What are the rules for legalizing the stay of Ukrainian citizens who do not have valid documents and have been in Poland for some time (before the war)?

In the case of disclosure of the illegal stay of a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland, which had started before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the consequences may be imposed on the foreigner, most often consisting in obliging the foreigner to return and setting the foreigner a period of 15 to 30 days for voluntary return and on the prohibition of re-entry against the foreigner. in the territory of the Republic of Poland and other countries of the Schengen area for a period from 6 months to 3 years (in extreme cases up to 5 years).

However, currently, under the Act on special solutions related to the prevention, counteraction and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and emergencies caused by them, if the last day of the voluntary return period falls during the period of the epidemic threat or epidemic state announced in connection with COVID- 19, this period is extended to the expiry of the 30th day following the date of recall of the last in force from the states.

Regardless of the “covid” act, the Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in Connection with an Armed Conflict in the Territory of that State (Special Act) provides that if the deadline for voluntary return specified in the decision issued to a citizen of Ukraine falls in the period from February 24, 2022, it is extended by operation of law for a period of 18 months.

These special legal solutions allow foreigners (in the case of the covid law – everyone, and in the case of the Special Law – a citizen of Ukraine) to stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland for a specified period, despite the foreigner’s obligation to return and setting a deadline for him to voluntarily leave the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Situations related to the lack of valid documents allowing for legal stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland are so complex issues that they require individual legal consultations. After a detailed examination of a specific case, it may even turn out that it is possible to legalize the illegal stay of a foreigner without having to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland.