Buying land for foreigners is always a challenge. Permits, requirements, decisions… real estate expert Nataliia Novyk on behalf of the Foundation Ukraine will explain to migrants the process of purchasing agricultural plots and real estate with land in Poland. We invite you to read the article.
The amount of foreigners who buy real estate (flat, house, agricultural and forest land) increases every year. The acquisition process is not complicated, basically it is enough to supply documentary evidence, namely sources of financial resources and legal stay, as well as to visit a notary public office. As long as the dream property does not include share in the ownership of land.
Purchase of an apartment with an access road
One of the most common problems foreigners face when buying a flat which does not require permit, is a situation when buying such a flat requires to get a permit for participation in land ownership. In most cases, buying a flat also means participation in ownership of access roads, or common parts of the housing estate. This situation occurs very often in multi-occupied buildings – the so-called blocks. While one apartment located in a block located on a plot of 500 square meters has an assigned share of the access road or a share in the land of the said plot – often both factors. The separate permit is required in any number of share participation, even if it is 7/1000, foreigners outside EEA (European Economic Area) must get a separate permit. In order to obtain this permit, a number of procedural requirements must be met.
When a permit from the Ministry of Interior and Administration is required?
The main principle of acquisition of real estate by foreigners states that those individuals need to obtain a permit. This concerns private non-Polish individuals, except for foreigners coming from countries of the European Economic Area (hereinafter referred to as EEA). The permit is issued by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration (hereinafter MIAA) in the form of an administrative decision.
According to the Act from March 24, 1920, on the acquisition of real estate by foreigners (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 2278), a foreigner requires a permit in case of the purchase of:
– real estate located in the border zone;
– agricultural and forest land;
– parcel of land (both developed and undeveloped properties).
Who is exempt from the obligation to obtain a permit to purchase real estate?
Companies and individuals who operate in the EEA (European Economic Area) or foreigners with the aim to buy an independent flat in order to meet the basic housing needs or garage can purchase real estate in Poland without a permit.
The law also provides for several other options for an exemption from the requirement to obtain a permit :
– real estate only for a foreigner with a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU residence permit who has lived in Poland for at least five years from obtaining these permits;
– real estate belonging to a joint ownership of property – only for a foreigner married to a Polish citizen, who had lived for at least 2 years from the obtained permanent residence permit or a long-term EU residence permit in Poland.
Requirements for the purchased space
It is also important to keep in mind that the area of the real estate being purchased cannot exceed 0.5 ha. This property can be purchased for housing and living needs. However, when purchasing real estate for business purposes, the size can be larger than 0.5 ha. However, the entrepreneur must prove that his business requires property size to be bigger than 0.5.
Premises for issuing a permit by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration
The permit is issued if two conditions are met. Firstly, the acquisition of real estate by a foreigner must not pose a threat to the defence, state security or public order, and it must not be a threat to the social policy of the country. In short, a foreigner must prove that he has no criminal record. Secondly, the foreigner must prove his ties with the Republic of Poland.
Application Instructions and Requirements
The application for a permit must be sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration alongside with the necessary documentation and confirmation of the payment of 1570.00 PLN. The application should be accompanied by certified copy of the entry in Land and Mortgage Register, extract of a property map, memorandum of agreement or promised contract, sellers title to the property, copy of the buyer’s documents including the copy of residence card and the decision letter, proof of sources of buyer’s funds, copy of annual declaration of the buyer, in case of a marriage – both spouses.
It is worth emphasizing that there is no template of the application form. However, on the main website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, there is information about what elements it must contain. There is also a list of documents needed to obtain the required permit.
In addition, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration may at any time request other documents necessary to consider the case. If there are deficiencies in the application, the applicant will be requested to complete them. The deadline for supplementing formal deficiencies is 7 days. Documents in a foreign language must be submitted together with a translation into Polish made by a sworn translator
The Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration requests the opinion of the Minister of National Defence, and if the foreigner intends to purchase agricultural land, also the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The waiting time for the application consideration and the validity period of the obtained permit
The procedure for issuing such a permit in accordance with the codex lasts no longer than two months. This counts from the date of initiation of the procedure, in case all the required documents are submitted with the application. Unfortunately, in reality, proceedings take much longer. Sometimes the waiting period is up to a year. It is necessary to keep this in mind and warn seller beforehand.
The permit is valid for 2 years from issuing date and applies to a specific property and may specify additional conditions for its purchase.
If the foreigner does not have the selected real estate, he can apply for a promissory note
However, a foreigner intending to purchase real estate in Poland may also apply for a so-called promise-permit. The promise-permit is valid for one year from issuing date and during this period the authority cannot refuse to issue the regular permit, unless the factual circumstances of a given case have changed. Government fee for issuing such a promise-permit is 98.00 PLN.
When does the decision come into effect?
The whole procedure does not end with receiving a decision. A foreigner must submit an appropriate application for issuing an administrative certificate which confirms that the decision is final and binding. After receiving the certificate, a foreigner can finalize the process of real estate purchase and conclude a notarial act. Government fee for issuing such a certificate is 17.00 PLN.
What to do if the decision is negative?
In case of receiving a negative decision, a foreigner can appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration within 14 days from the date of delivery of the decision, as well as a complaint to the voivodeship administrative court.
At the same time, when a negative decision would become final a foreigner can apply for a refund of the government fee to the local municipality.
Can purchase of real estate in Poland be the basis for application for Polish citizenship or residence permit in Poland?
Well, a foreigner can state it as a reason in application for TRP based on other circumstances, however in practice immigration offices do not issue residency permits purely on a fact of purchase of real estate in Poland, unlike in countries like Malta, Bulgaria or Cyprus.
The so-called golden passport procedure allows a foreigner to apply for citizenship in the country in which the property was purchased. However, it should be pointed out that the European commission started to regulate legal acts related to the acquisition of citizenship through investment purchases.
Generally speaking, every foreigner outside the EEA must obtain a relevant permit from the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration.
In order to obtain help in completing the procedure of purchasing real estate or any number of share participation, it is worth to use the help of professionals who will help the foreigner through the procedures and advise on how to evade certain problems with the purchase by acting in accordance with the letter of the law.
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This article has been written within the framework of the reSTART project, which is co-financed by the National Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund Programme and the state budget.