Before leaving, think about how to increase your safety while traveling. Learn as much as possible about the place you are going to and about its customs. Basic information can be found in the “Travel information” tab .
- When going abroad, always remember about travel insurance – buy a policy in a reliable insurance company tailored to your needs and holiday plans. Extend your policy to cover medical transportation costs.
- If you travel to one of the Member States of the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) – obtain a free European Health Insurance Card at the nearest branch of the National Health Fund, entitling you to basic treatment in these countries.
- If you go to exotic countries, remember about vaccinations – for detailed and up-to-date information on vaccinations, contact the provincial sanitary and epidemiological station or a specialist in tropical medicine.
- Inform the family about the purpose of the trip, leave them a plan with the expected dates of stay, addresses and telephone numbers of contact persons, etc. Register your trip in the MFA “Odysseusz” system , which will enable contact with you in the event of a crisis.
- Keep in touch with your family (phone, e-mail, SMS). Before leaving, determine when and for how long there may be breaks in contacts, so as not to cause anxiety.
- In exceptional cases, if you are traveling alone and you are concerned that you may find yourself in a difficult situation, arrange with your family a special password or code that you will use in a telephone call or correspondence to let you know that you are in danger.
- Take contact details (telephones, addresses) of Polish consular offices in the countries you are visiting. The list of contact details can be found in the “Polish representative offices in the world” tab .
- If you feel threatened where you are abroad (someone is following you, threatening you), contact the nearest police station immediately. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Loss of travel document
- If you lose your passport or ID card, contact the consular office. Upon your request, the consul, after confirming the data and identity, may issue a temporary passport to return to the place of permanent residence. To issue a temporary passport, you will need your application (available at the consular office) and one color photo (when traveling abroad, it is worth taking a valid passport photo and a copy of your travel document).
- Remember that the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland does not issue temporary passports.
- Remember that any passport or ID card reported as lost will be invalidated. The recovered travel document, previously reported as lost, should be returned to the passport authority that issued it or to the consul.
- If you have lost your funds, you can use the help of the nearest Polish consular office. The consul will facilitate contact with relatives or friends who will send you money through a bank or a company that provides such services.
- In justified cases, if there is no other possibility of transferring the money, the consul may withdraw the amount to be transferred by relatives or friends to the account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- In particularly justified cases, the consul may provide financial assistance necessary to return to Poland by the cheapest means of transport, provided that you undertake in writing to return the assistance upon return.
- Transferring money by Polish consular offices is limited to exceptional situations, as money can be sent to the vast majority of countries via bank. There are also companies in the country that provide paid money transfer services abroad, which almost immediately after confirming the operation, pay the equivalent of the amount paid in Poland.
Detention / arrest
- If you are detained, arrested or imprisoned, you have the right to request contact with the consul. The consul will make sure that you are not treated worse by local authorities than citizens of other countries.
- At your request, the consul will notify your family about your situation, will keep in touch with you, obtain from local authorities and provide you with information about the reasons for your detention, the court procedure and the estimated amount of the penalty you may face. They will also provide you with a list of local attorneys from which you can select and engage a legal representative yourself.
- If a loved one is missing, immediately contact the nearest police station in the country where you are staying and report it accordingly. Ask the family to report the missing person also in Poland to the police unit in the place of permanent residence of the wanted person.
- Contact the consul of the Republic of Poland who, by contacting the local authorities, will help you check whether the person you are looking for is in a hospital or arrest.
- If there is an NGO in your country dealing with missing persons, contact them and report them accordingly.
- Contact the ITAKA Foundation (support line +48 22 654 70 70).
- In the event of death, the consul, through the Provincial Office, notifies the family of the deceased in the country and provides assistance in completing formalities on the spot.
- In the event of a decision to bring the body to Poland, the related costs are borne by the insurer, and in the absence of adequate insurance – the family. The consulate cannot finance the transport of the body to Poland.
No Polish representative office
- If you are staying in a country outside the European Union, where there is no Polish embassy or professional consulate – you have the right to consular assistance from representations of other European Union Member States on an equal basis with citizens of these countries.
- In the event of loss or theft of documents, the EU consul may issue an Emergency Travel Document (ETD), which will allow you to return to your place of permanent residence.
What can you not expect from a consul?
What can you not expect from a consul?
When traveling abroad, obey the laws and customs of the country you are visiting. Don’t forget that you are a guest there and the hosts expect appropriate behavior from you.
Remember that the consul operates within the law and will not always be able to help you.
Remember that the consul:
- does not regulate financial obligations, such as: debts, fines, tickets, costs of court proceedings, including the services of an attorney, etc.,
- is not acting as an attorney and will not engage a local attorney on your behalf
- does not provide services provided by travel agencies, banks, insurance companies and transport companies (e.g. it does not rebook your ticket if the flight is canceled),
- does not act as an intermediary in obtaining employment consent and in finding accommodation,
- does not intervene in the event of conflicts arising from the failure to comply with civil law contracts concluded by you (regarding, for example, employment relationship, purchase of tourist services, air tickets, etc.).