Our rights and responsibilities during the epidemic are defined in the Act of 5 December 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans (referred to as “A.P.I.D.” below) and executive regulations supplementing it issued in March. In addition to that, the Prime Minister or other relevant Ministers will issue other new regulations on an as-needed basis, such as the regulation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Administration of 13 March 2020 on temporarily suspending or limiting cross-border traffic at certain border crossings (referred to as the “regulation on cross-border traffic suspension” below)
Your obligations during the outbreak
If this proves necessary, you may be obliged to:
a) undergo sanitary procedures,
b) accept protective vaccination,
c) take medicines as a precautionary measure if you have been exposed to the virus
d) go through a sanitary and epidemiological examination, including procedures aimed at collecting or delivering samples for such tests/examination
e) accept epidemiological supervision,
f) undergo quarantine,
g) undergo treatment,
h) undergo treatment at a hospital,
i) undergo isolation;
– stop performing work as part of which you could spread an infection or infectious disease to others if you have been infected or if you are a carrier of a disease
– observe orders and prohibitions from the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Services [Państwowa Inspekcja Sanitarna] related to combating and preventing infections and infectious diseases.
If you refuse to accept or undergo the above-indicated procedures, you may be forced to comply, detained, restrained, or forced to take medicines. If you violate your quarantine (which has been administratively imposed) you face a 5 000 fee and up to 1 year of imprisonment.
Is your visa expiring soon?
–if you are a Ukrainian and you have a biometric passport or you are a citizen of a country which benefits from a visa-free movement ( list) – after the expiration date of your D-type visa or a residence card, visa-free traffic will automatically start (max 90 days).
Condition: you haven’t used 90 days of visa-free traffic in last 180 days (it applies to the whole Schengen area).
–in other cases you can submit an application for the extension of a visa. Here you can find necessary information. Condition: the period of residence on the basis of the extended national visa must not exceed the period of stay envisaged for a visa, including the period of residence on the basis of a visa which is subject to extension (up to 365 days for a national visa, 90 days for a Schengen visa). ATTENTION: this means that you cannot apply for the extention if you have already stayed in Polsnd for a year based on your visa! The application for the extension of a visa should be sent at the post office by a registered letter, at the latest on the last day of your visa’s validity period.
–if none of the above applies to your situation– submit an application for a temporary residence permit, at the latest on the last day of your legal stay. The application should be sent at the post office with acknowledgment of receipt (registered mail) As a purpose for residence you can state i.e. other circumstances- exceptional situation related to coronavirus pandemic.
–if you haven’t submitted an application for a temporary residence permit and you slightly exceeded a period of legal stay in Poland– there is a chance that the Border Guard will not bother you because of that at the border when you return (they will not try to issue a decision on obligation to return with a ban on a re-entry)|. However, this information is not confirmed. We will inform you about the official guidelines. We want to believe in polish authorities’ goodwill related to an unusual situation, but you have to be aware that there are no legal obstacles to issue a decision on obligation to return until proper temporary legal solutions are implemented.
Is your visa-free traffic coming to an end soon?
–if you are a citizen of: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore or Uruguay you can submit an application for extension of the validity period of residence pursuant to visa-free traffic. Here you can find necessary information.
–in other cases– you can submit an application for a temporary residence permit, at the latest on the last day of your legal stay. The application should be sent at the post office with acknowledgment of receipt.
–if you don’t intend to or you are not able to submit an application for a temporary residence permit and you will exceed period of legal stay in visa-free traffic slightly – there is a chance that the Border Guard will not bother you because of that at the border when you return (they will not try to issue a decision on obligation to return with a ban on a re-entry). However, this information is not confirmed. We will inform you about any new official guidelines. We want to believe in Polish authorities’ goodwill related to an unusual situation, but you have to be aware that there are currently no legal obstacles to issue a decision on obligation to return until proper temporary legal solutions are implemented.
Submission of applications for residence permits
Various migration offices operate according to their internal rules, please check on the website of your Voivodeship Office what the rules currently are. However, no matter the restrictions, please keep in mind that if your legal stay is about to expire soon, you have to apply for the next residence permit (“karta pobytu”). Fill out the form and send it at the post office (via registered mail- “list polecony”).
Keep in mind that your stay in Poland for the time of the procedure will be officailly considered as legal only after you have submitted youf fingerprints and submitted all the required documents.
According to the information on the website of the Wydział Spraw Cudzoziemskich in the Mazowieckie Voivdeship calculation of time limits in your case is suspended until the office re-establishes direct service to clients (monitor this online). Missing administrative deadlines until then bears no consequences to the migrant. But this is relevant only if you already have a pending case and have been requested to submit some missing documents or your fingerprints. Until no other guidelines are issued, this still means that you need to apply for your residence permit before your legal stay expires.
Coronavirus and people without health insurance
According to the Act, even if you have no health insurance, you may undergo a sanitary and epidemiological examination if there is a suspicion that you are carrying an infection or an infectious disease. Suspected carriers of diseases or infections, as well as their actual carriers, convalescents (people who have recovered from a given disease), and people who were exposed to carriers of disease, the sick, or infectious material, are obliged to undergo such an examination.
According to Article 8 of A.P.I.D. if the subject of an examination has no health insurance:
– the costs of a sanitary and epidemiological examination are covered from the portion of the national budget managed by the Minister of Health
– the costs of laboratory testing are borne by the relevant voivode
The costs of hospitalization and any health-related benefits provided to the infected are covered from the portion of the national budget managed by the Minister of Health if the infected person has no health insurance (Article 38 of A.P.I.D.)
Coronavirus and people with no right of legal stay in Poland
Even if you do not have the right to legally stay in Poland, this may not be the reason for a refusal to examine you or place you in a hospital due to coronavirus.
As far as regulations governing the measures applied in Poland to counter the coronavirus are concerned, health services are not obliged to collect data connected with whether or not a given individual has the right to stay in Poland. You just need a passport to register at a hospital.
Such regulations also do not oblige medical personnel to notify the Border Guard when they detect a person staying in Poland illegally, even though hospitals and other medical establishments are obliged to cooperate with state institutions, including the police and Border Guard. This means that there is no actual duty to report every person staying in Poland illegally to the Border Guard.
If medical personnel expresses too much interest in learning whether or not you have the right to stay in Poland, contact us at biuro@Interwencjaprawna.pl.
Entry ban for non-nationals
Foreigners are temporarily banned from entering Poland as of 14.03.2020.
According to §3(2) of the regulation on cross-border traffic suspension, the ban does not apply to:
- foreigners who are married to a Polish citizen or who are children of a Polish citizen or remain under the permanent care of a Polish citizen;
- foreigners holding the Polish Card [Karta Polaka];
- foreigners who have the right to stay in Poland (whether temporarily or permanently)
- foreigners who have the right to work in Poland, i.e. foreigners allowed to work in Poland under the same rules as apply to Poles, holders of a work permit, holders of a work permit for seasonal work, holders of a certificate under which they are authorised to perform work in Poland
If the situation of a given foreigner justifies this (and it does not fall within the scope of any of the above-indicated points), the head of the local Border Police may agree to them entering Poland.
All foreigners crossing the Polish border shall be registered and subjected to a medical examination. They will also be ordered to undergo a 14-day quarantine at home.
Attention: barring entry to Poland doesn’t mean, that you cannot leave! It will be more difficult due to the suspension of international trains and restrictions on air traffic. There are still open land border crossing points i.e. with Ukraine:
Hrebenne- Rawa Ruska,