23 February, 2024

Temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens in Poland extended until 30 June 2024

Parliament has passed an amendment to the Ukrainian special law extending temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens in Poland until 30 June 2024. Now all that remains is to await the signature of the President of Poland.

Very fast legislative process

The Parliament (Sejm) voted by an overwhelming majority to amend the Ukrainian special law extending temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens in Poland until 30 June this year. Just as fast as in the Sejm (on 6 February 2024, the bill was referred to the Sejm, and on 9 February the amendment law was passed) was the legislative process in the Senate, which ended with a vote on 15 February. To top it off, the Amendment Bill was passed in the Senate without amendment and without opposition - something that does not happen often. "For" voted 69 senators, three abstained, no one against.

What's next for the special law

We are now only waiting for the President's signature and for the publication of the amendment to the Ukrainian special law - according to its Article 5, it enters into force on the day following the day of publication - so this whole process should be completed before 4 March 2024 .

At the same time, it is already known that a further extension of the protection from 30 June 2024 to 4 March 2025 is planned at a later date. - for compliance with the EU Council Implementing Decision No. (EU) 2023/2409. This is to take place in connection with a comprehensive amendment of the Ukrainian special law. In doing so, it may result in the deprivation of certain entitlements / social benefits of certain categories of persons benefiting from its provisions. As the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration, Prof. Maciej Duszczyk, pointed out during the discussion in the Senate, the whole act should be reviewed and solid consultations should be conducted in order to both properly seal this act and not to leave out anyone in need. Prof. M. Duszczyk pointed out that the entire system should be sealed in such a way that only those who reside in Poland, work in Poland or seek work in our country are entitled to benefits.

Not covered by the special law, but given temporary protection under EU legislation

In addition, there are third-country nationals who are not covered by the Ukrainian special law, but who are granted (in)temporary protection in accordance with the above-mentioned EU Council Implementing Decision. These are primarily citizens of Belarus who held a permanent residence permit in Ukraine before the war. They are not affected by the above-mentioned amendment of the special law. Certificates of temporary protection are issued for them. Their right to stay in Poland (and the certificates issued so far) has been automatically extended until 4 March 2025 by the above mentioned EU Council Executive Decision.

r.pr. dr M. Kiełbasa