In 2021, 76 000 new immigrants obtained a residence permit longer than 12 months in Poland (excluding EU citizens), 10.9% more than in 2020. This figure comprises 56.2% labour migrants, 12.2% family members (including accompanying family) and 31.5% other migrants. In addition, Poland received 56 400 immigrants benefitting from free mobility. Around 46 000 short-term permits were issued to international students and 747 000 to temporary and seasonal labour migrants (excluding intra-EU migration). In addition, 58 000 intra-EU postings were recorded in 2021, a -2% decrease compared to 2020. These posted workers are generally on short-term contracts.

Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2021. Among the top 15 countries of origin, Ukraine registered the strongest increase (+44 000) and China the largest decrease (-200) in flows to Poland compared to the previous year.

In 2022, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 23%, to reach around 7 700. The majority of applicants came from Belarus (2 900), Ukraine (1 500, excluding temporary protection recipients) and Russia (1 400). The largest increase since 2021 concerned nationals of Ukraine (+1 400) and the largest decrease nationals of Afghanistan (-1 400). Of the 5 190 decisions taken in 2022, 75% were positive.

Emigration of Polish citizens to OECD countries increased by 4% in 2021, to 121 000. Approximately 42% of this group migrated to Germany, 21% to the Netherlands and 7% to Norway.

In January 2022, an amendment to the Act of foreigners came into force, aiming to simplify and speed up the procedures for employing foreigners. The requirement to provide documents confirming place of residence and a source of stable and regular income has been replaced by a minimum salary requirement corresponding to the legal minimum wage of PLN 3 490 gross per month (approx. EUR 775, increased to PLN 3 600, i.e. approx. EUR 800 from 1 July 2023). Under the law a new work permit is no longer required in the case of a change of employer or working conditions. In addition, a “priority route” has been introduced for those applying for work permits with entities of strategic importance to the Polish economy.

The period of employment of a foreigner, based on an employer’s declaration, is now possible for a period of 24 months (instead of 6 months within a 12-month period) for citizen of certain countries (currently Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). In October 2022, Russian citizens were excluded from the simplified employment procedures.

A proposal for a new law on the employment of foreigners was announced in 2022, aimed at accelerating the procedure of their employment by making it entirely electronic and eliminating the labour market test. The new system would instead introduce a maximum annual number of work permits and employer’s declaration on hiring a foreign worker issued, and reduce the period of residence and work permit from three years to one year.

In December 2022, the Office for Foreigners launched a new service online portal allowing foreigners to submit an application for a residence permit, fill in forms, correctly prepare documents and find out information on migration procedures. The website is available in seven languages.

The “Poland.Business Harbour” programme, launched in 2020 with the aim of supporting ICT sector entrepreneurs from selected countries, has been extended to include citizens of any country (as of 2022). The programme offers a simplified visa procedure.

From March 2023, citizens of Ukraine who stay in Poland in collective accommodation centres are obliged to contribute to the costs of accommodation and meals. Those staying for more than 120 days will cover 50% of the costs of assistance, with an upper limit of PLN 40 (about EUR 9) per person per day. People who live in collective accommodation centres for more than 180 days will cover 75% of the costs, but not more than PLN 60 (about EUR 13.5) per person per day. People who are unable to work or have childcare responsibilities are exempted from paying these costs.

In accordance with the provisions of the Act of 13 June 2003 on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of Poland (after the amendments of March and April 2022), non-Ukrainian nationals displaced from Ukraine can receive certificate which confirm using temporary protection. They can – at their request – be provided by the Office for Foreigners with medical care and assistance.

For further information: www.migrant.info.pl | www.emn.gov.pl | mos.cudzoziemcy.gov.pl/en

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