Legal situation of foreigners in relation to the end of the state of epidemic in Poland

In the communication of 6 May 2022, the Minister of Health announced that in Poland the state of epidemic will end on 16 May 2022 but after this date, the state of epidemic emergency will remain in force. Currently, there are no reasons to be concerned as the stay of foreigners whose residence permits or visas have expired will continue to be temporarily legal under special provisions. This is because the legal regulations extending the periods of validity of visas and residence permits, as well as the period of submitting new applications, refer to the state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic.

However, it should be noted that the state of epidemic emergency may also be cancelled in the nearest future. The Minister indicated in his statement that such a cancellation could take place already in September 2022.

After cancellation of the state of epidemic emergency, foreigners will have only 30 days to properly apply for a new residence permit. After expiration of that period, the stay of a given foreigner will become illegal. It is worth to emphasise that the Departments of Foreigners are very busy and it can take several months to obtain a decision. Unfortunately, the number of applications is likely to significantly increase once the state of epidemic is over, and therefore the waiting time for a residence decision will become significantly longer. 

Considering the above, in order to avoid a state of uncertainty, we would recommend that foreigners legally staying in Poland on the basis of a residence permit the validity period of has already expired or will expire in the next few months, start the process of applying for a proper residence permit

Submitting an application protects from negative consequences resulting from an illegal stay in Poland. Please be informed that in the case of an illegal stay of a foreigner in Poland, the administrative return proceedings are initiated. The decision regarding obligation of a given foreigner to come back to their country of citizenship may be accompanied by an entry ban into the territory of Poland and other Schengen States. The validity period of such entry ban may vary from 6 months to 5 years.

Nevertheless, there is no reason to be alarmed at the moment, but it is recommended to regulate the legal status of foreigners as soon as possible. Please note that legal stay constitutes a mandatory condition to legally work in Poland, and therefore employers hiring  foreigners are advised to monitor this situation and motivate their employees to take appropriate actions.

Should you have any further questions or if you need assistance with submitting an application or during a meeting at the Department of Foreigners, please contact Ewa Boryczko, PhD (, who leads the BSJP Immigration department.