus on writing schools to see if they will help you with a visa. That is a basic way and brainstorm ideas connected to getting a professional job like at a call center or contract conculting in your professions.

      Poland is a beautiful place, a little like living in Maine or something, a little cool but has the additional advantage of bing the center of the world.

      1. Nikky

        Hello Mark,

        I was skeptical at first, wondering if you will respond to my email, oh my God and you responded. Thank you so much, it is hard to find someone like that. We do appreciate it and will take to heart your advise, my husband was amazed that I could locate something like this, just from browsing.

        If I have to start looking for schools in that country, where do I start, I mean like a website.

        Mr Mark, I thank you ever so much.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Start with typing in ‘ESL Krakow’ or ‘Learn English Warsaw’ or better yet, nauka angielskiego etc. Create an excel spreadsheet of all the school you can come up with. In addition look on Gumtree Krakow, Warsaw etc. Gumtree is a great site to browse. You might want to create a CV and put it on the of Poland and start to network with people on Linkedin. Poland is really no different from the USA in terms of getting work. If you have a skill people will hire you if you can add value. You can go to company website and apply or better yet write people directly. There are many foreign companies in Poland where they only speak English.

          I think the key idea here is create a list and systamtically go down it and with time you will find something. People ask me why they do not have a job in Poland or America and it comes down to three things: How many places you apply, the approach and technique you use, and your skill set that you can add value to a place. I think everyone can add value.

          Let me know how you do or any process you make or if you have further questions.

          1. Nikky

            Will do. Thank you so much.

          2. Mark Biernat

            Try also not to let people take advantage of you. They will and pay you low. If you are going for ESL as your way to get a visa and lifestyle in Poland, specialize. Teach medical English to Doctors or your husband could work for the Polish military as a consultant of English as the Polish military needs English as it becomes more and more integrated with the US and NATO. Also the police etc too. Think specialization and you will get more money and respect.

  24. Christina

    Hello, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on Warsaw? I will be moving to Warsaw in 2 months with my husband and 3 children who are 2, 4, and 5 years old. I’m freaking out a bit about everything but mostly about where we’ll live and where I’ll send my oldest to school. We would like to live in the city center but it looks like it is pretty expensive. Do you think it will be possible to live in the city center in a 3 bedroom for approx. $1,100? Any thoughts on Warsaw and transitioning would be wonderful. Thanks.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Do not freak out. Warsaw has clearn air and really spread out. It is a major cultural center and so much more than most cities in the world. Your kids will benefit more from living there than any place in the USA I can think of except maybe Boston, New York or a few other cities. It is the center of Europe. You will see.

      At first glance it looks grey and dreary but once you get your bearings and you will be disoriented for a while you will see it has all the shopping and wide streets of an American city but a lot of things to do and trips to take from Warsaw though Europe.

      Yes for 3500 pln you can get an amazing place. Look on Gumtree and read my lips negotiate the price.

      You can go to something like

      That is a lot of money you have so it seems you will be OK. How long are you moving there? Years? Why are you moving? They have International schools or your kids can learn Polish.

      There are a zillion expats in Warsaw.

      The food is great and you will have a lot of fun shopping at places like Alma – which I recommend. Alma is like Wholefoods back in the USA, but also the open markets.

      Ask me as many specific questions as you need to and I will guide you, if you like.

  25. John

    Hi Mark – I am (as you) as Dual National – US / Poland. Born in the US, acquired Polish Citizenship on my own. I have some rather specific questions regarding your situation (residing in Poland as expat to US, but also as Polish citizen).

    I potentially have a terrifc job opportunity in Rzeszow. As you know, in Poland, I am treated as a Polish National and nothing else, while in the US, the Polish Citizenship is not recognized.

    How do taxes work? Specifically, would I pay Polish taxes as opposed to US? I would prefer to pay Polish unless there are unknown drawbacks, since after paying in for a period, I would be eligible for Polish Social Security?

    Drivers License? I believe I turn in my US one if I am going to be in country more than 6 months, and get an EU one – Thoughts?

    Do you have a Dowod Osobisty? – If so, where are you “zameldowany” (registered) – your home, or a relative who owns property?

    Military Aspect – Is a Karta Wojskowa (draft card; essentially) required to be acquired – along with military physicals etc? I tried last summer to get a Dowod, and would have needed to go through all the wickets in regards to militray service.

    I would be working for a US company – would I be paid in USD?

    Anything I should consider in regards to my situation before taking the bait?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Regards, John

    1. Mark Biernat

      Thanks for such an interesting comment as if you have an opportunity to move there I might take it if you are single. There are many beautiful women in Poland. I mean there are many other reason to go to Poland, but I met my wife in Poland and I have been happy everday ever since.

      If it is just for Rzeszow than it will be an interesting experience as it is a nice quiet town in South Eastern Poland but close to Lviv and Krakow.

      Taxes work like this. US taxes you have to file no matter what. You will be excluded on about the first 90,000 dollars you make on income. After that the income is double taxed, Polish and American but if you work with an US accountant who deals with expats he will show how to legally minimize your tax burden.

      You have to file US taxes even if you are Polish and living there. You also have to report your bank accounts over a certain amount, I think 10,000 dollars. It is the law of the US that we are taxed and tracked on world-wide income no matter what our citizenship or where we live.

      Polish taxes are easy. You need a NIP and PESEL and a Dowod Osobisty. You get this at the local Uzad. You need a legal residence to get this but it is all doable. I did it and so can you. Most of my friends did they and they spoke really no Polish. It just takes time.

      You will not have to worry about military service. They do not care really about Americans and you are too old for them to care and everyone can get out of it and they will repeal it anyway.

      You will be paid I think in USD or PLN but it does not matter. Get something like mBank an internet bank and they have English and Polish customer support. It is very easy.

      In theory you need to trade your US drivers license in for a Polish one. But none of my friends have after living there for many years, they just played dumb when a cop stopped them and the Police were too intimidated by English to care.

      But the legal way is take a written test in English and get it changed. Or a Road and written and you can keep your US drivers license. Or go to Lviv Ukraine and get a Ukrainian one more easily and trade it in Poland under a special law. This is what clever Polish guys do.

      You can go to the US embassy or the Polish embassy the countries are friends. It does not matter. Polish people work in the US embassy. It is layed back in Poland about this and they treat people with respect from the USA. The USA understand that expats in Poland are contributing so they leave you alone. So no worries.

      Me, if I did not have anything holding me back I would go for the job. It will be an amazing experience. That is just me I am about experience and life not work, which is a paycheck you can get anywhere.

      Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

      1. Paul Vanderheijden


        Can you expand on the idea of getting a DL in Ukraine and then trading that for a Polish one?


        1. Mark Biernat

          If you are legal in Poland then you can go to Lviv, they have driving schools that take a weekend and at the end you have a Ukrainian drivers license. You basically pay for it. In the Polish Uzad they allow you to swap it because of a law, since there are so many Ukrainians working in Poland. You pay a small fee. It is all done in the department of motor vehicles in Poland.
          To find those school search for Ukrainian drivers licenses in Lviv. I can help you if you need it.

    2. Hjrr

      Let me help Mark and answer some of your questions.
      If you are working legally in Poland You Will Pay Polish taxes. As a USA citizen you will just have to file a USA return but the First $90,000 (or so) will be not taxable. ITs a 1 page form, real easy. Polish retirement is based on how much you pay into the program, after working here 2 years I already qualify for something, but you will have to work I believe 10 years here and be at least 65 before you could collect. If you already qualify for Social Security in United States than this is a great way to double dip.

      Regarding your American drivers license; it’s best to get an international drivers license before you come. Yes it is true I have been stopped a few times with just the American drivers license and as Mark has discussed, I too speak English & say I’m sorry and they usually let me go. However, they’re now talking about a 500 PLN mandatory fine if you don’t have an international drivers license. The best strategy I believe is to get a duplicate drivers license from the United States before you come here as well as an international drivers license. Then you can take the written exam and get your Polish driver’s license you will have to translate your American drivers license and turn it over to the Polish DMV. That is why I recommend getting a duplicate US drivers license before you come so that you could always go back to United States and drive with your American drivers license.

      About your registration; wherever you live your landlord will have to get you a temporary registration. if you buy an apartment or house you will then have permanent registration. Don’t rent an apartment unless your landlord we’ll at least get you a temporary zamuldunek.

      I don’t know about Polish military conscription except that it’s no longer required so I’m not sure even as a Polish citizen if you’ll have to do anything. Several people I spoke to who are Polish actually bribed the doctor to get out of military service when it was required so now that it’s not required, I think you might be okay.

      I have worked for several American companies in Poland and they always pay you in the local currency which is Polish Zlotys. Unless you got some other arrangement i.e. you were working as a contractor or as a “US worker, temporarily working in Poland” you have to be paid in Polish pln.

      As Mark has said many times, the amount of money that you’re making in Poland and how comfortable you will be really depends on your lifestyle and your expectations.
      I make one third as much money as I did in United States of America I’ve got a lot of experience and I’m still happy with the amount of money that I make because the general cost of living here is less and the food is better and cheaper. If you want to live like an American in Poland it can be very expensive for example cars are more expensive here and houses are generally about the same price as some houses in United States.
      But if you adjust your lifestyle to the Polish climate I think you’ll do fine.
      Good luck and welcome to Poland,

      1. Mark Biernat

        Everything you said was true, thank you. I did not mean to say you do not have to pay Polish taxes. That is a given as I said you need your NIP which is your Polish tax identification number and it is impossible to have a contract in Poland without paying taxes unless the company is shady.
        So of course you have to pay Polish taxes, but do not worry that is taken out of your pay by the company. It is their issue. At the end of the year you take your return to a Polish accountant and get a few hundred PLN back.
        The reason I focused on US taxes as many people living in Poland think since they live there with a Polish citizenship they do not need to report anything to the USA. It is highly illegal. I reported every pittance I made teaching there. I mean people can do what they want but the only thing I really want to convey is the US tax office does care. The Polish tax office is a given, that means of course you have to pay.
        But do not get intimidated we all have to pay taxes and living in that part of Poland you will live like a king.
        I live now in St. Augustine, Florida in a luxury condo with my family on the beach and I pay under 2000 USD total in bills living like a king. I can not imagine, in Eastern Poland you pay more, I live in Eastern Europe for most of the past ten years.
        The rule is if you want to pay, you will pay.
        But generally, you could find a nice flat for 1000 PLN (that is what I paid living in the old town of Krakow, all new) and in current dollars that is less than 300 dollars.
        I shopped at the markets in the small towns, and we spent the rest on travel and IKEA. It was a wonderful life.
        So if you want to pay, you will. If you are clever, you can live like a king.

  26. Michael Dabrowski

    I have been to Poland a few times, and love it there, and her great people. After I sell my home, I want to move to Warsaw, where I have some family and many friends.
    What kind of paperwork will I need?
    What do I need to do, and know?
    Do you think this could work out of one person on S.S. and a small pension, total around $ 1,200.00 a month?
    What can you tell me, that may help?

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you are single and make about $1,2000 dollars a months that is about 4,000 pln right now. That is very OK by my living. I live in Florida in St. Augustine which is a nice town with a family of three for a little more than that.
      However, this is not the 1990s. Things in Poland are about the same price now as the USA. If you want to be cheap you can be cheaper in Poland than the USA. I was, but if you want to spend money you will as computers, gas, and clothes are more expensive if you go to the shops.

      The main thing is it is very possible to live a good life in Poland on that, the question is do you have a Polish visa or passport?

      1. Michael Dabrowski

        Yes, I have my passport. The $ 1,200.oo a month is around 25% more than most of average working man makes in Poland, as per reports on line, and internet searchs. When were you last in Poland? I have been there several times, on my last vist, two years ago, I took a fully furnished apartment in the high end area, and payed just $ 600.00 a month for everything fully furnished, and nice. This time, I don’t need high end.

        Valpo Mike

        1. Mark Biernat

          I was in Poland in October. I prefer non funished. I paid 300 dollars for a high end flat in the old town unfunished and bought IKEA funiture. It 70 meters but I think I got a deal. Yes you can live very well. If you are frugal and life is very sweet in Poland. It is the center of Europe. If you have a Polish citizenship, nothing require you just live there, like moving to another state in the USA.

          1. Michael Dabrowski

            I want to live within walking distance of downtown Warsaw, Poland, so which area will be best priced for me, and still be safe, and nice?
            Please advise.
            Who do I contact for more information on a nice location, at a good price, and nice. I need three rooms, with full size bed, living room, and kitchen with all included, that I will need, since, I will not be taking my own stuff, other than my own needs. Needs have cable, t.v, internet, electric and gas included.
            I will await your reply.


          2. Mark Biernat

            Tecnocasa and gumtree is where I would start my search or putting up fliers around the area you want to live with your cell phone number or have a student do it for you.
            I do not know Wasaw as well as Krakow so I do not want to is advise you. I can ask my friend from Warasaw. I think I got the insiders rate of 1000 pln. However, if you are new to the area and just go there you will pay much more. How many meters exactly are you looking for and what standard? Western Standard or dark heavy furniture from the 1990s and small poorly heated rooms in a block?
            How much do you want to spend? Tell me more details and I can advise you.

  27. brandon

    Hello and thanks. I want to move to Poland in the next year and I am on ssdi income so I get about $1150 USA dollars a month and want to know what’s the first step in planning to move to Warsaw? Going to apply for some sort of visa ? Sorry so plain with my question, it’s just a long journey that almost seems impossible. Thanks so much! Brandon

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need a visa and I think everything is off until you can find a way to get a visa. It is just as hard to get a visa for the EU as a foreigner to get a visa to the USA. So I guess my first question on what visa are you going on?

  28. Michael Dabrowski

    Can one of you out there, help me, what would be the best part of Warsaw, within walking distance to downtown, what is the name of the area I need? Not high priced, since I am on a fixed income, but someplace nice, and safe. Looking for a three room, fully furnished apartment, with a bedroom, with full size bed, a living room with cable, internet, phone, and a fully furnished kitchen, and will all utilities included in the rent.
    I know someone out there has my answers, please get back to me.

    1. Hjrr

      You can either check the various websites like for rentals in Warsaw. Or plan on staying in a cheep hostel for a few days or weeks and get the Wednesday Gasetta newspaper. Wednesday has all the real estate listings and it’s how I found my apartment in Warsaw. I would question the need for 3 rooms if you are single. If not that’s another matter. I had a 2 room place in the center of town about 2 km from the train station. When I moved out in 2010 rent was 2000-pln plus utilities. It was about 65 sq-M in size. I would say it was semi furnished. Everything depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you want something really nice,totally furnished in the center of town, be prepared to pay a lot of money. There are such apartments usually called corporate apartments paid usually by someone’s sponsoring company.
      If you’re are on a fixed income (and I don’t know what that is) you are gonna have to do your own legwork and find something that you can afford. Hopefully you have some time and you’re not in a rush. But now is the perfect time to look, before university school starts. I’m sure there are a lot of apartments available right now. But once we get into October they’ll be much less as students have rented what’s available. Good luck think of it as an adventure and welcome to Poland, or as I call it “the 51st state”.

      1. Michael Dabrowski

        On my last visit, I took a very nice place, on Hoza Street, and it was nice, and only cost me less than $ 600.00, with everything, but I am not able to find this place again. My friends in Poland, say, that’s to much, and I can find a as nice place for much less. I know Warsaw, has names of area parts and need to know which ones would work for me, and which would not. Again, I want a safe place, in a good area, for less than $ 600.00, with all included. What do you think, can this be done, again?
        Please get back to me on this.
        Again, thanks for you help.

  29. Hjrr

    Well based on that, I would ask “your friends” to help you find your new place in Warsaw. Is it possible for $600/month sure, but that depends on the exchange rate, erc. Your friends sound pretty well connected into the local market, so ask them directly for help. I live in Krakow now, so I can’t help.
    Networking with your friends-friends is a great way to find and get what you want.
    Good luck

    1. Michael Dabrowski

      Is there anyone living in or near Warsaw that help me? I need information on where is the best, safe, nice, and not high priced area of Warsaw, where I can get a fully furnished apartment. I know that Warsaw, has many area, each with it’s own name, but I don’t know any by name. I need three rooms, bedroom with full size beb, kithcen with everything I will need to make my meals, and a living room, with T.V., cable, internet, phone, and all utilities included.
      I know someone out there, in Warsaw, will be able to help me. Please reply, since as soon as I sell my home, I am moving to Warsaw.

      1. Mark Biernat

        The best site I think is gumtree or even posting signs around the city and staying in a youth hostel. If you can stay in a youth hostel, I have lived in some for months while looking when I was in Boston, then you can with time make connections that will lead you to a flat. Also check this site for current prices.

  30. Epsdude

    Sorry to waste your time. I know you’ve already been asked like 20 questions so I’ll make it as concise as possible. I posted my questions on Yahoo Answers and no one really had anything good so I will just repost it here.
    “I heavily intend on moving to Poland when I get the money. Has anyone else here moved to Poland? Where would I learn the language. I know it may be unnecessary but I feel the need to. I only the basics such as greetings numbers colors but I most certainly can’t hold a conversation of any kind. What can you tell me about your transition. What is the culture like? How was the culture shock? How hard is it to learn their Slavic language as an English speaking native? Is it hard to meet the requirements to become a Polish citizen? Where are some good places to move to. (Yes I already know Krakow isn’t a good idea due to the pollution).”
    thanks for your time.
    Idz Polska.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Basically Poland rocks, it is the best place to live in Europe for many reason, price, beautiful girls, low-cost, the center of Europe. The language has a cool factor to it because it is so hard to learn that when you do you are in the inner circle. If anyone has ever thought of moving to Poland, do it. The one thing is it is cool in temperature.

    2. Hjrr

      Yes, Poland is awesome. I call it the 51st state. I’ve been here since 2003 except for a 6 month period. If you are an American I believe you will feel right at home here. The food, the girls, the beer and vodka all good.

      The country side is really beautiful too. Some cities are old and in need of renovation, but it gives the country character and should give you a sense of history. Many cities are being renovated and it’s always nice to see construction cranins and new roads being paved. IMHO, Polish infrastructure is going from fair to great.

      The only culture shock is dealing with some government bureaucracies, some are still very slow like the tax office and getting registered. You need a Polish friend to help communicate in these cases. One example is if you work here you Must file your taxes on time if you want your full refund, it’s not like in the USA where you can wait 3 years if you don’t owe uncle Sam anything. Here, I made the mistake of filing late and instead of a refund I ended up paying. It is ridicules.

      Just come with a sense of adventure and an open outlook, be ready for anything. Make some friends and slowly but surely you will learn Polish. Google ‘Michel Thomas Method Polish’, there is a foundation & advance lesson set. I recommend this to get you started with the language. You will quickly learn what you need to say in most cases and build up from there. Ask questions, take a Polish class for foreigners when you get here, etc. If you get a girlfriend and are ready to learn you will learn. Also, if you have kids (babies) here as they learn Polish so will you. When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

      Just bring your ideas, your motivation and that American can-do-spirit, If you are not American oh well. Haha Good Luck – oh be sure to register your stay and be “legal” then after 5 years of legal residency you can apply for Polish citizenship or if you get married after 3 years of marriage to Polish citizen you can apply. Becoming a Pole makes you a citizen of the European Union too and if you need to, this will allow you to work just about anywhere in the EU with just a job offer. I have no plans to return to the USA, that’s how awesome Poland can be.

  31. corky

    Is this possible in Poland? I’m going to be in Euroupe for a while and want a car.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I did for example: search “auto gielda samochodowa pl”

  32. Michael Dabrowski

    I have been told that Wona is the area I need live in, is this a good area? Is it safe? Is it close to downtown, within walking distance? Will the rent on my flat by high? What can I plan on paying for a three room flat, one bedroom, with full size bed, kitchen, with everything I may need to cook for myself, and a living room with T.V. cable, internet, and phone, and all utilities included in the rent, in American money?
    I can’t find this area, on a map of Warsaw, can someone help me on this?


    1. Mark Biernat

      Wona is fine, Warsaw is safe. I mean any town USA has guns and violence but Warsaw has crime but very low compared to an American city or town even. Men and women walk all hours of the night and they are safe, at least I did. Fine a place that is within walking distance of the old town. use this for actual prices.

  33. Ellis Franklin Jr

    Hello Mark. My name is Ellis and I am 28 years young. I was wondering if you could tell me what all I would need to do in order to move to Poland. My Ex-girlfriend is Polish and we used to go all of the time. Well needless to say that I fell in love with Poland. I love almost everything about it. My ex and I are still great friends, and I have decided to move there cause I do not have anything really going on for me here. No family, or anything like that. I’m a musician and I’m looking forward to coming over and living my life there playing music and learning polish. I’m learn polish right now!

    I was thinking of saving up 3,000 dollars and just going, but I want to do it the right way. My friends tell me that I am crazy for wanting to go, all they talk about is much better America is, but they haven’t even left America to find out anything different. Please tell me what all I would have to do to get over there ASAP. I already feel like I have wasted enough time as it is. Should I even wait that long to save up money or should I just go? I have heard that I could teach English over there as well as work for American based companies. Could you give me more insight?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can just moved there and teach English. Not a problem you can get a job in a day, if not in a school you can put up fliers and teach private students in cafes. The think is you need a visa. If you do not have a visa it will be a short trip. Imagine someone coming from Mexico lets say to the USA because they had a girlfriend here. Eventually that person would be illegal. The same goes for Poland for US citizens. US citizens get deported from Poland if caught. So I would try to focus on getting a school to give you a work visa, maybe before you get there. The money is not an issue, you can live on pierogi.

      If you have Polish heritage than you can get a green card, you can live there illegally but I would not recommend that. Logistically once you have the visa issue down, I can help you with anything else.

      1. Ellis Franklin Jr

        Okay. Thank you. Do you know of any sites where I can start the looking into it? How is the music like in Poland if I wanted to make a living doing music? I’m a drummer and I am trained and certified.

        1. Mark Biernat

          The music scene is very big in Poland. The people I know in music never have a problem making money. I do not know the industry so can not speak specifically about it. I do know a lot of foreigners are DJs and make a good living this way.

          1. Ellis Franklin Jr

            Mark my friend, You have been such a big help to me man. Thank you so much. Do you know of any places online to apply for visa? Also, What are your thoughts on black Americans living in Poland. I am a black American and I did come across some racism while I was in Poland, but it wasn’t too bad.

          2. Mark Biernat

            Any educated or normal Pole is very receptive and kind to foreigners and people of different races. Yet in every country you have people that have unenlightened views. I personally would not worry about it.

            For online Visas no such thing. Like applying for a Visa to the USA if you are from the Philippines online. Will not happen. I can not imagine you would think you can get an EU visa online, the whole world would go there. I would check out this website for a wealth of online information.

  34. Ellis Franklin Jr

    Once again my friend. Thank you. maybe I’ll see you in Poland someday.

  35. Paulina

    Hi I’m a junior in high school and will be applying to colleges next year. My parents are Polish and pretty much my whole family lives in Poland, so I grew up speaking the language. I’m pretty fluent, and I can read and write (although it takes me longer than reading/writing in English). When I was little my parents where thinking about moving back to Poland but it never really worked out. I have a Polish and American passport. I visit Poland every summer and I absolutely love it.

    I have always wanted to live there, and lately I have been thinking of going to college there. Medical school has always been my top choice, so I was thinking about the Jagiellonian 6yr English medical program in Krakow. I used to think that I could study at the school in Polish, but I just don’t think my polish is good enough for such a high level.

    My parents used to want me to go study in Poland, but lately they have been talking more and more about local colleges and maybe the idea of moving to Poland after college here(I live in Chicago). I would like to live in Poland and I am afraid that if I stay here I might meet someone and not be able to move back later. Family is really important to me and I would love my kids to be able to speak fluent Polish but I know that wont be possible unless they live there. Do you have any advice for me? Would Poland be a good idea for me or should I just stick to the U.S.? So many people have been trying to convince me out of Poland lately. 🙁 Thanks so much for any advice.

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you could get into medical school in Poland I think this is the best thing you could ever do. I am an American and loved Krakow. It is a very international city. Medical school will never hurt you. Even if you are not a doctor, it is so interesting. But even if you study Polish literature it does not matter. The experience of living in Poland and studying in Europe in general is priceless. You have a dual passport and can live anywhere in Europe and America and I think it is much more important you round out your experiences than have the same old experiences you have in America. I know it is a little scary and you have to make your own choices but if you are asking me personally I would live with confidence and courage as everything in life is a learning experience. Krakow is an amazing place to go to school.

  36. Chris

    Hi Mark,
    I have dual citizenship – Polish and American, born in USA. My wife also has dual citizenship, was born in Poland, married me and immigrated when she was 22. Neither one of us has ever worked in Poland. I’ve worked more than 30 years in the USA, and my wife has worked for at least 20 years. I’m now on Social Security Disability. My wife and I are 48 years old. We’re considering on moving to Poland, either Gdansk, where my wife inherited her mother’s condo, or to a village in the Zielona Gora area. Our main concern is healthcare. Since I never worked in Poland, would I be covered in any way by ZUS, or some other government agency, or am I basically on my own for healthcare? Obviously this is a big concern, since if I get sick, I don’t want to deplete my savings. I’d really appreciate your suggestions. Thanks a bunch.

    1. Mark Biernat

      A few considerations. The weather in Poland is hard so if you are disabled it might be hard for you. Also private medical care is very cheap there, but I think as a Polish citizen you have some coverage. But again you are pretty young people, younger and I and remember, retirement does not kick in until latter in Poland like 62, and you would have had to pay ZUS but you can pay for ZUS privately for a couple hundred dollars a month. It is just like the USA. If you have not paid into ZUS you do not have much. I would buy ZUS or private insurance as it is cheaper than the USA. You could rent the condo and live in HI or AZ or FL, but this depends on your disability, I am just saying that the weather is hard there and if you can not walk then life will be hard in the snow.

      1. Hjrr

        While ZUS coverage is “free” providing coverage for children and retired people, it is Socialized Medicine. So while it might be free you may have to wait a while before you can see a doctor. As an example my Polish father-in-law has to wait 2-3 weeks to see a Dr under ZUS, with private insurance you can usually see a Dr. In 1-2 days. Of course it all depends on a lot of factors, city vs. village, time of year, how busy are Drs, etc. funny thing is the same Dr.s work under ZUS a few hours/days a week usually also work for private insurance groups like Medicover. I only used ZUS for my Polish son once when he was about 1, we found the clinic just outside Krakow. It was full, and I mean full of really old people like hundreds just sitting and waiting. I was so frustrated, believed we would be waiting for hours. But my Polish wife was with us and to our surprise we waited maybe 10 minutes are we’re seen right away. Over all good experience, but I am so glad I have private insurance. Oh my last point is On the economics of socialized medicine; IMHO at least from what I see in Poland, because poor/retired people have access to ZUS which is “free” it puts downward pressure on All medical costs. Which is a good thing for everyone, plus Polish medical schools are “almost free” to those who get accepted, which means Dr. Don’t have to earn so much to pay back loans. Truly this is a system that works for the common man.

    2. Hjrr

      Chris, I recommend You check out a company called Medicover, Insurance is very reasonable and they offer several plans or levels of coverage. Most major companies use Medicover to insure their employees and my family has been happy with the quality and care from the Drs, most who speak English too. While I am not as old as you, I think you will be quoted less than 608-pln per month for both you and your wife coverage at the Silver level. That is less than $200/month. It should cover primary care as well as specialist & even ambulance care. If you expect a lot of hospital admissions then maybe you should go for gold coverage, other wise as I recall the silver plan call for about 500-pln per admission. Compared to the USA, Poland’s medical care is affordable and is awesome. I have never been denied care, which has happened in the USA many time with “let’s keep an eye on it and come back in6-months” kind of crap. If you need therapeutic massage to help treat physical injuries depending on your plan you might have partial coverage, but there are plenty of places to goto and the technicians have been awesome in fixing my back paid due to 2 herniated disks. Out of pocket was like $15 per visit. I think you will be presently surprised by both the quality and care of medical people in Poland. Also keep in mind there is like 1 Dr. Per 60 people in Poland vs. 1 Dr. For 300 people in the USA!

  37. Sabrina

    I have learned the Polish language for a year now and due to be discharged from the military I am looking for greener pastures and have yet to find it in the USA. I’m trying to take up a volunteer at the Jewish Museum in Krakow. How do I go about getting a visa for myself and my baby son?

    1. Mark Biernat

      The JCC or Jewish community center in Krakow is a great place. If you have a connection to Poland it will be no problem, for example if you are a Polish Jew. If you do not the organization can help you get a work or charity visa.

  38. victoria greczki

    Hey loved your article, made me feel like my decision was validated. I am a US citizen moving to Warsaw to finish college. I want to be in school by Sept 13′ but I don’t even know where to begin. My plans are to stay there permanently. Please help with whatever advice you can offer, it’ll help take off some of the anxiety!

    1. Mark Biernat

      You will love it. Start with looking for flats or roommates on Gumtree maybe. But all you need is a place to live, you can take the tram everywhere, teach English and you will love it. People are really nice. I have a Polish and US Skype number and it follows me. Nothing you need to know, get a cell phone, Internet, and a flat and you will love it. Ask any question you want.

  39. monique joiner

    My husband is from Poland and moved to US over 30 years ago. When we retire, we want to move to Poland. How will our retirement fund be accessed and do we basically give up our Social Security. His dad moved back to Poland 5 years and I know my husband transfer money to him when every he needs it out of an account he had set up here.

    1. Hjrr

      If you have an account in the USA with a ATM/debit card, you can pull out money in PLN from just about any ATM here in Poland. Check with your bank as there might be some fee association with the ‘foreign withdrawal’. Also banks use a bank-exchange rate established daily in converting USD TO PLN. it is usually less then you can get if you converted cash at a local currency exchange (Kantor).
      Anyone with a passport can open a bank account in Poland. You can open it in several currencies including US$. So the next best way is to wire $ from your usa account to your Polish account whe. You need it. Cost is usually $20-30 per transfer regardless of the amount.
      Regarding social security, if you are collecting now you can continue to collect in Poland. You may have to pick up your check at the nearest consulate or embassy, I am not sure if SSA will mail directly to a foreign address. However, I see no reason why someone in the USA CAN’T deposit your check for you in the USA. There are many ways to solve that issue.
      Only if you renounce your US citizenship would your social security be affected. According to current law, a non-citizen can still collect social security however, the embassy ‘benefits’ guy told me I would be taxed 15% on my social security if I renounced.
      I see no reason to renounce your citizenship unless to make a political point, or to avoid filing taxes once you leave the usa permenantly, but at is another discussion.

  40. John Arthur

    I fell in love with a Polish woman who was visiting my home city of San Francisco California. She traveled with her younger sister and exemplified such intelligence and family values, I became attracted immediately to her sincerity, honesty, integrity, and intellect. She does not want to move to this country. I’ve traveled to her country twice and officially asked her parents for her hand.
    Is this board still active? I don’t see any dates on the posts. I have some legal issues about protecting my current US real assets and then again with what we purchase together in the way of an apartment in Warsaw. I hate to be American and anticipate the worst outcome, but I’d like to hear from those who have done prenups. Thanks everyone, great stories here.

    1. Hjrr

      I do not know of any Ex-pats who had to get prenups for the Polish wives. If you were marring a Russian girl I would say hell yes get a prenup but Polish women make the best wives. They say Scandinavian women make the best lovers but Polish women make the best wives, IMHO I think it’s true.
      If you have substantial assets in United States that you’re concerned about, then making a simple prenup could be drawn up stating “All assets that we bring into the relationship we take out of the relationship”.
      However, under Polish law all income earned while married is subject to sharing. I am not a Lawyer, but I played one in court many times. The only problem with the prenup is if your Polish wife eventually becomes an American citizen she could say that she “was forced to sign” the prenup, that she was “under duress” and then prenup will be marked invalid. So what lawyers are recommending is that your wife see two independent psychiatrists who will evaluate her and certify that she is rational & that she’s not under duress and then when she signs the prenup it will be held up in court. It’s a huge hassle.
      I would recommend obfuscating any assets in the USA that she does not know about, never talk about them, etc. keep your will with a trusted lawyer in the USA so if you do die at least your family will be taken care of in Poland.

      1. Mark Biernat

        Good comment. I think pre-nups are ridiculous. Look you are either married and you make a promise or you do not take the vow on the alter. Is money that important to you that you would put it out there? I mean my family is rich, and yet not for a second did I ever think about such a western psychobabble modern notion like a Prenup.

        You either love her or you do not. It is like being a little bit pregnant. You are either pregnant or you are not. If you do not trust her this is something you have to work on with her or yourself. But trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship.

  41. Polishgirl123

    I was looking for so long to find an article like this and now I finally found it, because I have some questions.
    I live in the Netherlands with my mother and father. My mother is Polish and she went about 17 years ago to the Netherlands. Since I was a child, my mother taught me the language and now I am 16 years old and when I’ll be 18 I will be finishing school. Now I wanted to move to Poland when I’m 18. I want to learn the language a bit more so I can speak it very well and then I want to study in Poland and stay there for the rest of my life. All my family lives in Poland and we already have an apartment in Bydgoszcz. I don’t know if you ever been in Bydgoszcz. Can you give me any advice about what I have to do with my passport etc? Thank you.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I highly recommend you move to Poland. It will be the experience of your life. You can go on your US passport and when you are there go to the office of foreigners and they will help you with getting a Polish passport or visa. You do not even need a Polish passport just a letter that says you are Polish. Which you are. Come on they will not kick you out, your Polish.

      Explore this page.

      Or contact the Polish embassy in the US.

      You can teach English and you will be all set. You can teach at a school or put up ads around town or on Gumtree.

      Bydgoszcz is a nice place and you can use the cheap Polish train system and travel all around. Poland rocks. It is a great country and is the center of Europe.

      1. Polishgirl123

        Thanks for your comment. I’m going to think about it and then make a decision.

  42. Katarzyna

    Hello Mark,

    Thank you for the great website. I have been living in the US for the last 20 years and have a degree in Business Management. I am planning to move back to Poland. Any ideas about job prospects?
    I was 18 when I left Poland so language is not a problem for me. I am originally from Przemysl (SE Poland), but would consider moving to a bigger city.

    Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated.


    1. Mark Biernat

      I think the world has changed in Poland since you left. If you do not want to teach English, I would go for a company applying directly to their website or via a recruitment firm. There are scores of US companies that need people in Poland. For example, State Street bank moved their fund accounting operation to Krakow. It depends on what you want to do. An MBA is a general degree, I guess my question is are you a General Ledger expert or know software like PeopleSoft or do you know IFRS accounting? Are you better with design and marketing. Poland is the EU and it has a good economy. You can get a job there like in the USA. It is just you have to know your niche.
      If you do not have a niche, teach English, it is a lot of fun and you meet nice people.
      Poland is a beautiful place to live.

  43. Canadian2014

    Hi all, my Polish wife an I will be moving to Warsaw in Poland late next year in 2014. I do understand alot of what has been conveyed here as I have read most of it before deciding to make a post. My main concern is can I apply directly for citizenship as we have been married for quite number of years.

    I have been reviewing my chances of teaching English. I am currently volunteering in a teaching capacity Saturday mornings. By the time we move I will have 3 years experience under my belt. I will be looking to complete my CELTA upon arriving late next year. I am not worried about finding an English teaching position as my wife has several relatives in high ranking positions in the city.

    I am looking for feedback on where to obtain my CELTA. I know about Bell, IH, and British Council in Warsaw. I am looking at the British Council even though it more expensive. Is there any particular reason why they are more expensive? Do they offer substantially more than the other schools? Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, since we would be coming from Ontario can anyone point towards a Polish shipping company in Ontario.



    1. Mark Biernat

      If you are a native speaker of English that is all you will ever need. You use the language like no other person in the world can speak English. Most Poles have had a zillion lessons on the past perfect tense. What they want is real English conversation to practice this language not someone who will know a structure. English is an abstract language with idioms and vibrant slang. This is more important that learning all the English tenses by heart.

      CELTA is like a way for people to make money off you. None of my friend had this and they taught English for years. Do any professors of English have this? It is better you are well read and speak slow and clearly. Ask some teachers on the ground in Poland to give you tips on how to teach, or watch some YouTube videos then use your lifetime of knowledge of the English language to take private students or consult at companies.

  44. Canadian2014

    Good day Mark, thank you for the response regarding Enlish qualifications and the need to be certified. It is intersting to note that conversational English is more in demand. I must assume that the Poles must have some knowledge or background prior to taking conversational English classes.

    I am presently teaching ESL classes level 1 & 2. Most really do not have a clue but they show up each week with the expectation of learning. I use a combination of conversational techniques and basic grammer as prescribed by the teacher I work under. In the conversational we look at regular everyday things that are a necessity to them. Ie groceries, looking for wwork, visiting the doctor etc.

    They have had difficulties in that with a limited budget they group levels 1-4 together with one teacher. Most tof the teachers that have taught this class have found it overwhelming to say the least. While studying Polish in another class I was asked if I would volunteer to help out. I was told right up front that it was not for everyone. I have enjoyed the challenge and a fair degree of latitude in the conversational area. For me, it continue to be an adventure every Saturday. The school seems very grateful that I give of my time. I enjoy this immensely as I never really gave teaching any real thought as a change in careers. I am from the supply chain area for over the last 20+ years


    1. Mark Biernat

      Every Polish student complains all they get is Cambridge English from teachers that want to teach grammar. That is not English. Students could just hire a Polish teacher of English for this. They will pay double for you to go to a cafe and talk about politics, sports and triple if you know anything about business.

      1. Canadian2014

        Good day Mark, this is a very interesting niche in the English market in Poland. One that I would mostly like to persue. I would be very interested in any tips that you might be able to provide to look for business people interested in a higher level of conversational English. I am versed in a few different areas which definteily may become of benefit.

        I would be more interested in how contact such people. I do believe that I would need to establish some creditability and do some networking. Could you share some of your experiences and ideas that helped you in your experiences to achieve this goal.

        Also, any comment that you have on applying for direct citizenship upon entranceinto the country would be appreciated. I have been married to my Polish wife for almost 10 years even though we have been together much longer than that.

        Kindest regards,

        Rich Scott

        1. Mark Biernat

          This is a good question, it is very easy. As you live there the answers will appear. If you want contacts and build a book of students you need to:
          Post ads in Gumtree
          Post signs around town you make – the more professional and easy to contact the better
          Go to businesses and introduce yourself
          Meet people and expats and network. use Linkedin
          Use things like
          Same rules in Canada apply in Poland for networking.

          1. Canadian2014

            Dzieki Mark, very specific information to start with. Never really had a problem meeting new people that’s for sure. Life is a journey until we start a new one.


  45. Lisa

    Hi Mark,

    I am in the infancy stages of doing my due diligence of determining eligibility for Polish citizenship. My grandparents emigrated from Poland in 1949. I have family in Poland and several locations throughout Europe. I am hopeful to make my first visit to Poland soon. I am hoping to one day have property and live within the EU, first location preference would be Poland of course.

    I have read that the US recognizes dual citizenship but Poland only recognizes Polish citizenship. I think I understand this but am curious in the ‘for instance’ example of how this flows in real life.

    Everything I have discovered so far points to me contacting the Embassy directly to begin the process, I wanted to ask you what I can expect moving forward.

    I am grateful to have found your blog and have found it very informational and entertaining. Many thanks to you and other contributors for providing helpful responses.


    1. Mark Biernat

      Both countries do not care about duel citizenship as long as you obey the laws and live as a Polish citizen in Poland for example and a US citizen in the USA. the terms officially recognize are meaningless in the reality as zillions of Poles and Americans have duel citizenship. They want to make sure you just obey the law and if you do something really bad in Poland then you do not escape to the USA.

      I have never heard of anything like this so do not worry. I think one Polish Mafia tried to escape from to the US and hide in Chicago but they US sent him back when they found him. So it is just the working on paper about not recognizing multiple citizenship. A country like Ukraine (great country but Russia has its hand in Politics) really does not they make you give up your other citizenship (if they find out). Poland is a very international and progressive country and is not about that. They like foreigners and the whole idea of mixing as it is part of their history.

      The process will take a couple of years at this point as they are really backed up with paperwork, but for confirmation it cold take less than a year. If you ask them they will tell you. However, welcome to the club and good luck with your citizenship of Poland.

  46. Dip

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for this beautiful blog. I am planning to move to Poland from India as i have secured a job. I will have the work permit visa and would earn around 3500 US $ per month. I will be migrating along with my wife who will not have any job at the moment.My question is what are the current expenses in terms of Dollars for house rent, House Rent ,Cable ( TV),Internet,Cell phone ,Commutation / Transport,Food ( Grocery + Outings ),Utilities and Medical. Also can a depenedent apply for job in Poland ? What are the other opportunities for the dependent ? Your help will be greatly appreciated

    1. Mark Biernat

      Rent in the city is about 800 dollars for what I consider a good standard, check gumtree for the city you will move to. Internet about 20 dollars at most, cell phone depends on how much you use it but lets say 20 dollars. Utilities about 150 dollars a month, and food – I like to eat so I was spending about 500 dollars for us a month. so one 2,000 dollars a month you will be living a high standard of live. Bus or Tram ticket is about a dollar.

  47. Tom

    Hey Mark,

    First of all – Love the comments and the feedback and reading about your experiences. The situation is this – I am an American guy with a French wife. We have no interest in residing in France but have chosen to live in the US (now) with past residencies in Chile and Australia. I work as a Consultant Engineer in Mining/Natural Resources so I have been pretty fortunate to be able to just kind of travel where I want and pick up work. My question is this – I did some research on a few of the Polish Government Websites that you mentioned and it says that foreigners (Non EU Countries) are eligible for a residency permit provided they are the spouse of an EU Resident. I will explore this more when I am in Poland this July but I just wanted to know if you had any comment or experience with this.
    Thanks in advance and keep the comments and good feed coming.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You will have no getting a visa to the USA or anywhere since you have income. It is all about income for US immigration, not really but for those who jump through basic security and reasonableness test for their marriage can have a visa anywhere. Now if you want an EU visa, in my mind the only thing you need is a desire to live in the EU for a period of time. Being a US resident they will not grant you a visa if you are not going to live there. Just like US green card holders have to keep this permanent visa active. That means if my wife who has a US green card were to go to Poland for a month it is OK but a six months they will ask her about her trip, after a year away from the USA she would have to fill out some paperwork, three years she would have to reply. Lesser visas have shorter time tolerances for being away or they are none multi-entry. Some people get a French address for example but still the government wants to know the time you are physically in France. So I guess the question will be how long do you intend to stay in France and for what purpose, that will drive the type of visa they will issue.

      1. Tom

        Mate, thanks again for the help

  48. Ewa

    Hey Mark—

    Ive been doing a lot of searching and reading as I am finishing up my BA and looking into Grad Schools in Europe. I am Polish, I speak fluently, read, write etc. I grew up in the US, but had spent every summer of my life in Poland, I interned at the Seaport in Szczecin this past summer. Currently I am in the process of getting my Polish Citizenship confirmed, and am really just considering moving to Poland. What are your thoughts about getting an MBA degree in Poland? I will more than likely try to stay around the Lublin — Warszawa area because it is close to my family. I have always wanted to live in Poland, and now that I actually have this opportunity, I am terrified. I hear horror stories from my cousins, people complaining etc. I am thinking of trying it out for a year, doing some type of MA program and then make a decision. I worry about the job situation, I know being bilingual, a native speaker is advantageous….but I do not want to teach english… I want to do business.. and I worry I would not be able to do what I want… As far as money, I don’t need a big house or several cars, I would just like to be able to travel to the US whenever I want to see my parents.


    I enjoy your blog very much!

    Pozdrawiam — Ewa

    1. Mark Biernat

      Sorry for the very delayed reply again. I have been moving.
      I love Poland. I would 100% go for it.
      I can not think of a better experience. I can tell you if I did not live in Poland I would not have as much marketability in my business career. People thought I was nuts but it made me an intentional person and from a business perspective in a world that is global it really helps, trust me.
      I love Lublin and Warsaw and my family is from both more Lublin. Lublin is clean and peaceful while Warsaw is exciting.
      The younger generation does not complain that much or at least jokes about how much they complain, do not worry, be positive. I highly recommend living in Poland. If you have any questions about how to get started or something more specific let me know.

  49. edward gonczarow

    My father was from Gorlice Poland and he died in 2001. I am 59 yrs old am retired and would like info about first visiting Gorlice and if I like it move there.I also have many cousins living there who I have never met and would like to find them. How expensive is Gorlice and is it a nice place. I live in Florida and am u.s. citizen and I am also a veteran. Thanks Ed

    1. Mark Biernat

      Gorlice is a beautiful place and can recommend it. However, if you are looking to save money, in this time, I would think again. I am a real estate agent in St. Augustine and I think there are way cheaper homes and places to live in Palm Coast or Palatka. See as the economies become global prices start to reach parity.
      You still have a price advantage in Poland on local food and medical care and services, but for most imported goods like cars and building material it is the same, sometimes cheaper depending on the markets.

      However, to move to Poland for life it is a wonderful place.

  50. Hjrr

    Ewa, I am American with no Polish roots, but have a Polish wife. I did some grad school here (english program) and frankly I was not very impressed. Perhaps it was that the english program was set up as a $ machine to fund the Polish program. Equipment was very old and the teaching was just ok. Exams were on stuff never covered in the lectures… Or sometime not even in the books required by the class.
    Lublin is a great area, but if you plan to live there and work there keep in mind that average pay in that region is even less than the nation average (on average).
    I am not against MBA or MA program but just know what your are studying and what you plan to use it for. You may not find a MBA job right out of school in Poland, but you never know.
    If you have any technical or engineering skills I would argue these are the jobs in highest demand in Poland, especially Krakow where Cisco, Akami, IBM and others have set up development and support centers. Pay for these jobs are above national averages, but of course 1/3 USA pay for a similar job.
    I love it here and it sounds like you would too. Yes, you can always fly home to the usa to visit family and stock up on cheaper clothes, electronics and American peanut butter (which we still do not have here)…. The PB they do sell here is ok, just not as good and 2x the price.
    Minor issues, but spending a few years here studying here will be awesome and I am sure you will find a job but no one can guarantee it will be one you like. But you never know. I wish you luck and a fun adventure!

    1. Ewa

      Thanks for the responses. The school thing, like you were saying ^^ Ive heard stories from two different Polish American friends who tried attending polish universities and literally either quit or came back to the states. I know their wont be any study guides and that questions are at the whim of the teacher.. hah! But Ive been doing my research and I really hope to try to choose a more modern, private university… The one that keeps popping up everywhere I search is Collegium Civitas in Warszawa – I have a polish friend attending this school and she has so far give me positive feedback but will keep doing reconnaissance.. She says they are more focused on applying your skills then the theory (which sounds a bit more modern –dare I say more American to me, Lublin is not much help for MA degrees in English in business (at least not that I have found)- Warszawa is the most modern city so I feel I will have the best luck there

      1. Mark Biernat

        I would say Krakow of course which is beautiful but for me the pollution is a factor. Krakow and Warsaw have the best schools. There is also Wroclaw University you might want to look into.

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