As of 1 January 2018, the rules for issuance of PESEL numbers to foreigners in Poland have changed. According to art. 7 of the Census Act the PESEL register contains, among other things, data on foreigners living in the Republic of Poland. This means that a PESEL number will be given to every foreigner residing in Poland. Foreigners planning short-term stays are excluded from this regulation.
According to art. 41 of this Act, a foreigner residing in Poland is required to register himself/herself:
The new rules allow for the possibility of such registration to be made electronically. The entry of the data into the PESEL register itself will be carried out by the competent authority according to the place of permanent or temporary residence of the foreigner. The PESEL is issued automatically in such a situation. Obtaining of a PESEL number is not, however, obligatory for the purposes of legally residing and working in Poland. In the long run, however, it may be required. The PESEL is the basic tax ID number. Persons who are not registered in the PESEL register may apply for assignment of a NIP number which has the same function. However, a PESEL number is useful for everyday matters (for instance when signing contracts) and sometimes it may even be essential.
The Act provides that the PESEL register may contain data of persons obliged, under separate regulations, to have a PESEL number. Therefore a PESEL number can be issued upon request. In such a case, the application should indicate the legal basis, i.e. indicate the regulation which specifies the requirement for a PESEL number. The competent authority to deal with applications for PESEL numbers in the case of the foreigner not being registered is the authority competent for the employer's registered office. If it is impossible to determine the competent authority of the commune, then an application should be submitted to the commune authority responsible for the Śródmieście district of Warsaw.
It is also possible to submit an application for granting of a PESEL number through a proxy acting on behalf of the principal. The proxy is obliged to attach to the application a written power of attorney, along with confirmation of payment of stamp duty on the power of attorney. The authority may also call for the submission of an original or a certified copy of the passport, or identity card in the case of a citizen of the European Union.
It is difficult to determine the established practice in this respect, especially since the issue is relatively new and the number of applications may grow rapidly.return