Who may submit an application for international protection?

The information provided below explains who may be granted international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) in the Republic of Poland.

International protection is granted pursuant to the Act of 13 June 2003 on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland to individuals who:

  • meet the conditions to be granted refugee status,
  • do not meet the conditions to be granted refugee status but are eligible for subsidiary protection.

A foreigner may be granted refugee status, if, due to a justified fear that he/she might be persecuted in his/her country of origin for reasons of:

  • race,
  • religion,
  • nationality,
  • political opinion, or
  • membership of a particular social group

he/she may not or does not wish to use his/her country’s protection. The refugee status is also granted to a minor child of a foreigner who has been granted refugee status in the Republic of Poland, born within this territory.

A foreigner may be granted subsidiary protection if returning to the country of origin may put him/her at real risk of suffering serious harm due to:

  • a death sentence or an execution to be carried out,
  • torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment,
  • a serious and individualised life or health hazard as a result of common use of violence towards civilians in a situation of an international or internal military conflict,

and due to this risk the foreigner may not or does not wish to return to the country of origin.

Applications for international protection are in the first instance examined by the Head of the Office for Foreigners.