I am a citizen of Ukraine living in Spain. I am planning to move to Poland. I will enter on a visa-free travel basis. How can I legalize my stay and work if I am not covered by the Special Act?

In terms of legalizing their residence in Poland, Ukrainian citizens who left the territory of Ukraine before 24 February 2022 are not covered by the Act of 12 March 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with armed conflict on the territory of the country (hereinafter: Special Act). In their case, general legal provisions for all foreigners wishing to obtain a residence permit and contained in the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners apply. 

According to this act, foreigners wishing to obtain a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Poland for the purpose of carrying out work shall submit applications to this effect to the voivode (‘wojewoda’) having jurisdiction over their place of residence, no later than on the last day of their legal stay. 

It is worth mentioning that in accordance with Article 22.1.2 of the Special Act, although Ukrainian citizens who left Ukraine before 24 February 2022 are not covered by the Special Act in terms of legalization of their stay, they can legally take up employment in the same way as Ukrainian citizens covered by the Special Act, i.e. only in case the employer notifies the local job center of his/her intention to employ these persons