On 10 March 2022, it will be two weeks since Russia started the war on the territory of Ukraine. Below are the most relevant legal regulations concerning the stay of Ukrainian citizens on the territory of Poland.
1) Legal acts of the European Union
On 04 March 2022. The Council of the EU issued the Implementing Decision to Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons. According to the above-mentioned document, the Council of the European Union decided to apply the mechanism of the so-called temporary protection for persons fleeing Ukraine as a result of the war, i.e. for Ukrainian citizens living in Ukraine before 24 February 2022. Such persons will gain the right to temporary protection throughout the European Union, and it includes, inter alia, the provision of residence rights, access to the labour market, housing or medical care. The implementation of such an act by the Council of the EU will enable all EU Member States to reduce formalities in particular in the implementation of the new legislation. EU legislation on temporary protection provides a clear legal basis for the provision of medical care to people arriving from Ukraine.
2) Polish legal acts – draft act on assistance for Ukrainian citizens in connection with armed conflict on the territory of the country (NOT APPLICABLE AS OF NOW)
The majority of Ukrainian citizens crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border on the basis of biometric passports, however, in the case of persons who did not have the necessary documents to cross the border, the Border Guard issued a permit to enter Poland for a period of 15 days, pursuant to Article 32 of the Act on Foreigners. Due to the imminent expiry of the above mentioned permits, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft act regulating assistance for Ukrainian citizens. According to the presented draft, if a Ukrainian citizen entered the territory of Poland legally in the period from 24 February 2022 and declares their intention to stay in Poland, the stay of such a person in Poland will be legal for 18 months (counting until 24 February 2022). However, the regulations found in this Act do not apply to Ukrainian citizens holding:
– permanent residence permit,
– a long-term resident’s EU residence permit
– temporary residence permit,
– refugee status,
– subsidiary protection,
– permit for tolerated stay.
The provisions of the aforementioned Act do not apply also to citizens of Ukraine who have filed applications for international protection in Poland (or in the name of which such applications have been filed) and declared their intention to file an application for international protection on the territory of Poland.
In order to facilitate the performance of work by Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war on the territory of Poland, the government has abandoned the need for employers to submit a statement on the assignment of work. Under the new regulations, if a Ukrainian citizen is legally staying in Poland, the employer will be able to employ him. The only obligation of the employer in such a case will be to notify the relevant employment office about employing such a person within 7 days from the start of work by the Ukrainian citizen.
The measures adopted by the Council of Ministers will also make it possible to assign Ukrainian citizens a PESEL number, which will enable them to open a bank account in a Polish bank or carry out business activities in Poland on the same principles as Polish citizens.
Other most important facilitations to be applied to Ukrainian citizens fleeing war who, according to the new law, legally reside on the territory of Poland are listed below
– the possibility to register and the possibility to become an unemployed person or a job-seeker under the Polish legislation and therefore receive relevant benefits,
– entitlement to family benefits, parental benefit, good start benefit, family care capital, subsidised reduction of the parent’s fee for the stay of a child in a crèche, children’s club or with a day care provider – upon meeting additional requirements provided for in relevant legal acts
– possibility to grant cash and non-cash benefits under the rules and provisions of the Act of 12 March 2004 on Social Assistance,
– granting a single cash benefit in the amount of PLN 300 per person, allocated for maintenance,
– the possibility to provide free psychological assistance,
– the possibility of granting food aid under the European Fund for Aid to the Most Deprived,
– entitlement to medical care provided on the territory of Poland covering health care services, under the same rules as Polish citizens,
– a Ukrainian citizen legally residing on the territory of Poland in accordance with this Act is granted upon his/her application a temporary residence permit (for a period of 3 years at a time). In such a case the Ukrainian citizen is entitled to work in the territory of Poland without the need to possess a work permit,
– if the last day of the period of stay of the citizen of Ukraine in the territory of Poland on the basis of national visa falls in the period from 24 February 2022, the period of stay on the basis of this visa and the period of validity of this visa shall be extended until 31 December 2022,
– a Polish citizen or a citizen of Ukraine who on 24 February 2022 was a student of a higher education institution operating on the territory of Ukraine and who declares that on that day he/she was studying at a given year in a given field and at a given level of studies in a higher education institution operating on the territory of Ukraine and does not have documents confirming the periods of studies, exams passed, passes or professional practice issued by this institution, may have the respective periods of these studies recognised through the verification of the achieved learning outcomes
– in order to facilitate access to online public services, it is envisaged that along with obtaining a PESEL number, Ukrainian citizens will be able to obtain a trusted profile. Obtaining a PESEL number by Ukrainian citizens will not affect the issue of obtaining Polish citizenship.
As of 08.03.2022, the draft of the above-mentioned Act is in the Parliament. The new solutions are to enter into force on the date of publication in the Journal of Laws and will, in principle, apply retroactively from 24 February 2022.
Below we have prepared a collection of the most important websites where Ukrainian citizens can find the most necessary assistance.
Citizens of Ukraine can seek assistance with accommodation and transport arrangements to Poland on the following websites:
https://grupazasoby.pl/ (ATTENTION! Only for those looking for accommodation in Warsaw and its surroundings)
Group on FB: I give a hand to Ukraine – https://www.facebook.com/groups/321268766696111/
Special hotlines have also been set up for Ukrainian citizens to provide the most important information related to their stay in Poland:
+48 12 210 20 02 (special Infoline of the Małopolska Voivode for Ukrainian citizens seeking shelter in Małopolska, the Infoline operates 24 hours a day),
+48 987 (special helpline of the Małopolska Voivode for citizens of Ukraine seeking shelter in Mazowieckie Province, the helpline operates 24 hours a day)
+48 47 721 75 75 (nationwide infoline for Ukrainian citizens seeking shelter in Poland).
Persons fleeing the armed conflict in Ukraine, who do not have an ensured place of stay (accommodation) in Poland, may go to the reception point. There, they will receive information about their stay in Poland, a meal, basic medical care, a place to rest and temporary accommodation will be indicated to them. List of reception points in Poland:
- Wrocław, ul. Wittiga 4,
- Toruń, Hotel Kopernik, ul. Wola Zamkowa 16,
- Bydgoszcz, ul. Zygmunta Augusta 20,
- Dorohusk, Pałac Suchodolskich Gminny Ośrodek Kultury i Turystyki, ul. Parkowa 5,
- Dołhobyczów, Przygraniczne Centrum Kultury i Rekreacji, ul. Spółdzielcza 8,
- Horodło, Zespół Szkół w Horodle, ul. Piłsudskiego 58,
- Lubycza Królewska, Szkoła Podstawowa w Lubyczy Królewskiej (zaplecze hali sportowej), ul. Jana III Sobieskiego 5,
- Chełm, Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji w Chełmie – ul. Graniczna 2A,
- Hrubieszów, Hrubieszowski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji – ul. Ciesielczuka 2,
- Tomaszów Lubelski, Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji – Aleja Sportowa 8,
- Gorzów Wlkp., Lubuski Urząd Wojewódzki w Gorzowie Wlkp., ul. Jagiellończyka 8,
- Łódź, Łódzki Dom Kultury, ul. Traugutta 18
- Kraków, Dworzec Główny, przy wejściu na czwarty peron od strony kas biletowych. ul. Pawia 5a,
- Warszawa, Dworzec Warszawa Zachodnia, Al. Jerozolimskie 142,
- Opole, Dom Studenta “Sokrates”, ul. Małopolska 22,
- Korczowa, Świetlica, Korczowa 155,
- Medyka, Hala sportowa – Medyka 285,
- Krowica Sama, Szkoła Podstawowa w m. Krowica Sama 183,
- Ustrzyki Dolne, Była Szkoła Podstawowa w Łodynie, Łodyna 41,
- Młyny, Centrum Handlu i Magazynowania Korczowa Dolina – Hala Kijowska – Młyny 90,
- Przemyśl, Przemyśl Dworzec kolejowy, Pl. Legionów 1,
- Wasilków, Kompleks Hotelowy JARD “Nad Zalewem”, ul. Białostocka 94-98,
- Gdańsk, Dom Harcerza, ul. Za murami 2/10,
- Katowice, CARITAS, ul. Wita Stwosza 10,
- Kielce, Świętokrzyski Urząd Wojewódzki w Kielcach, al. IX Wieków Kielc 3,
- Olsztyn, ul. Niepodległości 53/55,
- Poznań, Międzynarodowe Targi Poznańskie, ul. Głogowska 14,
- Szczecin, ul. Al. Piastów 40A.
We will keep the above list of reception points in Poland up to date.