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Changes in the procedure for issuing the Polish National Visas for the purpose of work; right to work made available to humanitarian visa holders


Parliamentary works are underway on the act amending the Act on foreigners and certain other acts. The new provisions will probably come into force still in 2020.

The new regulations provide for a number of solutions to change the procedures for issuing, withdrawing and cancelling Polish National Visas. The most significant changes regard the proceedings on the issuing of the Polish National Visas for the purpose of work.

The most important changes to the Act on foreigners provided for in the amending act are presented below:

1.Stricter requirements regarding travel medical insurance, i.e.:

a) the insurance can only be issued by the insurance company having its seat or branch in Poland, EU, EEA or Switzerland, and exceptionally also by a company from outside this area – after meeting additional conditions, indicating its stable financial situation; in addition, in any case, the insurance company should provide a 24/7 alarm center service for reporting an incident that is subject to insurance liability;

b) an applicant seeking a Polish National Visa for the purpose of work will have to present insurance valid for the entire period of the intended stay in Poland, even if they are going to be insured with the Polish social security after starting work in Poland.

2. Changes to the territorial competence of consuls in matters of the Polish National Visas for the purpose of work – an application for such a visa may be submitted to the consul competent for the country where the visa applicant legally resides or temporary stays (and not only to the consul competent for the country of the applicant’s permanent residence).

3. Introduction of a deadline for completing the Polish National Visa process – 15 days from the date of submitting the application (with the possibility of extending it to 60 days – in justified cases);

4. Detailed specification of elements of the content of the decisions on refusal the Polish National Visa, and on withdrawal and cancelation of such visa;

5. Detailed specification of the content and the form of decisions upholding decisions on visa refusal, its withdrawal and cancelation – change concerns both the Polish National and Schengen visas (such decisions are to be issued on model forms);

6. The new processing time for the application for reconsideration of the case against the decision to refuse a visa (14 days from the date of submitting the application) – change concerns both Polish National and Schengen visas;

7. The new model application form for the Polish National Visa.

The Act on employment promotion and labour market institutions will also be changed. An amendment was introduced to the bill, the purpose of which is to enable foreigners who have a work permit and reside in Poland on the basis of a visa issued for humanitarian reasons to perform work legally. The current regulations do not allow for humanitarian visa holders to work in Poland even after obtaining a work permit.

The new regulations will come into force after 14 days from the date of their publication in the Journal of Laws.