15 May 2024

Narrower scope of amendments to the Act on Foreigners

A new bill on amending the Act on Foreigners and certain other acts has appeared on the website of the Government Legislation Centre. The scope of the envisaged changes has been narrowed, focusing on regulations concerning treaty obligations resulting from Poland's membership in the European Union as well as those resulting from the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU.

Other changes, which were included in the previous version of the draft amendment (e.g. concerning the digitization of proceedings on legalisation of residence in Poland), are to be regulated separately.

The most significant changes envisaged in the latest draft concerning the “EU Blue Card” include:

  • Relaxation of the requirements concerning the necessary minimum duration of the contract of employment of a foreigner in Poland - it has been shortened from 12 months to 6 months;
  • Widening the possibilities for foreigners to work in Poland - holders of the EU Blue Card have been granted the right to undertake economic activity in Poland in a complementary way (i.e. in addition to the employment constituting the basis for issuing the permit) on the same principles as Polish citizens;
  • Making the right to work more flexible - the indication in the decision on granting the EU Blue Card of the name of a specific employer, position and terms and conditions of employment was abandoned;
  • Increasing foreigners' sense of security and stability - an additional 3- or 6-month period has been introduced for a foreigner to look for work in Poland before a decision on withdrawal of the EU Blue Card is issued.

The draft also regulates the procedure for granting a temporary residence permit for the purpose of long-term mobility of the holder of an EU Blue Card. Such a permit is to be granted when the purpose of the foreigner's stay in Poland is to perform work in a highly qualified profession, and furthermore the foreigner:

  • Has an EU Blue Card issued by another EU Member State;
  • Has entered into a contract (e.g. employment contract/commission) for a period of at least 6 months;
  • Has the qualifications required for regulated professions;
  • Has health insurance in Poland,
  • Receives remuneration of an appropriate amount in Poland.

The provisions on obtaining a temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification will also be adjusted to the new regulations.

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