New immigration law provides legal stay, work authorization to Ukrainians
16 Mar 22
The Polish government has implemented new immigration measures for Ukrainian citizens fleeing their country because of the Russian invasion.
- Under a law that took effect Monday, Ukrainian citizens who left Ukraine because of the Russian invasion can remain in Poland until Aug. 24, 2023. This policy also applies to non-Ukrainian spouses of Ukrainian citizens who entered Poland from Ukraine on or after Feb. 24.
- Ukrainian citizens can cross the Poland-Ukraine border during this time but must not leave Poland for more than one month in order to maintain a right to stay in Poland.
- Ukrainian citizens who want to extend their stay in Poland past Aug. 24, 2023, can file an application for a three-year temporary residence permit. Applications can be filed after nine months of entering the country, but not later than Aug. 24, 2023.
- Ukrainian citizens who have crossed into Poland but do not have a stamp in their passport or another document confirming entry, should visit the nearest municipal office to register their entry into Poland. This should be done no more than 60 days after entry.
- These provisions do not apply to Ukrainians who have applied for international protection (refugee status) in Poland or who have said they intend to. Ukrainian citizens should withdraw applications for international protection if they want to benefit for the new rules on legal stay.
- Until further notice, citizens of countries other than Ukraine can enter Poland from Ukraine on the basis of a passport or identity document. Their right to reside and work in Poland is governed by the rules applicable to nationals of their country.
- The right to work and reside in Poland will not change for Ukrainian citizens who already hold a permanent residence permit, a long-term EU residence permit or refugee status.
- Ukrainian citizens who crossed the border on Feb. 24 or later will have the right to work during the length of their legal stay in Poland. They will also be able to apply for national identity (PESEL) numbers. Ukrainian citizens with a PESEL number have the right to set up a business under the same terms as Polish citizens.
BAL Analysis: Poland’s new law marks a commitment to providing assistance to Ukrainian citizens fleeing Ukraine following the Russian invasion. Poland is among a number of countries that have adopted special immigration measures for Ukrainians. The U.S., for example, recently announced that Ukraine would be designated for Temporary Protected Status and has waived COVID-19 entry requirements for some travelers. BAL will continue to follow the global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
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