Labour law updates and recommendations

Amendment of the Special Act – changes not only for Ukrainian citizens

On 14 December 2022, the Sejm passed another amendment to the Special Act. This time, the changes will apply not only to Ukrainian citizens, but also to other foreign nationals – this is because some provisions of the so called Covid Act will be repealed.

The most important changes are as follows.

  1. The changes introduced into the Covid Act basically involve the repeal – on 24 August 2023 – of the provisions extending the deadlines for submitting applications for residence or the legalisation of residence of foreigners. This means that foreigners whose legal residence in Poland has been extended under the Covid Act will have until 23 August 2023 at the latest to submit an application to legalise their residence.
  2. Ukrainian citizens whose visa, residence card, Polish identity documents of a foreigner, or “consent for tolerated stay” documents of a citizen of Ukraine expire after 24 February 2022 will now have legal residence in Poland until 24 August 2023 (the previous cut-off date was 31 December 2022). Ukrainian citizens residing in Poland on the basis of Schengen visas or on the basis of visa-free travel which expire after 24 February 2022 will also be able to legally reside in Poland until 24 August 2023.
  3. If a temporary residence permit has been granted with a requirement to notify to the labour office of the permit holder taking up employment, the employer must submit the notification within 14 days of the delivery of the residence permit decision – or within 14 days of the entry into force of the amendment if the decision was delivered before that date.
  4. A provision has been added referring to the electronic DiiA document which, together with a travel document, entitles a Ukrainian citizen to cross the Polish border multiple times without the need to obtain a visa.
  5. Ukrainian citizens who have not yet applied for a PESEL number are obliged to do so within 30 days of the entry into force of the amendment.
  6. Article 38 of the Special Act, which allowed Ukrainian citizens to apply for a single temporary residence permit valid for a period of three years within nine months of entering Poland, will been repealed. Applications submitted on the basis of this article will be left unprocessed and from 1 April 2023 the legalisation of further residence will only be possible under general rules.

There is currently no information on the website of the President of Poland as to whether the amendment has already been signed; however, it is expected to happen before the end of the calendar year because the existing extension of the validity of visas and residence cards of Ukrainian citizens expires on 31 December 2022.


Justyna Helbing, Paralegal