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Special solutions for Ukrainian citizens in Poland

The Polish government has adopted a Special Act on assistance to citizens of Ukraine in response to an armed conflict on the territory of that country. Although  the document was signed by the president Andrzej Duda on March 12, it will apply retroactively from 24 February 2022 (the beginning of Russian military aggression in Ukraine) . The majority of provisions include only Ukrainian citizens forced to flee because of the invasion, omitting the needs of other third-country nationals. 

The act provides a range of solutions in terms of the legalisation of stay, access to the labour market, healthcare and social support. The document extends the legal period of stay in Poland up to 18 months for Ukrainian citizens and their spouses (also non-Ukrainian citizens). According to the Act, after nine months of legal stay in Poland, it will be possible to apply for a temporary residence permit for a period of three years. The regulation is applicable only for migrants who arrived to Poland starting on February 24. The Special Act also includes the provision for Ukrainians, who resided legally in Poland before the invasion.  The terms of validity of their national visas and temporary residence permits, which may expire during the war,  will be extended until the end of the year. 

Under the Special Act, migrants from Ukraine are entitled to receive a PESEL number (social security number), which might improve the access to the labour market and basic healthcare benefits. As an additional solution, Ukrainian citizens will receive a one-time payment of 300 PLN per person to cover basic expenses (food, clothing, accommodation).  Migrants who do not succeed in finding employment, will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits according to the same rules which apply to Polish citizens.  The government has also confirmed that pupils and students would be able to continue their education in Polish schools and universities.

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


Specustawa o wsparciu dla obywateli Ukrainy już obowiązuje
The Act on assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with armed conflict on the territory of that country signed by the President
The government has adopted a special act on assistance for refugees from Ukrain