On 1 May 2014 a new act on foreigners comes into force. The act which currently is legally binding fails to be effective from that day.
Together with a new act a lot of new issues concerning the process of legalizing the stay of foreigners in Poland are approved.

First and foremost, a legally established term of 45 days of submitting a motion to receive the right of temporary stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland becomes removed. By 1 May 2014 the motions are submitted within 45 days before the expiry of the actual visa or residence card. From 1 May 2014 it is possible to submit a motion on the last day of validity of a visa or a residence card. This is a perfect facilitation for all the forgetful. Obviously, this convenience has 2 ends. On the one hand, the motion may be submitted on the last day of a legal stay in Poland but, on the other hand, a foreigner will not be able to travel abroad till the end of the legalization procedure. The administrative procedure concerning the receipt of permission of temporary stay within Poland and receipt of residence card may last at least 2 months or even longer. Therefore, it is worth considering whether it is reasonable to submit the motion in the nick of time.

Further, this new act extends the validity period of the permission to temporarily stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland, i.e. a card of temporary stay. Until now the permission of temporary stay on the territory of Poland has been issued maximum for 2 years, from 1 May 2014 the permission will be issued for 3 years.

Another novelty is the necessity of colleting fingerprints of each foreigner who wants to submit the motion. This obligation also concerns children from 6th year.
Fingerprints will be collected while submitting the motion or within 7 days from the date of submitting the motion if the motion has not been submitted personally by a proposer of the motion.
If a foreigner – proposer of the motion, fails to fulfil this obligation, his or her motion will not be considered.

In the new act the nomenclature of present permissions of stay in Poland becomes changed. Hence, a permit to reside the territory of the Republic of Poland for a definite period of time will be named “temporary residence permit”, settlement permit will be then named “permanent residence permit”.

Legislator distinguished a few types of the temporary residence permit in terms of purpose of residing Poland. Hence, there are the following types of the above mentioned permit:
1/ temporary residence and work permit
2/ temporary residence permit in order to perform work in highly qualified profession
3/ temporary residence permit in order to perform work on the territory of the Republic of Poland by a foreigner delegated by his or her foreign employer
4/ temporary residence permit in order to conduct business activities
5/ temporary residence permit in order to educate oneself in a university
6/ temporary residence permit in order to do some scientific research
7/ temporary residence permit for family members of citizens of the Republic of Poland and family members of foreigners
8/ residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland for foreigners who are the victims of human trafficking
9/ temporary residence permit due to circumstances requiring short-term stay
10/ temporary residence permit due to other circumstances.

A foreigner who is residing Poland to perform work will be able to apply for a permanent work permit because of work he performs. So far a working foreigner had to obtain a separate decision of the Province Governor – work permit or extension of work permit which was the basis to obtain temporary residence permit in Poland. From 1st May 2014 a foreigner will obtain one document without the necessity to additionally apply for a work permit. Inspectors who make decision whether to issue a temporary residence permit will also analyze the documents which were previously submitted to obtain work permit. This means that “two in one” will be done. Obviously, the procedure of issuing solely work permits will be continued as those permits will be indispensable for foreigners staying out of Poland to apply for a visa.

There will be a similar procedure in case of foreigners who conduct business activities. A foreigner residing Poland will apply for temporary residence permit within one procedure which will encompass permits of performing work in a partnership established by the foreigner and temporary residence permits.

Students will have the right to obtain temporary residence permits for the period of 15 months. Currently, such a permit has been issued for one or two ongoing semesters. Second temporary residence permit, if a foreigner continues their education in a university, will be issued for 2 years.

Next articles will be devoted to procedures connected with obtaining temporary residence permits in Poland together with the division of the purpose of stay in Poland. Moreover, rules of obtaining permanent residence cards as well as cards a of long-term resident of the UE will discussed later on.