Statement regarding the change of the rules of stay of British citizens and their family members in Poland in connection with Brexit
At present, British citizens, like all European Union citizens, are obliged to register their stay in Poland if it lasts longer than 3 months. Members of their families who are not citizens of the European Union are required, however, to obtain a residence card for family member of a EU citizen. The fulfilment of these duties is possible free of charge at the voivodship office competent for the place of stay. Registration and obtaining these residence cards can be a convenience for UK citizens and their family members who wish to stay in Poland after Brexit.
In the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, a bill governing the residence status of UK citizens and members of their families in case of no-deal Brexit was drawn up. So far, UK citizens benefited on the Polish territory from the free movement of persons provided for in the Treaties. The draft regulations in consideration were prepared in case no exit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is signed by 30 March. The bill is aimed at ensuring to UK citizens a possibility of swift confirmation of the right to free and permanent stay in Poland.
The bill provides for the establishment of a period during which the stay of British citizens and their family members on the Polish territory immediately after the Brexit date will be considered legal. In addition, it also sets out the legal basis for granting them temporary and permanent residence permits depending on whether they hold the right of residence or permanent residence on 29 March 2019. Importantly, the bill provides for a presumption that persons holding, on 29 March 2019, valid documents issued by Polish authorities to European Union citizens and their family members, have one of the abovementioned rights. Therefore, obtaining relevant permits after Brexit based on the draft regulations will be much easier for people having such documents.
A more detailed presentation of legal solutions related to the stay of British citizens and their family members in the case of no-deal Brexit will take place along with the progress of the legislative process.