On 31 March 2020, the act amending the act on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them as well as some other acts entered into force (“Act”). In addition, pursuant to the regulation of the Minister of Health of 20 March 2020 on the announcement of an epidemic status in the Republic of Poland, in the period from 20 March 2020 until further notice in the Republic of Poland an epidemic status was announced in connection with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Previously, pursuant to the repealed regulation of the Minister of Health of 13 March 2020 on the announcement of an epidemic emergency in the territory of the Republic of Poland, in the period from 14 March 2020, an epidemic emergency was effective in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

TEMPORARY STAY IN THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND

Pursuant to the provisions of the Act, if the time limit for submitting an application for a temporary residence permit, as referred to in Article 105 paragraph 1 of the act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners, falls during the period of the state of epidemic threat or epidemic emergency, announced in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, this period is extended until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of this state, whichever comes last.

In addition, the Act provides that the stay of a foreigner in the territory of the Republic of Poland during the extended period referred to above is considered to be legal in the meaning of the act on foreigners, if the foreigner submits the application within this period. These regulations also apply accordingly to the time limits for permanent residence permits, long-term resident’s European Union residence permits, as well as to the time limit for applying for an extension of the period of stay under visa-free travel within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

According to the Act, the reference point in calculating the dates of legality of stay is the period of validity of the epidemic status and the epidemic emergency status.

Note that the application of the regulation of the Minister of Health of 20 March 2020 regarding the announcement of the state of the epidemic in the territory of the Republic of Poland, in the period from 20 March 2020 until further notice in the territory of the Republic of Poland, the state of the epidemic in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection applies. Earlier, in the period from 14 March 2020, in the territory of the Republic of Poland, an epidemic threat was announced in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. Therefore, the extension of legal stay covers the period from 14 March 2020, when the state of epidemic threat was announced.

However, it should be clearly emphasized that the foreigner must submit an application for temporary residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland within the time limit extended by the Act, otherwise his stay will be considered illegal.

Subsequently, the provisions of the Act assume that if the last day of the period of stay of a foreigner on the basis of a national visa falls within the period of validity of the epidemic emergency or epidemic emergency announced in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, the period of stay based on this visa and the period of validity of this visas are extended by law up to the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last state that was in force.

In addition, in the above case, no new visa sticker will be affixed to the foreigner’s travel document.

In the adopted provisions of the Act, similar entries are also included regarding temporary residence permits, i.e. if the last day of the period of validity of the temporary residence permit falls within the period of validity of the epidemic threat or epidemic status, announced in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, validity period of this permit shall be extended by law until the end of the 30 day following the date of cancellation of the last emergency state that was in force. In this case, no residence card is issued or replaced!

LEGALITY OF EMPLOYMENT IN THE TERRITORY OF RP

Pursuant to the provisions of the Act, if the last day of the validity of the work permit, referred to in the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions, falls during the period of epidemic emergency or epidemic status, announced in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, the period of validity of this work permit is extended by law until the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last emergency state that was in force. The above provision is also applied to decisions to extend work permits or extend seasonal work permits.

In the case of extending the period of validity of the work permit under the above regulation, the application for extension of the work permit should be submitted not earlier than 90 days before the expiry of the period of validity of the work permit specified in this permit and not later than on the last day of the period of validity of the extended pursuant to the Act.

A change was also made in the scope of validity of declarations on entrusting work to a foreigner. If the statement of entrusting the performance of work to a foreigner, entered in the register of statements, indicates the period of work that ends in the period of the state of epidemic threat or epidemic status, announced in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, the foreigner may perform work with a specific statement for the entity that made the statement, in the period or periods not covered by the statement, by the end of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last state that was in force, without a work permit.

Moreover, this additional period of work performance on the basis of an extended statement of entrustment of work to a foreigner will not be included in the specified limits of the period of performance of work on the basis of a declaration, i.e. the limit according to which a foreigner may perform work based on a statement of entrustment of performance work, entered in the register of declarations for a period of not more than 6 months in the next 12 months.

Note that in accordance with the regulation of the Minister of Health of 20 March 2020 on the announcement of the state of the epidemic in the Republic of Poland, in the period from 20 March 2020 until further notice in the Republic of Poland the state of the epidemic in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection is effective. Earlier, in the period from 14 March 2020, an epidemic emergency was announced in the territory of the Republic of Poland in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. These dates are the basis for calculating the periods of legality of employment of foreigners in Poland during the current epidemic status.

LEGAL STATUS AS AT 2 APRIL 2020

Sources:

  • Act of 31 March 2020 amending the Act on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them, as well as some other acts (Dz.U. 2020 poz. 568);
  • Regulation of the Minister of Health of 20 March 2020 regarding the announcement of the state of the epidemic in the territory of the Republic of Poland (Dz. U. poz. 491 as amended);
  • Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners (Dz. U. z 2020 r. poz. 35);
  • Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (Dz. U. z 2020 r. poz. 278).

Author: Trainee Attorney-at-Law Marta Szczepanowska
Editorial supervision: Attorney-at-Law Paweł Tokarski

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