Will I be able to return to Ukraine at any time?

Persons who are currently on the territory of Poland and benefit from the provisions of the so-called Special-purpose Act (i.e. Ukrainian citizens and their spouses who crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border after February 24 this year) may return to Ukraine at any time. 

Re-entry from Ukraine to Poland depends on the presence of documents:

  • if a citizen of Ukraine is in possession of a biometric passport but does not have a diia.pl electronic document, it will be possible to cross the border again on the basis of the passport, provided that the border crosser has not yet used up the 90-day Schengen visa-free stay period in any 180-day period,
  • if a citizen of Ukraine holds a diia.pl e-document and a valid passport, it will be possible for such a person to re-enter on the basis of the abovementioned e-document together with a valid travel document (passport) – in such a situation, it is possible to freely cross the border until June 30, 2024, and in some cases until August 31 or September 30, 2024.
  • if none of the above applies (e.g. a citizen of Ukraine holds an ordinary passport and is not entitled to an electronic diia.pl document) then – although in theory a person subject to the Special-purpose Act should be able to cross the border freely, we know that in practice there are problems with this – when crossing the border it is safest to apply for permission from the Commander of the Border Guard post to enter on humanitarian grounds.

This consent shall be granted without a specific procedure and the prerequisites for its granting are set out in Paragraph 6(5)(c) of the Schengen Borders Code – these prerequisites are general clauses, so to speak (they are extremely broad and allow for considerable freedom of interpretation), and the nature of the consent is optional, i.e. the Commander may, but does not have to, provide consent. 

Therefore, it cannot be stated unequivocally that every time the Commander will give such approval and entry will be possible. The current political situation indicates that, in the absence of documents, such consent will be granted, but it is impossible for anyone to ensure that the situation will not change during the person’s stay in Ukraine or that the Commander, after verifying the person concerned during re-entry, will not consider that the person cannot enter, because, since he or she left voluntarily, it means that he or she can stay in Ukraine.

It is worth noting that, according to the position of the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration, every citizen of Ukraine should be allowed into Poland, even if he/she comes to Poland again after February 24, 2022, as long as the entry is from Ukraine and is related to the armed conflict in the territory of Ukraine, regardless of the documents held by the foreigner.

Therefore, if a citizen of Ukraine meets the conditions for temporary protection provided for in the Special Act, then on this basis he should be admitted to the territory of the Republic of Poland.