Repeal of the special provisions put in place for the COVID 19 pandemic - take care of legality of your stay
Foreigners who took advantage of the repealed legal solutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic should ensure their continued legal residence in Poland or return to their country of origin at the proper time. In the case of persons wishing to remain in the country after 24 August this year, it is advisable to submit the relevant applications for a residence permit or residence card (depending on the formal and legal situation of the foreigner concerned) in good time.
In the current legal status, according to Article 15zzzb of the Act of 2 March 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, counteraction and control of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 2095, as amended). Their aim is to ensure the legality of the stay of foreigners on the territory of Poland under conditions of restrictions on social life caused by the need to counter the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These include an extension by operation of law:
the period of validity of temporary residence permits and residence cards expiring between 14 March 2020 (during an epidemic emergency or epidemic state) - until the 30th day following the date of revocation of the last state;
periods of stay and validity of national visas in cases where the last day of the period of stay under such visas would fall within the period from 14 March 2020 (during an epidemic emergency or state of epidemic disease) to the 30th day following the date of revocation of the last state of epidemic disease;
time limits for submitting applications for residence permits, visa extensions or visa-free extensions of stay, i.e.:
a) on the issue of temporary residence permits,
b) on the granting of a permanent residence permit,
c) on the granting of residence permits to long-term EU residents,
d) to extend a national or Schengen visa,
e) on extending the period of stay under the Visa Waiver Programme
- until the 30th day following the date of revocation of the State which was last in force;
the time limits for leaving the territory of Poland as laid down in Article 299(6) of the Act on Foreigners that fall during an epidemic emergency or a state of epidemics – until the expiry of the 30th day following the day of cancellation of the last of these states;
during the period of a state of epidemic emergency or a state of epidemic disease, the time limits for voluntary return specified in decisions on the obligation of the alien to return pursuant to Article 315(1) of the Act on Foreigners – until the expiry of the 30th day following the day on which the decision on the obligation of the alien to return was issued;
documents issued for a limited period of time to nationals of the Member States of the European Union, the States of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation and to members of their families residing with them or joining them, i.e. documents confirming the right of permanent residence, residence cards of a family member of an EU citizen and permanent residence cards of a family member of an EU citizen – until the expiry of the 30th day following the day of cancellation of the last of these conditions;
Periods of validity of Polish identity documents of foreigners that fall during an epidemic emergency or state of epidemic - until the expiry of the 30th day following the day of the last of the states;
the periods of validity of the “permit for tolerated stay” documents that fall during an epidemic emergency or a state of epidemics, until the expiry of the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the last of these conditions;
recognition of the stay of foreigners on the territory of Poland as legal by virtue of law, in a situation where they were staying in Poland on the basis of short-term residence titles on 14th March 2020, i.e.:
a) under visa-free movement,
b) on the basis of Schengen visas, irrespective of the issuing country,
c) based on a long-stay visa or residence permit issued by other Schengen States,
d) on the basis of long-stay visas or residence permits issued by European Union Member States that are not Schengen States (if, in accordance with European Union law, such visas or permits entitle the holder to reside on the territory of the Republic of Poland),
- from the day following the last day of legal residence under these titles until the end of the 30th day after the day on which the state of emergency or epidemic is lifted, whichever is the latest.
Thus, the effect of the extension of certain rights, the validity of documents or time limits for actions to be carried out by foreigners, resulting from these solutions, will end on the last day on which the repealed provisions of the Act of 2 March 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, control and eradication of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them are in force.
At the same time, it should be noted that the legal solutions described above may expire earlier than 24 August 2023, but only if the current epidemic risk status on the territory of Poland is lifted sufficiently early (and is not replaced by another epidemic risk status). As a result, the 30-day time limits laid down in the repealed provisions would start to run from the date of expiry of any extended periods of entitlement, validity of documents or time limits for the performance of acts.