I am planning to migrate from Ukraine to Poland. I am 17 years old and I will travel alone. What documents do I need in this case?
The general conditions for entry of foreigners into the territory of the Republic of Poland apply to all foreigners, i.e. they are the same for persons of different ages, minors (up to 18 years of age), and adults. The most common are: a valid travel document; a valid visa or other authorisation if required; proof of health insurance; financial resources. In addition, the foreigner should justify the purpose of his/her stay. In the case of tourist traffic, citizens of several countries (e.g. Ukraine) holding a biometric passport do not need a visa (they enjoy visa-free travel).
There are no separate requirements for minors to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland. It is worth emphasizing, however, that the Border Guard draws particular attention to children, regardless of whether they are travelling under the supervision of adults or alone (Zasady_przekraczania_granicy_przez_osoby_niepelnoletnie.pdf (granica.gov.pl); Can minor foreigners travel alone and cross the border? – Najczęściej zadawane pytania – Komenda Główna Straży Granicznej (strazgraniczna.pl)).
In the case of persons seeking protection on the territory of the Republic of Poland after 24.02.2022 who are citizens of Ukraine or family members of citizens of Ukraine, the above entry conditions are not of such significance. To enter the territory of the Republic of Poland, any documents proving identity are useful. According to the information posted on the website of the Head of the Office for Foreigners, if the child does not have an identity card or passport, a birth certificate is useful. Moreover, when assigning a PESEL number, the municipality authority confirms identity on the basis of a travel document, the Pole’s Card or another document with a photograph that allows identification, and in the case of persons under 18 years of age, also a document confirming birth. Identity may be confirmed on the basis of a document that has been cancelled if it allows a person to be identified. It is important that a minor cannot represent himself/herself before public administrative authorities. Pursuant to Article 4(3) of the Special-purpose Act, an application referred to in Paragraph 1 shall be submitted by one of the parents, a guardian, a curator, a temporary guardian referred to in Article 25, or a person having actual custody of the child on behalf of a person who has no legal capacity or has limited capacity to perform legal acts, applying for a PESEL number. A temporary guardian shall be appointed by the guardianship court competent for the place of residence of the minor. A minor Ukrainian citizen who has arrived in the territory of the Republic of Poland unaccompanied by a person who exercises actual custody over him/her, and a minor Ukrainian citizen who has arrived in the territory of the Republic of Poland and prior to his/her arrival was placed in foster care in the territory of Ukraine, shall be entered in a register, hereinafter referred to as “the register of minors”.