Office for Foreigners publishes Brexit-information brochure

Poland's Office for Foreigners (UdSC) has prepared an information brochure presenting possible Brexit scenarios, and rules of stay for British citizens in Poland after March 29, that are based upon those scenarios.

The UK withdrawal from the EU is to take place on March 30, 2019

UdSC noted that as Brexit conditions are yet to be determined, the residence rules which apply to British citizens in Poland may change.

As the Office for Foreigners pointed out, British citizens and members of their families who are not EU citizens may stay in Poland for up to three months using a passport or ID card. If they want to stay longer, they are obliged, like all European Union citizens to register their stay in Poland.

Members of their families who are not EU citizens are required, however, to obtain a residence card of a family member of an EU citizen from the relevant provincial office.

Under the first scenario, included in the UdSC brochure, the UK leaves the EU under an agreement whose draft was published on November 14, 2018 by the European Commission and which is to come into force on March 30, 2019. However, the UdSC stressed, the agreement has not passed the necessary internal procedures in the UK so far, therefore it is not known whether it will take effect on the date indicated.

According to the brochure, during the Brexit transition period (until December 31, 2020), the rules of stay and work for UK citizens in Poland will remain unchanged.

UdSC added that after the transition period ends, UK citizens and their family members will have the right to reside in Poland if they exercised the right of residence in Poland in accordance with EU law before the end of the transitional period and continue to live in Poland.

"The right of permanent residence will, in principle, be granted after five years of uninterrupted residence (in accordance with EU law under the conditions laid down in Directive 2004/38/EC), the brochure reads.

In the event of the second scenario, the so-called no-deal Brexit, a draft law regulating the residence status of UK citizens and their family members has also been prepared, the Office for Foreigners said. It envisages the establishment of a period during which the stay of British citizens and their family members on Polish territory, immediately after the Brexit date, will be considered legal. It also sets out the legal basis for granting them temporary and permanent residence permits depending on whether or not they hold the right of residence or the right of permanent residence on March 29, 2019, it was noted in the brochure.

The main assumptions of the law regulating the residence status of UK citizens in Poland include the introduction of new types of permits for temporary residence (up to 5 years), and permanent residence (for an indefinite period) which can be applied for during the Brexit transition period.

According to the bill, the British and their family members will be able to obtain a permanent residence permits after 5 years of legal uninterrupted residence also after Brexit, under certain conditions. Obtaining a residence permit will entitle an individual to take up work.

The third scenario included in the UdSC brochure foresees a change of the Brexit date.

UdSC also announced a series information meetings for British citizens living in Poland on their residence rights after Brexit. They will be held in Warsaw, Gdańsk and Kraków. For detailed information visit https://udsc.gov.pl/en/brexit-informational-meetings/