31 January 2020

Crossing the border and stay of UK citizens in Poland

At midnight from Friday to Saturday UK will leave the European Union. Pursuant to the agreement on withdrawal from the EU, the “transitional period” will last until the end of 2020. As a result, the rules for crossing the border and stay of UK citizens and their family members in Poland will remain unchanged.

The agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland form the EU provides for a transition period until the end of 2020. This includes maintaining the current relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom on current conditions with preservation of the free movement of persons.

Thus, from 1 February to 31 December 2020, the current rules for crossing the border between Poland (EU) and the United Kingdom will apply. Citizens of the Republic of Poland will be able to travel to the United Kingdom on the basis of an ID card or passport.

During the transitional period, the rules for crossing the border, stay and work of UK citizens and their family members in Poland will also remain unchanged. People living in Poland during the transitional period and continuing this stay after the end of the transitional period will maintain their residence rights and will not have to register in order to have them secured. The obligation to register after the end of the transitional period will apply only to UK citizens who are frontier workers – carrying out a paid activity in Poland but living in another country.

However, the United Kingdom citizens will be able to exchange their residence permits issued to them as EU citizens for documents certifying their rights under the withdrawal agreement, or to obtain such residence permits if they did not have them before. It is planned that these documents will be issued by the voivodeship offices after the end of the transitional period.

Currently, slightly over 6,300 United Kingdom citizens have a registered residence or hold document confirming the right of permanent residence in Poland. Most of them registered their stay in the following voivodships: mazowieckie – 2,300 persons, małopolskie – 960 persons, dolnośląskie – 580 persons, śląskie – 490 persons, and pomorskie – 450 persons.

Information on the residence rights of the United Kingdom citizens in Poland related to the Brexit can be found on the website of the Office for Foreigners – www.udsc.gov.pl/cudzoziemcy/brexit/ and the Ministry of Development – www.brexit.gov.pl.