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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • POSSIBILITY OF LEGALIZING STAY IN POLAND

  • Possibility of legalizing a stay in Poland

     

    We present the types of residence permits that a foreigner can request in Poland (the provisions come into force on May 1, 2014).

     

    Temporary residence

     

    The new act introduces significant changes in the chapter on temporary residence permits, especially for persons coming to work in Poland.

    Temporary residence permits are issued for a period ranging from three months to three years.

    The application for temporary residence is examined by the Voivodeship Office competent for the place of residence of the foreigner.It is not possible to submit an application via a Polish consulate.

    In accordance with the provisions, the application may be filed in Poland only.

    Fingerprinting the foreigner is a prerequisite for the consideration of the application.

     

    To obtain a temporary residence permit, the foreigner has to demonstrate the need to stay in Poland for a period of more than three months. The reason for such a stay can be a job in Poland, an economic activity, studies or research, a scientific activity, family ties or other causes.

    In each case, the foreigner must attach the documents confirming the purpose of his stay in Poland to his/her application.

     

    An application for temporary residence may not be filed by persons who:

    • have any type of protection in Poland: refugee status, subsidiary or temporary protection, a tolerated residence permit or a residence permit on humanitarian grounds or political asylum;

    • request a status of refugee or political asylum;

    • have permanent residence or long-term (EU) resident status;

    • reside in Poland on the basis of a Schengen visa issued for humanitarian reasons or due to the interest of the State.

    • have been arrested or are in a detention center;

    • voluntary return period , as specified in the decision on the obligation to return, has not yet expired;

    • are required to leave the territory of Poland following the refusal of renewal of a Schengen visa, a temporary or permanent residence permit (or the withdrawal of such a permit), refusal of international protection or withdrawal of a permit for humanitarian reasons.

     

    The Polish law provides for the following types of residence permits:

    Temporary residence permit and work permit

    A standard permit which gives right to foreigners to stay and work in Poland. It is intended for foreigners who need a work permit to find a job in Poland. To obtain this type of permit, the foreigner should have (in Poland):

    • a stable and regular source of income to meet his/her own needs and those of his family,

    • health insurance within the meaning of the provisions on universal health insurance or a confirmation of coverage by the insurer for medical expenses in the territory of Poland.

    • a guaranteed place of stay,

    • the foreigner’s employer is unable to find anybody available on the local labour market (among Polish people or foreigners present in Poland and already having the right to work). This permit is issued to perform a particular job for one employer. The loss of employment shall be communicated to the Office that issued the permit. The change of employer requires the foreigner to seek a new permit. Changing the position, receiving lower remuneration or any other change in working conditions requires amendments in the permit.

    This type of permit can be requested only by certain groups of foreigners.

    Temporary residence permit for work in highly skilled professions (EU blue card)

    It is a permit for skilled workers who have a highly qualified job in Poland. To have it granted, it is necessary, among other things, to have a contract of employment for a period of at least 1 year, high enough income, and the qualifications required. The permit may be granted for the maximum period of 3 years. It is granted for a period of about three months more than the period of employment, but no more than 3 years.

    This permit is issued to start working for a particular employer under certain conditions. A change in working conditions within two years from the date of permit requires notification of the Office that issued it. The change of employer requires the foreigner to seek a new permit. Non-compliance with these obligations may result in the withdrawal of the permit.

    Temporary residence permit for work by a foreigner delegated by a foreign employer in the territory of the Republic of Poland

    A special type of permit for foreign delegates in Poland. It is granted to foreigners who have a work permit (if necessary), a source of stable and steady income, health insurance within the meaning of the provisions on universal health insurance or a confirmation of coverage by the insurer of the cost of the treatments on the territory of Poland and a guaranteed place of stay in Poland.

    Temporary residence permit for the purpose of business activity

    A permit for people who carry on business activity. New rules determine, more precisely, all the requirements to be met by a company or a business so that the foreigner who conducts it can get a residence permit in Poland to manage his/her business. In addition to the standard requirements for foreigners (a stable source of income, insurance, housing), the applicant must also demonstrate that the company has a positive impact on the Polish economy, namely:

    • during the year preceding the application, the company’s revenues were not less than 12 Times the average monthly wage in the Voivodeship, where the undertaking is established, or;

    • it employs at least two workers for an indefinite period (full-time). The workers must be Polish or foreigners who are entitled to work without authorization in Poland, or;

    • the company has the funds to meet one of these conditions in the future, or carries on activities that allow it to meet them in the future.

    These provisions apply also to individual businesses (self-employed persons).

    Temporary residence permit to study

    This type of permit is intended only for full-time (BA, Master) students or PhD students. It is not intended for part-time students or students in non-university institutions. A student requesting this type of permit has to demonstrate that he/she has been admitted to the University and that he has paid tuition fees (if necessary). The foreigner is obliged to have health insurance and funds to cover the cost of life in Poland and return travel to the country of origin or residence. The permit may also be granted to the person who takes a preparation course to begin studies in Polish and meets the above requirements. The first permit is issued for a period of 15 months (the period of the academic year or the preparatory course, extended for a period of three months). A new permit may be granted for the maximum period of 3 years. Interruption of studies entails withdrawal of the permit. If the student has failed the first year, he/she may lose the permit as well. Universities are required to inform Voivodeship Offices if a foreigner has lost his/her student status.

    Temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting scientific research

    It is a form of temporary residence for foreign researchers. It can be requested on the basis of a contract on a research project between a foreigner and a scientific unit approved in Poland (a foreigner can have a contract, a contract of mandate [umowa zlecenie] or a contract of specific work [umowa o dzieło]). It is also necessary to provide in writing the commitment of the scientific unit to cover the costs of housing for the researcher in Poland, as well as cover the costs of his/her detention and the obligation to return if he/she stayed in Poland illegally for a period longer than provided for in the permit. This type of permit may also be granted to a scientist who holds a residence permit with the “researcher” annotation in another country of the European Union and conducts scientific research, confirmed by a contract concluded with a scientific unit in that country. In order to obtain the permit, a foreigner shall also attach all the documents to the request, confirming he/she has health insurance and sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of stay and return journey to the country of origin or residence, as well as a proof of his qualifications in the context of the planned research.

    Temporary residence permit for family members of citizens of the Republic of Poland and family members of foreigners

    Pursuant to Act on Foreigners, “family members” means only the spouse and minor children (aged under 18). This type of permit does not apply to other members of the family - siblings, adult children, parents or distant family members. The permit is for spouses and minor children of the spouses of Polish citizens or foreigners staying in Poland who have:

    • the right of permanent residence or long-term EU resident status,

    • refugee status, subsidiary or temporary protection, a tolerated residence permit or a residence permit on humanitarian grounds ;

    • a temporary residence permit for at least two years, provided that the last permit was issued for at least one year,

    • a temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting scientific research,

    • an EU blue card (residence permit for work in a highly skilled occupation).

    In addition, the foreigner who is being accompanied by his family has to demonstrate that he/she has a stable, regular and sufficient income source to meet his/her own needs and those of his family, health insurance within the meaning of the provisions on universal health insurance or a confirmation of coverage by the insurer of the cost of treatment on the territory of Poland and a place of stay. This obligation does not apply only to foreigners who have international protection in Poland (refugee status or subsidiary protection), provided that the application for a residence permit was filed for the family, within 6 months of the date where they obtained this protection.

    Stay on the Polish territory of foreigners who are victims of trafficking in human beings

    A foreigner, for whom there is a presumption that he/she is a victim of trafficking in human beings, receives a certificate to that effect. This certificate legalizes the stay of the foreigner in Poland for three months (four months in case of minors). The certificate ceases to be a document legalizing the stay if the foreigner knowingly, voluntarily and on his/her own initiative, establishes contact with persons suspected of having committed offences relating to trafficking in human beings. If the victim of trafficking in human beings, while in Poland, breaks contact with those suspected of committing this crime and cooperates with law enforcement agencies, he/she may request a residence permit for victims of trafficking. This permit is issued for a period of at least 6 months for a maximum period of three years.

    Short term residence permit

    In exceptional cases, a foreigner can apply for temporary residence due to circumstances that require a short-term stay in Poland. It may be issued for a period of up to six months. This permit may be issued when a foreigner is required to appear before a court in Poland, where their presence in Poland is required due to the interests of the Polish State and when the circumstances of foreigner make it necessary.

    Temporary residence permit due to other circumstances

    It is a type of permit issued in a variety of situations which are not described above.

    This permit is issued, inter alia:

    • to foreign unaccompanied minors,

    • to holders of the status of long-term resident (EU) in another Member State who, in Poland, intend to work or carry out an economic activity, complete studies or vocational training, or have other reasons to stay in Poland, as well as to members of their families,

    • refugee status, subsidiary or temporary protection, a tolerated residence permit or a residence permit on humanitarian grounds ;

    • a temporary residence permit for at least two years, provided that the last permit was issued for at least one year,

    • a temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting scientific research,

    • an EU blue card (residence permit for work in a highly skilled occupation).

    In addition, the foreigner who is being accompanied by his family has to demonstrate that he/she has a stable, regular and sufficient income source to meet his/her own needs and those of his family, health insurance within the meaning of the provisions on universal health insurance or a confirmation of coverage by the insurer of the cost of treatment on the territory of Poland and a place of stay.

    This obligation does not apply only to foreigners who have international protection in Poland (refugee status or subsidiary protection), provided that the application for a residence permit was filed for the family, within 6 months of the date where they obtained this protection.

     

    Temporary residence permit due to other circumstances

    It is a type of permit issued in a variety of situations which are not described above.

    This permit is issued, inter alia:

    • to foreign unaccompanied minors,

    • to holders of the status of long-term resident (EU) in another Member State who, in Poland, intend to work or carry out an economic activity, complete studies or vocational training, or have other reasons to stay in Poland, as well as to members of their families, of a foreigner. Polish law provides for two forms of residence for an indefinite period:

    • permanent residence (issued among others to spouses of Polish citizens, holders of the Pole’s Card, persons covered by international protection or tolerated stay, and children of Polish citizens and foreigners who have the permanent right of residence in Poland or long-term EU residence status)

    • EU long-term residence permit (for those staying in Poland for at least five years, having insurance and a stable source of income in Poland).

    Permanent and temporary residence applications shall be submitted to the Voivodeship Office, competent for the place of residence of the foreigner who submits an application. It is not possible to file an application from abroad.

     

    Residence permit in special cases

    Poland provides for the possibility of legalization of a foreigner in particular cases, if obliging the foreigner to return was against the provisions of international law. Polish law provides for two forms of legalization:

    • Residence permit for humanitarian reasons, issued to foreign nationals when this is essential because of the need to protect the life, liberty or security of the person concerned, in accordance with the Rome Convention of 1950, as well as in situations where the fact of forcing the foreigner to return would violate the right to family or private life or the rights of the child.

    • Permit for tolerated stay issued to foreigners when it is not possible to oblige the foreigner to return for other reasons. The two permits are issued by the Border Guard ex officio (it is not possible to request these forms of legalization of stay) under the procedure aimed at obliging the foreigner to return.

     

    Protection of foreigners on the territory of Poland

    Poland provides for several forms of protection for foreigners. The provisions in this regard are included in a separate act on the protection of foreigners. It provides for the possibility of granting political asylum to foreigners, refugee status, and subsidiary protection. The applications in these cases are reviewed by the Office for Foreigners.

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