The Act on Assistance for Ukrainian Citizens

Below, we present a comprehensive guide on the situation of Ukrainian citizens on Polish territory in the current legal status (30th of JUne 2022). The guide covers the legality of stay, work and access to benefits.

1. LEGAL STAY OF UKRAINE CITIZENS WHO COME TO POLAND FROM 24 FEBRUARY

On the basis of the “special act” (Act of March 12, 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that country), you can stay in Poland legally for 18 months from February 24, 2022, if:

• you are a citizen of Ukraine and you came to Poland legally from the territory of Ukraine in the period from February 24, 2022, due to an armed conflict (regardless of whether you came directly from the territory of Ukraine or through the territory of another country), or

• you are the husband / wife of a Ukrainian citizen and you entered Poland under the above conditions (even if you do not have Ukrainian citizenship)

WARNING! This does not apply to: persons with permanent residence in Poland, long-term resident’s residence permit, temporary residence permit, refugee status, subsidiary protection, residence permit for humanitarian reasons and permit for tolerated stay.

The above also does not apply to persons who have submitted applications (or a declaration of will to apply) for international protection. However, these persons may withdraw the submitted application / declaration. Then they will be subject to the above regulation from the moment the application / declaration is withdrawn – i.e. from that moment they will be able to stay in Poland legally for 18 months from February 24, 2022 and have access to all benefits related to this status.

What’s next?

If you belong to the aforementioned group of people, your stay is considered legal by operation of law, which means that you do not have to apply for a residence permit at this time or take any steps to legalize your stay.

However, you should go to any municipal authority and apply for a PESEL UKR number. Based on the PESEL UKR number, you will receive access to a trusted profile that will facilitate many subsequent formalities. In the future, the PESEL number and trusted profile will also allow you to access an electronic document confirming your identity and residence status.

If your entry to the Republic of Poland has not been registered at the border (you have not received a stamp or any other confirmation), you should submit an application for a PESEL number within 90 days from the date of entry.

If you already have a PESEL number, you can apply for a PESEL UKR number.

An application for granting a PESEL number for a minor is submitted by the minor’s parent, guardian, probation officer, temporary guardian or the person exercising actual custody of the child. If, due to your health condition or disability, you are not able to submit the application in person to the municipal authority, you can submit the application in your place of stay.

WARNING! The departure of a Ukrainian citizen from Poland for over a month deprives him of the right to legally stay in Poland on the basis of the “special act”.

CONSEQUENCES OF LEAVING POLAND FOR MORE THAN 1 MONTH – UKR STATUS

When the Chief Commandant of the Border Guard provides information on the departure of a foreigner covered by the Act for a period of more than 1 month, the status “UKR” assigned to the assigned PESEL number is automatically changed to the status “NUE”, i.e. the status of a foreigner who is neither a citizen of a European Union Member State nor a family member of an EU citizen. The change of status will therefore formally make visible the practical loss of the entitlements arising from the inclusion in the Special-purpose Act.

This revision will also be made when information is provided that a Ukrainian citizen is in possession of exclusionary documents from the scope of the Act (residence permit, international protection, etc.) or that an application for international protection has been submitted. 

However, the UKR status can be restored if the person to whom the PESEL number was assigned confirms that his/her residency outside Poland did not last longer than 1 month.

If the foreigner’s departure is within the Schengen area, then a change of status may take place on the basis of a declaration after departure for a period of more than one month, made by the person to whom the PESEL number has been assigned or the person representing him/her. This solution seems to make it possible to practically waive temporary protection in Poland for persons who, having obtained a PESEL number in Poland (with the UKR designation), would like to make use of this protection in another EU country.

The above statement should include: name, surname, PESEL number, country and date of departure, type of departure and a statement of the veracity of the data contained in the application and a clause stating: “I am aware of the criminal responsibility for making a false statement”.

In the case of departure from Poland across the external borders of the Schengen area, the change of UKR status may also take place on the basis of the above statement. In such a case, the Chief Commander of the Border Guard provides the possibility to verify the date of departure.

The legislation also provides for the possibility of re-establishing UKR status as a result of arrival on the territory of the Republic of Poland from the territory of Ukraine in connection with hostilities conducted on the territory of that country. This entry should then be documented or registered in the register of Ukrainian nationals who arrived on the territory of the Republic of Poland from the territory of Ukraine in connection with military operations conducted on the territory of that country, kept by the Chief Commander of the Border Guard.

If this entry has occurred across the Polish border, which is the external border of the Schengen area, the re-establishment of UKR status is automatic.

Re-assignment of status can also occur as a result of a renewed application for a PESEL number.

The authority competent to register the above data is any municipal executive.

Concerning the loss of entitlements under the Act as a result of departure from Poland for a period of more than 1 month, it is also specified that this provision will not apply to persons directed to perform work or services outside the Republic of Poland by entities operating in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Furthermore, it was indicated that data on the departure of a person covered by the Act for a period of more than 1 month will be transmitted by the Chief Commander of the Border Guard to the Social Insurance Institution determining the foreigner’s entitlement to benefits. (Article 1(13)(b) of the amending Act)

(This is detailed in Article 1(4)(b) and (6) of the amending Act)

2. PERFORMANCE OF WORK.

All Ukrainian citizens whose stay in Poland is legal is entitled to work legally – i.e. both those whose stay is considered legal due to entry after February 24, 2022 and those whose stay in Poland is considered legal on a different basis (for example have a temporary residence permit, visa, etc.).

An employer who employs a citizen of Ukraine is obliged to notify the poviat labor office competent for the seat or place of residence of the entity about this fact within 14 days from the date of starting work by the foreigner. The obligation to notify does not apply to the employment of a Ukrainian citizen who legally works in Poland, e.g. on the basis of a work permit or an appropriate temporary residence permit, and when he has the right to work in Poland due to his residence status (e.g. he has been granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, permanent residence, long-term resident’s stay, humanitarian residence permit or tolerated stay permit).

The notification is to be made via the ICT system – www.praca.gov.pl 

The latest amendment (30.06.22) introduces two requirements that must be met in order for the work of a Ukrainian citizen legally residing in Poland to be performed legally.

Besides the need for the employer to notify the District Labour Office of the employment of a Ukrainian citizen, the work must be performed at a work volume not lower than that indicated in the notification and at a wage not lower than that set at the rate specified in the notification. 

This is complemented by the requirement to include this information, i.e. wages set at a monthly or hourly rate and working hours or the number of working hours per week or month, in the notification.

Notifications made before the date of entry into force of the above Act shall be subject to the existing provisions (Article 9 of the amending Act). 

An entity entrusting work to a Ukrainian citizen who did not comply with the obligation to notify the Labour Office between 24.02.22 and 14 days before the date of entry into force of the amending law may do so within 14 days from the date of its entry into force. In this case, the Ukrainian citizen is deemed to have been entitled to work during the period of his/her coverage under social insurance or social insurance for farmers or on the day following the date of notification of the specific task contract. The above entitlement can only be exercised by an entity that has reported the foreigner to the Social Insurance Institution or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund in connection with the assignment of work to the foreigner. (Article 10 of the amending Act) 

Moreover, a citizen of Ukraine legally residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland may register with the Employment Office as an unemployed person. This also applies to Ukrainian citizens of retirement age, ie 65 (men) and 60 (women).

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY – citizens of Ukraine whose stay is considered legal on the basis of the special act or the act on foreigners (i.e. with a visa, temporary or permanent residence permit, etc.) are entitled to conduct business activity on the same terms as the citizens of the Republic of Poland. The condition is to obtain a PESEL number.

3.  TYPES OF SUPPORT FOR PERSONS CLAIMED BY THE ACT

If you are a citizen of Ukraine who came to Poland from the territory of Ukraine since February 24, you can receive help. Among others you can get help in accommodation, meals or free psychological assistance. 

For more information, contact the nearest information point for people fleeing Ukraine or one of the hotlines. You can find many useful contacts here:

https://pomagamukrainie.gov.pl/#section1

4. RIGHT TO BENEFITS

Citizens of Ukraine whose stay is considered legal due to entry to Poland from February 24, 2022 (and their spouses regardless of their nationality) are entitled to family benefits, 500+ benefits, social assistance benefits (e.g. allowances, intervention assistance ), Dobry Start, family care capital, co-financing the reduction of parents’ fees for the child’s stay in a nursery. The minor’s temporary guardian is also entitled to benefits and subsidies. These benefits apply in the same way as in the case of Polish citizens, with the exceptions resulting from the “special act”.

Applications for the above-mentioned benefits should include the PESEL numbers of the applicant and his / her child / children.

WARNING! Social assistance benefits may also be granted to Ukrainian citizens who are legally residing in Poland on a different basis (regardless of when they entered Poland), and whose family members returned to Ukraine. The entitlement to individual social assistance benefits depends on the individual financial situation of the foreigner.

THE RIGHT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY INSTITUTION TO SUMMON THE FOREIGNER TO APPEAR IN PERSON FOR EXPLANATIONS

An important amendment (30.06.2022) is the authorisation for the Social Insurance Institution and other bodies competent for benefits (….) to summon applicants and those already in receipt of benefits to appear in person at the seat of the body to provide explanations. The regulations specified a permissible time limit for such a summons of three days. 

The consequences of failing to appear by the deadline are that the application is left unprocessed (for those claiming benefits) or that the benefit is withheld (for those already receiving benefits).

If the person summoned appears at the authority’s premises after the deadline, the benefits shall be paid from the month following the month in which the explanation was provided.

ONE-TIME CASH BENEFIT – citizens of Ukraine whose stay is considered legal in relation to with crossing the border from February 24, 2022 (and their spouses, regardless of nationality) and who have been entered in the PESEL register, may receive one-off financial resources in the amount of PLN 300 per person. This assistance is also to cover minors. To obtain such a benefit, you will need to submit an application to the social welfare center competent for your place of stay.

MATERIAL BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS – obywatel Ukrainy, którego pobyt jest uznawany za legalny, w związku z wjazdem do Polski od 24 lutego 2022 r. oraz jest studentem może ubiegać się o stypendium socjalne oraz o kredyt studencki.

5.    MEDICAL CARE

Citizens of Ukraine, whose stay is considered legal due to the crossing of the border after February 24, 2022, are entitled to medical care including healthcare services on the terms and to the extent to which persons covered by compulsory or voluntary health insurance are entitled to benefits on the basis of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds, with the exception of spa treatment or spa rehabilitation.

In practice, this means that these people will be able to use the services of family doctors in clinics, specialist doctors, hospitals, drug reimbursement, etc. to the same extent as Polish citizens covered by the NHF insurance.

6. TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT

Citizens of Ukraine whose stay has been recognized as legal due to crossing the border after February 24, 2022 will be able to submit an application for a temporary residence permit. The application should be submitted not earlier than 9 months from the date of entry, and not later than 18 months from February 24, 22. The permit will be granted for a period of 3 years from the date of issuing the decision.

The application is submitted to the Voivode competent for the applicant’s place of residence.

Ukrainian citizens who have been granted the above-mentioned permits will be able to perform legal work without the need to obtain an additional work permit.

7. MINORS WITHOUT CARE

The act proposes to introduce an institution of a temporary guardian for children who do not have legal guardians in Poland. For a minor whose stay has been legalized in connection with crossing the border after February 24, 2022, the court competent for the minor’s place of residence appoints a temporary guardian upon request and ex officio. It is a new institution in Polish law, which is to facilitate the establishment of guardianship over minors.

In the first instance, a relative or in-law of the child may be appointed a temporary guardian, but such care may be exercised by other persons who guarantee proper care for the child, which will be checked by the court each time. One guardian should be established for siblings.

The temporary guardian is to take care of the child’s person and property, however, in more important matters of the child, the consent of the family court will be required. Supervision over the activities of the temporary guardian will be carried out by a local government unit at the commune level, competent for the child’s place of residence.

The right to submit an application for the appointment of such a guardian is granted to:

• Border guards;

• voit, mayor, city president, staroste, voivodship marshal;

• prosecutor;

• Police;

• heads of organizational units of social assistance

• representatives of international or non-governmental organizations providing assistance to foreigners;

• the person who actually cares for the minor;

• other persons or entities as part of their tasks.

Before making a decision, the court hears the candidate for a guardian and a child. The court may summon a hearing in any way, e.g. by telephone, because it has 3 days to issue a ruling from receiving the application or instituting proceedings ex officio.

Temporary guardians and their charges are entitled to free legal aid and free civic counseling.

The court may also entrust the performance of a foster family or running a family orphanage to a child who is a citizen of Ukraine, residing legally in Poland on the basis of the “special act”:

• a citizen of Ukraine legally residing in Poland on the basis of the “special act” and who does not meet the conditions for foster families or running family orphanages in the scope of necessary training.

In care and educational institutions, placed children who are Ukrainian citizens and legally residing in Poland on the basis of the “special act” do not count towards the limits specified in the provisions on supporting the family and the foster care system.

8. INFORMATION FOR UKRAINE CITIZENS WHO COME TO POLAND BEFORE 24 FEBRUARY

On the basis of the “special act”, the legal stay of Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland before February 24 this year. has also been extended. However, on a different basis.

National visas of Ukrainian citizens, the validity of which expires after February 24, 2022, are extended by operation of law until December 31, 2022. NOTE: the visa extended on this basis does not entitle you to cross the border (except for drivers performing international road transport or non-profit international road transport).

WARNING! If you entered Poland from the territory of Ukraine on the basis of a visa from February 24, 2022, you have the right to stay legally for a period of 18 months from February 24, 2022 and to all associated powers.

EXTENSION OF SCHENGEN VISA AND RESIDENCE DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY OTHER STATES OF THE SCHENGEN AREA:

If you came to Poland before February 24, 2022 on the basis of a Schengen visa, visa-free travel or a residence permit issued by another authority of another state belonging to the Schengen area, and the permissible period of your stay in Poland expires after February 24, 2022, your stay in Poland is considered legal for a period of 18 months.

EXTENSION OF TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMITS

Temporary residence permits granted to citizens of Ukraine, validity of which expires after February 24, 2022, are extended until December 31, 2022.

Also, issued to Ukrainian citizens Residence Cards, Polish Identity Documents and the “permit for tolerated stay” document are extended by 18 months, if their validity expires in the period from February 24, 2022. The extended documents will not be subject to exchange. This means that a citizen of Ukraine will be able to use the same document all the time, the validity of which has been extended by law. 

NOTE: the residence card extended on this basis does not entitle you to cross the border.

The deadline for leaving the territory of the Republic of Poland is also extended by 18 months in connection with the decision to refuse to extend the visa, refuse to grant a residence permit, discontinue the proceedings in these cases, withdraw the residence permit or the decision ending the procedure for granting international protection, if it expires after February 24 .22

The period of voluntary return specified in the decision on the obligation to return is also extended by 18 months, if it concerns persons covered by the act and if it expires after February 24, 2022.

WARNING! The law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens stipulates that the right to work (without the need to obtain a permit) covers all Ukrainian citizens legally residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland, not only those who came to Poland after February 24.

It should be remembered that an employer employing a citizen of Ukraine is obliged to notify the Poviat Labor Office of this fact within 14 days of taking up employment (except for the situations mentioned above, in point 2).

9. STUDIES

The act also facilitates the continuation of studies at Polish universities for people who do not have documents confirming the results achieved, internships, etc. have the above-mentioned documents and declare that on that day they studied at a given year of study at a given field and level of study at a university operating in Ukraine, appropriate periods of these studies may be recognized through verification of the learning outcomes achieved.

The rules of verification of learning outcomes are set by the university, which may oblige the student to make up for the curriculum differences.

The above-mentioned facilities also apply to Polish citizens who studied in Ukraine before February 24, 2022.

10. WORK OF DOCTORS AND DENTISTS

The law provides for special facilities for doctors and dentists from Ukraine. These facilitations apply only to:

– citizens of Ukraine,

– who obtained the qualifications of a doctor or dentist outside the territory of the European Union Member States (i.e. in Ukraine, but also in other countries outside the EU).

Therefore, the facilities will not be available to third-country nationals and dentists who have fled Ukraine.

Citizens of Ukraine who have qualifications as a doctor or dentist obtained outside the EU will be able, from February 24, 2022, for a period of 18 months (regardless of the duration of the epidemic emergency or epidemic status), obtain permission to practice the profession of a doctor or dentist and have granted conditional right to practice a profession in Poland.

A citizen of Ukraine will be able to obtain permission to practice as a doctor or dentist if:

– has full legal capacity;

– his health condition allows him to practice as a doctor or dentist;

– shows impeccable ethical attitude and

– holds a doctor’s or dentist’s diploma confirming completion of at least five-year studies, issued in a country other than a Member State of the European Union. During the period of declaring an epidemic threat or state of an epidemic, these documents do not require legalization or apostille.

To obtain permission to practice as a doctor or dentist in Poland, a citizen of Ukraine meeting the above conditions will have to submit an appropriate application to the Minister of Health.

The granted right to practice allows work only in a medical entity. After starting such work, the citizen of Ukraine will be obliged to inform the Minister of Health about this fact within 7 days. Failure to inform may lead to the withdrawal of consent.

In addition, a citizen of Ukraine who has a permit to practice the profession of a doctor or dentist and a conditional right to practice these professions in connection with the announcement of an epidemic threat or state of an epidemic, will be able to work outside the medical facility intended to provide health services to patients suffering from COVID-19, even after lifting the state of epidemic threat and lifting the state of epidemic.

The Act also introduces separate rules for performing work for doctors and dentists during post-graduate internship and for nurses.

11. WORK OF TEACHERS

The Act provides for special facilities for academic teachers and research workers who want to practice in Poland.

A citizen of Ukraine legally residing on the territory of Poland pursuant to Article 2 Paragraph 1 of the “special act”, may be employed at a university as an academic teacher without conducting an appropriate competition, if he or she declares that on February 24, 2022 he worked as an academic teacher at a university operating in Ukraine and has the required professional title, academic degree, degree in field of art or the title of professor and the relevant qualifications for the position.

Under the same conditions (i.e. without holding a competition, based on a declaration of a Ukrainian citizen), a researcher from Ukraine may be employed in scientific institutions and other organizational units of the Polish Academy of Sciences and in a research institute.

In addition, when hiring an academic teacher for the position of:

1) professor

2) university professor

3) assistant professor

4) assistant

a citizen of Ukraine who obtained the title of professor, academic degree, degree in arts or professional title abroad, the requirements for this title may be waived, or

degree specified in the Law on Higher Education and Science (Article 116 Paragraph 2).

Moreover, a citizen of Ukraine residing legally on the territory of Poland pursuant to Art. 2 clause 1 of the “special act”, may be employed without a competition for the position of a research department at Centrum Łukasiewicz or an institute operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network, if he declares that on February 24, 2022 he met the qualification requirements for this position.

12. WORK OF PSYCHOOGISTS

The Special Act provides for special facilities for psychologists from Ukraine who want to practice in Poland.

From February 24, 2022, for a period of 18 months, psychologists from Ukraine may provide psychological services to Ukrainian citizens residing in Poland, including health care services in the field of psychiatric care and addiction treatment.

The “Special Act” does not provide grounds for such services and benefits to be provided by Ukrainian citizens to Polish citizens.

Psychologists from Ukraine may provide the above services provided that:

a) reside legally in Poland (both on the basis of the “special act” and other acts) and

b) have a diploma obtained in Ukraine:

1) uniform studies in the field of psychology, or

2) a first-cycle diploma in the field of psychology and a second-cycle diploma in the field of psychology

– completed with the title of a specialist in the field of psychology or a master’s degree in psychology.

Moreover, Ukrainian citizens residing legally on the territory of Poland pursuant to Article 2 Paragraph 1 of the “special act”, may – with the consent of the relevant authorities – be employed as psychologists:

a) in institutional forms of foster care,

b) in a day support facility,

c) at the organizer of family foster care

despite not having knowledge of the Polish language confirmed by an appropriate document.

It should be remembered that the employment of a psychologist from Ukraine on the basis of the above rules still has to be notified to the poviat labor office within 14 days (with exceptions provided for in the “special act”).

13. BENEFITS FOR PERSONS WHO PROVIDED ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD FOR CITIZENS OF UKRAINE

The act provides that persons (and entities) who have provided accommodation and meals at their own expense for Ukrainian citizens (who entered Poland from February 24, 2022) will be able to receive a cash benefit on this account on the basis of an agreement concluded with the commune. This benefit will be granted for a maximum period of 60 days from the date of arrival of a Ukrainian citizen to Poland, which may be extended in justified cases. Disputes relating to this cash benefit may be settled in court.

The amendment (30.06.2022) specifies the deadline for submitting an application for the above cash benefit. This application must be submitted within one month of the last day of the period covered by the application. Submission of the application after the deadline will result in it being left unprocessed.

Applications covering the time period up to the date of entry into force of the amending Act must be submitted by July 31, 2022. However, applications covering a period prior to April 30, 2022 may be submitted within 14 days of the date of entry into force of the amending Act, on the form in force prior to April 30, 2022.

Failure to comply with the above deadlines is to result in the application being left unprocessed. (Article 1(9) and Article 8 of the amending Act) 

14. BENEFITS FOR PERSONS WHO PROVIDED ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD FOR CITIZENS OF UKRAINE

The act provides that persons (and entities) who have provided accommodation and meals at their own expense for Ukrainian citizens (who entered Poland from February 24, 2022) will be able to receive a cash benefit on this account on the basis of an agreement concluded with the commune. This benefit will be granted for a maximum period of 60 days from the date of arrival of a Ukrainian citizen to Poland, which may be extended in justified cases. Disputes relating to this cash benefit may be settled in court.

 LENDING AGREEMENT

In the case of lending to a citizen of Ukraine, referred to above, a building or its part in order to temporarily meet housing needs, the provisions of the Act of June 21, 2001 on the protection of tenants’ rights, municipal housing resources and the amendment to the Civil Code do not apply to this loan. and art. 15zzu paragraph 1 of the Act of March 2, 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them 

This means that in this case the rights and obligations of owners and tenants specified in the act do not apply.

The most important rights that tenants will not have under these contracts are the right to social housing in the event of eviction and the suspension of eviction during an epidemic.

The provisions which condition the possibility of early termination of the contract by both the owner and the tenant will not apply. The provisions contained in the contract are decisive in this matter, i.e. if we conclude a contract for a definite period of time and do not include the possibility of early termination, there will be no such possibility.

The tenant’s obligations related to the end of use of the premises, such as: renewing the premises and making repairs incriminating it, or returning to the landlord the equivalent of worn out elements of technical equipment, will also not apply.

In turn, the owner is not bound by restrictions related to increasing the amount of rent and the period of notice of the amount of rent.

If you have doubts about the contract, it is best to contact a lawyer.

OCCASIONAL LEASE

Conclusion of an occasional lease agreement with a citizen of Ukraine whose stay is considered legal on the basis of the “special act”, will not require the indication of a replacement premises to which eviction may be carried out, and submission of a declaration of the owner of the premises or a person with legal title to the premises on consenting to residence of the tenant and people living with him in the premises indicated in the declaration.

15. FREE POLISH LANGUAGE TUITION FOR PERSONS SUBJECT TO COMPULSORY EDUCATION

The Act amends the Act of December 14, 2016 – Education Law, granting the entitlement to receive free Polish language education to persons subject to compulsory education who are not citizens of the Republic of Poland and who do not speak Polish or do not speak it sufficiently to benefit from the education, for a maximum period of 24 months.  (Article 7(1) of the amending Act)

16. THE ACT ON AID TO THE CITIZENS OF UKRAINE AND TIME PROTECTION DEFINED IN THE IMPLEMENTING DECISION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION OF MARCH 4, 2022.

In addition to the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens (“special act”) adopted by the Polish authorities, the so-called temporary protection for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

The decision of the Council of the European Union of March 4, 2022 defines the group of people covered by this protection more broadly than the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that country. Pursuant to this decision, temporary protection in the territory of the Republic of Poland covers:

• Ukrainian citizens living in Ukraine who left in the period from February 24, 2022 due to the invasion of Russia – including those who crossed the border illegally

• third-country nationals granted international protection on the territory of Ukraine (refugees), who left Ukraine from February 24, 2022;

• family members of the two groups of people mentioned above;

• third-country nationals who legally resided in Ukraine before February 24, 2022 on the basis of a valid permanent residence permit (and are able to prove it), and who are unable to return to their country or region in safe and durable conditions origin.

It should be emphasized that the Polish law cannot limit the right to protection of persons who have been granted it pursuant to a decision of the Council of the European Union.

What should people with temporary protection, who are not covered by the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens, and who want to stay in Poland, do?

These persons have the right to legally stay in the territory of Poland for a period of one year, for which temporary protection has been introduced.

In the current legal status, these persons can be obtained from the Head of the Office for Foreigners certificate confirming the use of temporary protection.

What are my rights if I am entitled to temporary protection, but I am not covered by the Act on assistance to Ukrainian citizens?

In addition to the right to obtain the above-mentioned document, persons covered by temporary protection have the right to legally perform work and business activity in the territory of the Republic of Poland and to education also for adults.

In terms of work, all Ukrainian citizens residing legally in Poland may work if their employer notifies the poviat labor office of the fact of employment, within 14 days.

For a person enjoying temporary protection who has been issued a relevant certificate, the Head of the Office for Foreigners provides, at their request, medical care and grants assistance through accommodation and meals or assistance in the form of a cash benefit.

Accommodation and meals may be provided in centers for foreigners.

Foreigners receiving assistance in the form of accommodation and meals are also entitled to:

1) constant financial assistance for the purchase of cleaning and personal hygiene products or cleaning and personal hygiene products;

2) help in the form of learning Polish and basic materials

necessary to learn the language;

3) teaching aids for children benefiting from education and care in public institutions, primary schools or secondary schools;

4) financing of journeys by public transport:

a) for the purpose of treatment or undergoing preventive vaccinations,

b) in other particularly justified cases.

The scope of support provided to a person enjoying temporary protection depends on their income. If the amount of the monthly income per person in the family of a foreigner covered by temporary protection is higher than PLN 776 (a person living alone) or PLN 660 (a person living with the family) per person, assistance may be provided only in the form of accommodation, learning Polish and basic materials necessary to learn this language and teaching aids for children.

Am I entitled to medical care as a person covered by temporary protection?

Pursuant to the provisions of the Temporary Protection Directive, Poland is obliged to provide persons covered by temporary protection with temporary medical care at least with regard to the treatment of basic diseases and in emergencies.

Pursuant to Polish regulations, a person enjoying temporary protection who has been issued a relevant certificate, the Head of the Office for Foreigners provides, at their request, medical care.

Temporary protection and traveling around the European Union.

Ukrainian citizens are covered by the so-called visa-free travel.

Therefore, Member States have decided that beneficiaries of temporary protection who have already received documents confirming their use in a given State may move within the territory of the European Union for 90 consecutive 180 days.

Before obtaining documents confirming the use of temporary protection, a Ukrainian citizen may move around the European Union on the same terms, if he has biometric passport. Ukrainian citizens are not obliged to enjoy temporary protection in the territory of the first Member State into which they entered. They can choose where they want to take advantage of this protection.

However, if you do not have a biometric passport, and you would like to go to another country of the European Union and take advantage of temporary protection there, we recommend contacting the embassy of a given country or checking the information available on the embassy’s website.