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Legalization of stay and work in Poland for citizens from Ukraine

Dominika Arnt
Dominika Arnt Payroll Specialist

Attention! Changes to the act are planned in the coming days! as of March 22, 2022

The Act of 12 March 2022 on helping Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that country, i.e. the so-called special act.

Link to the full document: https://dziennikustaw.gov.pl/D2022000058301.pdf

The special act determines who can take advantage of the simplified path of legalization of stay and work. In addition, it defines the rights of Ukrainian citizens in the sphere of social assistance or access to the medical sphere. We will focus on the sphere of legalization of stay and work.

The sphere of legalization of stay and work

We stick to the principle where the stay is legal - work is legal (not forgetting that the employer has registered the form, as described below). We look at the candidate individually with each employment. Employers are required to complete all formalities related to the employment of a given person.

We consider the provisions of the special act, not the act on foreigners. These are separate regulations and persons that are not subject to the special act.

Who is not subject to the provisions of the special act?

If a Ukrainian citizen already has a permanent residence permit, a temporary residence permit, a long-term EU resident's residence permit or refugee status, subsidiary protection or a permit for tolerated stay, the rules of stay and work in Poland will not change. Here we are covered by the provisions of the Foreigners Act.

Who is affected?

A citizen of Ukraine or the spouse of a citizen of Ukraine who is not a citizen of Ukraine (condition - wife / husband), who crossed the border directly (as of March 22, 2022) and legally from February 24, 2022, declared his intention to stay in Poland and did not submit an application for granting international protection / did not report this intention under other provisions. In addition, the regulation applies to Ukrainian citizens who have a Pole's Card, who came to Poland with their immediate family.

How long?

Citizens of Ukraine who entered Poland legally as a result of military operations from February 24, 2022 and declare their intention to stay in Poland, have a guaranteed legal stay for 18 months from February 24, 2022, i.e. until August 24, 2023.

What is the on-site procedure?

Citizens of Ukraine who have crossed the borders without registering with the Border Guard have 60 days to register their stay by reporting to any commune or city office. On site, everyone will receive appropriate documents and help to complete the formalities.

Each person who applies will be assigned a special PESEL number. It will be indispensable in the new reality.

Attention! The departure of a Ukrainian citizen from Poland for a period exceeding 1 month deprives him of the rights guaranteed by the special act - including the right to stay and the right to work in Poland.

How to hire a citizen of Ukraine?

Thanks to the special act, we can hire a citizen of Ukraine very quickly and easily. Almost on the same terms as a Polish citizen.

There is no precise definition of what contracts are to be concluded with Ukrainian citizens. There is freedom in this whether it will be an Employment Agreement or a mandate contract (of course, within the relevant legal framework). As for remuneration - Ukrainian citizens are subject to the same regulations as Polish employees.

In the case of acandidate who meets all the conditions of legal crossing of the border and stay and a decision to employment is made, the employer has 14 days to register this fact in the ICT system - praca.gov.pl using a special form.

The employer must have a document confirming entry into the country after February 24, 2022. ,e.g. a copy of the stamped page of the passport or a certificate issued by a government administration body.

Can Ukrainian citizens set up a sole proprietorship?

Yes. They will be able to set up their businesses and conclude B2B contracts just like Polish citizens. The condition is to have a PESEL number.

What about people who are currently staying in Poland and their (temporary) residence permits are about to expire?

The visa or permit will be extended by operation of law until 31.12.2022 if their validity expires before that date. During the validity period of the visa or permit, you can only cross the border while the COVID-19 regulations are in place.

A citizen of Ukraine wants to work in an EU country other than Poland, or maybe?

The rights guaranteed by the Polish special act do not grant a work permit in another EU country. To obtain them, check what obligations and legal conditions must be met in a given EU country. As a rule, each EU country is obliged to adopt solutions enabling a citizen of Ukraine to obtain temporary protection for a period of at least 1 year, within which they should have the right to stay and work in a given country.

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