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Poland/Canada/Morocco: Whether a divorce granted in Canada would be recognized in Poland in the case of a Moroccan woman who married a Polish man in Poland; whether the Moroccan woman, who had temporary resident status in Poland before she married, would still be entitled to this status after being granted a divorce in Canada; whether it would be possible for the Moroccan woman, should she return to Poland, to renew her temporary resident status or to obtain permanent resident status, and the procedures for obtaining either status

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 8 August 2008
Citation / Document Symbol ZZZ102893.FE
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Poland/Canada/Morocco: Whether a divorce granted in Canada would be recognized in Poland in the case of a Moroccan woman who married a Polish man in Poland; whether the Moroccan woman, who had temporary resident status in Poland before she married, would still be entitled to this status after being granted a divorce in Canada; whether it would be possible for the Moroccan woman, should she return to Poland, to renew her temporary resident status or to obtain permanent resident status, and the procedures for obtaining either status, 8 August 2008, ZZZ102893.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b7cee8f28.html [accessed 19 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The European Commission states that a decision on divorce issued by a European Union member state is recognized in Poland if a Polish court recognizes its legal validity (n.d.). The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa stated that the same is true for a divorce granted in Canada (9 July 2008). Specifically, in written correspondence dated 9 July 2008, a consul working at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland provided the following information to the Research Directorate:

... a Canadian divorce is recognized in Poland after ... [its] legal valid[ation] by [a] Polish court. [Matters] of residence are [governed by] the Act of Aliens of June 13, 2003 and ... art. 58 [of this statute] state[s] that [a] residence permit for a fixed period (max. [of] 2 years) granted to an alien shall be withdrawn if the reason for which [the] permit [was] issued ... cease[s] to exist. Concrete decisions are always [rendered following proceedings by the] appropriate authorities.

Permission for temporary residence may be granted to a person who demonstrates that his or her residence in Poland for a period longer than three months is justified by employment, studies, economic activity, marriage to a Polish citizen or other circumstances (Poland n.d.a; ibid. n.d.c; ibid. n.d.d). The website of the Polish Office for Foreigners states that a person who has been granted a residence permit for a specified period because of his or her marriage to a Polish citizen and who is then widowed or divorced may apply for a residence permit for a specified period of time if he or she has a particularly important interest at stake (ibid. n.d.a). However, the site does not specify what type of interest could justify such an application. A foreigner applying for a residence permit for a fixed period is "in principle" obliged to have health insurance and a regular source of income that is sufficient to cover the applicant's costs of living and those of his or her dependants; however, these requirements do not apply to spouses of Polish citizens (ibid.). Permission for temporary residence may be granted for a period of up to 2 years, renewable every 2 years, to a maximum of 10 years (ibid. n.d.b; ibid. n.d.c; ibid. n.d.d). Applications for renewal must be submitted 45 days before the end of the period for which the previous residence permit for a fixed period was granted (ibid. n.d.a; PFM 8 Aug. 2008).

The following documents must be provided when applying for a residence permit for a fixed period: duly completed application form, four colour photographs of the applicant measuring 4.5 cm by 3.5 cm, documents proving the information provided in the form, proof of consular fee payment (340 Polish zlotys [1 Polish zloty = CAN$0.50 (Canada 31 July 2008)]) (Poland n.d.a; PFM 8 Aug. 2008). Depending on where the application is made, other documents may also be required; for example, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York states that applicants must provide proof of income and may also be asked to provide a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a certificate showing that the applicant has no outstanding financial obligations in his or her country of origin, or a certificate showing that the applicant has no criminal record in his or her country of origin (ibid.). In addition, the Office for Foreigners explains that a person applying for a residence permit for a fixed period because of employment or business activities or in order to reunite with his or her family must provide a document establishing that he or she has or will have a place of residence, as well as a document confirming his or her costs of living (ibid. n.d.a; see also PFM 8 Aug. 2008).

A permanent residence permit is valid for residence in Poland for an indeterminate period (ibid.; ibid. n.d.b). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that a foreigner who stays in Poland without interruption for at least five years on the basis of a visa or temporary residence permit can apply for permanent residence; the same is true for a person who has been living in Poland for at least three years and who came to Poland as part of "family emigration" (ibid. n.d.b). Further, the Office for Foreigners states that the following people may obtain a permanent residence permit: a child born in Poland to a foreigner who has a permanent residence permit; a person who, before submitting the application, was married to a Polish citizen for at least three years and who has been living in Poland continuously for at least two years on the basis of a residence permit for a fixed period; a person who, before submitting the application, was living in Poland continuously for at least 10 years on the basis of a "permit for tolerated stay," or for at least 5 years in the case of a person who has been granted refugee status; the child of a Polish citizen who remains in his or her custody (Poland n.d.a).

The following documents must be provided when applying for permanent residence: the duly completed application form, four colour photographs of the applicant measuring 4.5 cm by 3.5 cm, documents proving the information provided in the form, proof of consular fee payment (640 Polish zlotys), a document establishing that he or she has or will have a place of residence, and a document confirming his or her costs of living (Poland n.d.a; see also ibid. n.d.b and PFM 8 Aug. 2008).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Canada. 31 July 2008. Bank of Canada. "Currency converter." [Accessed 31 July 2008]

European Commission. N.d. "Divorce – Poland." [Accessed 25 June 2008]

Poland. 9 July 2008. Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa. Written correspondence from a consul.
_____. N.d.a. Office for Foreigners. "Instructions for Foreigners." [Accessed 26 June 2008]
_____. N.d.b. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Tourism." [Accessed 24 June 2008]
_____. N.d.c. Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York. "Information on Temporary and Permanent Residence in Poland." [Accessed 26 June 2008]
_____. N.d.d. Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (Polska Agencja Informacji i Inwestycji Zagranicznych – PAIiIZ). "Residence and work in Poland." [Accessed 25 June 2008]

Polskie Forum Migracyjne (PFM). 8 August 2008. Written correspondence from a representative.

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to reach the Polish Office for Foreigners were unsuccessful.

Internet sites, including: Poland – Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa; Poland – Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC; Poland – Ministry of Interior and Administration.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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