I am not currently a resident of Poland. Can I cease my Swiss residency and instead become a resident of Poland in 2020, and remain a resident of Poland after 31.12.2020? Or will my right to become a Polish resident only last until 31.12.2020?

With the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement (the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community) on 1st February 2020 the transition period started which will last until 31st December 2020. During that period, the rules of residence and work of citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members in Poland remain unchanged. This means that the free movement of persons between the UK and the EU is maintained during that period.

During the transition period United Kingdom nationals may arrive to Poland and start their residence on the same rules as before the date of exit of the of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement after the end of the transition period citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members will have the right of residence in Poland if they exercised the right of residence in Poland in accordance with the EU law before the conclusion of the transition period and they still live in Poland (the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement).

After the end of transition period, the right of entry and stay of the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement on Polish territory will be directly based on the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as on the provisions of the Act of 14 July 2006 on entry to, stay on and exit from the territory of the Republic of Poland of citizens of the European Union Member States and their family members. They will be generally treated as EU citizens and their family members with some modifications provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement.

The right of stay of the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement on Polish territory will not be conditional upon obtaining a document confirming the right (a declaratory system). However, taking into account practical execution of their rights it is recommended that all beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement obtain residence documents with annotation referring to the Withdrawal Agreement.

In terms of residence rights of beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, Poland intends to introduce a declaratory system provided for in Art. 18 (4) of the Withdrawal Agreement.

This option allows not to require United Kingdom nationals, their family members, and other persons, residing in Poland in accordance with the conditions set out in the Title II of Part Two of the Withdrawal Agreement, to apply for the new residence status as a condition for legal residence after the end of transition period. The beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement in Poland will have the right to receive, in accordance with the conditions set out in Directive 2004/38/EC, a residence document, that includes a statement that it has been issued in accordance with this Agreement.

UK nationals and their family members granted documents issued to EU citizens or their family members before the end of transition period will be entitled to replace those documents with the new ones of the same kind with annotation referring to the Withdrawal Agreement. The already issued documents will serve as an evidence that they are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Currently, it is planned that applications for residence documents containing the annotation referring to the Withdrawal Agreement including replacement of existing documents for the document containing the above-mentioned annotation will be possible from January 1, 2021.

It is planned that the residence documents issued to UK nationals and their family members before the end of transition period (certificate of registration of EU citizen, document confirming right of permanent stay, residence card of family member of EU citizen and permanent residence card of family member of EU citizen) will lose their validity with 1st January 2022.

Application for replacement of the already granted documents should therefore be submitted until 1st January 2022.

After that date the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement on Polish territory, who did not use the possibility of replacement of the already granted document, will have a possibility to submit a new application for registration of stay and obtaining certificate of registration, a new application for obtaining a document confirming right of permanent stay, or a new application for residence card of family member of EU citizen or permanent residence card of family member of EU citizen. The documents will bear the annotation referring to the Withdrawal Agreement.