Who can apply for temporary residence (under the Special-purpose Act) in Poland from 1.04.23 and under what conditions?

Update: 08.02.2023

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 on the Territory of Ukraine and Certain Other Acts, there has been a new regulation of the possibility for persons under temporary protection in Poland to apply for a temporary residence permit in Poland.

According to the current wording of the regulations, citizens of Ukraine enjoying temporary protection in Poland (i.e. essentially persons with UKR PESEL) will only be able to apply for temporary residence in Poland if the purpose of their stay in Poland is:

– performance of the work,

– performance in a highly qualified occupation (Blue Card) or

– running a business.

The submission of residency applications by such persons will be possible from April 1, 2023.

The application will be submitted to the governor with jurisdiction over the foreigner’s place of residence. Exceptionally, Ukrainian citizens applying for one of the above-mentioned temporary residence permits will be exempt from the obligation to appear in person at the provincial office if they have previously submitted fingerprints when obtaining their UKR PESEL. However, if they have not done so, it will be necessary for them to appear in person at the Provincial Office in order to provide fingerprints, but exceptionally after the residence decision has been issued (most likely when they collect their temporary residence card in person).

If a citizen of Ukraine does not meet the requirements for the granting of a temporary residence permit due to the declared purpose of stay or the circumstances on which the application for this permit is based do not justify his/her stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months, or circumstances justifying the refusal to grant him/her a temporary residence permit occur, a temporary residence permit for a period of 1 year will be granted to the citizen of Ukraine until August 24, 2023, counting from the date of issuing the decision. In practice, this means that even if a Ukrainian citizen does not meet all the conditions for obtaining a temporary residence permit in Poland, as long as the purpose of his/her stay in Poland is to work or conduct business, he/she should be granted a residence card for a trial period of 1 year.

However, if a Ukrainian citizen demonstrates that he or she meets all the requirements for the granting of a temporary residence permit provided for the purpose of stay (for the purpose of work, for the purpose of highly qualified employment, or for the purpose of business), he or she may, as of April 1, 2023, apply for a permit for a maximum period of three years.

It is worth remembering that for all Ukrainian nationals who apply or will apply for a temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting business activities in the form of a sole proprietorship, until August 24, 2023, the requirement to demonstrate that a sufficiently high income has been generated in the business activity in the fiscal year preceding the application for a temporary residence permit, or that a sufficient number of employees are employed, or that activities are carried out that will allow the required income to be generated in the future, does not apply. This is a major facilitation provided for start-ups, offering Ukrainian citizens the chance to obtain a residence card even if the companies they have set up have not yet generated sufficient revenue and are just developing.

Unfortunately, the Special-purpose Act does not currently provide for the possibility for children under temporary protection in Poland to apply for a temporary residence permit, even after April 1, 2023, even if they are children of persons authorised as of April 1, 2023, to apply for temporary residence.

The grounds for granting a temporary residence permit for different purposes of stay and the required documents can be found on the website: https://www.gov.pl/web/uw-mazowiecki/zezwolenia-na-pobyt2 

We recommend that, before April 1, 2023, one should verify on the website of the relevant Provincial Office what documents are required for Ukrainian citizens under temporary protection who are applying for a temporary residence permit and what procedure and manner of application are provided for in the respective office, as this may vary from one province to another.