INFORMATION FOR FOREIGNERS SEEKING INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION ON THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
RULES PERTAINING TO GRANTING INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION TO FOREIGNERS
The proceedings on granting international protection are conducted on the basis of rules specified in the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland (unified text Journal of Laws from 2012, item 680 as amended)
A foreigner is granted refugee status, if due to justified fear of persecution in his/her country of origin, because of his/her race, religion, nationality or political convictions or due to belonging to a specified social group he/she cannot or does not want to seek protection of his/her country.
A foreigner is granted a subsidiary protection if his/her return to the country of origin may constitute a risk of harm being inflicted through receiving capital punishment or enforcing execution, or by being subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, serious and individual threat to his/her life or health arising from common use of abuse against civil persons in a situation of international or internal armed conflict and due to such risk he/she cannot or does not want to seek protection of his/her own country.
Issuance of a decision on granting international protection to a foreigner should be completed within 6 months following the day when the application was lodged, and in special cases the aforementioned time limit may be prolonged to 15 months. In case of an application examined in expedited procedure the time limit for handling international protection case amounts to 30 days.
APPLICATION FOR GRANTING INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
In order to submit an application for international protection a foreigner must report in person to the nearest Border Guard Unit (Border Guard Post or Division). The Commander of the Border Guard Post or the Commander of the Border Guard Division competent in terms of the place of your stay will accept receiving of your application on granting international protection. The aforementioned request will be forwarded to the Head of the Office for Foreigners without delay.
If on a particular day it is impossible to accept receipt of your request on granting international protection the Border Guard authority you reported to will accept and register your declaration about your wish to submit the application and a date and place of accepting your application will be indicated.
A person who is unable to report in person in the premises of the Border Guard Unit due to:
- old age,
- being an only custodial parent,
- being a person in substitute custody, hospital, arrest or correctional facility,
may file a written declaration on his/her wish to apply for international protection via post or through the means of e-mail (e-PUAP) to the competent Commander of the Border Guard Post or Commander of Border Guard Division. In such case the application will be received at the latest within 3 day time period, following the date when the declaration of the wish to apply for international protection was received by the Commander of the Border Guard Post or by the Commander of the Border Guard Division.
If you remain in a guarded center or arrest for foreigners due to provisions specified in the Act on foreigners dated December 12, 2013, receipt of an application for granting international protection will be accepted by the Commander of the Border Guard Post or the Commander of the Border Guard Division who administers the facility.
In such case period of your stay in a guarded center or arrest for foreigners will be prolonged for another 90 days, following the date when your application was lodged.
Application on granting international protection may consider only you, but it also may extend to the persons who accompany you, who are dependent on you due to economic reasons, health condition or age such as:
– your marital spouse (remaining in marriage which is recognized by the Polish law),
– unmarried minor child.
If the application on granting international protection was lodged at border crossing point therefore upon your request or your consent the Border Guard authority will ensure your subsequent communication with representatives of international organizations or non-governmental organizations dealing with providing assistance to foreigners.
If you are:
- a disabled person,
- an elder person,
- an only parent who performs parental authority of a child,
- a pregnant woman
A Border Guard authority which received your application on granting international protection will ensure transport to the reception center for persons applying for international protection which are inserted in your application.
A Border Guard authority will give you a temporary identity certificate for a foreigner valid for 90 days. After passage of the aforementioned period of time you are obliged to turn to the Head of the Office for Foreigners and file another request for issuance of subsequent certificate which will be valid for another 6 months.
Temporary identity certificate for its period of validity confirms identity of a person which it has been issued to and allows this person and his/her minor children who were inserted in this document to remain within the territory of the Republic of Poland. This document does not give the right to cross the state border and to leave the territory
of the Republic of Poland.
A person submitting an application for granting international protection may be detained only for:
- establishing or verifying his/her identity,
- collecting information being the basis for an application for granting international protection, which retrieving would be impossible in a different way,
- issuance as well as execution of a return decision, if the possibility of submitting request for international protection has existed before, and a reasonable assumption exists, that this request was lodged only with a view to delaying or making impossible for the issuance or execution of the return decision,
- in case where the reasons of the national defense or national security or protection of the security and public order require to do so,
- in order to transfer to another Member State responsible for examination of the application for international protection.
Detention is conducted by the Border Guard authority and it lasts up to 48 hours. During this time period a Border Guard authority may issue an order on application of so called alternative measures up to the date when a decision on granting international protection is final. In such a case you will be obliged for the time of proceedings to:
- report at specified time intervals to the indicated authority,
- or to pay a bail in a specified amount,
- or to reside at a designated place.
Breach of the conditions imposed by the Border Guard order is the basis for further detention in case where the legal prerequisites for detention still exist.
If the Border Guard authority decides that issuance of an order on application of alternative measures is not possible in your case, it will turn to the court to place you in a guarded center for foreigners.
You may be placed in a guarded center or in an arrest for foreigners for a period of up to 60 days. If during the period of time of stay in a guarded center ruled by the court the final decision on granting international protection is not issued and the prerequisite to detention still exists the court may prolong the period of stay for the time considered necessary to issue such decision. The stay in a guarded center may not exceed 6 months.
If you are a minor (under 18 years of age) and you remain within the territory of the Republic of Poland without care of an adult person and you seek international protection, the declaration on your wish to apply for international protection will be received from you in the first place. Subsequently the Commander of the Border Guard Post or Division who received and registered your declaration will turn to the Court to have a legal representative appointed to you and to place you in an educational and care facility. You will be taken to this facility which is adjusted to accept children. Subsequently within 3 days the appropriate Court will designate a legal representative for you, who will represent your interests. The legal representative will file an application for international protection acting on your behalf and in your best interest within 3 working days. It will be done through the assistance of the Border Guard authority.
Should the Border Guard authority which has received your application on granting international protection raise any doubts as to your real age, may it administer further medical examination. You have to give consent to undergo detailed medical examination. The medical examination is conducted with respect to human dignity, in the least invasive manner. If you do not produce consent to go through additional medical procedure, you will be treated as an adult person.
OBLIGATIONS OF FOREIGNER APPLYING FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
A person applying for international protection is obliged to:
- poddać się pobraniu odcisków palców (obowiązek ten dotyczy również dzieci powyżej 14 roku życia) oraz fotografowaniu,- participate in his/her fingerprinting (this obligation pertains also to children beyond 14 years of age) and in taking picture,
- participate in medical examination and in case it is necessary in body inspection and sanitary treatment,
- give consent for detailed searching, body inspection or checking of clothing or personal belongings, if it is justified on the grounds of security and order (it is being done by the persons of the same sex and with respect to human dignity).
- provide data and information necessary to fill out application for international protection.
Furthermore, the foreigner is obliged to:
- forward his/her travel document to the Head of the Office for Foreigners via Border Guard authority,
- report to the Head of the Office for Foreigners in order to participate in a hearing if summoned and provide testimony,
- inform about each change of place of residence,
- remain within the territory of the Republic of Poland up to the date when the final decision on granting international protection is served upon you.
If your application for granting international protection does not display the address, where you intend to reside and you are not currently an inmate of a guarded center or arrest for foreigners you are obliged to arrive within 2 days following the date of receipt of your application for international protection in a reception center created for persons seeking international protection. The Office for Foreigners of the Republic of Poland administers two reception centers:
- Reception Center in Dębak, Podkowa Leśna- Dębak, 05-805 Otrębusy,
- Reception Center in Biała Podlaska, 21-500 Biała Podlaska, ul. Dokudowska 19
RIGHTS OF FOREIGNERS APPLYING FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
After submitting an application for international protection you are entitled to:
- social aid and medical assistance,
- assistance in voluntary return to the country to which you have the right to return,
- free communication with the representatives of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and with the representatives of international organizations as well as non-governmental organizations ensuring assistance to foreigners, including legal assistance,
- use the possibility of giving consent for conveying information on the course of proceedings on granting international protection to the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees and also to allow the above representatives to familiarize with the content of your file and to make notes and copies from your file,
- to free of charge legal information given through the course of the proceedings in the 1st instance on granting international protection by the employees of the Office for Foreigners;
- for free of charge legal assistance available on the basis specified in the Act on granting protection to foreigners on the territory of Poland as of June 13, 2003.
FREE OF CHARGE LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Free of charge legal assistance is available to an applicant and to a foreigner who has been issued a decision depriving him/her of refugee status or subsidiary protection, who acts on his own behalf without an attorney at law (barrister or solicitor).
Free of charge legal assistance is not available to a foreigner against whom a decision on depravation of refugee status or subsidiary protection was issued, if his/her income is than 100% income criteria specified in art. 8 of the Act on Social Aid dated March 12, 2004 (Journal of Laws from 2015, item 165 as amended).
Free of charge legal assistance covers:
- drawing up of an appeal to the decision on:
- refusal to grant refugee status or refusal to grant subsidiary protection,
- discontinuance of the proceedings on granting international protection,
- transfer of an applicant to the Member State responsible for examination of his/her application for international protection and discontinuance of proceedings,
- considering the request for international protection as inadmissible
- refusal to include declaration of a foreigner about his/her intention to apply for international protection,
- depravation of refugee status or international protection.
In order to receive free of charge legal assistance it is necessary to give a power of attorney in writing.
REGULATION (EU) NO 604/2013 REFERRED TO AS DUBLIN III
During the proceedings on granting international protection the Head of the Office for Foreigners examines whether there exist legal prerequisites to transfer a foreigner to other Member State of the European Union responsible for examination of his/her application on granting international protection. In order to proceed with this matter further a fingerprinting inquiry is conducted through the EURODAC Central System allowing to verify if the foreigner in question applies or has applied for international protection in other Member State or if the applicant crossed the external border irregularly against prevailing provisions from the third country to other Member State.
According to the Regulation 604/2013 referred to as Dublin III only one Member State can be responsible for examining of an application for international protection.
If it is established that a foreigner:
- has sought international protection in other Member State
- has family members or relatives who has applied for international protection or have been granted such a protection in other Member State,
- is in possession of a residence document issued by another Member State,
- is in possession of a visa issued by another Member State,
- crossed EU external border to another Member State,
- remained illegally for a certain period of time in other Member State.
LEAVING THE APPLICATION FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION WITHOUT EXAMINATION
The Head of the Office for Foreigners will leave the application for international protection without examination, if the aforementioned application is lacking your name and last name or indication as to your country of origin.
INADMISSIBILITY OF AN APPLICATION FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
An application may be considered inadmissible by the Head of the Office for Foreigners, if:
- other Member State has provided you with international protection,
- other third country (not being a Member State) is recognized as an asylum country in your case (meaning that you were granted international protection in this country),
- your application is another application and no new evidence has been submitted in support of your request,
- you were a subject of international protection application filed by your spouse, and it has been established that there have been no circumstances as to the facts admitting submission of a separate request.
EXAMINATION OF AN APPLICATION FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION IN AN ACCELERATED PROCEDURE
Your application may be examined within an accelerated procedure if:
- you indicated other reasons for international protection than fear of persecution or risk of inflicting grave harm,
- you misled the Head of the Office for Foreigners in respect to crucial data for granting refugee status or subsidiary protection,
- you provided inconsistent, contrary or not probable explanation with a view of confirmation of being a subject to persecution or sustaining grave harm,
- you filed a request for international protection only with a view to delay or interfere with execution of return decision that had been issued prior to these proceedings,
- you constitute a treat to the state security or the public order or due to these reasons you had been expelled from the territory of the Republic of Poland.
DISCONTINUANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION PROCEEDINGS
The Head of the Office for Foreigners shall discontinue proceedings if:
- you declare that you withdraw your application for international protection,
- the Head of the Office for Foreigners decides that you have withdrawn your request for international protection in an implicit manner, in particular, if you do not arrive in reception within 2 days from the date of lodging application for international protection or from the date of release from guarded center or arrest for foreigners and you do not indicate other address, where you intend to reside, or if you leave reception center and you do not return to it for a period of time longer than 7 days without justified cause, or if you leave the territory of the Republic of Poland.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF GRANTING A NEGATIVE DECISION ON INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
If you receive a decision on:
- refusal to grant a refugee status or subsidiary protection,
- recognition of your application for international protection as inadmissible,
- discontinuance of international protection proceedings,
- depravation of a refugee status or subsidiary protection,
you are obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 30 days from the date when the decision issued by the Head for the Office for Foreigners becomes final, or from the date when the Refugee Board issues a decision upon your appeal.
Within the aforementioned time limits you may request assistance in voluntary return.
If you do not file a request for assistance in voluntary return and you do not leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within the time limit indicated above, the decision on obliging a foreigner to return will be issued in your respect and the re-entry ban into the territory of the Republic of Poland or into the entire Schengen area for a period of time not shorter than 6 months will be imposed.
INFORMATION AND VERIFICATION OF FINGERPRINTING DATA STORED IN THE EURODAC CENTRAL SYSTEM
According to the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council No 603/2013 you may turn to the Head of the Office for Foreigners with a request to provide information regarding your personal data, which are registered in the EURODAC Central System. If in your opinion these data are inappropriate or should not have been inserted in this System, you may submit a request to the Head of the Office for Foreigners to have them deleted or rectified. The requests in this matter should be forwarded to the following address:
Szef Urzędu do Spraw Cudzoziemców
ul. Taborowa 33,
In order to retrieve or verify requested information you will be instructed by the Head of the Office for Foreigners about the necessity to report to the Border Guard unit appropriate in terms of your place of residence in order to leave your fingerprints for further check.
THE LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS ENSURING ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGNERS
Filia Fundacji „Multiocalenie” w Krynkach
16-120 Krynki, ul. Jagiellońska 6
phone/fax: 22 635 08 98
Punkt Konsultacyjny Fundacji “Ocalenie” w Łomży
18-400 Łomża, ul. Długa 23
phone: +86 214 16 57
Centrum Wsparcia Imigrantów i Imigrantek
Gdańsk, ul. Miszewskiego 17 room 100
open: Tuesday and Wednesday, from 1 to 6 p.m.
Instytut na rzecz Państwa Prawa
20-023 Lublin, ul. Chopina 14/70
phone/fax: +81 743 68 05 internal number: 21 or 28
Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej
01-204 Warszawa, ul. Siedmiogrodzka 5/51
phone: 739 614 952, 880 145 372 (iformation for foreigners from 3 to 4 p.m.);
phone/fax: 22 621 51 65,
01-043 Warszawa, ul. Okopowa 55
phone: 22 334 85 00, 22 334 85 85, fax: +48 22 3348558
Sekcja Praw Człowieka Uniwersyteckiej Poradni Prawnej
Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Kraków 30-101, Al. Zygmunta Krasińskiego 18/3
phone/fax: 12 430 19 97, tel. 506 –6 672
Klinika Prawa – Studencki Ośrodek Pomocy Prawnej
Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Warszawa 00-927, Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
phone: 22 552 08 11; tel./fax: 22 552 43 18;
NOMADA Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Integracji Społeczeństwa Wielokulturowego
Wrocław 50-247, ul. Paulińska 4-8
tel.: 713070337 telefon w dniach i godzinach dyżuru: poniedziałek 16:00-19:00, czwartek 16:00-19:00
+48 791 576 459