Persons who are considered refugees can obtain asylum in Poland. The main institution which is in charge of the asylum-seeking procedure is the Office for Foreigners which has, amongst others, this attribution. The Office for Foreigners can issue the protection status to foreign refugees, withdraw this status in certain situations and provide social care for those in need of asylum in Poland.
Persons who are seeking asylum in this country can address our immigration lawyer in Poland for legal advice on the steps they should complete with the local authorities. Our lawyer can present the legislation regulating this immigration branch and can also present the rights a refugee has when moving to Poland.
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What is the process of obtaining asylum in Poland?
The first aspect asylum seekers should know is that they must file an application which is, in practice, submitted to the Border Guard of Poland. The Border Guard will then send the respective application to the Office for Foreigners, which will process the document. Provided that a refugee is held in detention, it must be noted that the Poland migration law stipulates that the person has the right to apply for asylum from detention as well.
The legislation provides the option of applying for asylum in Poland by post. It is also worth knowing that the Border Guard cannot refuse any application made by a refugee; this power is given only for the representatives of the Office for Foreigners. Thus, all the border applications will be processed. Please be aware that once the request for obtaining asylum in Poland is made, the Border Guard is entitled to take the applicant’s travel document, which will be submitted along with the application to the Office for Foreigners.
In the meantime, the refugee will receive a temporary identity document, which is valid on Polish territory for a period of 90 days. It is also necessary to know that the process of obtaining asylum in Poland can take approximately 6 months, and it can increase up to 15 months in complicated legal cases.
Refugees interested in moving to Poland for obtaining asylum should know that they will be asked to participate in an interview, in which a translator will be made available, as the foreigner has the right of participating in an interview held in his or her native language.
Delays in interviews can appear in practice based on the native language of the foreigners and the availability of a suitable interpreter of the respective language. We also mention that such interviews will be recorded through audio or video devices, as per the Poland migration regulations.
What are the rights of asylum seekers in Poland?
An asylum seeker is a refugee who benefits from a set of rights that are prescribed by the Geneva Convention of 1951. The main institution which handles the rights of refugees as per the regulations of the Geneva Convention is the United Nations Refugee Agency.
According to the Poland migration law, a refugee is entitled to live freely on the Polish territory, but he or she can also use the centers for persons seeking protection, which are made available by the local authorities. A refugee is also entitled to work in this country, and this can be done while the application for asylum in Poland is still pending. You can find out more details on other rights refugees are entitled to from our immigration lawyer in Poland.
What is the data on asylum seekers in Poland?
Currently, there are approximately 5,500 refugees living in Poland. Most of them come from the former USSR countries. Ukrainians are also an important ethnic group, but persons from Georgia, Syria, India, Algeria, and others have also applied for asylum in Poland. With regards to the issuance of the right of being a refugee in Poland, the following are available:
• in 2019, the average time for the issuance of the asylum in Poland was of 152 days;
• the shortest processing of an application lasted 1 day, while the longest took 2,023 days;
• at the end of 2019, the Office for Foreigners had a total of 3,364 pending cases;
• the applications of Syrians moving to Poland as refugees are generally processed in a shorter period of time, of 108 days;
• provided that the refugees obtained a negative answer from the Office for Foreigners, they are entitled to an appeal made in a period of 14 days since the issuance of the decision.
Persons who are seeking asylum here are invited to contact our immigration lawyer in Poland for professional assistance on any legal matter related to asylum and the rights of refugees. Our lawyer can present the rights and obligations refugees have, as per the international conventions signed by Poland.