According to the Special-purpose Act, the departure of a Ukrainian citizen from Poland for more than one month deprives him/her of his/her entitlements. Can I migrate to Ukraine or the EU for only 30 days within a period of 18 months? If I exceed the 30-day limit, will I lose financial aid or legal residence in Poland?

According to Article 11(2) of the Special-purpose Act, the departure of a Ukrainian citizen from the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding one month deprives him/her of the entitlement referred to in Article 2(1).

According to Article 2(1) of the Special-purpose Act, the Ukrainian citizen referred to in this provision shall stay in Poland legally for a period of 18 months starting from 24 February 2022.

Thus, a Ukrainian citizen legally residing in Poland on the basis of the Special-purpose Act, who leaves Poland for more than one month, loses the legal residence in Poland granted under this Act. Therefore, he/she is no longer entitled to medical care and social benefits and assistance that are related to that stay. However, he/she is still entitled to work in Poland if his/her stay in Poland is compliant with the law (legal).

There are no grounds for claiming that a Ukrainian citizen cannot leave Poland for more than 30 days in total during the entire 18 months. Article 11(2) of the Special-purpose Act should be understood as referring to a single departure from Poland. Therefore, in order to maintain legal residence in Poland on the basis of the Special-purpose Act and related entitlements, each departure of a Ukrainian citizen outside Poland should not last longer than one month.

Article 11(2) of the Special-purpose Act does not specify the direction of departure from Poland. Therefore, it should be considered that this provision shall be applicable regardless of where the Ukrainian citizen left (and therefore also to other EU countries).

A Ukrainian citizen with a UKR PESEL is not obliged to stay in Poland. He/she may leave Poland at any time in any direction. However, if the citizen of Ukraine wishes to exercise his/her entitlements under the Special-purpose Act, he/she should not leave Poland for longer than one month.

It should be remembered that a Ukrainian citizen who stays in Poland on the basis of the Special-purpose Act is considered a person enjoying temporary protection. In principle, Ukrainian citizens are free to choose the country where they wish to enjoy temporary protection. However, temporary protection rights can only be exercised in one EU country.

Legal basis (22.04.2022):

  1. „Specustawa”, czyli ustawa z dnia 12 marca 2022 r. o pomocy obywatelom Ukrainy w związku z konfliktem zbrojnym na terytorium tego państwa, art. 2 ust. 1 i 6, art. 11 ust. 2 i art. 22 ust. 1 pkt 2.
  2. Decyzja wykonawcza Rady (UE) 2022/382 z dnia 4 marca 2022 r. stwierdzająca istnienie masowego napływu wysiedleńców z Ukrainy w rozumieniu art. 5 dyrektywy 2001/55/WE i skutkująca wprowadzeniem tymczasowej ochrony, motyw 15 i 16.