Poland – Government publishes no-deal Brexit plan
The Polish government has published a draft bill outlining the rights of United Kingdom nationals already living in Poland before March 29, 2019 to be applied if the U.K. withdraws from the European Union without an agreement. If Brexit is delayed, the draft bill would only come into effect as of the U.K.’s date of exit from the EU and only in a no-deal Brexit scenario. The bill is still in the draft stage and needs to be approved by the government at the voting stage.
Key provisions in the bill:
- All U.K. nationals who are residing in Poland legally—i.e., have completed the required registration application and have received a registration certificate—would continue to hold the right to work and the right to conduct economic activities in Poland after March 29, 2019.
- A one-year transition period would begin on March 30 and last until March 31, 2020. During this time, all U.K. nationals who hold a certificate of registration as an EU national would be required to complete an application for a temporary residence permit, which would be valid for three years, as a “U.K. national after Brexit.” The certificate of registration as an EU national is a mandatory document for these applications and if not included, the application would be rejected.
- In the case of U.K. nationals currently living in Poland who have never officially registered their stay as an EU citizen, they would need to pursue it prior to Brexit in order to retain their right to legal residence and work in Poland and to use the transition period for the purpose of submitting the relevant applications.
- Those U.K. nationals who have obtained permanent residence status following a five-year period of continuous legal residence in Poland as an EU national would be required to submit an application for permanent residence as third-country nationals. The application would need to be submitted during the transition period or the permanent residence status would be lost.
- Any non-EU/non-EEA family member visas issued to dependents of U.K. nationals and valid beyond March 30, 2019 under the EU/EEA national dependant family member route would remain valid
The draft bill makes it imperative that all U.K. nationals residing in Poland complete an EU national registration and obtain a certificate of registration before March 29; otherwise, they will forfeit their ability to apply for residency under the Brexit route and immediately be considered third-country nationals as of Brexit day. Although the registration procedures are already mandatory, many U.K. nationals may be unaware of them or have not completed them because as EU nationals they currently enjoy free movement to work and reside in Poland.