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Special provisions of the law for foreigners during the CoVID-19 pandemic

 On March 31, 2020, a new law entered into force, which adopted a series of new decrees for foreigners residing in Poland. The new rules allow a foreigner to remain legally in the country, in order to fulfill his purpose of visiting Poland, or if the foreigner cannot leave Poland in the situation of the CoVID-19 pandemic.

 The above innovations will concern:

  • legal stay of a foreigner on the basis of national visas and temporary residence permits, which ends during the declaration of a pandemic in Poland,
  • deadlines for submitting applications for legalization of stay in Poland,
  • the validity period of already issued work permits, seasonal work permits and declarations of entrusting workto a foreigner.

 In addition, deadlines for cases below will be extended:

  • for foreigners to leave the territory of Poland,
  • for voluntary return specified in the decisions obliging the foreigner to return.

 Extension of the legal stay of foreigners in Poland

 The extension of the legal stay of a foreigner residing in Poland will be applied in situations where the last day of legal residence falls within the period of the status of a pandemic in Poland (this period begins on March 14, 2020, when the state of emergency was declared).

 In this case, information on the extended stay in Poland (visa sticker, application, etc.) will not be included in any type of travel document of a foreigner. Along with this provision, a foreigner should understand that an extended stay in Poland does not give him the right to travel to other EU countries. If the purpose of the foreigners stay was to work in Poland, he can still fulfill his purpose of stay. Accordingly, the validity of work permits and seasonal work will be extended.

 Extension of application deadlines

 The new law also provides for an extension of the deadline for submitting applications for residence in Poland. If a foreigner submits an application and stays in Poland due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, his stay will be considered legal.

 The above decision will apply to foreigners who would like to apply for:

  • Provision of a temporary, permanent or long-term EU resident permit,
  • Extension of a national visa (symbol D) or a Schengen visa (symbol C),
  • Extension of the period of visa-free entry - this applies only to citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore and Uruguay, since visa waiver agreements only with these countries provide such a possibility.

 Extension of terms of departure from the territory of Poland

 If a foreigner has previously applied for the legalization of his stay in Poland and was refused during the announcement of the status of the CoVID-19 pandemic, the time for leaving Poland will be extended until the end of the 30th day after the state cancel this status.

 After the introduction of the pandemic status in Poland in connection with CoVID-19, the right to residence of citizens of the Member States of the European Union, the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), the Swiss Confederation and members of families living with them will not change in any way. These rights are not dependent on the availability of any permits or documents to stay specifically in Poland.

 As you can see, the Polish government has not forgotten about foreigners and is also fully trying to help them. We urge you not to panic and, with our help, to observe all the latest innovations from the Polish government. If your case has not been described in the legislation and you need advice and assistance, we are always happy to help you!