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Information for refugees from Ukraine - part. 2

 After receiving the refugee status, a foreigner cannot work for the first 6 months of the procedures. He has the right to do so when he is granted international protection or if the procedure is prolonged, i.e. it lasts more than six months, and it is not the fault of the foreigner. In both cases, he is exempt from the need to obtain a work permit. Thus, employment of a person covered by international protection or waiting for the examination of the application for more than 6 months means that the superior is subject to the same procedures as for employing polish workers.

 Persons waiting for the refugee status can legally work in Poland on the basis of a certificate issued by the Head of the Office for Foreigners. They can apply for them if the proceedings concerning their refugee status last longer than six months. Such a certificate together with a temporary identity document entitles to work legally in Poland.

People who have already been granted refugee status or have been granted subsidiary protection may, within 60 days, apply to the poviat family support center for an individual integration program (IPI). This program lasts 12 months and its aim is to help a foreigner become economically independent, learn Polish and integrate with the local society. Signing up for the course also creates certain obligations for the protected person, they should first of all: regularly attend a Polish language course, register at the poviat labor office, actively look for a job and regularly meet a social worker.

Refugees have exactly the same rights as Polish citizens (except for the right to vote). In particular, they have the right to live in Poland, travel, take up employment and start a business, the right to education, social assistance and access to the public health service. When it comes to the labor market, only the professions that require Polish citizenship are beyond the reach of refugees. In other cases, refugees do not need any work permit.

Refugees may also register with the employment office and have the same rights and obligations as Polish citizens seeking work. This means that social benefits for the unemployed are also available to refugees and that they must - like Polish citizens - regularly visit employment offices in order to confirm their readiness to take up employment.

Refugees have the right to benefit from social assistance on the same terms as Polish citizens, i.e. when they are not able to satisfy their own and their family's basic needs, the measure of the family's financial situation is the so-called Income criterion - in 2022, the income threshold for a single person running a household is PLN 776, and for families it is PLN 600 per member.

In addition, refugees may apply for a social or communal accommodation must be submitted to the authorities of the commune / district (head of the commune / mayor), competent for the place of residence.

Persons who have been granted refugee status or subsidiary protection in Poland are entitled to the same treatment in terms of medical care as Polish citizens. This means that you will need health insurance for free access to healthcare.

In Poland, children not only have the right to education, but also its obligation until they turn 18. This means that no child may be refused school on grounds of nationality, racial or ethnic origin, or because of his or her legal status or possession of a document. Foreign children benefit from education and care in public kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools, high schools, technical schools and vocational schools on the same terms as Polish citizens.

Refugees can travel to the countries belonging to the Schengen area if they have a residence card issued by the Polish authorities. They can enter and stay in the territory of another Schengen country for a period of 90 days within 180 days without the need to obtain a visa. To exercise this right, you must: have a valid travel document, justify the purpose and conditions of the planned stay, have sufficient financial resources for the duration of the planned stay and return.