Learning the language may be a great help in developing a social life in Poland. The official language of Poland is Polish and 98% of the population speak it. The other 2% speak one of the minority languages – German, Ukrainian or Belarusian. Polish originated in the areas of present-day Poland from several local Western Slavic dialects, and shares some vocabulary with Slovak, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Czech languages.
Most younger people can speak English as English is taught in school. Older people learned Russian instead of English, so their English may be more basic. The great thing is that if you have children they do seem able to absorb languages easily, and unless your Polish is very good they will soon be translating for you. (more…)
In proportion to avarge income, the cost of living in Poland is one of the highest in the European Union. For a British national however, both day-to-day costs and property prices will seem extraordinarily affordable.
Buying a House in Poland
There are no restrictions on buying a house for permanent residence and land up to 0.5 hectares if you are moving to Poland from UK. You can lease land or property with no restrictions, if for over a year you need a written agreement. Try to get an English-speaking lawyer or a translator. In any case, sign nothing unless you fully understand it, the documents will be written in Polish. These are the steps usually taken: (more…)
Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton relocating to Poland from the UK.
There are no restrictions on the amount of currency you may bring in; medication must be for personal use only. Alcohol and tobacco are restricted and you can find full details at Iata Travel Centre.
You need to get a residence permit for a fixed period of time and then register your place of residence. (more…)
If you are moving to Poland from UK you should know about two traditions of Poland. A Marzanna is a straw doll about 3 feet tall, dressed in rags, a striped shirt and lots of ribbons. When spring arrives and the snows start to melt, the people dress in costume and escort the doll to the river – where they throw her in, thus killing the winter. Legend goes that once there lived a young man, whose faith was so great that he saved the life of a girl who was to be sacrificed to appease the god of Flood and Storm.
During Wianki in Midsummer wreaths with candles in are floated on the waters. If it floats to the lady on the other side – she will find love – but if it circles three times, she will be unlucky in love. This was a pre-Christian fertility rite for the Slavic goddess of love and the harvest. The water represents purification. This used to also have a bonfire jumping ceremony connected with it. (more…)
If you are a pensioner, you need to inform the IPC (International Pension Centre) to prevent problems with your pension payments (tel. 0191 218 7777). Public health care in Poland is organised in such a way that healthcare premiums are subtracted from pensions.
Poland has double taxation agreements with the UK so you will not be taxed twice – provided you ensure that the tax offices are aware of your circumstances. You can arrange to have your pension paid directly into your Polish bank account, and still benefit from the increases as if you still lived in Britain. Contact HMRC and your pension providers well before you leave the UK
If you’ve only worked, lived or are working abroad then you must claim the State Pension through the relevant authority of the country where you currently live and have worked in.
Health Care in Poland
Your employer will arrange healthcare insurance, or you can do this yourself for private healthcare insurance. (more…)
Despite its long coastline, Poland has few passenger ferries. Driving in Poland can be troublesome, so trains are likely to be your main means of transport for any distance. They are not expensive and usually prompt. There are likely to be queues at the ticket office, so leave time to buy your ticket. If you haven’t managed to buy one before boarding the train, find the conductor and buy your ticket then. There will be a small supplement to pay, but less than the fine. The personnel probably will not speak English, so have your destination, time and first class (pierwsza) or second class (druga) written out. (more…)