Legalization of illegal stay of a foreigner in Poland


An undocumented foreigner's stay in Poland can lead to various consequences, such as a deportation order and a ban on reentry into Polish and Schengen territory for up to 5 years. However, the repercussions are not limited to the foreigner alone; anyone helping with an undocumented foreigner's stay, such as an employer hiring someone without the required permits, can face fines of up to 30,000 PLN.

Legalizing an undocumented foreigner's stay in Poland is possible through the following methods:

  1. Applying for a Temporary Residence Permit

To apply for a temporary residence permit, a foreigner must meet the following conditions:

  • Have valid travel documents
  • Have valid health insurance
  • Demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves and any family members dependent on them
  • Have a registered place of residence in Poland
  • Have a specific purpose for staying in Poland, as defined in Article 187 of the Act on Foreigners

The application for a temporary residence permit must be submitted to the relevant Voivode's office based on the foreigner's place of residence. The application can be submitted in person or through a legal representative.

  1. Applying for International Protection

Foreigners in Poland have the right to apply for international protection if:

  • They are present on Polish territory (including detention centers) or at the Polish border
  • They fear persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, political beliefs, or, upon return, face a serious threat of the death penalty, execution, torture, inhuman treatment, or a significant threat to life due to general violence or armed conflict

The Voivode may grant the foreigner a residence permit for a specified period, not exceeding six months.

Assessing the Likelihood of Legalizing Undocumented Stay

The chances of legalizing an undocumented foreigner's stay in Poland depend on several factors, including:

  • The duration of the foreigner's undocumented stay in Poland
  • The reason for their undocumented stay
  • The documents the foreigner possesses
  • Their personal circumstances
  • Advice for Foreigners Seeking to Legalize Their Stay in Poland

Foreigners looking to legalize their undocumented stay in Poland should consider the following:

  • Seek legal assistance: An immigration lawyer can assist in preparing a residence permit application and represent the foreigner's case before authorities.
  • Gather all necessary documents: To legalize their stay, foreigners must provide all required documentation that confirms compliance with the conditions for legalization. With legal assistance, a representative can request and present the necessary documents to the authorities.
  • Be prepared for potential rejection: A residence permit application may be rejected if the foreigner does not meet all the conditions for legalization.
  • In conclusion, legalizing an undocumented foreigner's stay in Poland is possible, but it involves a careful understanding of the legal requirements and, often, seeking legal counsel. Every case is unique, and consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of immigration law in Poland.