Non-EU students can enter Poland on the basis of a valid travel document (passport) and a visa. A student of a non-EU country has to obtain a visa from the Polish Consulate. A short-term visa entitles the holder to stay in Poland for up to 3 months, a long-term visa up to 1 year. Prolongation of a visa in Poland is possible only in unique cases or situation impossible to foresee while applying for the visa in the consulate. The visa can be prolonged only once.
The Schengen Visa
Poland is now a member of the Schengen Area so you can apply for the Schengen Visa in the Polish Consulate in your country. If you have a Schengen Visa you can freely travel around in the Schengen Area (most countries of the EU).
type D national visa - entitles you to stay in Poland legally for a period of usually up to 1 year; also having this type of visa, you can travel to other Schengen countries for max 3 months within a 6-month period.
Temporary Resident Permit
Notwithstanding the visa, after your coming to Poland you have to legalize your stay by applying for the temporary resident permit (TRP). All international students staying in Poland longer than three months need to obtain TRP. The permit is issued for the period of your stay in Poland, but not longer than two years (usually for one year). It can be prolonged.
International students staying in Poland must submit the application for residence permit at least 45 days before the date of visa stamp or current permit expires! Application form
NOTE! If the application is submitted less than 45 days before the date of visa stamp or a previous residence expires, an international student must leave Poland and wait for the decision abroad. In case the student doesn't respect this regulations the province governor has the right to reject his application.
Evidence of the permit is the Temporary Residence Card (TRC) - an identity card for foreigners in Poland and it (with a passport included) allows passing the border as often as you like without having a visa.