After the end of the transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement, i.e. as of 1 January 2021, in principle, the United Kingdom Citizens and their family members shall be awarded the right of residence or permanent residence in Poland under the existing conditions, if:
- they exercised their right of residence in Poland under EU law before the end of the transition period (this also applies to UK citizens who entered Poland after the Brexit date, i.e. after 31 January 2020 and before the end of the transition period);
- they continue to live in Poland
The right of residence on the territory of Poland of the persons who are the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement shall arise directly from the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as the provisions of the Act of 14 July 2006 on the entry into, residence in and exit from the Republic of Poland of nationals of the European Union Member States and their family members by extending the term “EU citizen” used in the Act to also include nationals of the United Kingdom who are the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement and by extending the term “family member” to also include the family members of United Kingdom citizens who are also the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The rules governing the stay of the United Kingdom citizens and their families who are the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement shall be analogous to the rules applying to EU citizens and their families, including certain alterations arising from the Withdrawal Agreement. In principle, the right of permanent residence shall apply after 5 years of continuous residence. Periods of legal residence or work in accordance with EU law, occurring before and after the end of the transitional period, shall count towards the required period for the acquisition of the right of permanent residence.
In Poland, the system is planned to be declaratory in nature – there will be no obligation to obtain a new residence status and residence permit as an obligation for legal residence in Poland under the Withdrawal Agreement. However, persons who qualify for residence right under the Agreement shall be issued a residence document in accordance with the Directive 2004/38/WE. The document will contain a declaration that is was issued in accordance with the Agreement (in accordance with Article 18(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement).
On the basis of the foregoing, it is currently planned that the United Kingdom citizens and their family members who are the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement who remain on the territory of Poland shall be issued the same types of documents that are currently issued to the EU citizens and their family members: certificate of registration of stay of a EU citizen (issued on the basis of submitting an application for registration of residence), residence card of an EU citizen’s family member, and after obtaining the right of permanent residence: a document certifying the right of permanent residence and a permanent residence card of an EU citizen’s family member. However, the documents will contain information stating that they were issued in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.
The citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members who are the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement and who remain on the territory of Poland, who received the residence permits issued to the EU citizens and their family members until the end of the transition period, shall have the right to submit an application to a voivode to exchange the documents for versions containing the information, that they have been issued in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.
The applications for issuing residence permits containing the aforementioned information, or for replacing the current residence permits to documents containing the aforementioned annotation shall be accepted after 1 January 2021.
A United Kingdom citizen who is a frontier worker as referred to in Article 9(b) of the Withdrawal Agreement, who will be working or conducting any other gainful activity before 31 December 2020 in his/her own name and for his/her own benefit without the obligation to register his/her residence (stays of up to 3 months) shall be obliged to register his/her residence in the event of continuing the aforementioned work or gainful activity as a frontier worker, i.e. without residing in the territory of Poland. Unlike the aforementioned rules regarding the UK citizens residing in Poland prior to the expiry of the transition period, e.g. employees, the status of a frontier worker on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement shall be awarded after fulfilling the obligation of registering the stay as a frontier worker. The UK citizen shall thus obtain a certificate of registration of stay of an EU citizen, containing the information confirming holding the rights of a frontier worker on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement.
There is also a possibility that a time limit will be introduced for UK citizens to register their stay as a frontier worker on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement.
Applications for registration of stay as a frontier worker (and obtaining a residence permit for a frontier worker) shall be submitted also beginning on 1 January 2021.
The details of the Polish regulations which shall apply to the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement after the expiry of the transition period shall be determined in the Polish legislation.