Cultural: Residency as a foreigner

Polish Driver's License with US Passport

When you live in a country where you aren't a citizen, you have to have permission to live there (legally, that is).

I have a "karta pobytu" - temporary residency card here in Poland.  I've had a temporary one ever since we started getting them!  My husband has a long term one - it's confusing to me - OK?

Don't ask.

Mine has been good for 3 years but this year I need to renew it. We had to make an appointment with the agency where we had to turn in our paperwork - we started making an effort to get a date back in February. Due to our own ignorance and a full schedule, the soonest we were able to get it was for April 10. 

What kinds of paperwork do we need?

Well, this type of thing 

  •  proof that I am "still" married

This one is the strangest thing - How do you prove you are still married? If you wanted to cheat the system and stay in spite of a divorce, all you'd have to do is get your marriage license translated and tell them it is current - since I'm pretty sure they don't actually physically take your marriage license from you if you were to get a divorce. Anyway...that one leaves me shaking my head.

  •  proof that I have health insurance

That's not so hard. We get our insurance company to say we have insurance.

  • proof that I have enough money to live on
  • proof that I have a place to live

They have something called a "zamedowania" or a piece of paper saying that you have the right to live in the house where you live (or some other place that is your official place of residency).

  • a list of all my trips out of the country in the last 5 years (dates/where I went) That can be tricky. Have you tried "reading" the stamps in your passport?  We started writing down my trips out a few years back - makes this much easier.
  • pictures

These are similar to the ones you need for a passport - but different.

  •  payment of about $130

But we had to make an appointment and go and turn in all those documents to a person who makes sure they are all "okay".  We got a slot for Tuesday at 10:10 am.  My current "karta" expires in May but I doubt I will get the new one in time before this one expires. The lady told us possibly July.

On our way to the appointment where we had to turn in the paperwork, I saw lots of buildings.  

Of course. I got a few pictures for you!

This is how pretty much almost all the buildings looked when we first came to Poland.  Ugly.

This is how pretty much almost all the buildings looked when we first came to Poland.  Ugly.

Buses are a common form of transportation here and there is no disgrace in using public transport.

This is a very long bendy bus. 

I didn't manage to get all of it as we were going the opposite direction.

Front End of Polish Bus
Polish Bus with Bendy Portion

I didn't think it was fair of me to take pictures of only ugly buildings, so when I saw this pink one, I thought I needed some pics of it.  If pale pink isn't your thing, well, next to it was a hotter pink one.

Nicer Looking Pink Polish Building

We pulled up right behind this Clean City van.  I cropped the picture down but left the graffiti covered clothing collection container (I think) on the right of the picture. Yes, we need people like this here. Graffiti seems to be a "thing" here - and I'm not talking attractive, really artistic stuff. Most of it is simply vandalism.

City Van Graffiti Clothing Drop Box

We pulled up and parked a ways from our destination. My husband had to go down and put some money in a machine and get a paid parking ticket - it only takes change. They lady bending over in red is probably selling those flowers. She wasn't very aggressive, but since she was just sitting there with a bunch of roses, I think she was trying to sell them.

Flower Salesperson in Poland

He put the ticket in the car - we were paid up until 11:20 

Polish Definition of Parking Ticket

We went to cross the street right here - at this light. While I was standing there a pigeon bombed me.  Yes. I saw this bird flying overhead low and felt a splat on the back of my head.  Unbelievable! 

The light turned green and we all went across and then I asked my husband if I had something on the back of my head. He assured me I did.


We were on our way to the appointment at the government office!

Polish Street Corner

Thankfully I carry these in my purse at all times. My husband graciously wiped off as much as he could - and the rest - well my hair is kind of dishwater blond/light brown - so it acted as camouflage.

Polish Wipe

I tried not to think about it - as we went on to our appointment.

We saw a place that sells real hot chocolate (such as melted candy bars - very thick/very rich).

Chocolate Shop in Poland

I don't think a lot of people think Warsaw is a beautiful city.  Sigh.  Parts of it are much better than this, for sure.

Darker Side Of Warsaw

On our way back to the van, after the meeting, which really went as well as it possibly could - we were able to turn in the documents,  we stopped in a Bible bookstore.  That was nice and I  picked up a couple of things including some maps and brochures in Polish.

Then we came home - we stopped at McDonalds for lunch!  Now that they have one on our way to and from Warsaw when we take care of this kind of thing, we often stop and eat if it is close to lunch/dinner time.

Polish McDonalds

When we got home, I took a shower and washed my hair - first thing!

Then I planted some sugar peas - it feels like summer out there today (76F!) - hope I didn't miss spring (last week). Our typical frost date is May 10 or 15 and yet the temps are now well into the 70's. We had a few days last week where it was in the 50's. We seemed to have skipped those cool brisk days - we had a couple of them, but wow...peas won't like the hot weather!

We did forget to take my original passport with me so we've go to go back and take it and show it to them (we had the copies they asked for, but they need to see the original). We have 21 days to get back there with it, but we'll do it this week.

And then we wait. I'll let you know when we I get my new karta pobytu (residency permit). 

But please, don't hold your breath - it'll be a while.

And that's what's been happening in my part of the world!

Have a great day!

Don't forget to check out what my sis has for you over in the store!




Becky PetersenComment