After what time and on what terms people who came to Poland from Ukraine after February 24 will be able to apply for the resident status?

As a rule, a foreigner may obtain a long-term resident’s EU residence permit if:

1. has been staying in Poland legally and continuously for at least 5 years immediately before submitting the application;

2. has a stable and regular source of income sufficient to cover it

living costs for oneself and family members;

3. has health insurance and

4. has a confirmed knowledge of the Polish language.

The application for a long-term resident’s EU residence permit should be submitted during legal stay in Poland.

People who came to Poland from Ukraine from February 24, 2022, enjoy temporary protection in Poland on the basis of:

1. the Act on Assistance to Ukrainian Citizens (“special acts”), or

2. the act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

All these persons have the right to legally stay in Poland for a specified period of time, but the scope of their rights and obligations differs – also with regard to the possibility of applying for a long-term resident’s EU residence permit.

Persons covered by the “special act”

Citizens of Ukraine (and some members of their families who do not have Ukrainian citizenship) who:

1. have legally entered Poland from Ukraine from February 24, 2022 in connection with hostilities in Ukraine and

2.they declare their intention to stay in Poland,

are legally residing in Poland for a period of 18 months from February 24, 2022.

During this period (but not earlier than 9 months from the date of entry to Poland), they may apply for a special temporary residence permit. It will be valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issuing the decision. Such authorization may be issued only once.

After the expiry of this permit, the citizen of Ukraine (or a member of his family) will have to legalize his stay on general terms. In order to apply for a long-term resident’s EU residence permit, he will have to prove that he has stayed in Poland legally and continuously for 5 years immediately before submitting the application. The 5-year period of stay may include an 18-month legal stay in Poland on the basis of the “special act” and a stay on the basis of a 3-year temporary residence permit for Ukrainian citizens (and their family members).

Warning! The procedure for granting a long-term resident’s EU residence permit will not be initiated if on the day of submitting the application for granting this permit the foreigner is staying in Poland in connection with obtaining temporary protection. Thus, people who entered Poland from February 24, 2022 and enjoy the rights resulting from the “special act”, but have previously stayed in Poland (and their stay in Poland can still be considered uninterrupted), cannot submit an application for a permit for a long-term resident’s EU residence as long as they enjoy temporary protection (i.e. during the 18-month period of legal stay in Poland).

Persons covered by the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland

Other people who came to Poland from Ukraine from February 24, 2022, who enjoy temporary protection in Poland, i.e .:

1. third-country nationals who have been granted international protection in Ukraine (and their family members), or

2.nationals of third countries who have a permanent residence permit in Ukraine and cannot return to their country of origin,

stay in Poland legally for one year. This period may be extended, but at the moment there is no certainty that it will be so.

These people (with the exception of sick people) were not allowed to apply for a special temporary residence permit – unlike the citizens of Ukraine and their family members.

Moreover, if they are staying in Poland on the basis of temporary protection, these persons cannot:

1. apply for a temporary residence permit (except for a temporary residence permit for victims of trafficking in human beings) and

2. apply for a long-term resident’s EU residence permit.

Thus, a foreigner who benefits in Poland from temporary protection under the Act on granting protection to foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Poland has significantly limited possibilities of legalizing his stay in Poland after the end of the temporary protection period.

If he stays in Poland, despite the end of the temporary protection period, and does not obtain another residence title, his stay in Poland will be illegal. Meanwhile, in order to apply for a long-term resident’s EU residence permit, it is necessary to prove that the foreigner has been staying in Poland legally and continuously for 5 years immediately before submitting the application.

Legal basis (May 5, 2022):

1. Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners, Article 99 Paragraph 1 Point 4, Articles 211-213.

2. “Special Act”, that is the Act of March 12, 2022 on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in Connection with an Armed Conflict in the Territory of that State, Article 2 Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 6 and Article 38.

3. Act of June 13, 2003 on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland, Article 106 Paragraph 2 and 3, Article 118 Paragraph 3.

4. Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022 declaring the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55 / EC and resulting in the introduction of temporary protection.