The Covid-19 Act introduces measures intended to facilitate immigration and employment issues for foreigners in Poland under the state of epidemic risk or epidemic.

Sojourn in Poland

In what is probably the most important single development for foreigners as well as their Polish employers (many of whom would normally be consulting the legislative Act of 12 December 2013 regarding foreigners), there has been an extension of the deadline for applying to the competent authorities for temporary residence permits, permanent residence permits, prolongations of Schengen visas and domestic visas, and for prolongation of the Polish sojourn of foreigners permitted to enter Poland without a visa.

The longer deadline will apply in cases where the original deadline for submission of the relevant application expired during the state of epidemic risk (officially announced in Poland on 12 March 2020 and running through 20 March) or during the state of epidemic (officially in force in Poland as of 21 March 2020). In such qualifying cases, the deadline will run for 30 days after the state of epidemic emergency in whatever form has been lifted.

A foreigner remaining in Poland for the duration of such extended period for her application shall be recognised as a legal alien provided that, at some point during this extended permit, she filed an application for the permit she would normally require.

Analogous provisions shall apply to foreigners whose Polish visas or temporary residence permits expired during the state of epidemic risk or the state of epidemic. Such a foreigner will not require a residence card (or, as the case may be, a renewed residence card) or another visa sticker for his passport.

Work permits

Broadly similar solutions have been adopted with respect to work permits for foreigners. Existing work permits (as regulated in arts. 88.1.1-88.1.5 and 88.2 of the legislative Act of 20 April 2004 regarding promotion of employment and labour market institutions) expiring while the state of epidemic risk or the state of epidemic risk remain in force for 30 days after the state of epidemic emergency in whatever form has been lifted. The application for extension of such a work permit should be lodged not sooner than 90 before it is set to expire, and not later than on the final day of the extended deadline.

Declaration of entrusting

Declarations of entrusting are a simplified form of hiring foreigners from qualifying countries (first of all from Ukraine and certain other countries from the former Soviet Union) whereby the principal / employer simply serves official notice that he is entrusting a set of employee duties to the individual concerned. In cases where the final day of work by such a foreigner, as entered in the relevant register, arrives while Poland remains on some sort of emergency footing related to the pandemic, such foreigner may continue to work for the same entity until the elapse of 30 days since the state of epidemic risk / state of epidemic had been lifted. Such additional period shall not be counted towards the foreigner’s total duration of work pursuant to a declaration of entrusting.



Agnieszka Nowacka

senior associate