The Border Guard and the Internal Security Agency verify the procedures for the legalization of foreigners’ stays. You may be called to the facilities of the Border Guard or the Internal Security Agency concerning the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners.
Key articles addressing foreigners’ stay
Article 380: This pertains to the implementation of decisions about the obligation of a foreigner’s return when issued by another EU Member State authority.
Article 383: Discusses the potential revocation of residence permits under certain conditions.
According to Article 302 paragraph 1 of the Act on Foreigners, grounds for the obligation of a foreigner to return include:
- you are staying in the territory without a valid visa or other document entitling you to enter
- you have not left the territory of Poland after passing the permissible period of stay – statutory, e.g. 180 days based on visa-free travel or as indicated in your visa
- you do not have the financial resources necessary to cover the costs of your stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland, a return trip to the country of origin or residence, or a transit through the territory of the Republic of Poland to a third country that grants an entry permit, and you will not indicate reliable sources of obtaining such financial resources
- you crossed or tried to cross the border against the law, e.g. crossing the green border
- you are outside the permitted border area
- you change the purpose of your stay, e.g. you have a tourist visit, and you start studying
- you receive a refusal to grant refugee status or subsidiary protection, it will become valid and you will not leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 30 days
- you take up work without the required work permit or the employer’s declaration of intent to entrust work, registered in the poviat labour office, or you are fined for illegal work
- you undertake business activity contrary to the regulations
- you’ve been found guilty in Poland and need to serve time in prison. There are reasons to consider moving you to another country to serve that sentence.
Note: The fact that you work illegally doesn’t automatically mean expulsion from Poland. If illegal work is detected, what you say at the hearing means a lot. It is important to be able to prove that the employer deceived you and took advantage of your situation and that you fought for your rights. In general, it is employers’ obligation to make sure you have a permit to work in Poland and to employ you legally.
Obligation to return (and related cases)
The Border Guard is now handling more duties previously done by the Office for Foreigners. This includes deciding on:
- When foreigners should leave Poland – they will issue obligation to return (voluntary departure procedure).
- Giving them more time to leave voluntarily.
- Deciding if a foreigner can stay for humanitarian reasons or other special circumstances.
- Issuing or replacing specific documents related to the above permits.
- Sending a foreigner to another EU country.
- Expelling non-EU citizens or their non-EU family members.
- Taking back an order to expell an EU or non-EU citizen.
If any of these issues were already in process when the law changed, the Office for Foreigners would finish them.
Appealing Decisions: If someone disagrees with the Border Guard’s decision, departure order, they have 7 days to appeal.
Voluntary departure: If a foreigner is told to leave Poland, they’ll have at least 8 days to go voluntarily. The head of the Border Guard will be the main person helping foreigners leave voluntarily. They’ll also handle transferring foreigners to the right EU country if they’re seeking protection or asylum.
Re-entering Poland: After being told to leave, a foreigner might be banned from coming back for up to 10 years. This is especially true if Border Guard claims that the return poses risks to Poland’s safety or order. But, if the Border Guard believes the foreigner will follow the rules if they come back, they might not ban them from re-entering Poland and other Schengen area countries.