Pursuant to the provisions of the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland, a foreigner is granted refugee status if there is a justified fear of persecution in the country of origin due to race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or belonging to a specific social group. The refugee status is also granted to a minor child of a foreigner who has obtained the refugee status.
The foreigner submits an application for international protection to the Head of the Office through the commanding officer of the Border Guard unit or the commanding officer of the Border Guard facility.
The applicant submits the application for international protection in person. On behalf of an unaccompanied minor, an application for international protection is submitted by a probation officer or a representative of an international or non-governmental organization providing assistance to foreigners, including legal aid, if on the basis of an individual assessment of the situation of an unaccompanied minor, the organization considers that he or she may need such protection.
Submitting an application for international protection is possible:
- when entering the territory of the Republic of Poland during border control (the Border Guard officer should then be informed about the intention to submit an asylum application),
- during the stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland (you should report to any branch or post of the Border Guard),
- through the commanding officer of the branch or the commanding officer of the Border Guard post, which covers the territorial scope of activities of the headquarters of the guarded guarded center, the detention center for foreigners, the pre-trial detention center or the penal institution - if a person who wants to submit an application for international protection is staying in the above-mentioned places of detention.
A case concerning granting international protection is processed within 6 months from the date of submitting the application for granting international protection on a form which - in special cases - may be extended to 15 months. In some cases, letters are examined in an accelerated procedure (within 30 days).
A foreigner who has the refugee status or benefits from subsidiary protection has the rights of a foreigner who has been granted a residence permit for a fixed period, unless the provisions of the Act or other acts provide otherwise.
A foreigner who is granted the refugee status is issued with a travel document provided for in the Geneva Convention and a residence card valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue.
A foreigner who is granted subsidiary protection is issued with a residence card valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issue.
After the expiry of the validity period of the residence card issued in connection with obtaining the refugee status or subsidiary protection, another residence card is issued, valid respectively for the period referred to above.
The travel document provided for in the Geneva Convention is valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issue.
A foreigner who applies for international protection stays on the territory of Poland legally. However, it may not cross the border of the Republic of Poland until the end of the proceedings.
If a foreigner has a valid travel document, he must deposit it with the Head of the Office for Foreigners. Each foreigner who submits an application for international protection is issued a special document - TZTC (temporary foreigner's identity certificate), confirming the identity and entitling such person to stay in Poland until the end of the procedure for granting international protection with a final decision.
If a foreigner decides to leave after submitting an application for international protection in Poland, it is very possible that under the so-called In Dublin, he will be sent back to Poland as the country responsible for examining his application. Such illegal border crossing (in the European Union) may result in the placement of a foreigner in a guarded center run by the Border Guard.
When a foreigner applying for international protection has a family in another EU country, he may apply for the so-called "Reunion" with the family, i.e. transferring it to a given country in order to apply there (together with family members who are already there) for international protection. According to the EU refugee law, the family is: minor children, a spouse and (in the case of minors) a parent or legal guardian. The head of the Office for Foreigners contacts the indicated country, which decides whether it will accept responsibility for examining the foreigner's application.