The relevant Law is passed by the Ukrainian Parliament on the initiative of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in response to the Law of the Republic of Poland "On assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with an armed conflict on the territory of the state".
The new rules for the stay of Poles in Ukraine will come into effect on September 16, 2022.
The law provides that citizens of the Republic of Poland, their spouses and children, regardless of citizenship, will be able to legally stay on the territory of Ukraine for 18 months, and will also be able to extend the period of stay in case if ones have relevant supporting documents (education at universities, work, etc.). It is important to state that the Law establishes that the entry into Ukraine for the application of these rules must be made from the territory of Poland.
Citizens of Poland will be able, in particular, to get a job without a permit for employment of foreigners, to carry out economic activities, receive free medical care and education under the same conditions as citizens of Ukraine.
The rules for issuing a temporary residence permit, based on work, have also been simplified. Starting from September 16, 2022, Polish citizens do not need to obtain a long-term visa to submit documents for the temporary permit, and also do not need to buy a medical insurance policy.
The ground to apply for temporary residence will not be a permit for employment of foreigners and stateless persons, but a labour contract signed between a Polish citizen and an employer. The temporary permit will be issued for the duration of the employment contract, but not more than 3 years.
We note that these rules apply only to the residence permit, which is issued on the basis of employment. For all other types of residence permits, the rules remain unchanged.
Citizens of the Republic of Poland, who have the qualification of a doctor, nurse (medical brother), midwife (obstetrician) in the territory of the member states of the European Union, will be able to carry out professional activities in the health care institutions of Ukraine within 18 months.
Although the Law itself aims to liberalize the rules of stay for Poles and their families in Ukraine, it contains a number of gaps that complicate its application in practice, which, in particular, is emphasized in the conclusions of the specialized committees and the legal department of the Supreme Soviet.
The procedure of confirming the right to enter and stay in Ukraine for 18 months remains unclear for family members of Polish citizens, who have a second citizenship, as well as the very approach of calculating the 18 months of stay, because according to the general rules, the terms of stay are calculated in a certain period. For example, when the order of stay for citizens of Belarus was simplified, it was determined that they could stay for 180 days within 365 days, not just 180 days. Also, the requirement to enter the territory of Ukraine from the territory of Poland in order to apply the conditions of stay described in the Law is also surprising.
We hope that most of the gaps will be regulated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in by-laws. We will inform you about further changes and the practice of applying the new rules on our website in the "Blog" section.
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