information on current situation
and legal options
LEGISLATION & DOCUMENTS
LEGAL ENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN POLAND
SOCIAL AND MEDICAL SERVICES
Works on amendments to the Act on support to citizens of Ukraine are in progress
Benefits for providing accommodation and meals to citizens of Ukraine - application form
We made this website as a sign of our solidarity in the face of war being waged just outside borders of Poland.
We want to share knowledge and provide current, practical information regarding possibilities and legal procedures concerning arrival and legalisation of stay in Poland for people forced to leave their homes.
We will continuously update this website with new information and documents.
Key amendment to the law on assistance to citizens of Ukraine
As announced, a law amending the Law on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine was promulgated on Saturday 26 March. The key change concerns the abolition of the need for direct entry into Poland from the territory of Ukraine.
In the new wording of the act (but, what is important, in force since 24 February!) all citizens of Ukraine, who came to the territory of the Republic of Poland in connection with the warfare (also through other countries) and declare their intention to stay in Poland are covered by the provisions of the special law and thus simplified procedures for the legalisation of residence and work.
As a rule, their stay in Poland is considered legal for a period of 18 months from the date of their entry into Poland, regardless of the place where they crossed the border.
Works on amendments to the Act on support to citizens of Ukraine are in progress
The Sejm has adopted a draft amendment to the Act on Support for Ukrainian Citizens in Connection with Armed Conflict in the Territory of Ukraine (hereinafter: the Act), the main principles of which we described here. The project will therefore go to the Senate.
The planned amendments are intended to broaden the scope of the Act to include a wider circle of Ukrainian citizens fleeing to Poland from war.
Currently, the condition for protection is entering Poland directly from the territory of Ukraine. After the changes, the Act will also cover those Ukrainian citizens who:
The amendment is to enter into force with effect from 24 February 2022, which is the date of the commencement of military operations in Ukraine.
This means that the legal situation of Ukrainian citizens who arrived in Poland due to the outbreak of war will be the same - regardless of whether or not they entered the territory of Poland directly from Ukraine.
Guide for Ukrainian citizens regarding the personal data
The Personal Data Protection Office has published a guide for Ukrainian citizens in the field of personal data. The guide contains, inter alia, information on:
To download the guide, please click HERE (UA / ENG).
Benefits for providing accommodation and meals to citizens of Ukraine - application form
Detailed rules for granting cash benefits to persons and entities providing accommodation and food to citizens of Ukraine are now known. The most important conditions are:
1. The amount of the benefit is PLN 40 per day for each person.
2. The benefit is due for the period of actual provision of accommodation and meals, but currently for a period not exceeding 60 days.
3. The subsidy is granted in case accommodation and meals are provided to the following persons:
a) a citizen of Ukraine who has come to Poland directly from the territory of Ukraine in connection with military operations conducted on the territory of that country,
b) a citizen of Ukraine holding a Pole’s Card (regardless of whether he or she came directly from Ukraine or from another country), who, together with his or her immediate family, came to Poland due to the warfare on the territory of Ukraine.
4. The subsidy may be granted to any entity meeting the conditions provided for in the regulations (both natural persons and entrepreneurs and other organizational units, legal persons).
5. In the case of natural persons, a person who is not a Polish citizen may also apply for co-financing (e.g. also a Ukrainian residing in Poland before the outbreak of war, who provides accommodation and meals to people coming from Ukraine in connection with the outbreak of war).
6. The subsidy is granted on the basis of an application submitted to the municipality (‘gmina’). The municipality has the possibility to verify the conditions that have been provided for the Ukrainian citizens.
7. The allowance is paid in arrears. The deadline for the municipality to examine the application is one month.
8. In particularly justified cases, the amount of the benefit may be increased or the period of granting extended.
9. The following information must be provided in the application:
a) Name and surname or name of the applicant,
b) PESEL or NIP of the applicant,
c) indication of the period for which the accommodation is provided, and the number of persons accepted for accommodation,
d) the name of the person taken in and his or her PESEL if he or she has one,
e) a statement by the applicant that accommodation and meals will be provided,
f) the number of the payment account into which the allowance will be paid,
g) a declaration by the applicant under penalty of law for making false statements that the data contained in the application are true,
h) the address of the place of residence of the persons admitted to accommodation,
i) the e-mail address and telephone number of the applicant,
j) a statement that no benefit has already been paid for the person admitted for accommodation for the period indicated,
k) a statement by the applicant that no additional remuneration, including rent, has been received for the period indicated in point 3.
A model application form is available to download here (PL).
The provisions for Ukrainian citizens support are already in force (!) - the most important regulations resulting from the new law
The provisions for Ukrainian citizens support are already in force (!) - the most important regulations resulting from the new law.
New regulations have come into force regulating the rules of helping Ukrainians in connection with the ongoing war in Ukraine. Regulations with minor exceptions apply retroactively from 24th February 2022.
I. Who will be covered by new regulations?
The regulations apply to Ukrainian citizens (and spouses of these people, regardless of the spouse's nationality) who:
1. arrived to the territory of Poland directly from the territory of Ukraine due to military operations in Ukraine and declare their intention to stay in Poland,
2. have a Pole's Card and arrived to Poland with their immediate family as a result of these operations.
However, the regulations of the new special Act do not apply to:
- Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland not directly from Ukraine, however through other neighbouring countries (even if their arrival is related to the ongoing war in Ukraine) - unless they have a Pole's Card,
- Citizens of other countries also fleeing from Ukraine (unless they are married to Ukrainian citizens),
- Persons who entered Poland before 24th February
For these persons, current regulations are applicable (details are available here), with the objection that stay validation / residence permits of such people has also been extended - details below.
II. The most important points regulated by the new provisions include:
1. Issues related to stay legalization:
a) Stay legalization for Ukrainian citizens who entered Poland after 24th February, 2022:
the special act legalizes stay of individuals mentioned above for a period of 18 months from 24th February, 2022 [including children born on the territory of Poland by Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland on the above terms (during the period of the mother's legal stay)].
If Ukrainian citizen (who does not have a Pole's Card) leaves the territory of Poland for more than 1 month, he or she loses the right to stay legally on the basis of the special Act.
Establishing / extending stay legality on this basis does not apply to individuals who already have a different residence title (e.g. a temporary residence permit) or who have applied / declared their intention to apply for international protection.
b) Current stay legality extension:
If the last day of Ukrainian citizen stay on the Polish territory is on the basis of:
1) national visa or temporary residence permit, falls after 24th February, 2022, the validity period of these documents is extended by operation of law until December 31, 2022.
Note! national visa during stay extension and validity period does not entitle to cross the border (unless the visa holder is a professional driver performing international road transport / non-profit international road transport).
2) Schengen visa issued by the Polish authority, a visa issued by another Schengen state, a residence permit issued by the competent authority of another Schengen state or another residence permit issued by the authority of that state, entitling to travel within the territory of other countries of this territory or visa-free travel - falls after 24th February, 2022, and the stay began before 24th February this year, the stay is considered legal for a period of 18 months.
If the last day of validity period of: residence cards, Polish identity documents of Ukrainian citizens, "consent for tolerated stay" documents issued to Ukrainian citizens falls after 24th February, 2022, it shall be extended by operation of law for period of 18 months.
Note! The residence card during validity extension period does not entitle to cross the border.
As a rule, in case of extending documents validity, they are not replaced or issuing the new one (they are extended by operation of law).
The stay of Ukrainian citizen who has been allowed to entrance Polish territory by Border Guard commander on the border of Poland with Ukraine is considered legal for a period of 18 months.
c) procedure in case of non-registration Ukrainian citizens during border control:
Not later than 60 days from the date of arrival on Polish territory, Ukrainian citizen who has not been registered during the border control should report to any commune and submit an application for a PESEL number (in the case of children - the application is submitted by one of the parents, guardian, probation officer, temporary guardian or the person exercising actual custody of the child).
d) granting PESEL numer
According to new special Act, a Ukrainian citizen may submit an application for a PESEL number personally in writing to any commune authority. This is important as PESEL number will facilitate access to social benefits, allow to start business activity, etc.
When submitting the application, you should as a rule, present a document with a photo enabling identification (it may even be an invalid document), and in the case of persons under 18 years of age - birth certificate.
The special act - by way of exception - allows the possibility of obtaining PESEL number also on the basis of identity statement itself.
e) temporary residence permit
At the request of a Ukrainian citizen residing legally in Polish territory, a temporary residence permit is issued under special act. Permit is granted by the voivode, once for a period of 3 years (from the date of the decision).
The application may be submitted after 9 months from the date of entrance to Poland, however not later than within 18 months from 24th February, 2022 (i.e. until August 24, 2023).
Importantly, according to special act in case of obtaining temporary residence permit decision, a Ukrainian citizen is entitled to work in the Polish territory without work permission.
2. Issues related to Ukrainian citizens work legalizationCitizen of Ukraine:
a) whose stay is considered legal on the basis of special act provisions
b) who resides legally in the Polish territory under foreigners act
can work legally if the employer / outsourcer will notify the poviat labour office of its commencement within 14 days.
The notification is made via the praca.gov.pl teleinformation system.
In addition, Ukrainian citizens whose stay in the Polish territory is considered legal under the special act or foreigners act may undertake and run business activity in Polish territory on the same terms as Polish citizens – if PESEL number will be obtained.
3. Benefits - granting additional benefits to Ukrainian citizens, including:
a) Social family benefits:
- family allowance and supplements to family allowance;
- care benefits (care allowance, special care allowance and care benefits);
- allowance paid by communes (one-time allowance for the birth of a child, which may be granted on the basis of a resolution of the commune council);
- benefits paid by communes, provided that they are passed by the commune council;
- one-off child birth grant;
- parental benefit.
b) Child benefit - so-called 500+ if live with children in Poland;
c) Benefit for a good start - so-called 300+;
d) Family care capital, if individual lives with children in the Polish territory
e) Co-financing to reduce the fee for nursery, children's club with a day carer - if they live with their children in Poland;
f) Benefits under the Act on social assistance;
g) One-off maintenance benefit - PLN 300 (after being entered in the PESEL register).
4. Other selected support forms for Ukrainian citizens:
a) free psychological assistance;
b) food aid under the European Aid Fund for most Needy;
c) medical care corresponding to the care of persons covered by compulsory or voluntary health insurance, excluding spa treatment and spa rehabilitation and administration of medicinal products.
5. Other forms of support:
a) Possibility of granting for each entity (directly indicated individual, however in our opinion it is broad definition that does not exclude entrepreneurs) a cash benefit on the basis of an application submitted by entity, on the condition of providing accommodation and meals (maximum deadline initially 60 days with an option to extend in special cases). Detailed conditions will be regulated in ordinance.
b) Establishing and regulating the rules of operation of the Aid Fund, the funds from which are to be allocated to help citizens of Ukraine.
6. Education - the special act does not introduce any solutions regarding compulsory education or the method of enrolling children in school (we write about the current rules here:). However, the Act stipulates that children Ukrainian citizens, will not be able to use the home education system, and introduces a number of facilities for schools and local governments, such as: teachers' work and creating new locations for nurseries, kindergartens and schools.
Assumptions of the draft act of support to the citizens of Ukraine
On 7.03.2022 the Parliament received a draft act of support to the citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of this country. Its content was amended by an auto-amendment on 8.03.2022.
Below are the main points of the draft (current as of 8.03.2022, further changes / amendments are not excluded):
LEGALITY OF STAY
The act legalizes the stay of Ukrainian citizens who came to the territory of the Republic of Poland directly from the territory of Ukraine in connection with military operations from 24 February 2022 for a period of 18 months.
The stay of a child born in the territory of the Republic of Poland by a Ukrainian citizen who arrived under the above rules (during the period of legal stay of the mother) is also considered legal.
If a citizen of Ukraine leaves the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding 1 month, he/she loses the right to legal residence under the Act.
EXTENSION OF THE LEGALITY OF PREVIOUS STAYS
In case when the last day of a Ukrainian citizen's stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of:
• national visa
• temporary residence permit,
falls after 24 February 2022, the validity period of these documents is extended by force of law to 31 December 2022.
Note: A national visa during the period of extension of the period of stay and the period of validity does not entitle to cross the border.
If the last day of the permissible period of stay of a Ukrainian citizen on the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of:
falls after 24 February 2022, and the stay began before that date, the stay in the territory is considered legal until 31 December 2022.
If the last day of the validity period of the documents:
issued to citizens of Ukraine falls after 24 February 2022, it shall be extended by operation of law until 31 December 2022.
Note: The residence card during the period of renewal does not entitle to cross the border.
As a rule, when the validity of documents is extended, they are not replaced or new ones are issued (the extension is made by law).
The stay of a Ukrainian citizen, who was allowed to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland by the commanding officer of the Border Guard post at the border section between Poland and Ukraine, is considered legal until 31 December 2022.
WHAT IF THE ENTRY OF THE UKRAINIAN CITIZEN WAS NOT REGISTERED DURING BORDER CONTROL?
No later than 60 days after entering the territory of the Republic of Poland, a citizen of Ukraine, who was not registered during the border control, should report to any local authority (gmina) and submit an application for assigning a PESEL number (with regard to children - the application should be submitted by the legal representative or the person who exercises actual custody over the child).
ASSIGNING A PESEL NUMBER
According to the special act a citizen of Ukraine may apply in person, in writing, to any local authority(gmina) for a PESEL number. This is important because a PESEL number will then facilitate access to social security benefits, enable undertaking buisness activity, etc.
When submitting the application, the applicant should present at least a document with a photograph enabling identification (and in the case of persons under 18 years of age, also a birth certificate).
The authority is obliged to issue a confirmation of filing the application.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT
Upon application of a Ukrainian citizen, legally residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of the act, a temporary residence permit shall be issued. The permit is granted by a voivode, once for a period of 3 years (from the date of the decision).
The application can be submitted no earlier than after 9 months from the date of entry to Poland, but no later than within 18 months from 24 February 2022.
If a temporary residence permit is granted, the Ukrainian citizen is entitled to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland without a work permit.
PERFORMANCE OF WORK
A citizen of Ukraine:
a) whose stay is considered legal on the basis of this act
b) who is legally staying in the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of other titles,
is entitled to work if the employer/contractor notifies the poviat employment agency about taking up employment within 7 days.
The notification is made via the teleinformatic system praca.gov.pl.
At the same time, Ukrainian citizens whose stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland is considered legal on the basis of the act or the act on foreigners can take up and pursue buisness activity in the territory of the Republic of Poland on the same principles as Polish citizens - the condition for undertaking such activity is obtaining PESEL number.
A citizen of Ukraine, whose residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland is recognized as legal on the basis of the act, is entitled to access to benefits on the same terms as Polish citizens, i.e. in particular: access to medical care, free psychological assistance, social benefits such as 500 plus, a one-time cash benefit of 300 PLN etc.
According to information from the Ministry of Education: Children aged 7-18 can study free of charge in Polish schools. Admission to a school requires an application and the decision is made by the school principal. The public elementary school in the area of residence of a child arriving from abroad admits the child ex officio, while other public primary and secondary schools admit the child as long as there are free places. If there are no free places in the chosen institution, it is necessary to contact the local authority (gmina). The special act contains provisions dedicated to units running schools, aimed at organizational support.
In accordance with the general rules in Poland, each university determines its own procedures for transferring from a foreign university, with the rector making the decision. The special act grants Ukrainian students the right to apply for a social grant and a student loan.
Minor citizens of Ukraine, staying on the territory of the Republic of Poland under the provisions of the act without adult guardianship will be represented by temporary guardians. The temporary guardian takes care of the minor and his/her property. A temporary guardian shall be appointed by the guardianship court competent for the place of residence of the minor. The proceedings for appointing a temporary guardian may be initiated upon request or ex officio. No fees shall be charged in the proceedings for the establishment of a temporary guardian.
ENTRY INTO FORCE
The Act is to enter into force on the day of promulgation, with effect from 24.02.2022
Temporary protection - EU Council Decision
On March 4, 2022, the Executive Decision of the Council of the EU stating the existence of a massive influx of displaced persons from Ukraine came into force. On the basis of this decision, the European Union, for the first time in the history of the Community, decided to grant so-called temporary protection to foreigners, residing outside the EU, who came to the EU in connection with the armed conflict caused by the invasion of Ukraine. The decision of the Council of the EU will regulate the legal situation (on the grounds of residence and employment/business) of protected persons.
CATEGORIES OF PROTECTED PERSONS
Temporary protection was granted to:
At the same time, the decision may be applied to stateless persons and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine who can prove that before 24 February 2022 they were legally present in Ukraine on the basis of a valid permanent residence permit issued in accordance with Ukrainian law, and who are unable to return to their country or region of origin in safe and sustainable conditions.
Member States may apply the decision also to other persons, including stateless persons and nationals from third-countries other than Ukraine, who have resided legally in Ukraine and who are unable to return to their country or region of origin in safe and durable conditions.
PERIOD OF PROTECTION
Temporary protection was granted for one year, with the possibility of automatic renewal for periods of six months - not exceeding 1 year.
Under the Polish regulations of the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland, when a foreigner staying on the territory of the Republic of Poland is granted temporary protection:
Issuance of these documents is free of charge.
Foreigners without travel documents who is covered by temporary protection may apply for a Polish travel document - documents are issued by the Head of the Office for Foreigners.
PERFORMANCE OF WORK AND OTHER RIGHTS
A foreigner who is covered by temporary protection may perform work without a work permit or engage in economic activity. They are also entitled to free medical care and necessary social assistance (in particular - accommodation and food).
Independently, foreigners under temporary protection are given access to:
MINORS - FAMILY REUNIFICATION
For unaccompanied minors under temporary protection, guardianship is established upon the request of the Head of the Office for Foreigners.
Upon the foreigner's request, the Head of the Office for Foreigners may take measures to reunite a foreigner under temporary protection with his/her relatives.
REGULATIONS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
The Council of Ministers, by a regulation, may establish a broader scope of temporary protection, as well as detail the rules for granting it (currently, no regulations at the national level have yet entered into force).
European Union introduces temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine
The European Commission has announced the introduction of EU temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine.
This mechanism means that they will be supported without having to apply for refugee status. The legislation is expected to be adopted today (Thursday, 3 March).
According to the draft decision, temporary protection is to cover persons who have left Ukraine since 24 February, including:
Temporary protection is granted until it becomes possible for the foreigners to return to their previous place of residence - for a maximum of 1 year, with the possibility of extension for another 6 months or 1 year (the EU authorities decide about the extension or possible earlier termination).
Each EU Member State shall provide beneficiaries of protection, for the duration of their protection:
Detailed principles of granting the above mentioned support are regulated by Member States themselves (EU regulations set out the minimum protection standard).
In Poland, foreigners covered by temporary protection, during its duration, may mainly benefit from:
The above protection may be extended – the Polish authorities are currently working on an additional law in this regard. It is therefore possible that the above rules on the legality of residence, work and rights of foreigners will be replaced by even more favourable provisions. According to preliminary reports, the new provisions are to introduce, inter alia, specific rules for extending the legal residence of Ukrainian citizens in Poland, additional rights for students and academics coming from Ukraine and specific regulations concerning education, upbringing and care of children and pupils and higher education of students who are Ukrainian citizens.
Free Legal Advice for Ukrainian Citizens
Assistance teams, whose members – barrister and trainee advocates – will provide free of charge legal assistance to persons currently arriving from Ukraine, in individual cases concerning, among others, legalization of stay, work or possibilities of bringing families to Poland, were established at the District Bar Associations (Okręgowa Rada Adwokacka – ORA) and District Chambers of Legal Advisors (Okręgowa Izba Radców Prawnych – OIRP) in Poland.
Assistance is addressed primarily to people in a critical situation – fleeing from Ukraine, who have not yet resided in Poland (e.g. in order to work).
Below you will find the contact details for free legal assistance for Ukrainian citizens (some of the assistance teams are still being organised – the data will therefore be supplemented on an ongoing basis as more teams start their activity):
Martial law has been introduced in the whole territory of Ukraine. Along the border with Poland all border crossings are still open. The Border Guard and the Ministry of Interior and Administartion (MSWiA) both assure that borders will remain open and there will be no restrictions.Border Guard officers declare their suport for refugees from Ukraine and readiness to accept applications for international protection.
Martial law in Ukraine
It is possible to enter and legally reside in Poland on the basis of the following documents:
biometric passport (under visa-free regime),
national visa (type D), Schengen visa (type C) issued by a Polish authority - the stay is legal in accordance with the visa validity period and the period of residence indicated therein;
a visa with D or C mark, issued by another Schengen state or a residence permit issued by another Schengen state,
temporary residence permit / permanent residence permit,
permission from the Chief Border Guard,
application for granting international protection submitted at the Polish border crossing (application form can be found at this link) or, if it is impossible to submit the application due to reasons attributable to the Border Guard, declaration of intention to submit such an application.
If the foreigner does not possess the documents referred to in points 1-4 the entry will be based on points 5-6 (this also applies to children who do not have the required documents).
In the event of submission of an application for international protection, the proceedings before the Head of the Office for Foreigners will be initiated. The decision on granting international protection should be issued within 6 months from the date of submission of the application (in special cases the deadline may be extended to 15 months).
After entering Poland, if the foreigner does not have a guaranteed place of stay in Poland, he/she should visit the nearest reception point, where he/she will be provided with information on further residence in Poland, temporary accommodation, food and basic medical care.
Information for Ukrainian citizens regarding legal entry and residence in Poland [UPDATED]
At the same time, information points and hotlines of voivodship offices have been opened:
Railway station Wrocław Główny (Dworzec PKP Wrocław Główny), Wrocław ul. Piłsudskiego 105
Helpline: +48 477 217 575
Central Railway Station (Dworzec Główny PKP), Bydgoszcz ul. Zygmunta Augusta 7
Helpline: (Ukrainian and Russian language) open Monday to Friday 7:00-22:00: +48 52 349 74 61, +48 52 349 78 02
Helpline (Polish language) is available 24 hours/day: +48 52 587 27 71
Railway station PKP (Dworzec PKP), Lublin pl. Dworcowy 1
Helpline open daily (7am-6pm): +48 692 268 717, +48 883 849 598
24/7 hotline: +48 692 476 823
Railway station PKP (Dworzec PKP), Gorzów Wielkopolski ul. Dworcowa 1
Helpline: +48 95 785 18 59
Railway station (Dworzec PKP), Zielona Góra
Helpline: +48 95 785 18 59
Łódź Kaliska Railway Station (main hall between ticket offices and exit to the platforms)
Łódź Fabryczna Railway Station (behind ticket offices on the way to platforms)
Main Railway Station (Dworzec Główny PKP) (at the entrance to the fourth platform from ticket offices)
24h hotline: +48 12 210 2002
From Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. helpline for foreigners concerning legalisation of stay and work: +48 12 210 2020
Eastern Railway Station (Dworzec Wschodni), Warszawa ul. Kijowska 20
Western Railway Station (Dworzec Zachodni)), Warszawa al. Jerozolimskie 142
Helpline: +48 800 100 990
Railway Station PKP (Dworzec PKP), Białystok ul. Kolejowa 9
Temporary Railway Station Gdańsk Główny (Tymczasowy Dworzec PKP Gdańsk Główny) (next to the renovated main railway station building), Gdańsk ul. Podwale Grodzkie 1
Helpline: +48 734 117 307
PKP Railway Station (Dworzec PKP), Katowice plac Marii i Lecha Kaczyńskich 2
Helpline: +48 32 606 32 32 (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays - 7.30am to 3.30pm, Tuesdays - 7.30am to 6pm)
PKS Bus Station (Dworzec PKS), Kielce ul. Czarnowska 12
PKP Railway Station, Olsztyn plac Konstytucji 3 Maja 1
PKP Railway Station Poznań Główny, Poznań ul. Dworcowa 2
Helpline (from 28 February): +48 61 850 87 77 (from 8 am to 8 pm)
PKP Railway Station (Dworzec PKP), Szczecin ul. Krzysztofa Kolumba 2
24-hour helpline: +48 91 430 30 33: +48 91 430 30 33
Entry to Poland – and then?
Legal residence in Poland – depending on the basis of entry – lasts:
Extension of the legality of residence and work in Poland may be done in particular through:
submission of an appropriate application for temporary residence (or, if the appropriate conditions are met - for permanent residence) before the expiration of the period of legal residence on the above grounds;
benefit from the special provisions for Covid - 19, according to which the legality of residence is extended until the 30th day following the day of cancellation of the epidemic (for the moment the epidemic is in effect and there are no reports or announcements of its planned cancellation):
a) in the case of residence under:
regardless of the moment of entry into the territory of Poland (before/after the declaration of the epidemic).
b) for residence under short-term titles, i.e.:
if such a person resided in Poland on the day of the announcement of the epidemic (14 March 2020).
Note: if a person entered Poland on the basis of the above mentioned short-term titles (e.g. under the visa-free regime) after 14 March 2020, the residence title itself is not extended, but the deadline for submission of an application for a residence permit is extended (also until the 30th day after the epidemic is cancelled). In practice, if a foreigner applies for a residence permit before 30 days after the cancellation of the epidemic, his/her residence in the period between the expiry of the residence title and the submission of the application, as well as further residence until the date of obtaining the permit will be considered as legal.
In practice, therefore, both situations (point a and b) are analogous, but in the case of persons who entered Poland on the basis of short-term permits after 14 March 2020, it is crucial to apply for a residence permit in the aforementioned period.
Reception points, are situated in the following locations:
As a rule, foreigners crossing the border should also have:
documents confirming purpose and details of the planned stay abroad,
evidence for financial assets available for the time of travel and return to Ukraine,
medical insurance for the amount of at least EUR 30 000 (in case od Polish national visa and Schengen visa),
driving license, registration of the vehicle, insurance of the vehicle (in case of crossing the border with a vehicle).
At the moment we have no information that the above requirements were eased.
Ukrainian railways announced they are ready to evacuate residents from the areas of demarcation line with Donbas. They have launched additional train routes.
Evacuation trains from Luhansk, Donetsk and Odessa districts have been launched. According to official announcements precise timetables and destnations are not revealed because of security reasons.
Polish railways timetables include trains to Ukraine mailnly from Przemyśl and Warsaw. As for now, a train carrier - PKP Intercity- has not suspend any routes.
Tickets for Kiev Express – train from Kiev to Warsaw are being sold. Tickets for all trains to Warsaw until 2 March are sold out. As for now train tickets from Kiev on 6 March are still available.
Obviously the situation is dynamicaly changing – will update the above information.
Support in taking up employment in Poland for citizens of Ukraine - Infoline: 19524 / Green Line portal: www.zielonalinia.gov.pl
There is a special helpline and portal where you can get up-to-date information as a citizen of Ukraine:
Currently the information on the portal and help on the Infoline is provided in Polish, Russian and English, but there are announcements that in the near future will also be provided in Ukrainian. The Info Line operates from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
Below are materials about the hotline and portal in Polish and Ukrainian:
Teaching children from Ukraine in public schools in Poland
The Minister of Education provided school principals with information regarding the admission and education of Ukrainian children in public schools in Poland. Below we present a summary of the most important information on the education of foreigners in Poland.
Children and youths between the ages of 7 and 18 are subject to compulsory education in Poland.
Education for foreign children and youth in Polish schools is free.
Children and youths are admitted to school throughout the school year as a result of an application submitted to the school principal.
The Polish education system is divided into 3 stages:
The class in which a student will continue the education started in Ukraine is determined based on the sum of the years of schooling completed by the child so far (confirmed by documents issued by the school abroad).
In the absence of documents, a statement from the parents will be sufficient.
In the case of elementary school, districting applies. This means that the school in the area where the child lives must admit the child to school. If there is a lack of classroom seats, the municipality will identify a school where the child can be educated.
Children and youths who do not speak Polish to the extent allowing them to learn at school can:
The legal basis of a child's stay in Poland is irrelevant to the possibility of admitting the child to school.
Schools may create so-called preparatory classes for students coming from abroad, with little or no knowledge of the Polish language. Education in preparatory classes lasts, as a rule, one school year, but it can be shortened or extended by no more than one school year.
Practical guide to benefits available to Ukrainian citizens
1. Who is entitled to benefits?
Citizens of Ukraine covered by the bill on assistance for UA citizens (hereinafter: special bill - more information can be found HERE) can apply for social assistance from the Republic of Poland. Independently, financial assistance is also offered by UNHCR the UN Refugee Agency.
2. What benefits are available?
Assistance under the special bill consist of:
The right to benefits starts from the month in which the application was filed, not earlier than from the month in which the entitled person was entered in the register of persons legally staying in Poland.
The application for benefits listed in point 2 above includes a PESEL number - therefore it is necessary to apply for a PESEL number before (more about the PESEL- procedure HERE).
4. Single cash benefit
Ukrainian whose stay in Poland is considered as legal according to the special bill and have PESEL - number are entitled a single cash benefit of PLN 300 per person, intended to cover, in particular, the expenses of food, clothing, footwear, personal hygiene products and housing fees. A person must submit an application at the city center of social protection.
Documents to have with: document confirm the date of crossing the border (e.g. passport with an entry stamp), PESEL number (confirmation from the municipality). The phone number of a Polish operator, an email address and polish bank account can speed up the procedure.
5. Selected benefits
1. Childcare (500+):
This benefit is foreseen for children under age of 18. The entitled persons, i.e.:
can apply online to ZUS.
It is also possible to set up PUE ZUS- profile and apply for 500+ personally at ZUS facility. . For the needs of an application should be presented: applicant’s and child’s passports (or other document confirming identity on the basis of which the border was crossed), the applicant’s and child’s PESEL number, polish phone number, polish bank account, other documents (e.g. confirming custody – if applicable).
500+ is paid every month on each child and is available until the child reaches 18 years of age (if the child resides with the parent and is dependent on the parent).
2. “Good start” (300+):
It is a benefit paid annually to parents of school-age children to help prepare their child for school, i.e., buy books and other necessary items. Help 300+ a Ukrainian citizen can receive once (once for each child under 20 years of age / 24 years for children with disabilities, if attending school).
The application is submitted to ZUS or via a bank (some banks offer such service).
6. Single and non-refundable aid from UNHCR
The condition to apply for the support from UNCHR is to leave Ukraine and arrive in Poland on or after 24. February 2022 (PESEL- number is not necessary). It is sufficient that one family member crossed the border on that date.
The aid consist of 700 PLN per person + 600 PLN per additional family member (no more than 4 all together). Financial assistance will be credited once a month for a minimum period of 3 months.
To receive this help, it is necessary first to agree on the date and time of appointment at the registration point (appointment shall be made HERE). At the moment, the the only registration point is in Warsaw. As promised, next points will soon be opened throughout Poland. For registration necessary are: passport with an entry stamp (or another identity document and the document confirming the date of entry to Poland) and phone number of polish operator (every adult member of the family should have his own phone number).
Access to medical services
According to information published by the National Health Fund, citizens of Ukraine who:
have access to health care services in Poland on the same conditions as Polish citizens and the costs of such medical services will be covered by the State budget (regulations are being drafted in this respect).
What is most important, the National Health Fund recommended to the medical facilities with which it has signed contracts, that in case of a patient in such a situation already now (before the preparation of legal regulations):
Access to vaccination
In addition, citizens of Ukraine can also be vaccinated against Covid-19 free of charge - in this case it is only required to have a document proving identity (passport / ID card / Temporary Foreigner's Identity Certificate – so called TZTC).
Tonight the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 24 February 2022 amending the Regulation on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic state came into force.
Easing the Covid-related restrictions
According to the new regulations, to persons crossing the border of the Republic of Poland with Ukraine in connection with an armed conflict on the territory of that country, the following obligations do not apply:
to undergo, after crossing the state border, a compulsory quarantine lasting 7 days, counting from the day following the crossing of the border;
to present to the Border Guard official a negative diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 in Polish or in English taken before crossing the border, within 24 hours from the date of the test result.
Eight reception points were created in Lubelskie and Podkarpackie provinces near the border with Ukraine. They provide food, medical aid and information for refugees. There are posts of Border Guard and provincial office.
Viceminister announced the reception points are provisional. Further support will be provided if it is needed after crossing of the point by Ukrainian citizens. According to the viceminister places for stay of such persons are ready.
A list of reception points with addresses: https://www.gov.pl/web/udsc/ukraina2
Crossing the border by car - requirements
In case of arriving in Poland by car, the driver of the vehicle should possess:
the vehicle registration certificate;
international certificate of civil liability insurance of vehicle owners issued by a domestic insurer (so called "Green Card") – if such a document is not available, a border insurance contract should be concluded before crossing the border.
NOTE: According to information provided on channels of the Polish Insurance Association, as well as Polish insurers: PZU, Warta and ERGO Hestia, the above insurance companies will provide Ukrainian citizens crossing the border, who do not have a Green Card, with free 30-day third party insurance policies. They are available from agents on duty at all 8 border crossings and remotely via hotlines (operated in Polish and Ukrainian langugages):
PZU – tel. +48 22 505 15 63
Warta – tel. +48 81 460 79 00
ERGO Hestia – tel. +48 58 766 34 04
authorization to use a car or a lending agreement, containing, in particular, the data of the owner of the vehicle, the data of the authorized person, the data identifying the vehicle (make, model, VIN number) and the area / countries of the permitted passage – if the trip is made by a lent car (and the owner of the car is not accompanying).
A template of a car lending agreement can be found in the 'Documents' tab.
Free travel by PKP for citizens of Ukraine
For the next 4 weeks, the citizens of Ukraine can travel free of charge in class 2 on TLK and IC economy category trains of PKP Intercity in domestic transport in Poland (including changes of trains for the next domestic connections within the same categories, operated by PKP). Travel takes place on the basis of a passport confirming Ukrainian citizenship.
PKP Intercity issued an official announcement on this matter: https://www.intercity.pl/pl/site/o-nas/dzial-prasowy/aktualnosci/bezplatne-przejazdy-dla-obywateli-ukrainy-pociagami-pkp-intercity.html
More transport operators have joined the initiative to allow Ukrainian citizens to travel free of charge:
Free travel by public transport
Citizens of Ukraine can also use free public transport:
in Warsaw – as stated by the city government, free travel is possible on the basis of 'possessed documents'. Warsaw has also opened information points at the East Railway Station (Dworzec Wschodni), the West Railway Station (Dworzec Zachodni), the Palace of Culture and Science (entrance from the Central Railway Station – Dworzec Centralny ) and the Multicultural Centre (Centrum Wielokulturowe).
in the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Area (GZM) – as of 28 February all citizens of Ukraine can use public transport of the Transport Authority of the Metropolis (ZTM) free of charge. Buses, trams and trolleybuses run between 41 cities of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Area, including Katowice, Sosnowiec, Bytom, Tychy and Gliwice. During ticket control, it is necessary to show a Ukrainian passport or other document confirming Ukrainian nationality or a document confirming the status of a war refugee.
in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Wodzisław Śląski, Żory, Czerwionka-Leszczyny and neighbouring municipalities – as of 1 March free transport by bus is available for persons arriving from Ukraine, who possess a certificate issued by the Border Guard of the Republic of Poland or an imprint of the stamp of the Border Guard of the Republic of Poland in the travel document, confirming crossing the border after 24 February 2022.
in the area of Krakow and neighbouring municipalities – in the period from 1 March to 31 March the citizens of Ukraine are entitled to free travel on public and suburban transport of the Municipal Transport Company. This entitlement is entitled on the basis of presentation of the original document for residence in the place of accommodation issued by the Malopolska Voivodeship Office in Krakow from 24 February. Moreover, in Kraków an Information Point for Ukrainian citizens has been opened at the railway station (at platform no. 4), open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., as well as a 24-hour assistance point for refugees at Radziwiłłowska Street 3, which provides those in need with food (including hot meals from 1 p.m.) and the possibility to rest, and also contacts persons providing rooms and flats for temporary accommodation.
in Gdańsk, Gdynia and Wejherowo – in the period from 28 February to 31 March, citizens of Ukraine are entitled to free travel on public transport if they hold a Ukrainian passport with an entry stamp from 24 February 2022, a refugee residence card or a temporary identity document.
on the territory of Lublin – free travel by public transport for citizens of Ukraine is possible on the basis of 'possessed documents'.
in Białystok – free travel by public transport for citizens of Ukraine is possible on the basis of a passport or other identity document confirming Ukrainian citizenship.
in the territory of Radom – free travel by public transport for citizens of Ukraine will be possible on the basis of a document proving Ukrainian citizenship, until December 2022.
The authorities of other cities, including Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Olsztyn, Kielce and Łódź, have already announced the upcoming introduction of free public transport for Ukrainian citizens escaping the war.
In addition, people arriving from Ukraine can take advantage of free bus transportation (applies to travel from Przemyśl and Rzeszów) of one of the private carriers.
Loosened rules for bringing animals to Poland
Tonight the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 24 February 2022 amending the Regulation on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic state came into force.
Currently the minimum requirements for entry to Poland with a dog, cat or ferret (up from 8 weeks of age) are:
the animal must have a microchip,
the owner must have a proof of vaccination against rabies no earlier than 12 months before the date of movement.
It is not indicated in the procedure whether possession of a passport/health certificate for the animal is required to meet the minimum requirements mentioned above.
If the animal does not meet the above requirements, the entry will be possible, however the owner will be required to complete a special form.
Depending on whether the owner:
is able to provide the address of the animal's place of stay on the territory of Poland: information on the movement of the animal is submitted to the territorially competent district veterinarian.
The district veterinarian places the animal in isolation and supervises the completion of additional activities such as marking, vaccination against rabies, etc., and then issues documents confirming compliance with the requirements.
is not able to provide the address of the animal's place of stay in Poland: the official veterinarian will tag and vaccinate the animal at the place of temporary stay of the animal together with the owner/keeper after crossing the border.
The costs of the above mentioned activities are covered by the state budget.
If the dog, cat or ferret is up to 8 weeks old - only an application form needs to be filled in (no additional procedures).
Other animals (rodents, rabbits, amphibians, reptiles, decorative aquatic animals, invertebrates) are temporarily exempted from the requirement to have a permit from the Chief Veterinarian.
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