Advisory 2 – 06 April 2020

Extension of foreigners' legal stay in Poland

In connection with Poland's declaration of a state of epidemic emergency on 16 March 2020 (upgraded to a state of epidemic on 20 March 2020) over the entire territory of Poland, the Polish Government has enacted a law that will provide solutions to foreigners who are trapped in Poland or cannot renew their permits.

The law entered into force on 31 March 2020. It will allow foreigners who want to pursue their current purpose of stay in Poland or cannot leave Poland due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus to continue staying legally in Poland.

The law extends the following stays, deadlines, and permits to 30 days after the lifting of the state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic:

  • legal stay of foreigners on the basis of national visas and temporary residence permits that would end during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic,
  • deadline for submitting applications for legalisation of stay,
  • validity of already issued work permits, seasonal work permits and declarations of entrustment of work to a foreigner.

Furthermore, the law also postpones the following deadlines:

  • deadline for foreigners to leave Poland,
  • deadline of voluntary return to Poland specified in the decisions obliging the foreigner to return.

The extension of the legal stay of a foreigner in Poland on the basis of a national visa and temporary residence permit will apply to those whose last day of legal stay falls on 14 March 2020, when the state of epidemic emergency was announced, or later. The period of legal stay in Poland will be extended by law until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of one of the above-mentioned states, whichever was in force last.

Extending the legality of a foreigner's stay will not involve placing a new visa sticker on the foreigner’s travel document or issuing a new residence card. The foreigner will not be able to travel on the basis of such extended stay within the territory of other Schengen countries. However, the foreigners will be able to pursue their current purpose of stay in Poland, e.g. the performance of work. Work permits and seasonal work permits will be 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. (END)

Warsaw, 06 April 2020.