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Asylum in Poland: the government restricts access to asylum and legalizes push-backs

The access to asylum procedure in Poland becomes more and more limited. Since the august 2021, the Border Guards deny to accept asylum claims.

The officials have consequently provided new regulations restricting the current migration and asylum systems. On August 21, 2021, the Minister of Interior and Administration amended the ordinance on the temporary suspension or limitation of border traffic at certain border crossing points (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1536) allowing border guards to deport migrants, in case of illegal crossings, to the state border from undefined territory. The government also announced the changes to the laws on foreigners, protection of the state border and on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland.  The novelization concerns the denial of asylum applications and the expulsion of migrants form the territory of Poland. According to the document, in case the person crosses the border in places other than designated crossing points, her or his request for international protection will not be considered.  According to the new law, The Border Guards are authorized to pushback such a person to the border line.  Moreover, in such case the border guards officer issues a report and a decision obliging the person to leave the country. In addition to the order to leave the Republic of Poland, the person receives an entry ban not only to Poland but to the whole Schengen Area. On 14 October 2021, the parliament passed an amendment to the regulations and on 22 October  the act was signed by the president Andrzej Duda.

Kseniya Homel 
NIEM’s Field Researcher 
The Migration Policy Programme
Institute of Public Affairs

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