Amendment to the Act on Foreigners came into force on April 27, 2019. The primary purpose of this amendment is the introduction of new solutions regarding the entry and stay of foreigners in Poland. More specifically, the Act aims to implement into Polish law the Directive (EU) 2016/801 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing. It also provides for solutions aimed
at eliminating the so-called “stay tourism”.
The purpose of the directive 2016/801/EU is to contribute to the flow to the European Union of highly qualified third-country nationals, in particular students and researchers, as well as promoting the Union as an attractive place to research and innovation, and increasing opportunities in the global competition for talent, improve the EU’s competitiveness and growth indicators, which will be implemented by a number
of statutory legal solutions such as the ability to use student mobility for up to 360 days
by foreigners or short-term mobility for researchers.
One of the key changes is the requirement of approval of the host entity. The condition for issuing a national visa or granting a temporary residence permit shall be approval of the given host unit, for example the unit running the studies. However, the approval requirement will not apply to public academic institutions. This solution is intended to prevent a situation in which Polish educational units facilitate the entry of so-called fictional students, i.e. foreigners who enter the country under the pretext of studies, but do not continue their education.
In addition, the conditions for issuing national visas for the educational purposes and granting temporary residence permits for the above mentioned purposes have been unified, as well as the conditions for withdrawal of these visas and permits, in accordance with the requirements of the implemented directive. Moreover, the Act provides for the possibility of performing work on the territory of the Republic of Poland by scientists and students or PhD students with a national visa or residence card issued by Polish authorities.
The Act also provides for a new ground for refusal to initiate proceedings for granting temporary residence and work permits and temporary residence permits for the purpose of performing work in a highly demanding profession, related to the purpose originally declared by the foreigner to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland. The refusal to initiate the above-mentioned proceedings will concern foreigners staying on the territory of Poland on the basis of a Schengen visa or a national visa issued by the Polish authorities for tourism purposes or for visits to family or friends or staying on this territory on the basis of a visa issued by another Schengen state for tourist purposes or for visiting friends or family.