British nationals in Poland

The rules of entry and stay of citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families, who are not citizens of the European Union, in case of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union without a contract.

A.      Entry of citizens of the United Kingdom to Poland on the basis of general rules

After withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union the citizens of the country will enter the Schengen Area according to the same rules as citizens of other third countries.

I.      Entry for a short period under the Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Border Code).

Third countries, whose citizens are required to have short-stay entry visa in case of their entry to Schengen Area countries (including Poland) and those whose citizens are exempt from this obligation are listed in Regulation(EU) 2018/1806 of the European Parliament and of 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.

Under the above regulation the citizens of the United Kingdom will be exempt from the visa requirement for short-tern stay.

In case of short-term stay, the stay not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period ( which means taking into account the 180-day period preceding each of the days of stay), the entry conditions for the British citizens are following

a. They have valid travel documents entitling them to cross the border and meet the following conditions:

i.         The travel document is valid at least for 3 months after the planned date of departure from Schengen Area – in justified cases this criterion may be omitted;

ii.       The travel document has been issued in the last 10 years;

b. They are in possession of valid short-term visa, if required according to Regulation(EU) 2018/1806, unless they hold valid stay permit issued by another Schengen country or valid long-term visa issued by another Schengen country;

c. They will justify the aim and meet the conditions of the planned stay and have the sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay as well as return to their country of origin or for the transit to a third country (it must be certain that they will obtain permission from that third country to enter its territory) or it is possible for them to obtain the required financial resources in accordance with the law;

d. They are not persons who appear in SIS as those who should be refused entry;

e. They are not considered as threat to public order, internal security, public health or international relations of neither of Schengen countries and in particular their data has not been entered into the national databases of the counties for the purpose of refusing entry on the above mentioned grounds.

The date of entry is the first day of stay in the territory of Schengen countries. The date of departure is the last day of stay in the territory of Schengen countries. The periods of stay on the basis of stay permission or long-term visa issued by Polish authorities are not included in the calculation of the length of short-term stay on the territory of Poland.

Health insurance is not required in case of short-stay entries.

It is possible to find the current list of residence permits on the website. The list will be supplemented by the list of residence permits issued in connection with Brexit for the citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families who are not citizens of any of European Union countries.

II.      Entry for a long-term stay according to the Act of  12 December 2013 on Foreigners.

In case of the entry of British citizens to Poland for a long-term stay, they are required to possess and present on request the following:

1. Valid travel document

2. Valid long-term visa (type D) or valid residence permit issued by Polish authorities

3. In case of entry on the basis of a national visa, confirmation of possession of health insurance within the meaning of the provisions of the Act of 27 September 2004 on healthcare services financed from public funds, or possession of travel medical insurance with the minimum amount of insurance of 30.000 EUR, valid for the whole period of the person’s planned stay in the territory of Poland, covering all expenses that may arise during a stay in Poland in connection with the need for a return trip for medical reasons, the need for urgent medical assistance, emergency hospital treatment or death. In the insurance document, the insurer shall commit to cover the costs of the above health benefits directly to the entity providing such services on the basis of an invoice issued by this entity.

4. Sufficient financial means to cover the costs of a planned stay or return to a country of origin or the costs of housing or transit to a third country that will allow entry or a document that will confirm the possibility of obtaining such funds according with the law.

5. A person shall justify the aim and conditions of a planned stay.

A foreigner referred to in points I and II, entering the territory of Poland must be in possession of at least of the following financial resources:

1.       300 PLN, if the period of the planned stay does not exceed 4 days,

2.       75 PLN for each day of a planned stay, if the period of stay does not exceed 4 days

–          or the equivalent amount in foreign currency.

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland, who:

1.       is a participant of tourist event, youth camp, sport competitions;

2.       has paid for the costs of his stay in Poland;

3.       arrives to a health and sanitary facility;

4.       is a participant in a programme enabling the performance of summer work in Poland, which is not the main purpose of his stay, regulated by an international agreement, which Poland is a party to

–          must be in possession of funds of at least 20 PLN for each day of a planned stay, but not less than 100 PLN or the equivalent amount in foreign currency.

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to take up or continue studies, participate in scientific research or training, conduct development works or undertake or continue education must have at least 1270 PLN financial resources for first two months of planned stay or the equivalent amount in foreign currency.

A foreigner must be in possession of financial resources for return to a country of origin in the amount equivalent to the ticket, on the basis of which he arrived to Poland, but not less than:

1.       200 PLN, if a foreigner arrived to Poland from a neighbouring country;

2.       500 PLN, if a foreigner arrived to Poland from a Member State other than specified in point 1;

3.       2500 PLN, if a foreigner arrived from a third country (not a member of European Union);

–          or the equivalent amount in foreign currency.

Documents that can confirm the foreigner’s possibility to obtain financial resources:

1.       Traveler’s cheque,

2.       Certificate on the credit card limit issued by the bank or institution that issued a credit card. The certificate must be issued not later than one month before the day when a foreigner crosses the border to Poland.

3.       Certificate of having means of payment at the bank or cooperative savings and credit union or other credit institution based in Poland or other  Member State. The certificate must be issued not later than one month before the day when a foreigner crosses the border to Poland.

A document that can confirm the possession of funds by a foreigner to return to the country of origin may also be a return ticket entitling a foreigner to travel to that country.

A document that can confirm that a foreigner is in possession of financial resources sufficient to take up or continue studies, participate in scientific research or training, conduct development works or undertake or continue education can be also a document confirming granting a scholarship to this foreigner.

The obligation to present financial resources or documents confirming the possibility of obtaining such funds in accordance with the law does not apply to foreigners who cross a border on the basis of:

a.       International agreements, according to which a foreigner is released from the obligation to possess certain funds or Polish state authorities or public institutions are obliged to cover the costs of foreigner’s stay;

b.      Visa for repatriation purposes;

c.       Visa to perform work;

d.      Visa to benefit from temporary protection;

e.      Visa issued in order to participate in the asylum procedure;

f.        Stay permits;

g.       Visa issued in order to exercise the rights arising from the possession of Pole’s card.

The requirement to have a medical insurance may be considered as met in case a foreigner has an appropriate medical insurance in connection with his medical situation.

Medical insurance is not obligatory in case of entry for a short period under the Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Border Code).

A foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland, on the basis of the visa issued for the purpose to perform work, who is not yet the subject to health insurance according to the Act of 27 August 2004 on healthcare services financed from the public funds (part A.II. (3)), fulfils the above obligation by presenting a travel medical insurance of the minimal amount of 30 000 EUR, valid till the day of obtaining health insurance covering all expenses that may arise during foreigner’s stay in Poland in connection with:

– the need for foreigner’s return for medical reasons,

– the need for urgent medical assistance,

– the need for emergency hospital treatment,

– foreigner’s death.

In the travel medical insurance mentioned above the insurer commits oneself to cover the costs of health services provided to an insured foreigner directly to the entity that provides the services on the basis of the invoice issued.

Detailed rules regarding the stay of citizens of third countries, including the citizens of the United Kingdom, can be found on the webside.

B. Entry to Poland of citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families who hold residence permit in Poland, granted on the basis of EU legislation, on the day before Brexit.

The Act of 15 March 2019 on the settlement of certain issues related to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and from European Atomic Energy Community without concluding the agreement referred to in Article 50 point 2 of the Treaty on European Union sets out, inter alia, the rules for:

1.       Stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland of the citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families;

2.       Running a business on the territory of the Republic of Poland by a foreign entrepreneur from the United Kingdom providing services in the field of employment agency activity on the territory of the Republic of Poland;

3.       Posting an employee from the United Kingdom to the territory of the Republic of Poland;

4.       Participation of citizens of the United Kingdom in economic turnover.

in case of “hard Brexit”, meaning the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and from European Atomic Energy Community without concluding the agreement setting out the conditions of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and taking into account the framework of future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The above mentioned act will be implemented on the day of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union without concluding the agreement.

I.      Entry to Poland of citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families who hold temporary or permanent residence permit on the territory of the Republic of  Poland, granted on the basis of EU legislation, on the day before Brexit.

In case, a citizen of the United Kingdom has registered his stay in Poland with the voivode and  obtained the certificate of EU citizen’s registration before the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the person shall be aware that this type of certificate is not a residence permit document. Therefore, citizens of United Kingdom who hold only this type of certificate will not be authorised to enter Polish territory according to the rules described above.

According to Article 5 of the above mentioned act, the stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland of a citizen of the United Kingdom and members of his family, who have been granted temporary or permanent stay in Poland on the day preceding the entry into force of the above act, in the period from the day of the entry into force of the act till 31 December 2020, is considered as legal, unless the act provides otherwise.

According to Article 13 (3) (3) of the above mentioned Act, the stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland of a citizen of the United Kingdom or a member of his family is considered as legal till the day on which the decision on granting a person a temporary or permanent stay permit becomes final and if till 31 December 2020 the person has applied for granting temporary or permanent stay permit according to Article 7 (1) or (2) or Article 10 (1) or (2) of the above mentioned Act.

In case of non-contractual Brexit, Poland has already notified the European Commission additional stay permits for citizens of United Kingdom and members of their families, who have temporary or permanent stay in Poland on the day preceding the day of entry into force of the above act.

Taking into account the above, citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families who are in possession of following valid Polish residence permits and a valid passport will be entitled to cross the borders to enter Poland on the principles set out in part A.II, till 31 December 2020:

1.       Document confirming the right of permanent residence;

2.       Residence card of a family member of an EU citizen;

3.       Permanent residence card of a family member of an EU citizen.

Citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families who are in possession of the following  valid Polish residence permits and a valid passport will be entitled to cross the borders to enter Poland on the principles set out in part A.II, till the day, on which the decision on granting a person a temporary or permanent stay permit, (referred to in Article 7 (1) or (2) or Article 10 (1) or (2) of the above mentioned Act), becomes final:

1.       The stamp with an annotation “Brexit” printed in a travel document, confirming the submission of the application for permanent or temporary stay  in Poland together with separate certificate of submission of the above application (during the period of validity of the certificate until the end of the proceedings for a temporary or permanent stay permit).

Worth mentioning is the fact that on the day of granting a citizen of the United Kingdom or a member of his family a temporary or permanent stay permit, a certificate of stay registration, residence card of a family member of an EU citizen, document confirming the right of permanent stay, permanent residence card of a family member of an EU citizen expire.

At the latest on the day of receipt of the residence card or within 14 days from the day on which the decision terminating the procedure in other manner than granting the permit has become final, and in the case of the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners – from the day of delivery of this decision, a foreigner returns a certificate of submission of an application for a temporary stay for a citizen of the United Kingdom or a member of his family, to the voivode who has issued it.

After issuance of a temporary or permanent stay permit, citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families will be authorized to cross border to enter Poland on the basis of the valid residence card (issued on the basis of the granted residence permit) and valid passport according to the principles set out in part A.II of the Act.

II.    Entry to Poland of the citizens of United Kingdom and members of their families, who were granted temporary or permanent residence permit on the territory of Poland, within the meaning of EU legislation, on the day preceding the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, but who are not in possession of Polish documents confirming this fact, issued before Brexit and in consequence of Brexit.

A certificate of registration that was made before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union  is not Polish residence permit and hence does not authorise a person to cross border to enter Poland. Therefore, the entry to Poland of citizens of the United Kingdom, who hold only the above mentioned document and are not in possession of any documents listed in part B.I, nor valid residence card, nor long-term visa issued by Polish authorities, will take place on the basis of the rules set out in point B.II.

According to Article 5 of the above mentioned act, the stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland of a citizen of the United Kingdom and members of his family, who were in possession of temporary or permanent stay in Poland on the day preceding the entry into force of the above act, in the period from the day of the entry into force of the act till 31 December 2020, is considered as legal, unless the act provides otherwise.

After withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, till obtaining a residence permit listed in the part B.I. or residence card or long-term visa (D), issued by Polish authorities to citizens of third countries , the entry of citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families, whose stay in Poland was legal according to EU legislation on the day before Brexit, will be set out on the basis of provisions provided in the part A.I. till using 90 days of short-term stay in 180-days period. It also concerns citizens of the United Kingdom, who before Brexit have registered their stay at the voivodship office and received a certificate of registration of a EU citizen’s stay (this document is not a residence permit document and thus it does not entitle to cross the border).

In case of departure to a non-Schengen country, after using 90 days of short-term stay in Poland, the above mentioned foreigners will be able to immediately enter Poland only on the basis of a Polish long-term visa (type D).

Entry in the frame of a short-term stay (according to the part A.I) will only be possible after the renewal of the available short-term limit not exceeding 90 days in each 180-days period. – Link to the Schengen calculator.

According to Article 5 of the above mentioned act, the stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland of a citizen of the United Kingdom and members of his family, who have been granted temporary or permanent stay in Poland on the day preceding the entry into force of the above act, in the period from the day of the entry into force of the act till 31 December 20120, is considered as legal, unless the act provides otherwise.

Due to Article 5 of the above mentioned act, the foreigners will be able to stay in Poland till 31 December 2020 also after the expiry of short-term stay or stay resulting from the possession of Polish long-term visa (type D). If the foreigners would like to stay in Poland after 31 December 2020, they should, before the above date, submit the application for temporary or permanent stay permit or in order to continue one’s stay on the basis of Polish long-term visa (type D).

Please keep in mind the following:

1.       If, on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a citizen of the United Kingdom who is, on the day before the above withdrawal, in  possession of stay permit in Poland (according to EU legislation) and is not in possession of one of the documents listed in part B.I. or residence card or long-term visa (D), issued by Polish authorities to citizens of third countries staying in Poland, the period of short-term stay begins on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

If, on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a family member of a citizen of the United Kingdom, who is not an EU citizen, but who, on the day before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union is in possession of stay permit in Poland (according to EU legislation) and is not in possession of one of the documents listed in part B.I. and stays in Poland, the period of his short-term stay begins on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

2.       If, on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a citizen of the United Kingdom who is, on the day before the above withdrawal, in  possession of stay permit in Poland (according to EU legislation) and is not in possession of one of the documents listed in part B.I. and stays in a third country (for instant in the United Kingdom), the period of his short-term stay begins on the day of his entry to the Schengen area.

If, on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a family member of a citizen of the United Kingdom, who is not an EU citizen, but who, on the day before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union is in possession of stay permit in Poland (according to EU legislation) and is not in possession of one of the documents listed in part B.I. and stays in third country (for instant in the United Kingdom), the period of his short-term stay begins on the day of his entry to the Schengen area.

The stay of citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families (who do not possess residence permits) according to art. 5 of the above mentioned act, does not constitute a stay on the basis of a residence permit or stay on the basis of a long-term visa, therefore there are no grounds to deduct such a stay from the stay on the basis of the Article 6 (1) of the Schengen Borders Code, meaning from the authorised stay in the territory of the Schengen Area countries not exceeding 90 days in each 180-days period during subsequent entries to the Polish territory. The re-entry of citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families to Poland or to other Schengen countries during visa-free travel or on the basis of valid Schengen visa will only be possible if the stay outside Schengen is for an appropriate period of time, so that the requirement of not to exceed 90 days of stay in any 180-day period including the period of stay in Poland according to Article 5 of the above mentioned Act without a residence permit.

Information for citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members on the rules of legalisation of their stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland, in the event of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union without conclusion of the agreement referred to in Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union.

Legal grounds

In the event of lack of entering into force of the withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, hereinafter to as the “United Kingdom”, and the European Union, the special legal regulations has been adopted in the Act of 15 March 2019 on regulation of certain issues in relation with withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community without conclusion of the agreement referred to in Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union (Dz. U. pos. 622), hereinafter referred to as the “Act”. The Act shall regulate, among others, residence status of citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, hereinafter referred to as “citizens of the United Kingdom”, and members of their families within the territory of the Republic of Poland, so far within the territory using the freedom of movement of persons, and the issue of certain rights related therewith.

The Act shall enter into force on the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union without conclusion of the agreement, referred to in Article 50 (2) second sentence of the Treaty on European Union. Minister for Foreign Affairs shall announce, by way of a Notice, in the official journal of the Republic of Poland “Monitor Polski”, the day of non-contractual withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The Act entering into force is therefore contingent.

Definition of a family member

Family member of a citizen of the United Kingdom shall mean a foreigner not being citizen of a citizen of a member state of the European Union, the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – party to the agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, who is:

a) a spouse to a citizen of the United Kingdom,

b) direct descendant of a citizen of the United Kingdom or spouse thereof, up to the age of 21 or being a dependant of the citizen of the United Kingdom or spouse thereof,

c) direct ascendant a citizen of the United Kingdom or spouse thereof, being a dependant of the citizen of the United Kingdom or spouse thereof.

Continuation of residence in Poland – Article 5 of the Act

Residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland of a citizen of the United Kingdom or member of their family, within the period from entering into force of the Act of 31 December 2020 shall be deemed legal, if on the day preceding the day of entering into force thereof that person held the right of residence or the right of permanent residence within the territory of Poland.

In accordance with provisions of the Act, it shall be presumed that on the day preceding entering into force thereof:

  • citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof held the right of residence, if he/she had on that day a valid statement on registration of stay of the EU citizen or valid residence card of the EU citizen family member,
  • citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof held the right of permanent residence, if he/she had on that day a valid document confirming the right of permanent residence or a valid permanent residence card of the EU citizen family member,

If, on that day, the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof had none of the aforementioned documents, possession of the right of residence or the right of permanent residence on that day may be confirmed on the basis of any available evidence.

Temporary residence permit – Article 7 (1) or (2) of the Act

The temporary residence permit shall be granted at a request to a citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, who, on the day preceding the day of the Act entering into force, held the right of residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Application for granting the aforementioned permit should be made in person to the voivode competent for the place of residence by 31 December 2020. Applications for granting temporary residence permit made after the deadline shall not be examined.

When making the application for granting temporary residence permit, citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof shall be obligated to:

  • present a valid travel document. In a specifically justified case, if that person does not have a valid travel document and it is not possible to obtain it, he/she may present another document confirming identity and citizenship – in the case of a citizen of the United Kingdom, or another valid document confirming identity – in the case of a family member of the citizen of the United Kingdom,
  • make a completed and signed special application form for granting temporary residence permit and attach thereto with the following:

–  4 photographs in an appropriate format,

–  documents, which may confirm the information contained in the application and the circumstances justifying application for granting the temporary residence permit, if, on the day preceding the day of the Act entering into force, the citizen of the United Kingdom of family member thereof did not have a valid statement on registration of stay of the EU citizen or a valid residence card of the EU citizen family member.

Granting the temporary residence permit to a citizen of the United Kingdom or a family member thereof shall be exempted from stamp duty.

When making the application for granting temporary residence permit, citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, who on the day of making the application was 6 years old should submit fingerprints for issuing residence card.

Temporary residence permit shall be granted for a single period of 5 years.  The citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof who has obtained the temporary residence permit shall be ex officio and free-of-charge issued with a residence card valid for the period of the permit.

In its validity period the residence card confirms the identity of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, during their stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland and, as a travel document, provides the right for multiple crossing the border without the need to obtain a visa.

Permanent residence permit – Article 10 (1) or (2) of the Act

The permanent residence permit shall be granted at a request to a citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, who, on the day preceding the day of the Act entering into force, held the right of permanent residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Application for granting the aforementioned permit should be made in person to the voivode competent for the place of residence by 31 December 2020. Applications for granting permanent residence permit made after the deadline shall not be examined.

When making the application for granting permanent residence permit, citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof shall be obligated to:

  • present a valid travel document. In a specifically justified case, if that person does not have a valid travel document and it is not possible to obtain it, he/she may present another document confirming identity and citizenship – in the case of a citizen of the United Kingdom, or another valid document confirming identity – in the case of a family member of the citizen of the United Kingdom,
  • make a completed special application form for granting permanent residence permit and attach thereto with the following:

–  4 photographs in an appropriate format,

–  documents, which may confirm the information contained in the application and the circumstances justifying application for granting the permanent residence permit, if, on the day preceding the day of the Act entering into force, the citizen of the United Kingdom of family member thereof did not have a valid document confirming the right of permanent residence or a valid permanent residence card of the EU citizen family member.

Granting the permanent residence permit to a citizen of the United Kingdom or a family member thereof shall be exempted from stamp duty.

When making the application for granting permanent residence permit, citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, who on the day of making the application was 6 years old should submit fingerprints for issuing residence card.

The permanent residence permit shall be granted for an indefinite period of time. The document confirming obtaining the permanent residence permit shall be the residence card issued for the period of 10 years. The first residence card shall be issued ex officio and free-of-charge.

In its validity period the residence card confirms the identity of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, during their stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland and, as a travel document, provides the right for multiple crossing the border without the need to obtain a visa.

The possibility of legal residence and legitimate travel during the proceeding for granting residence permit – Article 13 (3)-(6)

If the application for granting temporary or permanent residence referred to above has been made by the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof by 31 December 2020, and the application is free from formal defects or the formal defects have been corrected within the deadline:

  • voivode shall stamp travel document of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof with a stamp imprint, which confirms making such application,
  • voivode shall issue a statement on making the application for granting temporary or permanent residence permit, which shall be valid for one year. If the proceedings in the aforementioned case has not been completed by the expiry of the statement validity, the voivode before which proceedings are pending shall issue another statement valid for the period of one year. If the proceeding is pending before the Head of the Office for Foreigners, the statement shall be issued by the voivode which made a decision on granting this permit in the first instance.
  • stay of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof shall be deemed legal from the day of making the application until the day in which the decision on granting temporary or permanent residence permit becomes final (with expiry of 14 days from servicing thereof if there is no appeal made therefrom, and in the case of issuing the decision by the body of higher instance – the Head of the Office for Foreigners, on the day of service of the decision).

If the proceedings on granting temporary or permanent residence permit shall be suspended at a request of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, his/her stay within this period of time shall net be deemed legal, unless the residence period deemed legal which expires by 31 December 2020, is not exhausted. If, within one year from the day of suspending the proceedings at the request thereof, the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof shall not ask for resuming the proceeding on granting temporary or permanent residence permit, the proceeding shall be discontinued.

Valid statement on making the application for granting temporary or permanent residence permit along with a valid travel document containing the stamp imprint, confirming making the application for granting temporary or permanent residence permit, shall provide the right for multiple crossing the border without the need to obtain a visa.

The statement on making the application for granting temporary or permanent residence permit, should be returned to the voivode which issued it:

  • not later than on the day of receipt of the first residence card – in the case when the temporary or permanent residence permit has been granted to a citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof,
  • within 14 days from the day, when the decision ending the proceedings otherwise than granting the temporary or permanent residence permit has become final, and in the case of the decision by the Head of the Office for Foreigners – from the day of servicing the decision.

Permanent residence permit – Article 195(1) (10) of the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners (Dz. U. of 2018, pos. 2094, as amended)

The citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof staying within the territory of the Republic of Poland with the citizen, who on the day preceding the day of the Act entering into force has obtained the right of residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland (but on that date had yet to obtain the right of permanent residence) shall be granted the permanent residence permit at the request thereof, if the person meets the following conditions:

a) the person shall reside within the territory of the Republic of Poland legally and uninterruptedly for at least 5 years directly after making the application,

b) the person has stable and constant source of income enough to cover living expenses for themselves and any dependent family members thereof,

c) has health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation of insurer’s coverage of medical treatment costs within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

The stay of a foreigner within the territory of the Republic of Poland, constituting the basis for granting permanent residence permit shall be deemed uninterrupted, if none of the interruptions was longer than 6 months and all of the interruptions in total has not exceeded 10 months in the periods constituting the basis for granting permanent residence permit, unless the interruption was caused by:

1) the foreigner performing professional obligations or providing work outside the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of the contract concluded with an employer which is seated within the territory of the Republic of Poland, or

2) accompanying the foreigner referred to in point 1, by a spouse or minor child thereof, or

3) special personal situation requiring presence of the foreigner outside the territory of the Republic of Poland and lasting not longer than 6 months, or

4) exiting the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to undergo practices or participate in classes envisaged in the course of studies of Polish university.

Application for granting the aforementioned permit should be made in person to the voivode competent for the place of residence.

There is not time limit for making the application for granting the permit, however, the residence of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof within the te4rritory of the Republic of Poland should be legal on the day of making the application.

When making the application for granting permanent residence permit, citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof shall be obligated to:

  • present a valid travel document. In a particularly justified case, when the person has no valid travel document and it is impossible to obtain it, he/she may present other identity confirming document.
  • make a completed special application form for granting permanent residence permit and attach thereto with the following:

–  4 photographs in an appropriate format,

–  the documents necessary to confirm the data contained in the application and the circumstances justifying application for permenent residence permit.

Granting the permanent residence permit to a citizen of the United Kingdom or a family member thereof shall be exempted from stamp duty.

When making the application for granting permanent residence permit, citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, who on the day of making the application was 6 years old should submit fingerprints for issuing residence card.

The permanent residence permit shall be granted for an indefinite period of time. The document confirming obtaining the permanent residence permit shall be the residence card issued for the period of 10 years. The first residence card shall be issued ex officio and free-of-charge.

In its validity period the residence card confirms the identity of the citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, during their stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland and, as a travel document, provides the right for multiple crossing the border without the need to obtain a visa.

Entitlements

Citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, whose residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland is deemed legal within the period from the day of the Act entering into force until 31 December 2020 or within the duration of the proceedings for granting temporary residence permit, referred to in Article 7 (1) or (2) of the Act or the permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 10 (1) or (2) of the Act, shall be entitled to perform:

  • work within the territory of the Republic of Poland,
  • business activities within the territory of the Republic of Poland on the principals equivalent for Polish citizen, if on the day of the Act entering into force:

o        they have conducted business activities as defined by Article 3 of the Act of 6 March 2018 – the Law of the trader (Dz.U. pos. 646, 1479, 1629, 1633 and 2212) or the activity has been suspended, and

o        they were entered into Central Electronic Register and Information on Economic Activity.

Citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof holding temporary residence permit granted on the basis of the Act may perform work within the territory of the Republic of Poland without the necessity to hold work permit or undertake and perform business activity on the principles equivalent to Polish citizens.

Citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, who held permanent residence permit also may perform work within the territory of the Republic of Poland without the necessity to hold work permit within the general principles applying to all permanent residence permit holders and undertake and perform business activity on the principles equivalent to Polish citizens.

Temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification with the citizen of the United Kingdom or a family member thereof  – Article 159 (1) (1) letter hd of the Act on Foreigners

Temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification shall be granted to the foreigner, is he/she fulfils all of the following conditions:

1) resides within the territory of the Republic of Poland or resides within the territory for the purpose of family reunification and is a family member of the foreigner residing within the territory of the Republic of Poland, among others, on the basis of the permanent residence permit (any permanent residence permit) or on the basis of a temporary residence permit, referred to in Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 15 March 2019 on regulation of certain  issues in relation with withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community without conclusion of the agreement referred to in Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union

2) holds:

a) health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation of insurer’s coverage of medical treatment costs within the territory of the Republic of Poland,

b) stable and constant source of income enough to cover living expenses for themselves and any dependent family members thereof;

3) has provided place of residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

As family member shall be deemed:

1) person who is married to the foreigner and the marriage is recognized under the law of the Republic of Poland;

2) minor child of the foreigner and the person married thereto by marriage recognized under the law of the Republic of Poland, including also an adopted child;

3) minor child of the foreigner, including also an adopted child, dependant on the foreigner, over whom the foreigner effectively exercises parental custody;

4) minor child of the person referred to in point 1, including also an adopted child, dependant on the foreigner, over whom the person effectively exercises parental custody.

Temporary residence permit for another family member of a citizen of the United Kingdom and for a foreigner in family life with the citizen of the United Kingdom, as defined by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – Article 160 (1a) and (4) of the Act on Foreigners

Temporary residence permit may be granted to a foreigner being family member of the citizen of the United Kingdom, residing within the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of temporary or permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 7 (1) or Article 10 (1) of the Act of 15 March 2019on regulation of certain  issues in relation with withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community without conclusion of the agreement referred to in Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union, or a permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 195(1)(10) of the Act on Foreigners, other the the one referred to in Article 2 (4) of Act of 14 July 2006 on entry to, stay on and exit from the territory of the Republic of Poland of citizens of the European Union Member States and family members thereof, who resides within the territory of the Republic of Poland together with the citizen – due to:

a) financial dependence from that person or being a household member thereof in the country of origin of the foreigner, or

b) serious health concerns requiring personal care by citizen

– if the foreigner holds:

a) health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation of insurer’s coverage of medical treatment costs within the territory of the Republic of Poland,

b) stable and constant source of income enough to cover living expenses for themselves and any dependent family members thereof.

Temporary residence permit may be granted to a foreigner in a family life, as defined by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms drawn up in Rome on 4 November 1950, with the citizen of the United Kingdom residing within the territory of the Republic of Poland, who holds temporary or permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 7 (1) or Article 10 (1) of the Act of 15 March 2019 on regulation of certain issues in relation with withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community without conclusion of the agreement referred to in Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union, or a permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 195(1)(10) of the Act on Foreigners, with whom the person resides within the territory, if the foreigner holds:

a) health insurance as defined by the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds or confirmation of insurer’s coverage of medical treatment costs within the territory of the Republic of Poland,

b) stable and constant source of income enough to cover living expenses for themselves and any dependent family members thereof.

Discontinuation of the proceedings concerning residence documents for citizens of the United Kingdom or family members, opened before Brexit

Proceedings conducted against citizens of the United Kingdom or family members on registration of a residence, issuance or exchange of a statement on registration of stay, issuance or exchange of a residence card of the EU citizen family member or exchange of a document confirming the right of permanent residence and issuance or exchange of a permanent residence card of the EU citizen family member opened and not completed prior to the day of the Act entering into force shall be discontinued.

Validity of documents issued to citizens of the United Kingdom and family members thereof before Brexit

Statements on registration of stay, residence card of the EU citizen family member, documents confirming the permanent residence right and permanent residence cards of the EU citizen family member issued to citizens of the United Kingdom or family members thereof before Brexit shall remain valid also after withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union not later than by 30 September 2021.

After Brexit there will be no possibility to exchange those documents or obtaining new ones.

Statement on registration of stay or residence card of the EU citizen family member shall expire on the day of granting temporary residence permit, referred to in Article 7 (1) or (2) of the Act or permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 195 (1) (10) of the Act on Foreigners.

The document confirming the permanent residence right or a permanent residence card of the UE citizen family member shall expire on the day of granting permanent residence permit, referred to in Article 10 (1) or (2) of the Act.

Citizen of the United Kingdom and family member thereof shall be obligated to return the aforementioned documents to the body, which issued them, immediately, not later than on the day of receipt of the first residence card after granting the permit or until 14 October 2021, in the case of not granting the permit until 30 September 2021 or failure to make an application for granting the aforementioned residence permits.

Permanent residence permits (previously settlement permits) granted to citizens of the United Kingdom pursuant to provision of the Act on Foreigners valid before Polish accession to the European Union shall remain valid. In the case of expiry of validity of the residence card issued in relation with granting this permit, it is necessary to apply for issuance of a new residence card to the voivode.  Holders of the permits do not need to apply for granting temporary or permanent residence permit, as they already hold the permanent residence permit.

The Act shall also envisage retaining of validity of invitations entered, at the request of a citizen of the United Kingdom or family member thereof, to the evidence of invitations, retaining of validity of visas issued in relation with joining the citizen of the United Kingdom as the EU citizen and retaining validity of temporary residence permits granted to other family members of the citizen of the United Kingdom and persons in family life with the citizen of the United Kingdom as defined by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Moreover, the Act shall envisage retaining the right of residence by family members of the citizens of the United Kingdom, who, themselves are citizens of one of the European Union member states or the states-parties to the agreement establishing the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), if their right of residence within the territory of Poland resulted from extending the right of residence held by citizens of the United Kingdom as the EU citizens.

Documents permitting crossing the border without a visa

In relation with non-contractual Brexit, the following documents issued by Polish authorities shall, within  validity period thereof, enable citizens of the United Kingdom and family members thereof to cross the border without a visa, including the external Schengen border:

a. Documents issued, before Brexit, by Polish authorities to citizens of the United Kingdom and family members thereof:

–  Document confirming the right of  permanent residence,

– Residence card of the EU citizen family member,

– Permanent residence card of the EU citizen family member,

– Residence card issued in relation with holding the permanent residence permit (previously the settlement permit) granted to the citizen of the United Kingdom pursuant to provisions of the Act on Foreigners valid prior to Polish accession to the European Union,

– Residence card issued to a family member of the citizen of the United Kingdom in elation with holding a residence permit pursuant to the Act on Foreigners,

b. Documents which will be issued by Polish authorities to citizens of the United Kingdom and family members thereof, after Brexit:

– stamp imprint annotated “BREXIT” made in the travel document, confirming making an application for granting temporary or permanent residence permit along with a separate statement on making such an application, with a one year expiry period, which will confirm legality of residence within the territory of Poland until the day of completion of the proceeding on granting residence permit by way of final decision.

– Residence card – issued after granting temporary residence permit, permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit.

The use of labour market services and instruments on the territory of Poland by citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families.

Labour market services are provided by poviat labour offices, employment agencies, vocational counselling and organisation of training courses in which, by the day preceding the date of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families have been referred to the European Union, will be provided under the rules resulting from the provisions of the Act on Promotion of Employment (…) until their completion.

Participation in forms of assistance organised by poviat labour offices of the so-called labour market instruments (e.g. internships, intervention works, public works), in which citizens of the United Kingdom and members of their families were sent to participate, until the day preceding the date of the United Kingdom’s accession to the European Union, will be implemented on the basis of the provisions of the Act on Promotion of Employment (…) until their completion.

More detailed information on the above issues can be found on the website.

Acquisition of unemployment status and unemployment benefits in Poland by UK nationals and their family members:

In connection with the likely no-deal exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the aspects of UK nationals’ stay and employment in Poland are governed in the Act of 15 March 2019 on regulating certain aspects in connection with the exit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community without executing the agreement mentioned in Article 50 section 2 of the Treaty on the European Union (Journal of Laws of 2019 items 622).

The Act will enter into force when the United Kingdom exits the European Union. The date will be announced in the Official Journal „Monitor Polski”.

If you are a UK national or their family member staying in Poland and registered in the Poviat Labour Office:

1.   On the day preceding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union and

  • you hold a right to a benefit — you will be eligible to continue the benefit reception until the end of the period it was granted for, no longer, however, than 31 December 2020;
  • You do not hold a right to the benefit, as you are in the so-called „grace period” (waiting for the benefit) — you will acquire the right to the benefit in the amount and for the period resulting from the provisions of the Act of 20 April 2004 on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions (hereinafter: Employment Promotion Act) after the end of the „grace period”,

2.   in the period from the day preceding the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union to 31 December 2020 you will be able to continue receiving the unemployment benefit. In the said period you should obtain a permanent or temporary residence permit,

3.   after 31 December 2020 you will be able to acquire the unemployed status and the right to the benefit (if you meet the conditions for acquiring it), if you obtained a permanent or temporary residence permit before the said date.

If the procedure concerning the temporary or permanent residence permit is not completed by 31 December 2020 without your fault, you will be able to hold the unemployed status and, all the same, continue the unemployment benefit after the said date, until the day stipulated in the residence decision issued as a result of the procedure.

Activities of British employment agencies in Poland

Currently and till the day preceding the day when the mentioned Act of 15 March 2019 on regulating certain aspects in connection with the exit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community without executing the agreement mentioned in Article 50 section 2 of the Treaty on the European Union (Journal of Laws of 2019 items 622) comes in force,  entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland can carry out the employment agency activity in Poland:

1. with respect to temporary work based on the entry in the Register of Employment Agencies pursuant to 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. with respect to employment services, personal counselling or career counselling under the notice submitted as mentioned in Article 19i section 1 of the Act of 20 April 2004 on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions.

After the mentioned Act comes in force, in the case of no-deal Brexit, the entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom would lose the possibility to perform their activity based on the existing rules.

The Act states that the said entrepreneurs, holding the right to provide the employment agency services in Poland (i.e. employment services, personal counselling, career counselling or temporary work) on the day when the said Act comes in force will be considered foreign entrepreneurs from European Union member states, but no longer than 3 months after the Act comes into force.

This means that the entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom entered in the Register of Employment Agencies or operating within the notice submitted on the day when the mentioned Act comes in force will be able to run their business activity in the same form for 3 months.

The transition period is to be used for making relevant transformations, making it possible to run the activity in that respect as an entity operating from third countries.

For example, if an entity run by an individual within the notice submitted wants to continue their activity in Poland, they have to transform one of their commercial law companies (a limited partnership, a limited joint-stock partnership, a limited company or a joint-stock company) and then apply for entering in the Register of Employment Agencies, as is the case for third country entrepreneurs.

On the day following 3 months after the mentioned Act comes in force, the entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom, entered in the Register of Employment Agencies and operating under the notice submitted, will not be able to run their employment agency activities based on the existing rules.

On that day the entrepreneurs will be crossed out from the Register of Employment Agencies or from a list of foreign entrepreneurs by the Voivodeship Marshall competent under the provisions of the Act.

Entrepreneurs who want to continue their employment agency activity in Poland will have to apply for entering in the Register of Employment Agencies, and individuals will be able to carry that activity out solely in the form of a limited partnership, a limited joint-stock partnership,       a limited company or a joint-stock company. Such entrepreneurs will be subject to the provisions applicable to the third country entrepreneurs in the European Union.

It should be stressed that entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland intending to apply for the right to offer employment agency services in Poland, after the mentioned Act comes into force, will be considered third country entrepreneurs.

More detailed information on the above issues can be found on the website

Employment of UK citizens from Poland

A United Kingdom national and their family member who stayed in Poland legally on the day preceding the no-deal exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union will be able to stay in Poland legally until 31 December 2020. In the mentioned period they will also be able to work legally in the territory of Poland.

If such a foreigner wants to remain in Poland after 31 December 2020, they will have to apply to the voivode by 31 December 2020 at the latest for granting a special temporary or permanent residence permit (depending on whether they meet the requirements, as stipulated in the mentioned Act, for being granted the temporary or permanent residence permit). Having submitted a complete application, in the period of waiting for the permit, the foreigner can also stay and work in Poland legally.

The temporary residence permits for a United Kingdom national or their family member will be granted for 5 years. A foreigner holding such a permit will be able to work in Poland without having a work permit.

A foreigner holding the mentioned temporary residence permit will be able, after 5 years of their legal residence in Poland, to apply for a permanent residence permit (provided they fulfill the other requirements stipulated in the Act on Foreigners of 12 December 2013).

In other cases, when the temporary residence permit expires, a United Kingdom national or their family member will be able to work in Poland after they obtain relevant residence documents and a work permit or a seasonal work permit based on general principles applicable to the nationals of the so-called third countries.

Permanent residence permits authorise foreign nationals to stay and work in Poland.

More detailed information on the above issues can be found on the website.

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

Regardless of whether UK leaves the European Union according to the withdrawal agreement or without it, 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.

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:

  • if the withdrawal agreement between UK and EU is signed – under the same conditions as Polish nationals if the children of UK citizens reside in Poland.
  • if UK exits EU without the withdrawal agreement:
    o   as holders of a scholarship awarded by the Minister of National Education,

o   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;

o   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.

More information on above topics you can find on the website of the Ministry of National Education (information in Polish): here and here.