close

  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REUNIFICATION

  •  

    Marriage, family reunification and legalization of stay in Poland

     

    The Polish Act on foreigners provides for two types of temporary residence for family members -

    temporary residence permit for family members of Polish citizens and temporary residence permit

    to family members of foreigners.

    Within the meaning of the Act on Foreigners, “family members” include 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. They can, however, apply for temporary

    residence permits issued due to other circumstances (family ties).

    The situation of unaccompanied children in Poland that have international protection in Poland is

    considered as exceptional. In their case, close family also means parents who can benefit from temporary

    residence permit to family members of foreigners.

    In the case where the request concerns legalization of residence of a child, it has to be filed by the

    parent(s) or guardian(s) appointed by the court and, in the case of an unaccompanied child, it shall

    be done by a court appointed care officer.

    As a general rule, the members of the family have the possibility of requesting a permanent residence

    permit only after several years of stay in Poland.

     

    Legalization of stay of spouses of Polish citizens

     

    Spouses of Polish citizens may apply for a temporary residence permit for family members of Polish

    citizens. This residence permit may be requested by spouses of Polish citizens when marriage with

    a Polish citizen is considered valid under Polish law.

    The procedure for the spouse of a Polish citizen is simplified. Under the procedure, the applicant is

    not required to have health insurance or a source of stable and regular income. She/ He must not

    show that he/she has a guaranteed place of stay in Poland.

    The Act at the same time contains many provisions to prevent the phenomenon of marriages to

    circumvent the provisions concerning migration. A false marriage is a basis for refusal to grant

    a residence permit and for its withdrawal.

    Under the new rules, an application for temporary residence, also in the case of spouses of Polish

    citizens, may be lodged only in Poland. It is no longer possible to request a residence permit through

    consulates.

    Foreign spouses now have the possibility of applying for permanent residence in Poland after three

    years of marriage, provided that two years before submitting the request, they lived in Poland on the

    basis of a temporary residence permit.

    Recognized marriages in Poland

    Legalization of stay in Poland on the basis of a marriage is possible only when the marriage is

    recognized as valid in Poland. Typically, Poland recognizes marriages compliant with the law

    of the State which they come from, and legally established couples in Poland. Customary marriages

    are not recognized. Not all religious marriages are recognized in Poland.

    Poland does not recognize same-sex marriages. Polygamous marriages are illegal in Poland and

    having more than one spouse at the same time is punishable by law.

     

    Informal couples

     

    The law provides for the possibility of granting a residence permit for a member of the family in the

    case of informal couples. A foreigner is, however, required to demonstrate that:

    • she/he have a family life with a Polish citizen,

    • he/she has 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.

    • he/she has a regular and stable income source

    • he/she has a guaranteed place of stay,

     

    Termination of a relationship

     

    The Act gives the possibility of granting a temporary residence permit to a foreigner in the case of

    divorce, separation or death of the spouse. When the request is made after a divorce or separation,

    the foreigner has to demonstrate that granting a residence permit is motivated by his/her relevant

    interest. This permit may be granted only once for a maximum period of 3 years.

     

    Refusal to grant a residence permit

    The permit is not granted if the procedure shows that the marriage, which is the basis for granting

    a residence permit, was contracted only to circumvent the law (fictitious marriage).

    The permit is also refused when:

    • a foreigner does not meet the conditions for granting the permit,

    • foreigner’s details are in the list of foreigners who are undesirable in Poland or in the SIS for

    the purposes of refusing entry,

    • this is due to considerations related to defense or security of the State or protection of public

    order;

    • a foreigner has submitted false information or documents as part of the procedure

    • during the procedure, the foreigner testified lies or withheld the truth.

    The residence permit cannot be refused to an alien - spouse of a Polish citizen only because their

    stay in Poland is illegal.

    In the case where the foreigner’s data appear in the SIS registry for the purposes of refusing entry, in

    special cases (for humanitarian reasons) it is possible to grant him/her a residence permit.

    Withdrawal of a residence permit

    Withdrawal of a residence permit is possible when:

    • the purpose of the stay is no longer valid in Poland;

    • the foreigner no longer fulfils the conditions of the permit;

    • the foreigner’s data are entered to the list of undesirable foreigners in Poland,

    • a foreigner has submitted false information or documents as part of the procedure,

    • during the procedure, the foreigner testified lies or withheld the truth

    • his/her presence in Poland constitutes a threat to national defense or security of the State

    and public order.

     

    Legalization of stay of Polish citizens’ children

     

    According to the Polish Act on nationality, the child whose (at least one) parent has the Polish nationality,

    acquires Polish citizenship by law at the time of his/her birth. The parents may, however,

    decide to choose another nationality for the child and to renounce Polish citizenship for the child.

    In this event, the child needs a residence permit in Poland.

    A child of Polish citizen could get a temporary residence permit due to family ties.

    The Act on Foreigners stipulates that a child may receive a permanent residence permit, as long as it

    remains under parental responsibility of the Polish parent. A foreign minor does not need to meet

    the conditions relating to the previous stay in Poland. The application for such a permit may also be

    filed by a child who resides in Poland illegally.

     

    Legalization of stay for children of foreign spouses of Polish citizens

     

    The children of foreigners who are married to a Polish citizen and have a temporary residence permit

    for a family member of a Polish citizen may request a temporary residence permit.

    It is a solution to regulate the situation of children of foreigners from previous relationships.

    The application for such a permit may also be filed by children who reside in Poland illegally. It is

    impossible to refuse a residence permit to a child only based on its irregular situation.

    Under the procedure, the applicant is not required to have health insurance or a source of stable and

    steady income. He/she is not obliged to show that he/she has a guaranteed place of stay in Poland.

     

    Legalization of stay of other family members of Polish citizens

     

    The right to obtain a residence permit is also available to other family members of Polish citizens

    (except the spouse and minor children), if this is justified by:

    - financial dependence of a foreigner on a family member,

    - shared household in the country of origin of the foreigner or

    - medical reasons.

    A foreigner is however required to demonstrate that:

    • has 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

    • he/she has a regular and stable income source

    Legalization of stay of foreigners’ children

    The possibility of legalizing the stay of children of foreigners who have the right of residence in Poland

    depends on the type of residence permit, which a parent has.

    The temporary residence permit is granted, inter alia, to children when their parents have the right

    of indefinite residence, refugee status, subsidiary protection or a residence permit for humanitarian

    reasons.

    The children of foreigners residing in Poland on the basis of a visa or a temporary residence permit

    can obtain a temporary residence permit, when the child is born during the time of validity of the

    visa or residence permit held by the parent. However, the parent must satisfy two conditions: has

    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 and a stable and steady

    source of income.

    A child’s residence in Poland lasting five years because of family reunification is in itself the basis

    of a request for renewal of temporary residence for adult children of foreigners legally residing in

    Poland.

    The children of foreigners who are entitled to stay in Poland for an undefined period get a permanent

    residence permit, when they were born at the time when temporary residence of the parent was

    valid, or if the parent had the right of residence for an undefined period in Poland.

    A foreign minor does not need to meet the conditions relating to the previous stay in Poland. The

    application for such a permit may also be filed by children who reside in Poland illegally.

     

    Family reunification

     

    This type of permit concerns families of foreigners if other family members join a family member

    already present in Poland. The spouse and minor children (under 18) are considered to be the foreigner’s

    family also in this case.

    A permit for the spouses and children of foreigners is issued at the request of the spouse or the parent

    present in Poland. In this procedure, the two parties have to meet certain conditions. This applies to

    aliens residing in Poland and the family members who had joined him/her.

     

    Requirements for the person who has been joint by family members

     

    Spouses and children can join a foreigner if he/she holds (in Poland):

    • 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, 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/her 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 applies 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.

    The right to obtain a permit is available for foreigners-members of the family of citizens of the European

    Union, nationals of States which are parties to the agreement on the European Economic

    area or the Swiss Confederation (in addition to spouses - children under the age of 21 years and their

    parents, if they are dependents of an EU citizen, whose situation is described in Article 2 (4) of the

    Act on the entry on the territory of the Republic of Poland, stay and departure from the territory of

    European Union Member States citizens and members of their families) if it is justified:

    - by financial dependence of a foreigner on a family member,

    - shared household in the country of origin of the foreigner or

    - medical reasons.

     

    Requirements for applicants

     

    To submit an application, the foreigner has to present documents which prove that hs/she:

    • has 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.

    • has a sufficient and regular income source to live in the country. (Usually, this condition

    is met by presenting information on the salary of the foreigner whom the applicant join),

    • has guaranteed accommodation on Polish territory (this requirement does not apply to

    members of the family of EU citizens)

    The above-mentioned requirements do not apply only to the families of those in Poland who have

    refugee status or subsidiary protection and are applying for family reunification within the 6 months

    from the grant of protection in Poland.

    A residence permit shall be granted also in the case of divorce, separation, as well as death of the

    spouse, child or parent, joined by a foreigner when this is justified by an important interest of a foreigner.

     

    Children with the right to obtain a permit for the purposes of family reunification

     

    The permit may be requested only by children of less than 18 years of age. The Act provides that this

    possibility is not only for biological foreign children, but also for other children looked after by the

    parent - adopted children and other children under his/her supervision (for example, children of

    a spouse from a previous relationship).

     

    Deadlines for permits

     

    If the foreigner, joined by his family, has the right to stay temporarily in Poland, the residence permit

    for family will be issued for the same period as the permit of this foreigner.

    If the foreigner, joined by his family, has the right of permanent residence in Poland, long-term EU

    resident status or benefits from one of the forms of international protection, the family is granted

    a permit for a period of three years.

    Refusal to grant a residence permit

     

    The permit is not granted if the procedure shows that the marriage, which is the basis for granting

    a given residence permit, was contracted only to circumvent the law (fictitious marriage).

    The permit is also refused when:

    • the foreigner does not meet the conditions for granting the permit,

    • foreigner’s details are in the list of foreigners who are undesirable in Poland or in the SIS for

    the purposes of refusing entry,

    • this is due to considerations related to defense or security of the State or protection of

    public order;

    • the foreigner has submitted false information or false documents as part of the procedure,

    • during the procedure, the foreigner testified lies or withheld the truth

    • the foreigner has to undergo treatment under the Polish provisions relating to the treatment

    of infectious diseases and does not consent to treatment (refusal concerns only the first application;

    refusal of treatment may not be a ground for refusal for subsequent requests),

    • a foreigner has submitted his/her application in Poland illegally or stays illegally on the territory

    of Poland.

    In the case where the foreigner’s data appear in the SIS registry for the purposes of refusing entry, in

    special circumstances (for humanitarian reasons) it is possible to grant him/her a residence permit.

     

    Withdrawal of a residence permit

     

    Withdrawal of a residence permit is possible when:

    • the purpose of the stay is no longer valid in Poland;

    • the foreigner no longer fulfils the conditions of the permit;

    • the foreigner’s data are entered to the list of undesirable foreigners in Poland,

    • the foreigner has submitted false information or documents as part of the procedure,

    • during the procedure, the foreigner testified lies or withheld the truth

    • their presence in Poland constitutes a threat to national defense or security of the State

    and public order.

    In the case of a withdrawal of the permit for the purposes of family reunification, the interests of the

    child and the nature of his family ties on the territory of Poland have to be taken into account, as

    well as his/her family and cultural links in the country of origin and the duration of the foreigner’s

    stay in Poland.

    The provisions relating to temporary residence permits for family members of Polish citizens and

    family members of foreigners can be found in Section V, Chapter 8 of the Act.

    Print Print Share: