The Commander of the Border Guard Post in Augustów, by decision of 3 December 2020, no. PD-AG/01/D-ZPH/2020, granted a humanitarian residence permit to a client of the Association for Legal Intervention, whose partner (wife of Muslim rite) and children have a humanitarian residence permit in Poland. The Commander of the Border Guard Post indicated that: “the fact that Mr. (…)’s wife and children have protection from expulsion in our country precludes the possibility of freely enjoying family life in another country, especially in the country of origin.”

The decision clearly emphasised that the marriage was not entered into with the aim of circumventing the law, since at the moment of its conclusion the residence of both spouses was irregular (they were still in proceedings for granting them international protection in Poland). It was at a later stage that the foreigner’s wife was granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons in Poland. The Commander of the Border Guard post in Augustów did not deny that the religious marriage in question had been entered into despite the fact that the wife was underage. This was due to the fact that nine months after the marriage the first child of the parties was born and its paternity was acknowledged.

As a confirmation of leading a common family and private life, the authority accepted the fact of the spouses’ cohabitation after marriage and maintaining a common household, raising common children and the fact that the foreigner’s wife does not work professionally as she raises children, while the husband undertakes efforts to earn money for family life.

Having regard to the above, the Commander of the Border Guard Post in Augustów considered that:

a change in the existing living conditions of the family of Mr and Mrs (…), in particular that of the children, who have been bound to their father since birth and are dependent on him, could result in traumatic experiences, and it is unacceptable to disturb the sense of stability of a family which has found itself in Poland and has the opportunity to assimilate fully. In addition, Mr and Mrs (…) are seeking to legalise their relationship in a register office so that it can be recognised as valid under Polish law and have legal effect.

Moreover, the 1st instance authority indicated in the decision that:

It is indisputable (…) in the case under consideration that the granting of a residence permit on humanitarian grounds (…) will constitute the best protection of the right to private and family life in its broadest sense. The foreigner has been staying in Poland for almost 5 years and, despite having received a decision on the obligation to return and not fulfilling the obligations resulting from that decision, has made efforts to legalise his stay by submitting several applications to the Head of the Office for Foreigners for granting international protection on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

The unpaid legal aid in the case was provided by legal advisor Magdalena Sadowska.

Photo by John-Mark Smith from Unsplash