Since 18 April 2020, in addition to extending (until the 30th day following the date of cancellation of a state of an epidemic emergency or state of epidemic) the legal stay of foreigners on the basis of national visas and temporary residence permits, which would end during the period of a state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic, which we have written about here:
the periods of legal stay of foreigners present in Poland on the basis of visa-free travel or Schengen visas are also extended.
Since 16 May 2020, due to the current epidemiological situation, further changes have come into force, providing, among others, for special solutions for foreigners in Poland. The current regulations allow people who want to pursue their current purpose of stay or cannot leave Poland due to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to stay legally in the country.
Extension of legal stay of a foreigner staying in Poland on the basis of:
- temporary residence permit
- national visa
- short-term residence titles (including Schengen visas and visa-free travel)
applies to situations where the last day of legal stay falls within the duration of a state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. It is therefore the period that started on 14 March 2020, when the state of epidemic emergency was declared. Then the period of legal residence in Poland will be extended by virtue of law until the 30th day following the date of cancellation of one of the above-mentioned states, whichever was in force last.
In the case of foreigners residing in Poland on the basis of short-term residence titles (including under the visa-free travel regime), recognition of stay as legal will apply only to persons who on 14 March 2020 were staying in the country on the basis of such titles. However, it does not apply to persons who entered Poland later – in such a situation, the foreigner may take advantage of conditional legal stay and submit an application for residence permit before the postponed deadline..
Extending the legality of your stay will not involve placing a new visa sticker on the foreigner’s travel document, issuing a new residence card or other documents. It will not require submitting any applications.
The foreigners will be able to pursue they current purpose of stay in Poland, e.g. the performance of work. This results from the fact that work permits and seasonal work permits have been extended, as well as the allowed period of work based on the declaration of entrusting work to a foreigner. Foreigners will also be able to leave Poland without the risk of entering into an illegal stay..
Foreigners who in the period after 13 March 2020 had access to the Polish labour market (based on work permit, seasonal work permit, extension of work permit, extension of seasonal work permit or statement on entrusting work to a foreigner) were also allowed access to seasonal work.
Validity of residence cards, temporary foreigner’s identity certificates, Polish foreigner’s identity documents and “tolerated stay permit” documents are extended by virtue of law.
The new regulations provide for the extension by law of the periods of validity of:
- the foreigners’ residence cards
- temporary certificates of identity (known in Poland as TZTC – documents issued to foreigners applying for international protection)
- Polish foreigner identity documents
- “tolerated stay permit” documents
if their end would fall during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. The period of validity of these documents will be extended until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last of the two above-mentioned states that was in force.
Extension of deadlines for submitting applications
The act introduces the extension of deadlines for submitting applications for residence permits, to extend visas and to extend the stay under visa-free travel, if the deadline would fall within the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. As before, these applications may be submitted to voivodship offices up to the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last of the above-mentioned states that was in force.
The above solution applies to foreigners who would like to apply for:
- temporary, permanent or long-term EU resident permit,
- extension of a national visa (symbol D) or a Schengen visa (symbol C),
- extension of the period of visa-free travel – this applies only to citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore and Uruguay, as only the visa waiver agreements with these particular countries provide for this possibility.
Extension of time limits for leaving the territory of Poland
The act extends by law the time limits for leaving the territory of Poland under Article 299 Section 6 of the Act on Foreigners (e.g. in connection with the delivery of a final decision refusing a temporary residence permit), if they would fall during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. Their extension will last until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last of the above-mentioned states that was in force.
Extension of the periods of voluntary return specified in the decisions obliging the foreigner to return
It has been decided that the deadline for voluntary return specified in the decision obliging a foreigner to return, the end of which would fall during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic, is postponed by law. As in the case of the other solutions contained in the act, the extension of the deadline will take place until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancelation of the last state.