Polish Parliament is working on the draft law amending the Special-purpose Act

Due to the ongoing work in Parliament on the draft law amending the Law on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in Connection with the Armed Conflict on the Territory of Ukraine and Certain Other Laws (hereinafter: Special-purpose Act), here are the provisions that are most likely to change.

Deadline of 30 days to apply for a PESEL number

A Ukrainian citizen will have 30 days from the date of his/her arrival in Poland to submit an application for a PESEL number (according to the proposed amendment to Article 4(2) of the Special-purpose Act).There will no longer be a 90-day time limit for registering the stay of a Ukrainian citizen where entry was not registered when crossing the border (Article 3(2) of the Special-purpose Act).Simultaneously, persons who crossed the Polish border before the date of entry into force of the proposed amendment to the Act will be required to submit an application for a PESEL number within 30 days of its entry into force. [Article 1(3)(a) of the draft law]

Changes in the financing of social assistance

According to the draft law, social assistance to Ukrainian citizens who are covered by the Special-purpose Act shall be provided for no longer than 120 days from the date of entry to Poland.After 120 days, assistance can be provided if the Ukrainian citizen covers 50% of the cost of this assistance, not more than PLN 40 per person per day.After 180 days from the date of the first entry of a Ukrainian citizen, assistance may be provided if 75% of the costs of this assistance are covered, not more than PLN 60 per person per day.This will not apply to, among others, persons with disabilities, persons who are 60 (women) or 65 (men) years of age or older, pregnant women, persons raising a child up to 12 months of age, single carers of more than two children, minors and others who are in a difficult situation that prevents them from contributing to the costs of assistance. [Article 1(8)(a) and (b) of the draft law]

14 days for the employer to notify the labour office of the employment of a foreigner

The draft clarifies that in a situation where a temporary residence permit is granted to a Ukrainian citizen (under Article 114 of the Law on Foreigners) subject to notification (referred to in Article 22(1) of the Special-purpose Act), the employer will be required to notify the labour office of the employment of the foreigner within 14 days to the date of delivery of the decision to grant the permit.This will also apply if the employer is willing to employ a person who is exempt from the work permit requirement (e.g. a graduate of Polish full-time studies). [Article 1(10) of the draft law]

Children in foster care
According to the draft law, except in situations where the welfare of the child will be at risk, children who were in foster care in Ukraine and then came to Poland with the person in charge of such care will not be placed in foster care (as referred to in the Act of June 9, 2011 on family support and the foster care system). [Article 1(16)(b) of the draft law]

Preventing an application for temporary residence

The planned amendments involve the repeal of Article 38 of the Special-purpose Act.According to this provision, Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war were able to apply for temporary residence permits in Poland, bypassing the requirements under the Act on Foreigners.Consequently, this will prevent the aforementioned Ukrainian citizens from applying for temporary residence in Poland at all. [Article 1(17) of the draft law]

Amendments concerning return proceedings

According to the draft law, until August 24, 2023, proceedings on the obligation to return may not be commenced (initiated) against Ukrainian citizens, or such proceedings may be abandoned (discontinued) if it is in the important interest of the Ukrainian citizen.Exceptions to this are situations where such proceedings were initiated for reasons of defence or state security or the protection of public security and order or the interests of Poland.As a result, this provision will deprive some Ukrainian citizens of the possibility to legalise their stay in Poland. The residence of these persons will be irregular and therefore they will not be entitled to legal work in Poland. [Article 1(20)(d) of the draft law]

Repeal of Covid provisions on submission of residence applications, renewal of documents, deadline for leaving Poland

The new law provides for the repeal of certain provisions of the so-called “Covid Law” (Articles 15z-15z3, 15z6, 15zd, 15zzza and 15zzzb of the Law on Special Arrangements for Preventing, Countering and Combating COVID-19, Other Communicable Diseases and Emergencies Caused by Them).The provisions to be removed extend the deadline for submitting residence applications under the Act on Foreigners; extend the validity of residence permits, the deadline for leaving Poland and the deadline for voluntary return.The repeal of these provisions may lead to the loss of legal residence in Poland for foreigners who withhold their residence application until the epidemiological emergency is over. [Article 16 of the draft law].