Immigration law

The new bill provides for the automatic extension of the right of residence for foreigners in Poland in connection with COVID-19

The situation related to the spread of COVID-19 virus and restrictions imposed by governments have affected almost every person in the world. Foreigners currently residing in a foreign country and unable to leave the country due to the closure of borders are in a particularly disadvantaged position.

Today, the Polish government announced the adoption of a bill on the fight against COVID-19 (the so-called „Anti-Crisis Shield”) and its submission to the Sejm. According to the assumptions, the adoption of this law is to take place in express mode, and the entry into force of its provisions is scheduled for 1 April 2020.

Two articles from this project concern the situation of foreigners residing in Poland on the basis of visa-free travel, national visa or temporary residence permit.

Currently, the provisions of the Act on foreigners allow submission of applications for extension of stay provided that the foreigner’s stay in the country is legal on the day of submission. But what to do in a situation when offices are closed due to quarantine, so foreigners are not able to make an appointment to submit an appropriate application? At present, a large number of those whose visa or residence permit has expired, as well as the period of stay based on visa-free travel regulations are in a situation of uncertainty as to the legality of their stay in Poland.

In the event of their adoption, the new regulations automatically (pursuant to the bill) extend the right of residence of foreigners in the country in the period from the introduction of the epidemiological emergency status (i.e. from 12/03/2020) or the epidemic status (i.e. from 20/03/2020) until the expiry 30 days counted from the day following the date of repeal of the epidemiological threat or epidemic. Below we publish a diagram that will help you better understand the content of these new bill provisions.

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