British nationals in Poland

There is a transition period which will last till the end of 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement protects all UK nationals residing in one of the 27 EU Member States during the transition period. The current rules regarding UK citizens residing in PL will still apply during the transition period – until the end of 2020. 

Work and stay of citizens of the United Kingdom subsequent to January 31, 2020.

The United Kingdom have withdrawn from the European Union on January 31, 2020 on the basis of the Agreement on the withdrawal. The European Parliament and the EU Council had consented on the withdrawal in the vote of January 29, 2020.

Pursuant to the Agreement on the withdrawal, a transition period has been introduced and applies from February 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. During this period, the rules of stay and work citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families in Poland will remain unchanged.

At the end of the transition period, citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families (who are not EU citizens) will have the right to reside and work in Poland if they had been beneficiaries of the right to reside in Poland in accordance with EU law before the end of the transition period and continue to live in Poland. Confirmation of having the residence permit or the permanent residence permit will be a document bearing the endorsement that it was issued in accordance with the Agreement on the withdrawal.

The documents (in a form resembling an ID card) will be issued by voivodship offices relevant for the place of the foreigner‘s residence. Therefore, those citizens of the United Kingdom who have not obtained a residence permit in Poland (confirming the right of residence or the right of permanent residence), and they would like to stay and work in Poland also after the end of the transition period, should go to the voivodship office to obtain a residence permit.

Currently, it is planned that citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families residing in Poland will be able to apply for the documents bearing the endorsement that they were issued in accordance with the Agreement on the withdrawal – after the end of the transition period. The documents will identify the beneficiaries of the Agreement after the transition period.

Information on, among others residence rights of British citizens in Poland in connection with Brexit, can be found on the website of the Office for Foreigners.

 Unemployed status and benefit

The Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has left the European Union in an orderly manner on the basis of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. On that date, a transition period until the end of 2020 began.

During the transition period beginning on the date of entry into force of the Agreement on withdrawal, nationals of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland shall enjoy equal treatment with nationals of the European Union. As a result, citizens of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland will acquire unemployment status and the right to benefit on the same basis as European Union citizens. This principle will apply until the end of 2020.

Up-to-date information on:
– the status of the unemployed can be found on the website.

– the rights to unemployment benefit can be found on the website.

Employment agency activities

During the Transition period – starting from the date of entry into force of the Agreement on  the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and ending on 31 December 2020 – Entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may take up and carry out on the territory of Poland the activities of an employment agency:

  1. with regard to temporary work on the basis of an entry on in the register of employment agencies, in accordance with Article 18 section 3 of the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1482, as amended), or
  2. as regards placement, personal counselling or professional guidance within the framework of the notification referred to in Article 19i section 1 of the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions

– under the existing rules, i.e. they will be treated as foreign entrepreneurs from European Union member states.

At the same time, there is a possibility to extend the transition period by mutual agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Up-to-date information can be found here (in Polish) and here (in English).

Education of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland citizens in Poland after Brexit

Children of UK citizens have access to education and care in public kindergartens, other public forms of pre-school education, as well as in public primary schools, including art schools, in public institutions, including art and public secondary schools, under the same conditions as Polish nationals until they reach the age of 18 or until their graduation from a public secondary school.

In the transition period UK citizens have access to education in public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public institutions and public colleges of social work and to vocational qualifications courses under the same conditions as Polish nationals if they reside in Poland.

After the end of the transition period UK citizens have access to education in public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public institutions and public colleges of social work and to vocational qualifications courses:

  • as holders of a scholarship awarded by the Minister of National Education,
  • as holders of a scholarship awarded by the body managing a school or educational institution, or by the head of a school or an institution;
  • on a fee-paying basis.

Where tuition and/or other fees are charged, the level of fees is determined, and fees may be fully or partially waived, by the body managing a given school or educational institution.

Individuals with dual citizenship: Polish and UK have access to education and care in public kindergartens and public schools on conditions applicable to Polish citizens.

Rules on entry of the United Kingdom citizens and their family members within the transition period

Within the transition period i.e. until  December 31, 2020 the free movement of persons between EU member states and United Kingdom will continue on current rules. The United Kingdom citizens and their family members within the meaning of the art. 2 point 4 of the act of 14 July 2006 on the entry on the territory of the Republic of Poland, stay on and exit from that territory of the citizens of member states of the European Union and their family members (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 293, as amended), who accompany these UK citizens or join them will further benefit from the rules on entry and stay of the EU citizens and their family members, as if they continued to maintain their status of the EU citizens or their family members.This will apply both to the United Kingdom citizens and their family members who exercised free movement of persons on the territory or Poland as EU citizens before Brexit, and these United Kingdom citizens and their family members who accompany or join them, who will enter Poland after January 31, 2020 but before the end of the transition period i.e. December 31, 2020.

Rules on entry of the United Kingdom citizens and their family members after the transition period

  • Rules on entry of the United Kingdom citizens and their family members who are beneficiaries of the exit agreement, after the transition period.

After the end of the transition period provided for in an exit agreement i.e. since January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom citizens will generally continue to maintain the right of entry and stay in the territory of Poland on similar to current rules if:

  1. they benefited from the right of entry on the territory of Poland according to EU law before the end of the transition period (it is also related the United Kingdom citizens who entered Poland after Brexit, but before the end of the transition period) and
  2. they have remained and have lived in Poland after the end of the transition period.

The right of entry and stay of these persons on the territory of Poland (the so called beneficiaries of the exit agreement) will be deriving directly from the exit agreement, and will be additionally regulated in the Polish national law.

The details of the Polish solutions, which will apply to the beneficiaries of the exit agreement after the end of the transition period will be defined in Polish legislation.

  • Rules on entry of the United Kingdom citizens and their family members who are not beneficiaries of the exit agreement, after the transition period.

United Kingdom citizens and their family members, who are not the beneficiaries of the exit agreement, will have the right to enter the territory of Poland on the general rules i.e. as other third country nationals. The United Kingdom nationals who are not beneficiaries of  the exit agreement will be exempted from visa requirement for short stay in Schengen i.e. 90 days in any 180-day period. The issue whether their family members will be required to possess visa for short stay in Schengen or exempt from visa will derive from the provisions of the regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and the Council of 14 November 2018 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement.

1.The obligation to possess financial measures necessary for entry and stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

On the basis of the national law, the issue of counting the amount of financial measures necessary for entry and stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland is regulated in the regulation of the Ministry of Interior Affairs of February 23, 2015 on financial measures required from the foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland and the documents, which may confirm the possibility to obtain such measures and the purpose and period of the planned stay.

According to these provisions the foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland must be in the possession of the financial measures in the amount of at least:

  •  300 PLN if the period of planned stay does not extend beyond 4 days;
  •  75 PLN for each day of planned stay , if the period of planned stay des extend beyond 4 days – or equivalent amount in foreign currency.

Moreover in case when the foreigner does not possess the return ticket he must possess during border control the financial measures in the amount of the price of the ticket that he travelled with to the territory of the republic of Poland, however not less than:

  • 200 PLN when he came from the country neighboring to the Republic of Poland,
  • 500 PLN, if he travelled from the territory of the member state of the European Union other than the one indicated in point 1,
  • 2500 PLN, if he travelled from the country not being the member state of the European Union – or equivalent of this amount in foreign currency.

The documents confirming the possibility to obtain required financial measures may be:

  • the traveller’s cheque;
  • the certificate on the amount of limit on the credit card issued by the bank, which issued the credit card;
  • the certificate on the possession of the financial measures on the account in the bank, which possess his premises on the territory of Poland or other Schengen member state.

In this respect the students should be in the possession when crossing the border on entry 1270 PLN for the first 2 months of the planned stay of the equivalent of that amount in the foreign currencies.

The obligation to possess financial measures  and documents confirming the possibility to obtain such measures lawfully does not concern foreigners crossing the border on the basis of:

  • International agreements, which exempt the foreigner form the obligation to possess such measures or there is an the obligation to cover the expenses of stay by the Polish authorities or public institutions;
  • Repatriation visa
      •    Visa for the purpose of employment
      •    Visa issued for the purpose of temporary protection
      •    Visa issued for the purpose of participation in the asylum proceedings
      •    Residence card
      •    Visa issued for the purpose of execution of rights deriving from the card pole.

Moreover please be informed that the foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland which:

  • is the participant of the tourist trip, youth camp, sport competition,
  • has the cost of stay on the territory of Poland covered
  • is coming to the therapeutic or sanatorium facilities
  • is a member of the program entitling to a vocational work on the territory of the Republic of Poland (and the work does not constitute his major purpose of stay) which is regulated by international agreement signed by the republic of Poland
  • must be in the possession of financial measures, necessary for covering the costs of living on the territory of the Republic of Poland of the amount of at least 20 PLN for each day of the planned stay, and no less than 100 PLN, or an equivalent in the foreign currencies.

The documents, which may confirm the purpose and the period of the planned stay of the foreigner are:

  • the documents confirming the participation in the tourist trip, youth camp or the sport competition;
  • the proof of the payment for the cost of stay on the territory of the republic of Poland including at least cost of accommodation and alimentation;
  • the referral to the therapeutic or sanatorium facilities;
  • visa for the purpose of the participation in the vocational work program indicating in the field “Uwagi” the name of the program.

2.The obligation to possess medical insurance necessary for entry and stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland

Entry to Poland for short stays up to 90 days, medical insurance is not required.

The foreigners entering the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of national visa type D (stay longer than 90 days) for all purposes of stay (expecially for the purpose of employment), which is not subject yet to the medical insurance within the meaning of the act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds, the obligation of the possession at Poland of the medical insurance fulfills by presentation of travel medical insurance for minimum amount of 30 000 euro, valid until receiving medical insurance, which covers all expenses, that may arise during stay on that territory deriving from the need of return  from medical reasons, need of urgent medical assistance, urgent hospitalization or death, where insurer is obliged to cover all expenses directly to the medical service provider on the basis of the invoice.

3,The basic information on crossing the border for the purpose of employment on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

The foreigner in order to legally work in Poland must be in a possession of the work permit,  the declaration on the entrustment of the performance or work to the foreigner  or permit for a seasonal work (the simplified procedure relates only to several third countries defined in relevant provisions).

More information can be found on the website.

Q & A

National Criminal Register and Brexit

Will information on convictions of British citizens by the Polish courts after the end of transitional period be transmitted to UK authorities?

Yes. Information on convictions of British citizens by the Polish courts after the end of transitional period will be transmitted to UK authorities.