British nationals in Poland

There will be 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The United Kingdom have withdrawn from the European Union on January 31, 2020 on the basis of the Agreement on the withdrawal.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.