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Which ministry has overall responsibility?

Ministry of the Interior and Administration

International Affairs and Migration Department is a leading body coordinating the activities related to migration policy in Poland.

The Department for Citizenship and Repatriation is responsible for dealing with all matters concerning the acquisition of the Polish citizenship and the repatriation of foreign citizens of Polish origin, who wish to relocate permanently to the Polish Republic.

Moreover, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration is responsible for carrying out the policy to combat trafficking of human beings (Anti-trafficking website).

Are there other ministries involved?

Ministry of Family and Social Policy

The Ministry of Family and Social Policy is responsible for structuring the general concept and strategy of employment, integration and social policy as well as for taking care of the appeal procedures on work permits. The Ministry prepares the legal framework governing the employment of third-country nationals and their access to the Polish labour market.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs participates in the implementation of visa policy. It also performs tasks related to the Polish diaspora and development assistance.

Diplomatic missions and consular posts abroad
Missions abroad issue visas to non-EU citizens.

Ministry of Education and Science

The Ministry of Education and Science is in charge of general education, vocational education and skills as well as higher education and science. It is responsible for coordinating and implementing national school educational policies, establishing national core curricula for preschool, general and vocational education, and outline timetables for public schools, laying down arrangements concerning admissions to public nursery schools and schools, organisational arrangements for public nursery schools and schools, and for the school year, and for pupil/student assessment and promotion and providing governmental funding for schools managed by local authorities. The Ministry is also responsible for matters relating to the development of research, the training of students and doctoral students, and the functioning of higher education institutions (HEIs). It also recognises third-country nationals’ qualifications for both academic and professional purposes.

Ministry of Economic Development and Technology

The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology promotes business by supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. It develops and implements economic policy and defines the business environment for third-country nationals intending to carry out business activity in Poland. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology is responsible for keeping the register of representative offices of third-country entrepreneurs and Central Registration and Information on Business (CEIDG), which is a register of entrepreneurs who are sole traders or partners in a civil-law partnership.

Are there decentralised entities?

The Voivode

The Voivode is an authority representing the government in a specific region (1 of 16).

The Voivodes processes work permits and residence permits applications submitted by third-country nationals (in first instance). It also supervises social assistance centres.

Units of social assistance at the local and regional level

Social assistance centres and powiat centres for family support are responsible for payment of cash benefits as well as non-financial assistance. Regional social policy centres focus on cooperation with providers and organisers of social assistance (for example NGOs).

Regional and local labour offices

While regional labour offices are inter alia tasked with creating a regional labour market policy, local labour offices provide various support to unemployed people (including certain categories of third-country nationals): registration of unemployed people, payment of unemployment benefits, job placement, career counselling, guidance, vocational information, organisation of trainings, internships, short-term employment and job fairs, and play an important role at an early stage of the procedure for employing a third-country national (consider/recognise applications for legalisation of third-country national’s work).

Head of the Regional Education Authorities (REA) (a government administration unit)

They are responsible for implementing national school education policy and exercising pedagogical supervision over nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions, incl. evaluation as part of external quality assurance.

What are the implementing agencies?

Head of the Office for Foreigners

The Office for Foreigners, under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, is responsible for granting international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) and asylum (in first instance) and taking care of the appeals for decisions related to residence permits issued by the Voivodes.

The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA)

The Agency coordinates, organises and conducts the recruitment of third-country nationals for government scholarships and internships in Poland. It also provides support to the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a foreign language.

Border Guard

The Border Guard is responsible for border controls and authorisations to enter (issuing appropriate decisions i.e.: to refuse entry to the territory of Poland), receiving applications for refugee status, issuing and enforcing return decisions from the territory of Poland, conducting controls of the legality of third-country nationals’ stay and employment.

Police

The Police is responsible for controlling the legality of third-country nationals’ stay, rendering decisions on the obligation to leave the territory of Poland as well as participating in the removal procedure.

The State Labour Inspection

This authority conducts, among others, inspections of the legality of employment and work performed by third-country nationals. The State Labour Inspection also inspects the rules of service provision by employment agencies, including compliance with the duty to obtain an entry in the relevant register (certification). The State Labour Inspection’s activities in the above scope also cover third-country nationals. However, it should be underlined that inspection powers in respect of temporary employment agencies depend on the type of contract concluded with the person performing temporary work.

Are there general immigration policy papers?

Poland's immigration policy is based on the document "National Security Strategy of the Republic of Poland 2020".

The main strategic document “Migration policy of Poland – the current state of play and the further actions” was cancelled in October 2016. At the moment, Poland is preparing the new strategic document about migration policy. Migration issues are also developed in the following documents:

Are there impact assessments, studies and reports available?

The Polish National Contact Point (PL NCP) works under the Office for Foreigners. The activities carried out by the PL NCP for the European Migration Network result in the preparation of many relevant reports and studies in the field of immigration and integration (i.e. EMN Annual Reports on migration and asylum). These are available on the following websites: here and here.

"Sytuacja demograficzna Polski. Raport 2020-21" [Demographic situation of Poland. 2020-2021 Report], Government Population Council.

"Recent trends in international migration in Poland - the 2012 SOPEMI Report", Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw.

"Polish immigration policy – opportunities and challenges for the labour market", Institute of Social Policy at the University of Warsaw’s Journalism and Political Science Faculty (2010).

"Poland - Return and regularisation procedures as possible responses to the phenomenon of irregular migration"; [in:] "Policies on irregular migrants - Volume III: France, Portugal and Poland", Council of Europe Publishing (2010).

"Relative openness. Polish visa policy towards Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine", Stefan Batory Foundation(2009).

"Transformacja nieoczywista. Polska jako kraj imigracji" [Unobvious transformation. Poland as a country of immigration], Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (2010).

"Migration and the Economic Crisis: Implications for Policy in the European Union", IOM Thematic Study (2010).

"Praca przymusowa cudzoziemców w Polsce" [Forced labour of foreigners in Poland], Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (2014).

"Transformacje. Przewodnik po zmianach społeczno-ekonomicznych w Polsce” [Transformations. Guide to the social-economic changes]. Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (2016).

"Migrants as Agents of Change" Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (2016).

"Raport o stanie badań nad migracjami w Polsce po 1989 roku", Committee on Migration Research of Polish Academy of Science (2018).

Nowe obszary docelowe w migracji z Ukrainy do Polski (New target areas for migration from Ukraine to Poland) Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (2019).

Demographic Yearbook of Poland 2022, Statistics Poland.

Sytuacja demograficzna Polski do roku 2019. Migracje zagraniczne ludności w latach 2000-2019 (Demographic situation in Poland up to 2019. International migration of population in 2000–2019), Statistics Poland.

"Imigranci z Ukrainy w Polsce w aglomeracji wrocławskiej w czasie pandemii COVID-19" (Immigrants from Ukraine in Poland in the Wrocław agglomeration during the COVID-19 pandemic), Fundacja Ośrodek Badań nad Migracjami (2021).

"Polskie organizacje imigranckie. W poszukiwaniu nowego modelu" (Polish Immigrant Organisations in Europe. In Search of a New Model), Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (2021).

Additional publications:

What is the key legislation?

Code of Administrative Procedure, 14 June 1960, consolidated version in Journal of Laws of 2023, item 775 (Code of Admin. Procedure).

Foreigners Act, 12 December 2013, consolidated version in Journal of Laws of 2023, item 519 (Act on Foreigners).

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on visas for foreigners, 22 March 2022, in Journal of Laws of 2020, item 827 (Regulation on visas for foreigners).

Social Assistance Act, 12 March 2004, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2023, item 901 (Act on Social Assistance).

Promotion of Employment and Labour Market Institutions Act, 20 April 2004, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2023, item 735, (Act on promotion of Employment and Labour Market institutions).

Regulation of the Minister of Family and Social Policy on work permits and statements on entrusting work to a third-country national, 18 July 2022, in Journal of Laws of 2022, item 1558 (Regulation on Work Permit).

Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy on performance of work by third-country nationals without the necessity of obtaining a work permit, 21 April 2015, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2021, item 2291 (Regulation on foreigners performing work without the necessity of work permit).

Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy on special cases in which work permit is issued to third-country nationals regardless of detailed conditions of issuing work permit, 29 January 2009, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2019, item 154.

Regulation of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy on the amount of handling fee charged when submitting an application to issue a work permit or seasonal work permit, 8 December 2017, in Journal of Laws of 2017, item 2350, with changes: Journal of Law of 2022, item 1346.

Population Register Act, 24 September 2010, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2010, no 217 item 1427 (Act on Population Register).

Polish Citizenship Act, 2 April 2009, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2022, item 465 (Act on Polish citizenship).

Card of the Pole Act, 7 September 2007, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2023 item 192.

Results of employing illegally staying third-country nationals in the Republic of Poland Act, 15 June 2012, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1745, (Act on results of employing non-EU nationals illegally staying in the Republic of Poland).

Act on the Principles of Participation of Foreign Entrepreneurs and Other Foreign Persons in Economic Circulation in the Territory of the Republic of Poland, 6 March 2018, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws 2022, item 470.

Administrative Court Proceedings Act, 30 August 2002, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws 2023, item 259 (Act on Admin. Court Proceedings).

Education Act, 14 December 2016, consolidated version in Journal of Law 2023, item 900.

System of Education Act, 7 September 1991, consolidated version, in Journal of Law 2022, item 2230 (Act on System of Education).

Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 23 August 2017 on the education of persons who are not Polish citizens and persons who are Polish citizens who have received education in schools operating in the educational systems of other countries (Journal of Law 2020, item 1283).

Higher Education and Science Act, 20 July 2018, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2023, item 742, (Act on Higher Education).

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior on fees charged in the Republic of Poland to third-country nationals for the issue and exchange of documents which may be issued to third-country nationals and on the procedure for paying them, 25 April 2014, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws 2014, item 563.

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on the amount of financial means that a third-country national entering the territory of the Republic of Poland should possess, and documents which may confirm the possession of the required amount, as well as the purpose and duration of the planned stay, 23 February 2015, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2017, item 2122 (Regulation on the amount of financial means).

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on the amount of financial means that a third-country national taking up or undergoing studies on the territory of the Republic of Poland should possess, 6 February 2018, consolidated version, in Journal of Laws of 2018, item 337.

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on the amount of financial means that a third-country national conducting on the territory of the Republic of Poland scientific research or development works or benefitting from long-term researcher’s mobility on the territory of the Republic of Poland should possess, 16 April 2019, in Journal of Laws of 2019, item 771.

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on the amount of financial means that a third-country national carrying out a traineeship on the territory of the Republic of Poland should possess, 17 April 2019, in Journal of Laws of 2019, item 777.

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on the amount of financial means that a third-country national providing on the territory of the Republic of Poland services as a volunteer should possess, 17 April 2019, in Journal of Laws of 2019, item 748.

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration on the application for a temporary residence permit for a third-country national, 17 April 2019, in Journal of Laws of 2019, item 779.

Access Polish legislation online

What are the national scientific research and

Statistics Poland International Affairs and Migration Department, Ministry of the Interior and Administration

statistical offices on immigration?

Statistical data on immigration are also available on the website of the: