Migration and refugee law - a guide for public institutions

In the discussion about the admission of refugees to Poland, the most negative voices are those facing the solidarity migration policy. Regardless, foreigners are legally resident in Poland, and public institutions are obliged to comply with the constitutional obligation to treat them equally and support their rights.

Graffiti "Migracja to nie zbrodnia"

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, together with the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw, is implementing a training project targeted at people working in state bodies who have contact with foreigners (press release in Rzeczpospolita). Due to the high interest and demand of these offices, it was necessary to continue similar activities to those initiated by the HFHR in 2015.

The training consists of a presentation of comprehensive information on the procedures for obtaining formal consent to reside in Poland. Officers, who often do not have specialist knowledge and are not aware of constant changes in this matter, will learn the updated rules for admitting migrants and refugees and issuing decisions on the legalization of stay and employment. Thanks to the training, they will be able to explain to foreigners how to register a business, benefit from social assistance, and include their children in the education system. The program is based on the provisions of Polish refugee and migration law and presents:

  • definitions related to migration,
  • rules for entry into Poland,
  • provisions regarding methods of legalization of stay,
  • proceedings in cases for granting international protection and in the absence of an appropriate permit,
  • certificates issued to foreigners.

The team of experts from the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has already conducted several seminars, such as for the City Hall of Warsaw and for the Poviat Police Headquarters in Mońki. By the end of the year, there will be three more training courses for the Police Training Center in Legionowo. During these courses, participants will positively assess the substantive scope, willingly solve the cases presented by trainers and bring interesting practical issues arising from their experience of everyday work with migrants.

As part of the project, participants will look at the textbook “Foreigners in Poland. Handbook for public officials”(download), which clearly outlines the often difficult and complicated processes related to the stay of people of other nationalities in Poland. It also constitutes a compendium which presents in an orderly manner the key provisions and principles of granting the right to stay in Poland. Training participants believe that the publication will be useful in their work, especially in direct service and in verifying queries and informing foreigners about their rights.