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#ALERT: Special Act – Immigration Office will not process complaints regarding Residence Permit for a foreigner


The government managed to complete work on changes to the special bill on help for Ukrainian refugees before Easter.

The amendment (published on the evening of 14 April) introduces changes concerning not only foreigners who came to Poland in connection with the war. Some of the changes mainly concern foreigners who have previously stayed in Poland and are e.g. waiting for a residence permit.

The most important changes for the stay and employment of foreigners included in the amendment are:

  • suspension from 15 April to 31 December 2022 of the deadlines for processing applications for residence permits for foreigners – at the same time the Immigration Office will not bear the consequences of delays. The change is probably aimed at reducing the burden on offices with handling complaints (that come in large numbers). This will make it easier to end pending residence permit processes before refugees from Ukraine start applying for permits at the end of the year;
  • simplification of the criteria for a residence permit in connection with running a business for Ukrainian citizens (who run a business as individual entrepreneurs) – obtaining this type of permit by 31 December 2022 will not require presenting e.g. an appropriate level of income from their business;
  • extension of the PESEL registration deadline for refugees from Ukraine from 60 days to 90 days from entering Poland. Also, the registration forms will be simplified and persons whose health condition does not allow them to visit the authorities will be able to register in e.g. their place of stay;
  • clarification of the procedure for obtaining a PESEL identification number by persons who fled Ukraine before the war, e.g. in a situation where a foreigner already had a PESEL number from the period of previous residence in Poland;
  • introduction of procedure for cancelling the issued certificates for beneficiaries of EU temporary protection – for refugees from Ukraine who later gained protection under the Polish special bill (mainly applies to refugees who entered Poland e.g. via Slovakia between 24 February and 26 March 2022);
  • possibility of earlier submission of applications for temporary residence by Ukrainians who fled to Poland due to the war and work as drivers in international transport – for this group of foreigners it will not be necessary to wait 9 months from the moment of arrival to Poland before submitting the application;
  • issuing visas for foreigners already residing in Poland (without submitting an application at a Polish consulate abroad) – groups of foreigners entitled to obtain visas under this procedure will be specified in a separate regulation, the date of the possible issuance of this regulation is unknown;
  • introduction of a new type of a residence permit for a period of 3 years on simplified terms for holders of humanitarian visas (in practice, they are mainly citizens of Belarus) – the scope of foreigners entitled to use this procedure will be also determined by a separate regulation.

Despite the wide scope, the amendment does not solve many practical problems in the application of the special bill on help for Ukrainian refugees.

We can expect further drafts of changes to the special act will appear in the coming weeks.