Can people who stay in Poland under the Special-purpose Act submit an application for temporary residence (for work/study/other) during the first 9 months of their stay or is the submission of any application during the first 9 months prohibited?
If a person stays in Poland by virtue of Article 2(1) of the Special-purpose Act, his/her stay remains legal for a period of 18 months counting from 24 February 2022 and he/she is entitled to work for this period (if the district labour office is informed about it). From the perspective of legality of residence and work, there is therefore no need for such a person to apply for a temporary residence permit.
Furthermore, a person staying in Poland on the basis of Article 2(1) of the Special-purpose Act does not have the possibility to apply for a temporary residence permit due to the circumstances indicated in the Act on Foreigners (with the exception of the temporary residence permit for victims of trafficking in human beings). A foreigner shall be refused the procedure for granting a temporary residence permit, provided that on the day of submitting the application for the permit he/she is staying in Poland on the basis of temporary protection. Meanwhile, a Ukrainian citizen who resides in Poland on the basis of Article 2(1) of the Special-purpose Act is considered to be a person enjoying temporary protection.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Special Act in the wording in force before January 2023, citizens of Ukraine covered by the Special Act could submit applications for a temporary residence permit for a period of 3 years after 9 months from the date of entry and no later than 18 months from 24 February 2022.
The amendment to the Special Act signed by the President of the Republic of Poland in January 2023 repealed Art. 38 of the Act, which indicated that a Ukrainian citizen whose stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland is or was considered legal will be granted a temporary residence permit. In the then wording of the Act, the permit was to be granted at his request once for a period of 3 years, counting from the date of issuing the decision.
Pursuant to the currently applicable regulations, citizens of Ukraine covered by the special act have the possibility to apply for a temporary residence and work permit, a temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting business activity, a temporary residence permit for the purpose of performing work in a profession requiring high qualifications. However, it is not possible to apply for a temporary residence permit in other cases. Submission of these applications will be possible from 1 April 2023.
If the applications of Ukrainian citizens for a temporary residence permit are considered, but they do not meet the conditions for granting this permit (justification for the purpose of stay in Poland, longer than 3 months) or there are some premises justifying the refusal, such persons will be granted a temporary residence permit for a period of 1 year from the date of the decision.