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GMI Legal Update: The Ukrainian government stops issuing passports to men residing outside Ukraine, also in Poland


According to the decision of the Ukrainian government published on the evening of April 24th on the Ukrainian government website, effective from April 23, 2024, male citizens of Ukraine aged 18 to 60 can collect new Ukrainian passports only in the territory of Ukraine. They cannot collect a new passport in the territory of Poland – even if the application for its issuance was submitted before April 23, 2024.

The restrictions do not apply only to those from above citizens of Ukraine who meet the conditions entitling them to leave the territory of Ukraine (e.g. single parents, fathers of at least three children, some disabled people).

In some cases, it may be possible to address the problems resulting from a lack of Ukrainian passport based on the means available under Polish law – e.g. by obtaining the so-called Polish travel document for foreigner instead of a Ukrainian passport – however, this is subject to restrictive requirements.

The discontinuation of issuing Ukrainian passports outside of Ukraine is related to the new Ukrainian regulations on military mobilization, which are to enter into force on May 18, 2024.

Lack of possibility to renew a Ukrainian passport for a Ukrainian national residing in Poland does not mean an automatic loss of right to stay in Poland after the expiry of the current passport. Also, it does not entail loss of the right to work in Poland based on the provisions of the Polish Special Bill on assistance to citizens of Ukraine.

However, lack of passport is a serious obstacle to the possibility of traveling outside Poland and to the possibility of extending right of residence in Poland (e.g. by obtaining a residence permit and a residence card) which, in many cases may be impossible to overcome.