Moving to Poland

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Moving to Poland

There are many reasons that people choose to up sticks and move themselves and their families to a new country. Sometimes it’s for work purposes, to take up a new role or a promotion, other times it’s to be nearer to family that already live there or maybe it is just to have a change of lifestyle. Whatever your reasons it is always a big step to take – much bigger than moving up to a bigger house, that is in the same country that you already live in.
If you are considering a move to Poland, or are in fact in the process of moving and have stumbled across this article while conducting your research, then there are many things to consider. Whether you are making the move as an individual or with a partner and children, you will need to research and make decisions about so many factors from schools, bank accounts and visas to arranging an international moving company and getting your broadband sorted. Getting these things arranged before you move, will enable you to slot into your new life without as much stress and worry.

What does Poland have to offer?

Poland may not be the first choice for many when they are considering a move to a new country. It is much more common for expats to move to warm climates like Spain, Cyprus and Italy. That said Poland is very popular with many choosing to uproot their lives and start afresh. While Poland may not offer the temperatures of the Mediterranean, it does have an abundance of culture, architecture, art and history as well as affordable accommodation, city centres with vibrant nightlife and restaurants that serve up all manner of local specialities.
Poland offers an excellent quality of life at an affordable price – while the living accommodation is not massive it is affordable, along with everyday essentials like food, transport and entertainment. Healthcare is available, but expats should ensure that they have sufficient cover for private healthcare. The country is still very conservative and formal in the way it does business, and the Catholic faith is very important to many. While the younger generation speak English you will find that the older generation doesn’t.

When is the best time to move to Poland?

Perhaps it is best to consider the sort of experience you want when you get to Poland. For many, the sunshine can make anywhere look nice and so much more welcoming when you arrive in Poland with family in tow to start a new life. You may have been over on your own to survey the area and have more of an idea of what it is like but imagine the first impression that your family will get. We say this because the winters in Poland are long, harsh and very cold. The days are short and the temperatures are freezing.
If you are moving a family to Poland, arriving when they can’t enjoy the outdoors and are forced to stay inside could be a problem. Summertime in Poland is when life happens outside – perhaps it’s because of the long winters that people want to be outside as much as they can. It may be a better idea to arrive in the summer when the children can explore the local parks or you and your partner can enjoy meals outside, picnics in the park or long walks. You also need to consider any public holidays and work out when there might be festivals that mean everything is closed.

Where should you live when moving to Poland?

It is not expensive to live in Warsaw and it is less expensive to live outside of the city. Warsaw, Krakow and Tricity are the most popular areas with expats that move to Poland but there are other places that are popular – some which offer the hustle and bustle of city life and others that offer a bit more peace and tranquillity.
Gdansk, for example, is a modern city which is situated on the Baltic coast. As a busy port, and playing a very important role in the collapse of communism, it is known as the city of freedom. Wroclaw is known as the Venice of the north. Steeped in culture, architecture and vibrant colours it is a firm favourite with many as a place to live. Poland is so diverse with enough of a difference between each region to mean your experience could be very different depending on where you choose to reside.

Things to consider before moving to Poland

A pre-move visit – Have you ever visited Poland before? If you haven’t how do you know if you will even like it? Imagine if you get there, find your accommodation to be too small for your furniture and discover other factors that make you think that it’s not for you. It’s far better to carry out a survey of the area you will be living in, check the local amenities and measure the apartment or house that you will be living in.
The language barrier – Whilst not as well known worldwide as languages like Spanish, Italian, French and German, Polish is not hard to learn. It is spoken in neighbouring countries as well. There are several ways in which you can learn a new language. Before you arrive you may want to start some online lessons or lessons at a local college. Perhaps you may just want to learn the basics. Once you are there you will pick it up as you go but it is a lot less isolating if you have a grip on the local language. This applies to the whole family.

Applying for a Visa – There are a different list of requirements depending on the type of visa you are applying for. If you are moving to Poland for work reasons then you will need to provide proof of your job offer alongside other documents like expenses covered and the last 6 months bank statements as well as the obvious like your passport. If you are applying for your spouse and children you will need to provide proof of all of this as well.

Schools – There is a high standard of education in Poland with tests producing better results than the US, UK France and Germany but you should be aware that public schools can get very overcrowded so the individual development of students can suffer. That said there are good international schools for English speaking students.

Register your arrival – Upon arrival in Poland all expats must register for a tax identification number (NIP). This can be applied for at any local public tax offices.

Administration – When you arrive in a new country you will need to set up a bank account. This enables you to order local products and services and set up direct debits for this service. You can then set up something called Transferwise to enable the transfer of funds from your native bank account to your new Polish account.
Removals and Storage– Hopefully if you are planning a permanent move to Poland you will have gone ahead beforehand to check out the situation with your accommodation and measure up. You need to make the proper storage arrangements if you aren’t taking all of your belongings to begin with and you will need to arrange for an international moving company to move the belongings that you are planning to take.
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Transport – The transport network in Poland is relatively well developed with a good rail network and trains running between the major cities. There is also the option for you to hire a city bike which you collect from one location and drop back to another. One airport serves Poland so you need to make sure you book your flights in plenty of time. If you are going to buy or rent a car you should be aware that the road structure is underdeveloped compared to many other countries and compared to the US, the cost of running a car is high.

Connectivity – Before you move to Poland it is advisable to check out the internet providers, cable or satellite TV providers and landline/broadband offerings. Check out the major suppliers and work out who offers the best service and the most affordable. It is much easier to try and arrange these things before you move when you have access to the internet.

Healthcare – Some countries offer a National Health Service to all residents – take the UK who are reputed for their NHS. Unfortunately whilst healthcare is good in Poland it is important for expats to have comprehensive healthcare insurance and access to private healthcare. Make sure you do your research before you arrive in Poland and that you and your family are covered for all eventualities.

Finding out more about moving to Poland

There is more to find out about moving to Poland than we can relay on our pages here. There are so many things you will want to consider, research and explore – some of which can be done before you move and some of which you will learn once you arrive and start living in the country. To get the best start do as much research as you can about moving to Poland before you do actually make the move. It is much better to be aware of the pros and cons and any challenges you may face beforehand.

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