Until when do Ukrainian citizens, who come to Poland after 02/24/2022 have to apply for a temporary stay, and by when are other, who came to Poland just before 02/24/2022?

Update: 03.02.2023

Citizens of Ukraine who came to Poland from February 24, 2022 in connection with military operations in Ukraine are subject to the provisions of the so-called Ukrainian Special Act (Act of 12 March 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of that state (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 583)). On the basis of this act, they may stay in Poland legally for a period of 18 months from February 24, 2022. According to the Code of Administrative Procedure, the said period of 18 months will end on August 24, 2023. Until the end of this period, persons with a diia document do not have to do anything to do – stay in Poland legally.

As a result of the publication on January 27, 2023 of the Act of January 13, 2023 amending the Act on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with the armed conflict in the territory of this country and certain other acts, a new regulation was introduced regarding the possibility for persons covered by temporary protection to submit Poland applications for a temporary residence permit in Poland. The amendment provides that Ukrainian citizens enjoying temporary protection in Poland will be able to apply for temporary stay in Poland, if the purpose of their stay in Poland is to perform work, perform work in a profession requiring high qualifications (Blue Card) or run a business. Submission of residence applications by such persons will be possible from 1 April 2023.

Importantly, in accordance with the amendment, the voivode leaves applications for temporary residence submitted by Ukrainian citizens after 9 months of stay in Poland and before the date of entry into force of the amendment without consideration. This means that although the special act has so far allowed Ukrainian citizens to apply for a temporary residence permit in Poland under a simplified procedure, all applications submitted to voivodes on this basis have not and will not have any legal effects.

In the case of persons who entered/stayed in Poland before February 24 (or arrived after this date, but NOT IN CONNECTION with the war, but for other reasons) – they are not covered by the Special Act, so they can apply for a temporary residence permit at any time moment.

In principle, a foreigner may submit an application for temporary residence on the last day of legal stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland at the latest. At present, however, it must be taken into account that the government has extended the legality of stay and work of foreigners on Polish territory.

One is the “covid law” (the law of March 2, 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (consolidated text, Journal of Laws of 2021, item 2095,)), which, in principle, extended the legality of the foreigner’s stay in Poland until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the state (state of epidemic or state of epidemic threat) which will be in force last. However, the extension of the validity of residence titles held in Poland under the Covid Act will be in force until August 24, 2023 at the latest (unless the current state of epidemic emergency is canceled earlier).

Also on the basis of the Special Act on Assistance to Ukrainian Citizens, the validity of residence titles of Ukrainian citizens who were in Poland before February 24, 2022 was extended until August 24, 2023.

It can therefore be assumed that August 24, 2023 is the date by which foreigners who are not covered by temporary protection, and whose visa-free travel, visa or residence card have expired or will expire, will have to submit applications for temporary residence in Poland if they interest in staying in Poland.