Can a refugee who has already received temporary protection in Germany receive it again but in Poland? This is assuming that such a refugee will thus give up their protection in Germany.

Please be reminded that Ukrainian citizens who fled their country after 24 February 2022 due to the threat of armed conflict are not granted international protection (i.e. refugee status or subsidiary protection); with respect to these persons, a special solution introduced by the Council (EU) Executive Decision of 4 March 2022, i.e. temporary protection, applies.

The Polish legislator regulated the institution of temporary protection in the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland. Moreover, due to the difficult humanitarian situation, Poland introduced special additional legal solutions for Ukrainian citizens under the Act of 12 March 2022 on assistance for Ukrainian citizens in connection with armed conflict on the territory of the country (“Special Act”). Articles 1 and 2 of the aforementioned Act indicate the catalog of entities to which the aforementioned Act applies. Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 3, the Act does not apply to foreign nationals who hold:

(a) a permanent residence permit,

b) a residence permit issued to a long-term resident of the European Union

c) a temporary residence permit,

d) refugee status,

e) subsidiary protection,

f) permit for tolerated stay,

g) a consent for residence for humanitarian reasons;

2) who:

 a) have applied for international protection in the Republic of Poland, or on behalf of whom such applications have been submitted,

b) declared their intention to submit applications for international protection in the Republic of Poland pursuant to art. 28 sec. 1 or art. 61 sec. 1 of the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland of 13 June 2003 (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1108 and 1918 and of 2022, item 583), or to whom such declaration of intention pertains.

Pursuant to the above, the legislator did not exclude foreigners who have previously benefited from temporary protection in another Member State from the possibility to benefit from specific forms of assistance. This also seems to be justified by recital 15 of the Council (EU) Implementing Decision. It should be pointed out that the Polish legislator only indicated that the rights granted under the “Special Act” expire (are denied) if the Ukrainian citizen leaves the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding one month. 

Thus, it does not seem that a person who benefited from temporary protection in another country cannot benefit from such assistance in Poland, especially if he/she resigns from such assistance in the country that first granted it.