WHAT, WHERE, HOW? – ADVICES AND TIPS
If you are not Polish, but you live or work in Poland, you will surely encounter many daily challenges. To make your life easier, here are some suggestions and tips to make you feel at home as soon as possible. Below you will find answers to some questions typically asked by foreigners in Poland. The list is not exhaustive. If you wish to find out more, for example where to go to handle a specific issue, what is the best pasta place in the city, or what are some nice venues for a Friday night, write to us. We will help you find out!
Department for Civil Affairs and Foreigners
Foreigners who intend to live or work in Silesia are able to handle most official issues at the Voivodship Office in the Department for Civil Affairs and Foreigners, Foreigner Division. The Division is located in the city centre at ul. Jagiellońska 25.
The following issues are handled by the Division:
- granting permits to foreigners:
- for temporary residence,
- for permanent residence,
- for long-term residence of an EU resident,
- recording invitations in an invitation registry,
- registering residence of EU citizens,
- issuing documents evidencing the right of permanent residence of EU citizens,
- issuing temporary or permanent residence cards to family members of EU citizens,
- issuing permits for foreigners to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland,
- granting cash benefits for the holders of a Polish Card who intend to permanently settle in Poland.
Office hours:- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
- Tuesday: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
The Department for Civil Affairs and Foreigners, Foreigner Division handles cases on a first-come first-served ticket basis. Tickets are issued until 3:00 PM (5:00 PM on Tuesdays), but due to the large number of customers, the system may stop issuing tickets before 3 PM (5:00 PM on Tuesdays). To have your issue considered, you need to collect a ticket (which also registers you in the queue).
To get more details, phone numbers and information relating to procedures, applications and necessary documents visit: http://www.katowice.uw.gov.pl/wdzsoic/sprawycudzoziemcow.html (website available in Polish, English and French).
The Katowice Tourist Information Centre is located at ul. Rynek 13.
Opening hours:- Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Sunday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Centre promotes the city and the region, and provides information to tourists, e.g. relating to cultural and sports events in the city. The centre also provides materials on the development of the city, its landmarks, tourist routes, museums, and various events organised in Katowice.
To find out more, visit: http://www.katowice.eu/miasto/turystyka-i-sport/centrum-informacji-turystycznej.
What to see in Katowice?
In our opinion, if you are in Katowice, you have to see, among others, the magical historical Nikiszowiec district (often chosen as a background for wedding couples!), Giszowiec (Technology Monuments Route), walk along the “Moderna Route” (leading through the 16 most precious modernist buildings in Katowice), see the Katowice Skyscraper, the Monument of the Silesian Insurgents, and the Generał Jerzy Ziętek Roundabout. Other places worth seeing are various cultural institutions, such as the Silesian Library, Stanisław Wyspiański Theatre, CINiBA Centre, Municipal Cultural Centre, Katowice History Museum, NOSPR, Silesian Philharmonic, Academy of Music, and Spodek – one of the most recognisable buildings in the city. You might also find Katowice churches interesting, in particular the Cathedral of Christ the King. To those who prefer nature and outdoor activities we recommend the Park of Silesia near Katowice (ZOO, amusement park, Silesian Stadium).
You will surely find Katowice tours captivating! To find out which attractions suit you best, visit the Tourist Information Centre and get folders, brochures, and maps that will help you explore the city and learn about its history and trivia.
Cinemas in Katowice
The Katowice offer for movie lovers is really diverse – those who enjoy blockbusters may visit e.g. shopping mall cinemas: Cinema City at “Silesia”, Multikino at Galeria Katowicka, Cinema City at Punkt 44, or IMAX at ul. Gliwicka, while aficionados of small cinemas will find Kinoteatr Rialto, Światowid, Helios, Kosmos enjoyable.
We particularly recommend the Kosmos cinema, located at ul. Sokolska 66 – it shows, among others, Polish movies with English subtitles, which may be a great idea for those who are learning Polish!
If you decide to start learning Polish, you need to choose a teacher or school that offers Polish courses for foreigners. This is the crucial step: your decision should be well thought-out. You might wish to compare various schools and consider your preferences. You can ask yourself questions like: “Do I prefer to learn alone or in a group?”, “Do I find online classes as motivating as face-to-face meetings at school?”, “What is my preferable pace of learning?”, “What are my priorities? Small groups, proven teachers?”
At the beginning you might want to browse for and review the available offers. At first glance they will certainly be different in terms of price, but this is not the whole story. Compare the number of hours of various courses, their start dates, learning methods, group sizes, available options (e.g. an e-learning platform, possibility of having individual consultations with the teacher, etc.), and ask about formalities: what if you find it necessary to quit the course (will you get a refund?), how cancelling a class is handled, can payments be made in instalments, etc. Before making a final decision, review the opinions about the school and talk to its employees.
Please see the Courses tab to find out our offer of courses of Polish for foreigners. We also look forward to your visit to our school, where we will gladly discuss with you your preferable form of learning the language, even before you make a decision on signing up to a course of Polish for foreigners.
Where can I have an official document translated?
In Katowice and its surroundings, there are a number of translation agencies and individual translators. To order a translation service, usually you just need to contact an agency or a translator, agree the terms, pay for the service, and, after some time collect the translated document. Bear in mind that documents required by offices usually need to be translated by a certified translator only.
How do I know which offer to choose?
In our opinion, it is best to use proven and experienced agencies and translators that have appropriate licences and specialise in the relevant field. The advantage of good translation agencies is that they provide translation services for various languages, and that you can be sure that they will commission the translation to verified professionals. In other words, you do not have to worry that your document will be translated by a person with no experience. On the contrary – professional translation agencies make an effort to have a permanent pool of proven contractors whose services are at a level satisfactory for customers.
If you wish to know more, please see the Extra services tab, or contact our office (note: submitting a text for a quotation is always free with us and does not oblige you to place an order).