In connection with the current epidemiological situation, on 31 March 2020 came into force an act providing, inter alia, special solutions for foreigners in Poland. The regulations will allow people who want to pursue their current purpose of stay or cannot leave Poland due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus to stay legally in the country.
Until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last state (state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic), the following will be extended:
- legal stay of foreigners on the basis of national visas and temporary residence permits that would end during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic,
- deadline for submitting applications for legalisation of stay,
- validity of already issued work permits, seasonal work permits and declarations of entrustment of work to a foreigner.
Moreover, the following deadlines will be postponed:
- for foreigners to leave Poland,
- of voluntary return specified in the decisions obliging the foreigner to return.
Extension of the legal stay of third-country nationals
The extension of the legal stay of a foreigner staying in Poland on the basis of a national visa and temporary residence permit will apply to situations in which the last day of legal stay will fall within the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. It will therefore be the period from 14 March 2020, when the state of epidemic emergency was announced. Then the period of legal stay in Poland will be extended by law until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of one of the above-mentioned states, whichever was in force last.
Extending the legality of your stay will not involve placing a new visa sticker on the foreigner’s travel document or issuing a new residence card. The foreigner will not be able to travel on the basis of such extended stay within the territory of other Schengen countries. However, the foreigners will be able to pursue they current purpose of stay in Poland, e.g. the performance of work. Work permits and seasonal work permits will be extended, as well as the allowed period of work based on the declaration of entrusting work to a foreigner. Foreigners will also be able to leave Poland without the risk of entering into an illegal stay.
Extension of deadlines for submitting applications
The act provides for extension of the deadlines for submitting applications for residence permits, to extend visas and to extend the stay under visa-free travel, if the deadline would fall within the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. As before, these applications may be submitted to voivodship offices up to the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last of the above-mentioned states that was in force. Foreigners’ stay in Poland during this period will be considered legal provided that they submit an application for legalisation of stay within the extended period.
The above solution shall apply to foreigners who would like to apply for:
- granting a temporary, permanent or long-term EU resident permit,
- extension of a national visa (symbol D) or a Schengen visa (symbol C),
- extension of the period of visa-free travel – this applies only to citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore and Uruguay, as only the visa waiver agreements with these particular countries provide for this possibility.
Extension of dates for leaving the territory of Poland
The act contains a solution that shall be the basis for extending by law the deadlines for leaving Poland under Article 299 para. 6 of the Act on Foreigners (e.g. in connection with the delivery of a final decision refusing a temporary residence permit), if they would fall during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. Their extension will last until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last of the above-mentioned states that was in force.
Extension of the periods of voluntary return specified in the decisions obliging the foreigner to return
It is assumed that the deadline for voluntary return specified in the decision obliging a foreigner to return, the end of which would fall during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic, is postponed by law. As in the case of the other solutions contained in the act, the extension of the deadline will take place until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancelation of the last state.
Citizens of EU countries, countries of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), the Swiss Confederation and their family members
The introduction of the state of epidemic emergency in Poland, followed by the state of epidemic, does not affect in any way the residence rights of citizens of European Union Member States, countries of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), the Swiss Confederation and family members staying with them. These rights are not dependent on having any permits or documents.
In the near future the website of the Office for Foreigners will be updated with content describing in detail the solutions introduced pursuant to the Act amending the Act on special solutions related to the prevention, prevention and eradication of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them, as well as some other acts.
The Office will also inform about any subsequent changes in the legal status relevant to the stay of foreigners in Poland. We encourage you to follow further messages and read graphic materials on the website.