Changes in the Act on Foreigners

The President of the Republic of Poland, on 04 January 2021, signed an amendment to the Act on Foreigners and the Act on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions. The purpose of the reform of the Acts is primarily to improve the procedures for granting temporary residence permits to foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

One of the main changes in the Act on Foreigners is the removal of the requirement to have a guaranteed place of residence and a source of stable and regular income in order to grant a foreigner a temporary residence and work permit. A foreigner will not have to fulfil the above conditions if he/she receives remuneration for work that is not lower than the minimum, regardless of the working time and the basis of employment. In practice this means that a foreigner applying for a temporary residence permit and at the same time receiving remuneration for work not lower than the minimum remuneration, will not have to enclose a housing tenancy agreement or a confirmation of ownership of a flat to their application for temporary residence. In such a case the foreigner’s financial situation will not be verified in its entirety, also in the context of their dependants.

The amendment of the Act on Foreigners extended the catalogue of circumstances which do not require amending the temporary residence and work permit. In a situation where, during the validity period of a temporary residence and work permit, the entity commissioning work to a foreigner changes the basis for the foreigner’s work from a contract of mandate to a contract of employment, the foreigner will no longer need to apply for a change or a new permit. Adding this circumstance to the catalogue is justified by the fact that such a change of the basis of employment does not result in a significant modification of the conditions of the permit granted to the foreigner.

The Act has also introduced changes with regard to declarations on entrusting work to a foreigner. According to the amendment, the possibility to entrust work to a foreigner without a work permit in connection with a statement on entrusting work to a foreigner, entered into the register of statements, has been extended to 24 months. At the same time, the 12-month settlement period has been eliminated, which will enable entrusting work to a foreigner without interruption on the basis of subsequent declarations.

In addition, the period for considering cases in Voivodship Offices has been shortened to 60 days in cases of residence in the first instance. The above mentioned deadline is to be counted from the moment when all formal deficiencies of the application for a temporary residence permit have been filled in.

The new regulations will come into force 14 days after the announcement of the Act.