On what conditions can CITIZENS OF UKRAINE enter Poland and legally take up employment?
ENTRY TO POLAND
Ukrainian citizens can enter Poland on the basis of:
- visa-free travel using biometric passports
- national visa (typeD) or Schengen visa (typeC)
- type D or type C visa issued by another Schengen state
- residence permit issued by another Schengen country
- temporary residence permit, permanent residence permit or long-term EU residence permit with a valid residence card
- application for international protection submitted at a Polish border crossing; in practice, however, due to the current situation at border crossings, it is not possible to submit such an application
consent of the commander of the Border Guard, granted to a Ukrainian citizen when crossing the border entitling them to stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland for up to 15 days (Article 32 (1) of the Act on foreign nationals).
People who entered the territory of the Republic of Poland based on identity documents should take steps to legalize their stay, e.g., by applying for a residence permit or for protection within 15 days from the date of entry.
The documentary requirements for minors (children under 16 years of age) who do not have biometric passports are: a document confirming the child’s identity, e.g., a birth certificate and the consent of the other parent (as a rule, it should be notarized, but there are exceptions).;
In these special circumstances it is also possible for a minor child to enter without legal guardians (no relatives). In that case, the following documents are required to cross the border: a document confirming the child’s identity (biometric passport or birth certificate) and consent of one of the parents to leave Ukraine.
From 25 February, 2022, the quarantine requirements for Ukrainian citizens have been lifted on the Ukrainian-Polish border. It is not required to show a negative COVID test result or vaccination certificate.
From 25 February, 2022, checks are carried out on pedestrians at all road crossings on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
All Ukrainian citizens entering Poland can use one of the reception centers offering temporary accommodation, meals and medical assistance. The list of reception points providing support, updated regularly, can be found HERE.
Under current rules, a foreign national’s stay can be extended by:
- submission of an application for a temporary or permanent residence permit (e.g., for holders of Polish cards or persons of Polish origin)
- use of the provisions of the Emergency Powers Act of March 2, 2020, on special measures for preventing, counteracting and combating COVID -19, including other infectious diseases and crisis situations they have led to, with the option to stay for another 30 days after the state of epidemiological emergency has been lifted.
Pursuant to the Emergency Powers Act, the following documents are extended:
- temporary residence permits
- national visas
- work permits and declarations on hiring foreign nationals
- Polish identity documents of the foreign national and documents confirming the permit for “tolerated” stay
- deadlines for applying for a temporary residence permit, a permanent residence permit, a long-term EU residence permit, for a visa extension or for an extension of stay under the visa-free regime.
HOW TO APPLY FOR NATIONAL PROTECTION?
Citizens of Ukraine can apply for international protection under which subsidiary protection or refugee status are granted.
Refugee status is granted to foreign nationals who, due to their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or social affiliation, must leave the country for justified fear of persecution.
Subsidiary protection is granted to foreign nationals who, even though they do not meet the conditions for being granted refugee status, cannot return to their country of origin due to the real risk of serious harm caused by the use of violence against the civilian population in times of armed conflict. The current situation in Ukraine justifies granting the citizens of Ukraine subsidiary protection.
Both refugee status and subsidiary protection are granted for an indefinite period. Residence cards are issued for a period of 3 years for persons with refugee status or 2 years for persons with subsidiary protection (after expiry, an application for a new residence card should be submitted).
A person who wants to apply to the Head of the Office for Foreign Nationals for international protection must report to the competent Border Guard authority. If the application is also intended to cover other persons (minor children, the applicant’s spouse), these persons must also be present when submitting the application.
AN APPLICATION FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION CAN BE SUBMITTED:
- when you enter the territory of the Republic of Poland, during border control (you should then inform a Border Guard officer about your intention to submit an asylum application),
- during your stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland (you should report to any branch or post of the Border Guard),
- through the commander of the branch or the commanding officer of the Border Guard post, which covers the territorial of activities of the headquarters of the guarded center, the detention center for foreigners, the pre-trial detention center or the penal institution – if the person who wants to apply for international protection is staying in the above mentioned places of detention.
The decision is issued within 6 months from the date of the application. This period may be extended to 15 months. Under current rules, a foreign national is not entitled to work for 6 months. Foreign nationals with refugee status, subsidiary protection or a valid certificate issued under the Act on granting protection to foreign nationals within the territory of the Republic of Poland can work in Poland without a permit.
ACCELERATED EMPLOYMENT PROCEDURE FOR PERSONS HOLDING BIOMETRIC PASSPORTS
An alternative to the above route may be employment of a citizen of Ukraine based on a documented employment offer and a temporary residence and work permit. This permit may be granted for a period of up to 3 year.