Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July 2014, 16:05 GMT

Poland: Follow-up to ZZZ102893; Government of Poland's response to questions regarding residency rights

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 15 October 2008
Citation / Document Symbol POL102969.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Poland: Follow-up to ZZZ102893; Government of Poland's response to questions regarding residency rights, 15 October 2008, POL102969.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49b92b281d.html [accessed 10 July 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 following information was sent to the Research Directorate in correspondence dated 9 October 2008 by the Department of Legalization of Stay and Foreigners' Register of the Office for Foreigners in Poland, which is the government authority responsible for entry and transit of foreigners in Poland. The information is regarding residency in Poland; the Research Directorate's questions are shown for ease of reference.

[A]ccording to Polish Act on Foreigners of 13 June 2003 (Consolidated text Journal of Laws of 2006, No 234, item 1694, as amended), Polish law distinguishes two kinds of long term residence permits for foreigners which are: the permit to settle and the long-term resident's EC residence permit, and one temporary permission which is the residence permit for a fixed period. [emphasis in original]

...

1) When does a foreigner need to renew his or her temporary residency?

In accordance to the Polish law, [a] foreigner is obligated to submit application for renewing his/her residence permit for fixed period at least 45 days before validity expiration of the previous residence permit for fixed period. [emphasis in original]

2) What kind of proof of residency is required for someone applying for permanent residency or for temporary residency due to business activities or employment?

Essentially, Polish law regulations say that [a] foreigner applying for any kind of residence permit needs to fulfill special requirements. [The] Polish Act on Foreigners reads that: "(...) The application for a residence permit for a fixed period (...) permit to settle or the long-term resident's EC residence permit, shall include the legal title to a dwelling where he/she resides or intends to reside, as well as documents confirming the costs of accommodation.(...)". Wording "legal title" in this context means also a rental agreement. Furthermore you need to have in mind, that: "(...)A contract of loan for use (for free) shall not be regarded as the legal title to a dwelling where the foreigner resides or intends to reside, unless the lender is [a] foreigner's descendant, ascendant, spouse or spouse's parent, or foreigner's sibling.(...)".

3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates on their website that a foreigner living at least 3 years in Poland "as part of family emigration" can apply for permanent residency. What does "as part of family emigration" mean?

As it was stated at the beginning, Polish law distinguishes [between] two kinds of long term residence permits for foreigners which are: the permit to settle and the long-term resident's EC residence permit. [The IRB's] question is based on outdated law regulations. Currently art 64 par. 1 of Polish Act on Foreigners reads:

"1. The permit to settle shall be granted to a foreigner, who:

– is a minor child, born on the territory of the Republic of Poland, of an foreigner possessing a permit to settle;

– has been married to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years and directly before submitting the application he/she has resided continuously on the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 2 years on the basis of the residence permit for a fixed period;

– directly before submitting the application, has resided on the territory of the Republic of Poland continuously for at least 10 years on the basis of the permit for tolerated stay, 7 years if he/she has been granted supplementary protection or at least 5 years if he/she has been granted the refugee status."

– is a child of the citizen of the Republic of Poland and is in his/her parental custody.

... [The] latest changes [to the] Polish Act on Aliens from 18th March 2008 have introduced a new institution for foreigners named "supplementary protection". Supplementary protection is a new form of international protection granted to foreigners in the proceedings for refugee status.

Furthermore art 65 par. 1 provides conditions for obtaining the long-term resident's EC residence permit:

"A long-term resident's EC residence permit shall be granted to a foreigner residing legally and continuously, directly before he/she submits an application, on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period of at least 5 years, who possesses:

– stable and regular source of income enough to cover the cost of maintenance of a foreigner and members of his/her family supported by him/her;

– health insurance within the meaning of provisions on common health insurance or documents confirming that the costs of medical treatment on the territory of the Republic of Poland shall be covered by an insurer." [emphasis in original]

4) What is "tolerated stay"? The Office for Foreigners says that a settlement permit is granted to a foreigner who stayed 10 years in Poland prior to applying "upon a permit for a tolerated stay" or at least 5 years due to acquiring refugee status.

A permit for tolerated stay is a form of national protection granted to foreigners in Poland. According to art. 97 par. 1 of Act of 13 June 2003 on granting protection to aliens within the territory of the Republic of Poland (Consolidated text Journal of Laws of 2006, No 234, it. 1695, as amended), an alien shall be granted the permit for tolerated stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland if his/her expulsion:

1. may be effected only to a country where his/her right to life, to freedom and personal safety could be under threat, where he/she could be subjected to tortures or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, or could be forced to work or deprived the right to fair trial, or could be punished without any legal grounds – within the meaning of the [Council of Europe's] Convention [for the Protection of] Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 (J.L. of 1993 No. 61, it. 284 and 285, of 1995 No. 36, it. 175, 176 and 177 and of 1998 No. 147, it. 962 and of 2002 No. 127, it. 1084);

1a) would infringe on their right to family life within the meaning of the Convention [for the Protection] of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4th November 1950 or would infringe on the rights of the child specified in the [United Nations] Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by G/A/RES 44/25 of 20 November 1989 to a degree that would significantly inhibit psychophysical development of the child unless the further stay of the foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland endangers the state's defence and national security or public security and order.

2. is unenforceable due to reasons beyond the authority executing the decision on expulsion or beyond this alien;

Furthermore according to mentioned above art. 97 par. 2:

"2. A foreigner may be granted the permit for tolerated stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland if his/her expulsion might be effected only to a country to which the extradition is inadmissible on the basis of the court's judgment on the inadmissibility of a foreigner's extradition or on the basis of the decision of the Minister of Justice on refusing to extradite that foreigner. This decision shall be taken with due regard to the reasons for refusing an foreigner's extradition as well as to the interest of the Republic of Poland."

[An individual who obtains a] foreigner permit for tolerated stay ... has the same rights in most cases as [a] foreigner with [a] permit for a fixed period. [The] [s]econd part of this question, like before, is based on [an] outdated law regulation. In this case [see] also article 64 paragraph 1 [of the] Polish Act on Foreigners [noted above].

5) What is the fee for applying for either permanent or temporary residency?

The fee for each application is:

the permit to settle – 640 PLN [1 Polish zloty (PLN) = 0.45 Canadian dollars (Canada 9 Oct. 2008)] and 50 PLN for issuing residence card,

the long-term resident's EC residence permit – 640 PLN and 50 PLN for issuing residence card,

the residence permit for a fixed period – 340 PLN and 50 PLN for issuing residence card.

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. 9 October 2008. Bank of Canada. "Daily Currency Converter." [Accessed 9 Oct. 2008]

Poland. 9 October 2008. Office for Foreigners. Correspondence sent by the Director of the Department of Legalization of Stay and Foreigners' Register.

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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