Important informations for foreigners in Poland

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Today, in the Journal of Laws anti-crisis shield law was published. It also contains temporary solutions for foreigners.

Foreigners have been granted following rights:
– the right to submit an application for temporary residence or its extension, as well as for permanent residence, EU long-term residence, short- and long-term mobility, and transfer within the enterprise up to 30 days after the recall of the epidemic state if the deadline for doing so expired during the epidemic state or epidemic threat state,
– the right to submit an application for an extension of the visa up to 30 days from the end of the epidemic (epidemic threat) state if the visa expires during the epidemic or emergency state,
– if during the period of the epidemic or pandemic threat foreigner’s right to legal residence expires for any reason (expiration of the residence card, expiration of the visa, end of visa-waiver period), by law, the validity of these grounds are extended to 30th day after the end of the epidemic, or epidemic threat. You do not need to exchange your residence card or obtain a visa sticker during this period,
– Foreigners legally residing in Poland have the right to an idle time pay benefit, which will be paid by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), unless they earned more than 300% of the country average monthly salary (about 14,500 PLN). Depending on the form of employment, idle time allowance amounts from 50-80% of the minimum national remuneration for work. If someone worked part time it is proportionally reduced.
– work permits and declarations on entrusting work to a foreigner are also extended if they end during the period of the epidemic or pandemic threat. The work of such persons will be legal until 30th day after the termination of these states. Be aware however that this regulations refers only to the same employer and same employment position.
– the period of voluntary return of foreigner which falls during the period of the epidemic or epidemic threat is extended up to 30 days after the termination of these states,
– a foreigner who is a tenant of the premises has the right to submit to the Lessor a declaration on the extension of the rental period until 30th of June 2020. During this period, the lease must not be terminated or the rent must not be increased, but it is the responsibility of foreigner to pay the rent and fees in the current amount.
We are glad that temporary solutions for foreigners have been introduced, however, this special act does not contain regulations related to the issues of the most importance from the point of view of the real-life functioning of foreigners in Poland, i.e. regulations related to e.g. loss of a job by a foreigner or change of employer after losing a job. The legislator did not foresee any special provisions here, which may significantly affect the situation of foreigners who are required to have a registered declaration of entrustment of work or a work permit. After losing their jobs, they will not be able to take up a new job, even if they find an employer who wants to hire them.
Therefore, it should be recognized that the adopted solutions are fragmentary and do not meet foreigners’ needs. We are afraid that this may result in revoking residence permits or increasing the sphere of illegal employment of foreigners during the epidemic and has numerous negative effects on migrant’s lives afterwards.

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