Poland has declared an official state of epidemic emergency and, effective immediately, will suspend all foreign nationals from entering the country. Immigration services, at both consular and local posts, will be limited in the coming weeks as the government continues to implement measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Key points:

  • Immigration services limited. Local immigration authorities will halt all appointments in the coming weeks. While already submitted applications will be processed, all scheduled appointments are put on hold and authorities are requesting that applicants submit their documents by post rather than submit in person. New appointment dates will not be issued until further notice.
  • International travel suspended. Foreign nationals are banned from entering Poland. The ban took effective yesterday for an initial 10 days and may be extended by an additional 20 days. Permanent and temporary residents, EU/EEA nationals with free access to the Polish labor market, and spouses and children of Polish nationals are exempt from the ban but are subject to quarantine upon arrival.
  • Returning Polish nationals subject to 14-day quarantine. Beginning yesterday, returning Polish nationals and admitted foreigners entering Poland are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Business closures. Restaurants, clubs, bars, and churches, among other businesses, will be closed until further notice to increase social distancing and prevent further spread of the virus.
  • Polish consulate closures. Polish consulates in India will be closed starting today until further notice and immigration appointments will be canceled. Consulate closures also apply in Ukraine, Russia, Italy, China (Wuhan) and other locations, where entry visa applications will not be processed until further notice.

Background: The new travel restrictions expand upon previous measures made last week that introduced sanitary checks at all land borders and required travelers entering the country to complete a written declaration of period and place of stay upon arrival.

Analysis & Comments: Poland is taking serious steps to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus that will have a significant impact on immigration and inbound travel. Employers should expect delays in immigration processing, especially for temporary residence permits and renewal applications, in the coming weeks. Deloitte is strongly urging companies to have employees work from home for the next two weeks to help contain the spread of the virus, and will alert clients to additional changes as information becomes available.

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