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. Katie

    My husband and I have ancestry in Poland. I was wondering how you go about showing/proving ancestry if you are interested in moving there. I’ve always been interested in Poland because it is my family’s roots. I have never visited yet though. We are not well to do. I am a housewife and homeschooling mother and my husband is an industrial painter/insulator. We have 5 children. If we were interested in moving to Poland, do you have to have some money under your belt to start off?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Yes please join the fun in Poland if you guys have Polish ancestry, just go to the department of immigration there and start the process and they will give you a temporary visa.

      1. Susan P

        Hi Mark,
        My grandparents (all 4) emigrated from Poland to the United States before 1918. Will this be a problem for me to get citizenship by ancestry?

  2. Alex

    Hi Mark,

    I really loved Poland when I visited and plan to move there. I think it’d be a fantastic place to start a business because it is much cheaper than the U.S. but also offers a great quality of life. Do you have any sense of what the U.S. consulate may look for when evaluating business plans? I have around $100k I am willing to put in but am not sure this would be “credible” enough and don’t want to be dismissed prematurely; I’d rather have all the boxes checked before I meet in-person. Do you have any tips or resources you could refer me to? My main goal is to maximize the chance that the Polish embassy is supportive of me (an American citizen) starting a business in Poland (and potentially getting a work visa as a result).

    Thank you,

    1. Mark Biernat

      There are professionals that can help you with that there. The embassy even has a list of people that are CPA type people.

  3. Valerie

    What exactly do I have to do to move my family to Poland? I have a 1 year old daughter and we’re looking for a fresh start. It’s just us. It’s kind of scary thinking about leaving the only country I’ve ever known. But I’m seriously tired of the US. All the drug problems and everything seems like its going downhill. I just want to give my daughter a better and cultured life. I realize there are so many opportunities in the US but i cant seem to make ends meet And give us a better life. i just don’t want to be stuck in a loop.

    1. Mark Biernat

      All you need is a visa. If you can get a visa you are all set. Life will be an adjustment but after that you will love Poland. Alternatively in the US you can send her to a Catholic or Christian school and teach her chess. I do not know kids that play chess doing drugs.

  4. Robert Pasterniak

    My fathers parents are from Warsaw and my mother’s parents (Paluch) are from Lublin. They lived in the same Polish neighborhood in Cleveland Ohio.
    My wife and I are retired living near Wilmington North Carolina.
    I am not happy living in the USA anymore.
    Please provide me with information to start this process.

    Thanks Robert Pasterniak

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need to look at my website and the information provided, it is all about the visa process.

  5. Christina Stam

    Hi there,
    I’m moving to Poland in December. I have several questions. Do I need to get a Polish drivers license? Are there used car dealerships there? Is English spoken consistently? Thank you. It would also be great to know someone in Poland.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can get by with English. What is the purpose of your move and how long?

  6. Cade

    Hi Mark,

    I’ve been reading a lot of these comments.

    If you could give me some input.
    My scenario would be:
    Me and my girlfriend would like to move to a foreign country for a few years.
    We recently traveled Berlin, Prague, a few cities in Poland, Austria, and Hungary. We both really liked the culture in Poland.

    She is going to school for Physical Therapy (but isn’t in PT school yet).
    I was working on my bachelors degree in IT (recently taking a break). I have an associates in IT, and have at least 4 years work experience in IT and an additional 2 years experience in IT with my associates degree.

    I’m under the assumption that neither of us have Polish roots. Could look into it though.

    For her I found Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland’s Torun – where she could do her school.

    Is it crazy to attempt this? I would like to move to a foreign country at least for a few years if not longer. All my family is in Texas.

    1. Mark Biernat

      It is not crazy, as long as you are willing to be a productive member of the society though work and education and basically have your life together, there are many ways you can get a visa to live in Poland.

  7. Nikki Maurath

    I am super interested in receiving some advice from you regarding moving to Poland from the USA. I live in Providence, Rhode Island and my boyfriend is from Warsaw, Poland. He is here on a student visa but is graduating in May of 2019 and we are interested in moving back to Poland. I am wondering what this would entail, job questions, requirements, animals, etc.. any advice would be beneficial.

    I look forward to hearing from you. I am always available via email.

    1. Mark Biernat

      If there is a will there is a way. I would explore ideas such as being a student or getting a work visa by teaching English at a school. I would also consider researching your European roots and getting a green card based on ancestry and connect to Europe. I know this sounds far-fetched but that is what I did.

    2. Richard Lucky

      good luck Nikki, go and find out how real life in Poland look like and then you will know why so many polish people emigrated to other countries…I live in Boston, Ma. I know how life in Poland look like

      1. PJ

        Richard, why DO so many Polish people emigrate to other countries?

  8. Ewa Kurek

    How is it with American drivers license? Do they accept it in Poland or do you need to take the test?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can drive for a while but eventually, have to take a test. You can take it in English.

  9. How was it trying to find a job in Poland as a person from the US?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Easy, a language school.

  10. Jeanette Grabowski

    My husband is concerned about finding work in Poland. I speak the language and would have no problem adjusting but my husband is worrried that it would be difficult for him to adjust with only the English language and finding a good job. Any tips or comments about jobs for non Polish speakers ?

    1. Mark Biernat

      It depends on the skill set. That is all, like in any country. English is the language of business. There are many English and American firms. I worked for an Irish firm at one point. What does he do in the US?

  11. Clay

    Hello, My wife and I were born and have lived in America all our lives. We are about to retire and currently I have social security check every month. I have over 1M US Dollars in savings so money isn’t an issue. To move to Poland permanently what would we need? I have a small non violent conviction so would that matter? Thank you very much

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need to apply, I do not know how they would handle all that. Poland is EU. It would be like someone from Russia wanting to move to the US if they had money. I think they could, but really is about the application process.

  12. Michael Dixon

    I am looking to move to Poland for a couple years. I just don’t know where to start. I have made up my mind, but I don’t know what to step to start at. Should I look for a job first? Should I start taking Polish lessons first? Should I fill out the immigration forms first? There are so many questions that I have and I don’t know where to start.
    Are there jobs for people that only speak English? I don’t have a college degree. I am a maintenance man by trade, how difficult would it be to get a maintenance job without knowing Polish?
    This move is something that I want to do, I am nervous and worried about leaving all my friends and family behind. What advice do you have on this?

    1. Mark Biernat

      It is like saying I am moving to Alabama or any place you do not live now. The first step usually is to secure a job.

  13. Matthew Clauson

    I am an American married to a Pole. We live in Berlin. We are gay. I make good money from pension and don’t work. Can I get residency there. I k o we can’t together as a married couple but could I and he register separately and just rent together? Thanks for any advise. Navy vet here.

  14. Stephanie has

    I have a few questions!

    1. Mark Biernat

      Ask any question about Poland.

  15. Susan

    I plan on retiring and move to Poland. Both of my grandparents came from Poland, however they immigrated before 1918. I know I will have to apply for a visa. I have financial means and have a place to stay. What documents do I need to apply for a visa? I have my birth certificate, parents birth certificate, working on getting my grandparents birth certificates from Poland and financial documents. Is there anything I am missing? Thank you for your help.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Basically you need to build a case of why you are Polish. Evidence starts with both documents. Secondary evidence is your understanding of the culture and even language. However, in Poland the right of return to those of Polish blood are is pretty clear. It traces through the male line when it goes back that far. You need to trace this lineage.

  16. Thomas Wermers

    We are retired and well off financially. We are tired of usa liberal antics. Any problem moving to Poland as retirees?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need a visa, a right to live there. Just like if you are from another country if you are retired you just can not live in the US.

  17. Bea

    Hi Mark! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been living in krakow for almost a year now and my other half is moving from Boston soon. We are debating on how we could have our most precious things send without being a money pit. Any advice? Many thanks in advance!

    1. Mark Biernat

      I have moved a few times and there are few things worth keeping you can not get in Poland. We shipped so much via non-traditional methods at a local international store. But most things we bought in our new location.

  18. Nancy S

    Mark, I was born in Poland and moved to US with parents when I was 1 yrs old. I’d like to move back and retire there. Where and how would I start the process?

    1. Mark Biernat

      The only think you need is documents to confirm your citizenship. I would call the Polish Consulate.

  19. Stacey

    Can I move to Poland even if I have no Polish ancestry? I love Poland and I am not sure how things now will effect my life.

  20. Danuta

    Hello Mike, I’m Polish with a green card and live in Florida for 7 years. I’m a very senior lady who immigrated to Canada 25 years ago, but now I’m alone, my two precious Sons pas#ed away 2 months ago. I have no family here but very helpful, wonderful friends. What should I close here before moving to Poland, and how long it takes? It’s obvious in my case as permanent moving to Poland. Thanks for your help.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I am very sorry about your sons. They are with God now I am sure. At least you have friends, which are a form of family.

      If you have a green card for Poland it takes nothing. You just move there, if that is what you want to do. However, Florida has nice weather for a person who is a senior. It depends on your situation. There is a nice Polish community in Bunnel for example, you could connect with depending on where you live in Florida. If you have the resources I would start looking for apartments online and comparing them and what you would like your life to be like, e.g. a countryside or city life.

  21. Kristin

    I’m sorry if you already answered this question, but if you haven’t or don’t mind answering again, do I and my husband need to know Polish before moving? Would a basic grasp of the language suffice? I also wonder if homeschooling is an option there. Thank you.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You do not need to know Polish, but in the official offices only Polish is allowed to be spoken.

  22. Kristin

    Do you need to know Polish in order to get a Visa to live in Poland?
    Is homeschooling an option in Poland?
    Thank you!

    1. Mark Biernat

      Homeschooling is an option.

  23. Ann

    How did you get a job teaching english? Did you have to get certified and find a job before you went to poland?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You have to write to the schools that is all.

  24. Kristine Wojnar

    My husband and I are wanting to move to Gdańsk from the US. His great grandparents are from Poland. How do we get started? Do we need to apply for a Visa? Also I keep reading that you need to basically be financially stable. How much money does Poland require you to have to move there? Are we even allowed to move to Poland this year with Covid? I have been vaccinated due to my job. Thank you for you time.

    1. Mark Biernat

      In the Summer it will be open for Americans. Great Grandparents are a more distant relation, however, if it passed through the male in each case I think it might be possible. I would first get a work visa by teaching English and then explore the possibility while there with the Polish office that handles that. Gdansk is a wonderful place.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.