PESEL (Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności) is the name of identification number in the population evidence register.
On the 1st of March 2015, were made some changes in the law concerning issuing of the PESEL number. Previously, the most common way of getting PESEL number by foreigners was registration of residence for more than 3 months. PESEL number was issued automatically. The legal basis according to which a foreigner stayed in Poland was irrelevant, that means, it was not important whether foreigner stayed in Poland on the basis of a visa, temporary stay permit, or had any of the form of permanent stay permit.
At present, PESEL register collects – except the data concerning Polish citizens - the data of foreigners who reside in Poland in connection with:
• acquisition of permanent residence permit by a national of a Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland,
• acquisition of permanent residence permit by a family member of the above mentioned persons,
• granting a permanent residence permit,
• granting a permission for long-term resident of the European Union
• obtaining refugee status (including members of their families),
• obtaining subsidiary protection (including members of their families),
• obtaining asylum,
• obtaining consent for a tolerated stay,
• obtaining temporary protection,
• obtaining permission to stay due to humanitarian reasons.
A foreigner who has one of the indicated forms of residence may receive PESEL number. In these cases, PESEL is granted by a minister of internal affairs.
PESEL register may collect data of other persons not mentioned above, if on the basis of other legal acts they are obliged to obtain PESEL number. In this case it is necessary to indicate the regulation that describes the obligation of having PESEL number.
So, if we stay in Poland on the basis of any form of indefinite stay, PESEL number is granted ex officio. If we stay in Poland on a basis of a visa, temporary stay permit, visa-free travel, we must apply for PESEL number. It is mandatory to indicate the regulation that describe the obligation of having PESEL number.
The act of 24 September 2010 on the population record