1.1 Has any guidance already been issued in relation to Brexit, for example on residence or work permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
Yes. Poland has adopted an Act on the rules for staying on Polish territory for UK citizens and members of their families in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
1. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK citizens and their family members with a valid right to stay in Poland before Brexit remain authorised to stay and work in Poland until 31 December 2020.
- The following employees are considered as having a valid right to stay:
- Employees and family members accompanying or joining them who have completed EU registration or obtained EU permanent residency in Poland;
- Employees working in Poland and family members accompanying or joining them who did not complete EU registration or have not obtained EU permanent residency in Poland.
- Consequently all employees who are UK nationals (and family members accompanying or joining them) working in Poland before Brexit will keep their right to work and stay in Poland until 31 December 2020.
- They are also obliged to apply for a Brexit residence permit before 31 December 2020. Otherwise, they will lose their right to stay and work in Poland.
- UK nationals and their family members will be granted a one-time Brexit temporary residence permit for three years. The Brexit residence permit authorises its holder to work in Poland without a work permit. Before its expiry, UK citizens will need to apply for a regular residence permit.
- Holders of EU permanent residency in Poland will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.
- If UK nationals and their family members have completed EU registration or have obtained a certificate confirming EU permanent
- residency in Poland, a simplified residence permit procedure applies (the residence permit will be issued based on the registration documents).
- UK nationals and their family members who have not completed EU registration will need to provide evidence that they resided and worked in Poland before Brexit to obtain the Brexit residence permit.
- UK citizens who have lived in Poland for at least five years will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.
- Pending EU registration, procedures that are underway for UK nationals and their family members will be discontinued, if not completed before Brexit.
2. UK citizens and their family members arriving in Poland after Brexit will be treated as third-country nationals.
- A work permit is required (unless an exemption applies).
- The amended EU Regulation 2018/1806 and includes UK nationals in the visa-free regime. Therefore, UK nationals will benefit from the Schengen visa-free allowance (90 days maximum stay in a 180-day rolling period). To extend their stay in Poland, a visa or residence permit will be required.
2.1 When UK employees become third-country nationals will they require a business visa?
No, Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It will apply from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. When it takes effect, UK citizens will be able to enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.
The Schengen exemption will apply:
- from Brexit date in the event of no deal;
- from 1 January 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA’) is ratified (under the WA, UK nationals keep their EU free movement rights until 31 December 2020).
However, even if allowed to enter and stay visa-free they might need a work permit even in case of a business travel.
2.2 What documentation will be required for business travel on arrival at the border once UK citizens are considered third-country nationals?
Travel documents (a valid passport) with a validity of no more than ten years and that is valid for at least three months after departure from Poland.
Proof of duration and purpose of stay and possession of sufficient financial means for the entire period of stay in Poland as well as for departure, as border control may ask additional questions concerning duration and purpose of stay.
3.1 When UK citizens become third-country nationals will they need permission to work?
Yes, however, there are exemptions from the obligation to obtain a work permit (e.g. UK nationals residing and working in Poland before Brexit).
3.2 If permission to work is needed do any quotas apply for employing third-country nationals?
No, however, the government may introduce quotas at any time. They may refer to particular regions, profession, types of contracts or the types of business activities of the employing entities.
3.3 If permission to work is needed, as of when will it be needed?
From no-deal Brexit date.
3.4 If permission to work is needed, what are the most common categories?
- Work permit type A – local hire;
- Work permit type B – management board members, general partners in a limited partnership or a limited joint-stock partnership and commercial proxies residing in Poland for over six months within 12 months;
- Work permit type C – intra-corporate transferees posted for over 30 days in a calendar year;
- Work permit type D – employees posted to provide export services (employees who are temporarily posted to Poland to perform services or activities under a contract concluded between the foreign employer and a company operating in Poland for whom the services are intended);
- Work permit type E – employees posted ‘for other purposes’ for over 30 days in six months.
3.5 If permission to work or stay is needed, how long does the procedure take?
Processing time varies depending on the region and type of permission: approximately five to sixteen weeks.
3.6 If permission to work or stay is needed, what Government fees would be due for this permission?
- Work permit type – PLN 50 - 200;
- Single Permit and Blue Card – PLN 440;
- Polish National Visa – EUR 60.
4.1 From when can third-country nationals obtain permanent residence?
Usually, after four to six years of residence depending on what type of residence permit they have.
5.1 What steps could UK nationals still take to secure their residence status?
Please see the options outlined above.