Is your Karta Pobytu or Visa expiring during Coronavirus situation in Poland? – Don’t worry!

Disclaimer: The following information has been announced on the official website of The Office for Foreigners (Urząd do spraw cudzoziemców)please refer to that information for legal purposes. We have rephrased their message and added information or examples to make it more understandable for our readers.

The Office for Foreigners (Urząd do spraw cudzoziemców) has published an official statement with special solutions for foreigners living in Poland during this outstanding situation.

The regulations will allow people who want to pursue their current purpose of stay or cannot leave Poland due to the spread of coronavirus to stay legally in the country.

New Regulations for Foreigners in Poland During Coronavirus Outbreak

The period of legal stay in Poland will be extended by law by 30 calendar days counting from the next day after the epidemic was canceled. The following will be extended:

  • legal stay of foreigners on the basis of national visas and temporary residence permits that would end during the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic
  • deadline for submitting applications for legalisation of stay
  • validity of already issued work permits, seasonal work permits and declarations of entrustment of work to a foreigner

Moreover, the following deadlines will be postponed:

  • for foreigners to leave Poland
  • of voluntary return specified in the decisions obliging the foreigner to return.

Extension of the Legal Stay for Non-Eu Citizens

The extension of the legal stay of a foreigner staying in Poland on the basis of a national visa and temporary residence permit (Karta Pobytu) will apply to situations in which the last day of legal stay will fall within the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic. This period started from March 14th, 2020. This means, that the period of legal stay in Poland will be extended by law by 30 calendar days counting from the next day after the epidemic was canceled.

Extending the legality of your stay will not involve placing a new visa sticker on the foreigner’s travel document or issuing a new residence card. The foreigner will not be able to travel on the basis of such extended stay within the territory of other Schengen countries.

However, the foreigners will be able to pursue the current purpose of stay in Poland, e.g. the performance of work. Work permits and seasonal work permits will be extended, as well as the allowed period of work based on the declaration of entrusting work to a foreigner. Foreigners will also be able to leave Poland without the risk of entering into an illegal stay.

Examples to understand this:

John had a temporary residence permit (Karta Pobytu) that expired on March 25th, 2020. As the state of epidemic emergency was declared in Poland in March 14th, 2020, John will be able to stay in Poland legally during this time. Assuming the state of epidemic emergency will finish on May 15th, 2020. John will have a legal permission to stay in Poland till June 14th (30 calendar days starting from May 16th). The extension of his Karta Pobytu will be applied automatically till June 14th, he doesn’t need to get a new stamp or special permission. If John would like to extend his stay in Poland further, he will need to submit his application before June 14th.

John had a temporary residence permit (Karta Pobytu) that will expire on July 7th, 2020. As the state of epidemic emergency was declared in Poland in March 14th, 2020, John will be able to stay in Poland legally during this time. Assuming the state of epidemic emergency will finish on June 8th, 2020. John will have a legal permission to stay in Poland till July 8th (30 calendar days starting from June 8th). If John would like to extend his stay in Poland further, he will have just one day to submit his application (deadline remains the same July 8th).

Extension of Deadlines for Submitting Applications

The act provides for extension of the deadlines for submitting applications for residence permits, to extend visas and to extend the stay under visa-free travel, if the deadline would fall within the period of state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic.

These applications may be submitted to voivodship offices up to 30 calendar days after the day when the epidemic state has been canceled. Foreigners who stay in Poland during this period will be considered legal provided that they submit an application for legalisation of stay within the extended period.

The previous information apply to foreigners who would like to apply for:

  • granting a temporary, permanent or long-term EU resident permit
  • extension of a national visa (symbol D) or a Schengen visa (symbol C)
  • extension of the period of visa-free travel – this applies only to citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore and Uruguay, as only the visa waiver agreements with these particular countries provide for this possibility.

Examples to understand this:

John had a temporary residence permit (Karta Pobytu) that will expire on June 1st. He was planning to submit documents to renew his Karta Pobytu on May 10th, 2020. As the state of epidemic emergency was declared in Poland in March 14th, 2020, John will be able to stay in Poland legally during this time. Assuming the state of epidemic emergency will finish on June 15th, 2020, John will have a legal permission to stay in Poland and submit new documents for his renewal of Karta Pobytu till July 15th  (30 calendar days starting from June 16th). He doesn’t need to get a new stamp or special permission. If John would like to extend his stay in Poland further, he will need to submit his application before July 15th.

John received information that he has to deliver documents on May 14 for his application to extend his Karta Pobytu. Assuming that the epidemic status ends on May 13, John must meet the normal deadline. Which means that he must deliver his documents until May 14.

Extension of Dates for Leaving the Territory of Poland

If someone got a negative decision regarding his Karta Pobytu application and did not appeal or his appeal was rejected, he has to leave Poland before some deadline. If this deadline falls during the state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic, the deadline will be automatically extended by law by 30 calendar days counting from the next day after the epidemic was canceled.

Example to understand this:

John got his decision for his Karta Pobytu application on February 27th, 2020, the decision was negative, he appealed this decision, but the appeal was rejected. He received a deadline to leave Poland on April 5th, 2020, as the state of epidemic emergency was declared in Poland in March 14th, 2020, John will be able to stay in Poland legally during this time. Assuming the state of epidemic emergency will finish on May 15th, 2020. John will have legal permission to stay in Poland till June 14th (30 calendar days starting from May 16th). He doesn’t need to get a new stamp or special permission during this time. However, John must leave Poland before June 14th.

Extension of legality of stay of foreigners residing in Poland on the basis of short-term residence titles, including visa-free travel or Schengen visas

The extension of legal stay applies to foreigners who, on the day of the announcement of the epidemic emergency on March 14, 2020, stayed in Poland on the basis of:

  • Schengen visas
  • a visa issued by another country of the Schengen area (including a long-stay visa authorizing them to stay for a period exceeding 90 days),
  • a residence permit issued by another Schengen State,
  • as part of visa-free travel,
  • a long-term visa issued by another Member State of the European Union that is not a Schengen State, if, in accordance with the provisions of European Union law, it entitles to stay on Polish territory
  • a residence permit issued by another Member State of the European Union that is not a Schengen State, if, in accordance with the provisions of European Union law, it entitles you to stay on Polish territory.

The stay of these people will be considered legal in Poland and will be extended by law by 30 calendar days counting from the next day after the epidemic was canceled.

In case you are Mexican and find yourself in this situation, contact the Mexican Embassy in Poland: +48 606 444 766 / consular@emexico.pl

Example to understand this:

Javier (Mexican nationality) entered Europe as a tourist on February 2nd, as a Mexican he is allowed to stay in Schengen countries for 90 days without any additional permission (he can stay legally till May 2nd, 2020). Javier decided to visit Poland on March 12th, 2020. As the state of epidemic emergency was declared in Poland on March 14th, 2020, Javier will be able to stay in Poland legally during this time. Assuming the state of epidemic emergency will finish on May 15th, 2020, Javier will have a legal permission to stay in Poland till June 14th (30 calendar days starting from May 16th). The extension of his legal stay will be applied automatically till June 14th, he doesn’t need to get a new stamp or any special permission. If Javier would like to extend his stay in Poland further, he will need to submit his application for a Karta Pobytu or a visa before June 14th.

Citizens of EU Countries, Countries of the European Free Trade Agreement (Efta), the Swiss Confederation and Their Family Members

The introduction of the state of epidemic emergency in Poland, followed by the state of epidemic, does not affect in any way the residence rights of citizens of European Union Member States, countries of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), the Swiss Confederation and family members staying with them. These rights are not dependent on having any permits or documents.

Example to understand this:

John has Spanish nationality (citizen of the European Union), which means his right as EU citizen will not be affected, and he can stay in Poland during the state of epidemic emergency without any additional permit.

We invite you to follow the official website of The Office for Foreigners in Poland as they might announce relevant news regarding Karta Pobytu or visas. You can check the official updates on this link: https://udsc.gov.pl/en/

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Written by David Huerta

Mexican blogger living in Poland. Graduated from Warsaw School of Economics.