What about Ukrainian citizens who were still in Poland in January this year and whose visa-free regime, or visa or permit, will end? What should be done to make the stay of such a person still legal?

According to the new regulations, the legal stay of Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland before February 24 this year will also be extended. However, the extension will be granted on a different basis. 

EXTENSION OF NATIONAL VISA National visas of Ukrainian citizens whose validity expires after February 24 are extended by operation of law until December 31, 2022. 

NOTE: A visa extended on this basis does not entitle you to cross the border. 

ATTENTION! If you entered Poland on the basis of a visa, directly from the territory of Ukraine from February 24, you are also subject to a general extension of stay for 18 months from February 24 and all related rights (benefits) and obligations (applying for a PESEL number). 

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 the territory of the Republic of Poland expires after February 24, this period is extended by 18 months. 

EXTENSION OF TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMITS Temporary residence permits valid after February 24 are extended until December 31, 2022. It applies also 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. Extended documents will not be exchanged. This means that we will be able to use the same document all the time, the validity period of which has been extended by law. 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, 2022 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. 

ATTENTION! The Act 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, 2022. It should be remembered that an employer hiring a citizen of Ukraine is obliged to notify the District Labor Office about this fact within 14 days of taking on a new employer” In addition, the provisions of the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield remain in force and apply to all foreigners regardless of the situation in Ukraine. 

Pursuant to the Anti-Crisis Shield, if the deadline for filing an application for a temporary residence permit (i.e. the last day of the foreigner’s legal stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland, e.g. the last day of the foreigner’s stay under the visa-free regime) falls during the state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic (the latter of the two is currently in force in Poland), the deadline shall be extended until the expiry of the 30th day following the lifting of the state of epidemic or epidemic threat, whichever of the two will be last in force. 

Consequently, regardless of the special act, if the foreigner’s visa-free regime expires, he/she can take further steps to legalize his/her stay, i.e. file an application for a temporary stay, and do so until the 30th day following the lifting of the state of epidemic or threat of epidemic, whichever of the two will be last in force in Poland. Similarly, the Anti-crisis Shield extends the validity of residence permits (residence cards) and national visas – if the last day of validity of any of these documents falls during a state of epidemic or epidemic threat, the foreigner’s stay in Poland is considered legal until the 30th day following the lifting of the state of epidemic or epidemic threat, whichever of the two will be last in force in Poland. Interestingly, unlike the special act, the Anti-Crisis Shield does not prohibit foreigners from crossing the Polish border on the basis of national visas and residence cards whose validity has been extended by the Anti-Crisis Shield.