PESEL number is an eleven-digit numeric code used to identify individuals. PESEL (Polish: Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności, Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population) is one of the main state registers in Poland. The system contains information about Polish citizens and foreigners who have obtained this unique identification number. The PESEL number can be required in a variety of situations – for example, when interacting with government authorities, medical institutions or banks, as well as when solving many other issues in everyday life.
PESEL for foreigners
Foreigners are not formally required to have a PESEL number to legalize their stay in Poland or to get access to the labor market. In practice, however, it makes life in Poland much easier. Foreigners can receive a PESEL number automatically, if they register their residence in Poland for a stay of more than 30 days. If you cannot register your residence, but you need a PESEL number (for example, some public institution requires you to provide it), you should submit an application to the relevant municipal office (urząd gminy). You can do it either in person or by proxy acting on your behalf. You will also need to bring documents confirming your identity and other information included in the application. In addition, the application should state the legal basis, from which the obligation to obtain a PESEL number results. Note that if any office (e.g. ZUS or tax office) requires you to have a PESEL number, it should also specify the legal basis for such requirement.
Where to obtain a PESEL number
If you can register your residence:
- go to the municipal office (urząd gminy) of the place of your residence (where you have registered residence or where you wish to do so)
If you cannot register your residence, but you need a PESEL number:
- go to the municipal office of the place of residence of your employer, or
- go to the Office of the District of Śródmieście (Urząd Dzielnicy Śródmieście) of Warsaw (Leona Kruczkowskiego 2) – if you are not employed or your employer is based outside Poland.
Obtaining a PESEL number is free of charge.
Get it done with us!
Do you need assistance with obtaining a PESEL number?
In the time of coronavirus, our Help Center for Foreigners will help you remotely! Send an e-mail to: [email protected] and put „PESEL number” in the subject line.
The assistance we provide is free of charge.
The „Get it done” series is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund National Program within the „CPC III” project.
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