Special act or refugee status – pros and cons

INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION (REFUGEE STATUS)

ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES
RIGHT OF RESIDENCE*Possibility for anyone to request protection
*In case of a favourable decision – obtaining the permanent legal residence permit in Poland
*In case of a favourable decision – future possibility to apply for permanent residence and then Polish citizenship
*No guarantee of refugee status/subsidiary protection (application examined on a case-by-case basis on the risk of persecution or serious harm in the country of origin)
*Limited possibilities of legalising residence in the event of a unfavourable decision
*Relatively long waiting period for a decision
*In the case of a favourable decision – it is possible to be deprived of the residence right if the circumstances under which protection was granted have ceased to exist
BENEFITS*During the proceedings – entitlement to health care but in a system parallel to the National Health Fund, managed by the Head of the Office for Foreigners.
*During the proceedings – entitlement to a monthly cash benefit.
*In case of a favourable decision – entitlement to the Individual Integration Programme (annual financial support, medical and integration assistance).
*In case of a favourable decision – entitlement to social assistance, family benefits, 500+, 300+ on the same basis as Polish citizens

*During the proceedings – no entitlement to 500+, Family Care Capital, family benefits, social benefits
RIGHT TO WORK
*During the proceedings – entitlement to legal work by citizens of Ukraine in case of first application for international protection (under the Special-purpose Act) in case of fulfilment of the obligation to notify the employer of the commission of work
*During the proceedings – in case of a second or subsequent application for international protection, the entitlement to work only if no decision is taken within 6 months (upon obtaining the relevant certificate)
*In case of a favourable decision – permanent entitlement to work legally in Poland without any additional requirements

*During the proceedings – citizens of countries other than Ukraine and citizens of Ukraine who have submitted the second or subsequent application for international protection are entitled to work only in case of failure to obtain a decision within 6 months (after obtaining the relevant certificate)
DOCUMENTS*In the course of the proceedings – a document certifying identity and the entitlement to legal residence in PL (TZTC) is obtained
*In case of granting the refugee status – obtaining a travel document (passport)
TRAVEL*In the case of a favourable decision – the possibility to travel within the Schengen area for 90 days in every 180 days.*During the proceedings – no possibility to travel
*Inability to return to country of origin ( this involves revocation of refugee status/subsidiary protection)
OTHER*No possibility to benefit from the facilities of the Special-purpose Act in case of an application for international protection

SPECIAL-PURPOSE ACT

ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES
RIGHT OF RESIDENCE*Only  eligible persons automatically obtain the residence permit – there is no need to submit an application.
*Automatic legal residence for 18 months from 24 February 2022.
* Facilitated possibility to obtain a temporary residence permit for 3 years
*Coverage of only a strictly defined category of persons
BENEFITS*Healthcare entitlement for 18 months from 24 February 2022.
*The entitlement to social assistance, family benefits, 500+, 300+ for a period of 18 months from 24 February 2022.
*The entitlement to a onetime financial benefit of 300 PLN/person
*No monthly financial support (other than the benefits indicated above) *No possibility to benefit from the Individual Integration Programme
RIGHT TO WORK*Immediate entitlement to work (in the case of fulfilment of the obligation to notify the employer of the commission of work) and later in the case of obtaining a temporary residence permit on the basis of a Special-purpose Act.
DOCUMENTSPossibility to obtain an electronic residence permit diia.pl (only for adults)
TRAVEL*Possibility of returning to Ukraine at any time
*During the validity of the temporary residence permit – possibility to travel within the Schengen area for 90 days during every 180 days
OTHER*No possibility to apply for international protection (refugee status) and simultaneously benefiting from the facilities of the Special-purpose Act