Asylum application for Ukrainian citizens in Poland - what you need to know

  • May 06, 2024
Asylum application for Ukrainian citizens in Poland - what you need to know

Today, many Ukrainians are faced with the need to seek asylum outside their homeland, and Poland emerges as one of the key destinations for this. The main reason is quite obvious, and related to the invasion of Ukraine. The asylum process in Poland is well structured and aims to provide protection and support to those in need. It involves submitting an application, assessing everyone's individual circumstances and granting a status that opens up access to rights and services in the country. It is important that Poland shows solidarity and willingness to help in these difficult times, offering Ukrainians a path to a new life and hope for the future.

What is "UKR status" and how do I get it?

"UKR status" in Poland is a special status granted to Ukrainian refugees in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine. This status allows Ukrainian citizens to obtain a PESEL number, which is key to accessing various services and benefits in Poland. The PESEL number facilitates the process of employment, education and access to health services.

To obtain the UKR status, Ukrainians must submit an application to the relevant Polish migration authorities. In the application, it is necessary to specify their personal data and provide documents confirming their identity and citizenship. It is important that 30 days from the day of arrival in Poland are given to obtain a PESEL number.

Obtaining this status is important for Ukrainian refugees as it facilitates their integration into Polish society and provides access to necessary social and economic resources in the country.

How does "refugee status" differ from "UKR status"?

"Refugee status" and "UKR status" in Poland are two different legal statuses designed to protect and support people who have fled Ukraine due to the military invasion. Refugee status is granted under international law and includes the full set of rights and obligations provided for refugees. This status is granted on the basis of an individual assessment of each person's circumstances and international protection needs.

In turn, the "UKR Status" is a specific status developed by the Polish government for Ukrainians who have fled the country due to the invasion. It provides a simplified process for obtaining a PESEL number and access to certain types of support and services in Poland. However, it may not offer the same level of protection and rights as full refugee status.

Thus, the key difference between these statuses lies in the scope of rights and level of protection granted, as well as in the process of obtaining them.

"UKR status" in Poland

Initial steps when entering Poland

When you cross the border into Poland, your first step is to seek help at refugee reception centres or migration services located at the border or in major cities. These centres will provide you with all the necessary information and assistance in applying for documents and asylum. 

In terms of documents, you will need a valid passport or other identification document that proves your identity and nationality. If you are travelling with your family, make sure that all family members also have the appropriate documents. In addition, any documents confirming your situation in Ukraine and the reasons why you are seeking asylum may be helpful in speeding up the process.

Asylum procedure

The process of applying for asylum for Ukrainian citizens in Poland starts with submitting an application at one of the local foreigners' offices or at the Border Guard Service. It is important to prepare all necessary documents, including personal identification documents and, if possible, evidence confirming your situation in Ukraine.

After submitting your application, the process of reviewing your case begins. During this period, you will receive a temporary status that will allow you to stay in Poland legally. You will be scheduled for an interview where you will have to give a detailed account of your situation and the reasons why you are seeking asylum.

Processing times may vary depending on individual circumstances and the current workload of the migration services. It is important to remain calm and follow all instructions given by the authorities. During this period, you may also be provided with certain social services and support.

Read also: How to get from Ukraine to airports in Poland

Rights and obligations in the status of asylum seeker

As an asylum seeker in Poland, you have certain rights and obligations while your application is being processed. Firstly, you have the right to stay in the country legally until a decision is made on your case. You are allowed to seek temporary work, although this may require additional authorisations.

In terms of social benefits, asylum seekers in Poland have access to medical care and education for children. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be offered temporary accommodation and financial assistance. It is important to bear in mind that you need to respect the laws of the country and follow the instructions of the migration authorities.

You should attend regular meetings with the migration authorities and inform them of any changes in your status or personal details. Remember that violating the conditions of your temporary status or providing false information may affect the decision on your asylum case.

Possible outcomes of your application

When your application for asylum in Poland is processed, there are two main possible outcomes. If approved, you will be granted refugee status. This opens new horizons: you will be able to continue working legally, you will have access to social programmes and more medical care, and you will be entitled to permanent residence in Poland. This status can also be a step towards citizenship in the future.

If your application is rejected, it is important to be aware of possible further actions. You may have the right to appeal or submit a new application if the circumstances of your case have changed. In some cases, you may be offered an alternative form of protection or temporary residence. It is important to seek legal advice to understand all the options available to you. But in the current climate, a refusal for a Ukrainian is very rare, in the vast majority of cases all applications are approved.

Registration of asylum for Ukrainian citizens in Poland

A few recommendations

Experts and human rights organisations provide a number of valuable recommendations for Ukrainian citizens seeking asylum in Poland. One of the main tips is to carefully familiarise yourself with the legal aspects of the asylum application process and liaise with the competent authorities throughout the process.

Lawyers advise documenting and confirming all circumstances related to your asylum application. This includes collecting all documents related to your identity as well as any evidence that can support the reasons for your asylum application.

It is also important to use reliable and trusted resources for information and support. Such resources may include official websites of the Polish Migration Service, websites of international and local human rights organisations, as well as forums and communities where asylum seekers can exchange experiences and advice.

In case of legal questions, it is recommended to seek advice from qualified lawyers specialising in asylum and migration issues. Some human rights organisations provide free legal aid and support with paperwork and applications.

Benefits, allowances, payments

There are various payments and benefits for Ukrainian refugees in Poland in 2024, but it is worth noting that the situation may change due to planned changes in legislation. Currently, Ukrainians are entitled to receive payments for each minor child in the amount of 500 PLN (approximately 4864 UAH) per month. From 1 January 2024 it is envisaged to increase these payments to 800 PLN (approximately 7782 UAH) for all recipients. Additionally, from February 2024, applications for childcare allowance will start to be accepted.

However, according to statements by Polish government representatives, a gradual reduction of benefits may start in 2024. This may be due to the decreasing attention to Ukrainian migrants and the need to balance the state budget in the context of economic changes.

Thus, certain social payments and benefits are provided for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, but it should be taken into account that the situation may change due to changes in legislation and the general economic situation in the country.

When can a recipient lose refugee status? 

Ukrainians who have been granted refugee status in Poland may lose it in several cases. One of the main ones is a change in the circumstances due to which the asylum was granted. If the situation in Ukraine improves to such an extent that the reasons for granting asylum no longer exist, the status may be cancelled.

Another reason may be the provision of false information when applying for asylum. If a refugee is found to have provided false information or documents, this can also lead to loss of status.

In addition, committing serious offences or actions that are contrary to public order or Polish security may also be grounds for withdrawal of refugee status.

Finally, obtaining Polish citizenship or citizenship of another country that can provide protection may also be a reason for cancelling refugee status.

You might also be interested in this route: bus Kiev Warsaw.

Elena Chernenko

Elena Chernenko

Elena is a recognized expert in the bus transportation industry. With a deep understanding of the industry and a wealth of experience, Elena has earned a reputation for reliability working with both large carriers and private companies. Her expertise includes route planning, safety analysis and efficiency of transportation solutions.

In her blog, Elena offers professional advice, reviews current market trends and shares her experience to help readers better understand the world of bus transportation.

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