Do you need legal support?
We offer free of charge legal support for migrants in the fields of migration, asylum and human rights, discrimination, etc. To consult a lawyer, registration is required.
Due to the sanitary guidelines we are closing our office untill further notice. We will continue to provide legal consultations via e-mail and phone
You can arrange an appointment by phone from Monday to Friday between 14:00 and 16:00 at: + 48 880 145 372.
Do you need integration support?
Integration consultants can support you in arranging your life in Poland in all its aspects. We offer help, for example in applying for social and family benefits, community housing, access to education and medical assistance.
Due to the sanitary guidelines we are closing our office untill further notice. We will continue to provide integration consultations via e-mail and phone
You can arrange an appointment by phone from Monday to Friday between 14:00 and 16:00 at: + 48 880 145 372.
Do you want to appeal against the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners *?
If you have just received a negative decision in your asylum case ( from Szef Urzędu ds. Cudzoziemców): send us a photo/scan to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the date of the receipt of the decision and yor phone number. We will call you back as soon as possible.
* Applies only to decisions of the Head of the Office for Foreigners:
- refusing to grant refugee status and subsidiary protection
- declaring the application for international protection inadmissible
- deprivation of international protection
Do you need language support?
We offer language support during visits to the doctor, when submitting the application, interviewing at the voivodship office or in other everyday matters, if your lack of knowledge of Polish poses an obstacle.
Contact our volunteer coordinator who will find the right interpreter for you.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
I have a question regarding my situation in connection to COVID-19
We have prepared a special Q&A set where we explains various aspects of your functioning in Poland during the coronavirus epidemic. Read more >>>
I was arrested by the Border Guard
- Stay calm.
- Do not lie and do not give false evidence. This could only make your situation worse.
- Do not sign documents which you do not understand or documents whose contents you do not accept
- Memorise the phone numbers of your relatives and your attorney or legal adviser. Let your relatives know about your arrest as soon as possible and tell them where you are.
- Always have your passport (if you have one), your residence card, or another document confirming your identity with you.
- Let your relatives or a person you trust know where you keep your immigration-related documents.
- You may be placed in a immigration detention centre for a period of 6 months during your asylum procedure or for 18 during the return (deportation) procedure.
YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU ARE DETAINED BY THE BORDER GUARD
- If you do not want to answer any questions asked by the Border Guard, you may refuse to answer questions. If you decide not to answer questions, make that statement clearly. Even if you decide not to answer questions, you should tell the officer interviewing you your full name, citizenship, profession, and place of work or residence.
- If you do not speak Polish, a interpreter speaking a language you understand should accompany you as part of all activities related to you.
- You have the right to contact an attorney or a legal adviser upon your arrest. Ask to be allowed to call a lawyer. Remember to always carry with you a phone number to a lawyer.
- You may also ask to be allowed to contact your country’s consulate and notify it of your arrest.
- All documents you receive should be translated in full to a language you understand. If you think that not everything in the documents has been translated or that the translation is incorrect or if you do not accept the contents of documents presented to you, you may refuse to sign them. Remember to explicitly state why you refuse to sign documents.
- You may ask the Border Guard officer who arrested you for their full name and service ID number. Write this information down.
YOUR RIGHTS IN COURT
- You may refuse to answer all or some of the questions you are asked. Let the court know about this.
- If you have experienced any form of violence in the past (such as physical violence, psychological violence, sexual violence), remember to tell about it in court.
- If you have any documents confirming your poor health, remember to present them in court.
- If you do not speak Polish, an interpreter speaking a language you understand should be present in court.
- You have the right to ask the judge to appoint an attorney or a legal adviser for you if you do not have the money to hire such a person on your own.
- You may ask the court to notify the consulate of your country or a person of your choice of your detention.
I am afraid of deportation
You will not be deported until a final and binding decision obliging you to return to your home country has been taken. Before deporting you, the Border Guard first has to issue a decision obliging you to return to your country (deportation decision). You may appeal against such a decision. You have 14 days to do so (since you were served with the decision). If you do so, you will not be deported until a decision has been made by the relevant appeal body (the Head of the Office for Foreigners). If the Head of the Office for Foreigners upholds the decision to deport you, this is not the end yet. You may lodge a complaint against such a decision with a court. Remember to include in your complaint a motion to stay the execution of the deportation. You will not be deported until the court has reviewed the motion.
Remember that if you submitted an asylum application in Poland for the first or second time, you are protected against deportation for as long as such proceedings continue.
I am staying in Poland illegally and I am working
Even if you work in Poland without a visa or other residence permit (i.e. temporary residence permit or permanent residence permit), you have certain rights in your workplace.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO:
- be treated equally at work, for instance as far as your salary or work conditions are concerned. You must not be discriminated against for any reasons, including your nationality, ethnic origins, citizenship, race or religion.
- be treated with due respect and consideration of your dignity by the employer
- receive a remuneration for your work. If your work terms and conditions are similar to those used in an employment contract (see above) you have the right to be paid not less than than 2 600 PLN (if you are working full-time). Otherwise, you have a right to receive an hourly rate of gross renumeration in the amount not less than 17 PLN.
- receive your salary abroad if you have left Poland (at the employer`s expense)
- If you have not been paid for your work by the employer – you have the right to file a lawsuit to the Labour or Civil Court. Legal provisions make it easier for you to win the case against your employer at court. It is assumed that you have worked for the employer longer than 3 months and it is in the employer’s own interest to prove that the case was different (f.i. that you worked for him only a few days).
- be paid back your unpaid remuneration also if you have left Poland and cannot come back to sue the employer. In order to do this, you can authorise a practicing lawyer or find an NGO which will bring an action against the employer so that you can get your money back.
- if your employer violates your rights you may also lodge a complaint against him/her to the National Labour Inspectorate. But keep in mind that they have a legal obligation to inform Border Guard about your lack of a residence permit. There may even come to a joint inspection at your workplace (the labour inspectors will be accompanied by the Border Guard officer). As a result you might face deportation to your country of origin. You can also be arrested and placed in immigration detention center.
I want to go to another country in the European Union
- If you were granted the refugee status or subsidiary protection in Poland, you may travel within the Schengen Area for 90 days out of every 180 days. Remember to always have your passport and residence card with you. You may not take permanent residence in a country other than Poland without an additional permit obtained in that country.
- Unfortunately, if you are still waiting for the relevant bodies to decide whether or not to grant you the refugee status, you may not go to another EU country until your case is closed.
- If you received residence permit in Poland (except for tolerated stay) or have a national visa type “D”, you may travel within the Schengen Area for 90 days out of every 180 days without any additional permit.
- If you go to another EU country (or Norway or Switzerland) before the asylum procedure has been completed or after you receive a refusal to grant you international protection, you may be forced to return to Poland. This increases the risk of you being placed in an immigration detention centre.
- If you are to be sent back to Poland because you went to another EU country illegally, remember to always have your passport or another document confirming your identity with you. If you are ill or suffering from a mental disorder, remember to also have the relevant medical or psychological documentation confirming this with you. When talking with Border Guard officers in Poland, tell them about all your health-related problems and, if you have experienced violence, about having been the victim of violence.
What to do after receiving international protection in Poland
→ Send an application for a Individual Integration Programme (IIP) to District/City Family Support Centre [Powiatowy/Miejski Ośrodek Pomocy Rodzinie (PCPR/MOPR)] relevant to the place where you live (for Warsaw: Warsaw Family Support Centre [Warszawskie Centrum Pomocy Rodzinie], ul. Lipińska 2). You have 60 days from receiving refugee status or subsidiary protection to do so. Do not miss that deadline! If you miss it, you will lose your right to CIP for good.
Such support may include:
- financial support for covering the cost of living and expenses related to learning Polish,
- payment of health insurance contributions,
- the assistance of a social worker, psychological, legal, and family-related assistance
Integration-related assistance is granted for 12 months.
REMEMBER! After receiving international protection in Poland:
- You may legally stay in Poland indefinitely.
- If you return to your country (even if only for a very short time), it is likely that your international protection will be cancelled.
- You may make use of medical and social assistance the same way Polish citizens do.
- After 5 years have passed from the date when you applied for the refugee status, you may apply for permanent residence.
- After 2 years have passed from the date when you were granted the right of permanent residence due to having been a refugee, you may apply for Polish citizenship.
- After 3 years have passed from the date when you were granted the right of permanent residence due to having had subsidiary protection, you may apply for Polish citizenship.