BREXIT - stay of UK citizens after the transition period

On 1 February 2020, Great Britain left the European Union. According to the EU withdrawal agreement, the so-called transitional period applies. It means that among others the rules for crossing the border and stay of the UK citizens and their family members in Poland will remain unchanged.

From the beginning of 2021, citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members living in Poland will be able to submit applications for new residence permits. These new documents will confirm the use of rights of the beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement when crossing the borders and during the stay in Poland.

United Kingdom has left the European Union at midnight on 31 January 2020 pursuant to the Withdrawal Agreement. This document contains provisions regulating the rules of stay of British citizens in Poland, establishing the transitional period lasting until 31 December 2020. During this period, the rules of stay and work of British citizens and their family members in Poland remain unchanged.

End of the transition period

After the end of the transition period, from 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom citizens and their family members will, as a general rule, have the right to stay in Poland under the current conditions, if:

– they exercised the right of residence in Poland in accordance with EU law before the end of the transition period (this also applies to the United Kingdom citizens who entered Poland after the Brexit date and before the end of the transition period);

– they still live in Poland.

A declaratory system will be used for issuing residence permits to beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement. The legal stay in Poland will not be conditioned by any obligation to obtain a new status or a residence permit. However, persons eligible for the right of residence on this basis will be entitled to obtain (under the conditions set out in Directive 2004/38/EC) a residence document stating that it has been issued in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.

Taking into account practical considerations, it is recommended that all beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement obtain new residence permits. Holding such permits will facilitate the use of the rights of the beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement when crossing the borders and during stay on the territory of Poland.

New residence documents

Residence permits issued to the United Kingdom citizens and their family members until the end of the transition period will remain valid for the period for which they were issued, but no longer than until 31 December 2021.

Permanent residence permits (previously known as settlement permits) granted to the United Kingdom citizens under the Act on Foreigners also remain valid (indefinitely).

From 1 January 2021, beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement will be able to submit applications for a new residence permit to voivodeship offices (competent for the place of stay)[2]. The documents will contain an annotation referring to the Withdrawal Agreement: “Article 50 TEU, Article 18 para. 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement”.

Proceedings in matters of the right of residence or the right of permanent residence of British citizens and their family members initiated and not completed before the end of the transition period will continue after the end of this period. These proceedings will also result in issuing new documents to the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement. However, to obtain such documents, the applicant will have to provide their fingerprints.

After the end of the transition period, beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement will be able to use the following residence permits entitling them to travel within the Schengen area without a visa:

I. issued before the end of the transition period (these documents will remain valid for the period for which they were issued, but not longer than until 31 December 2021):

– document confirming the right of permanent residence;

– residence card of a family member of an EU citizen;

– permanent residence card of a family member of an EU citizen.

II. issued after the end of the transition period:

– certificate of submission of an application for obtaining a residence permit for the beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, valid for 1 year;

– certificate of registration of residence (in case of a British citizen in the case of having the right of residence; it will not apply to a certificate of registration of residence of a frontier worker);

– document confirming the right of permanent residence (in case of a British citizen with the right of permanent residence);

– residence card (in case of a family member who is not a British citizen and holds a residence permit);

– permanent residence card (in case of a family member who is not a British citizen and holds a permanent residence permit).

 

More information on this topic and on the residence rights of the United Kingdom citizens in Poland related to the Brexit in general can be found on the website of the Office for Foreigners.

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