Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, citizens of member countries (also Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) can freely purchase almost any kind of property.
Permission is only required for buying agricultural or forest real-estate. There are exceptions to this rule, e.g. when a buyer has been a permanent resident of Poland or has been renting a property for a certain length of time. In 2016, all permission requirements for EEA and Swiss nationals will be lifted.
Foreigners who are not citizens from EEA states or Switzerland must obtain permission from the Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji (Ministry of Interior and Administration). However, a property can be bought without a permission in the following cases:
- when buying a property for personal residential purposes (not bigger than 0.5 ha)
- permanent residents of Poland for more than five years (counting from the date you obtained the Polish or European settlement permit)
- permanent residents of Poland for more than two years (counting from the date you obtained the Polish or European settlement permit) who are married to a Polish citizen and will hold the property jointly with the spouse
- foreigners inheriting a property
- foreign legal personalities or partnerships without legal entity can buy undeveloped real estate (no larger than 0.4 ha) to fulfil its statutory aims
In some cases, the Ministry of Defence or Ministry of Agriculture can block investment if they consider it contrary to state interests.
How to obtain permission
Foreigners who need permission to buy land in Poland must prove their connection to the Republic of Poland. This may be:
- Polish ethnicity or origins
- marriage to a Polish citizen (in case your residency is less than two years or you do not want to hold property jointly)
- have held a residence or settlement permit for less than five years
- maintaining a business in Poland
Although the Ministry of Interior and Administration theoretically oversees all property permissions, you must apply to Urząd Dzielnicy Mokotów m. st. Warszawy (Warsaw municipality office). To apply for permission, you have to pay a stamp duty by wire transfer to the office's account.
You need to prepare your own application form because there's no template. The following documents must be submitted to the Warsaw office:
- the original payment confirmation,
- property details,
- application form
- documents proving your connections to Poland
For a complete list of documents, see Invest in Poland.
Remember that if your purchase affects Polish defence, state security, public order or local social policy, your application may be rejected. If you are refused permission, you can appeal to Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji. If this institution denies permission, you can appeal to Wojewódzki Sąd Administracyjny (local administration court).
Permission is valid 12 months and can't be renewed. If you know you will need more time to buy a property, you can apply for a promesa, a document which guarantees permission in the future. It is issued by Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji.