In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, the Polish government has enacted a number of new regulations extending the validity of work permits, visas and temporary residence permits. Under the so-called “Anti-Crisis Shield” act, which came into force on 31 March 2020, foreigners can legally stay in Poland for the duration of the lockdown.
The new act automatically extends the validity of:
- issued work permits, seasonal work permits and declarations of entrusting work to a foreigner,
- national visas and temporary residence cards that were due to expire during the state of emergency or the state of epidemic
until 30 days following the end of the state of emergency or the state of epidemic in Poland.
During this time you can continue to work legally in Poland.
The government has also extended the deadlines for:
- leaving Poland,
- voluntary returns from Poland (when a foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of Poland),
- submission of applications for temporary, permanent or long-term EU residence permits, extension of national and Schengen visas, extension of visa-free travel (the last applies to citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Singapore and Uruguay). Such applications can be submitted within 30 days of the end of the state of emergency or the state of epidemic in Poland.
In order to get more detailed information on the new regulations, please visit the website of the Polish Office for Foreigners.
Note that the Polish government has already drafted a new bill that would extend the period of visa-free travel, the validity of Schengen visas, visas and residence documents issued by other Schengen countries and long-term visas and residence permits issued by other EU member states that are not part of the Schengen zone. The bill will now be voted on by the Polish parliament.
Update: the bill was passed by the parliament and the new legislation came into effect on 18 April. For more details, please click the link above (the Polish Office for Foreigners).