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The Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine already in force


by Agnieszka Boncławek, Katarzyna Brzozowska, Adrian Cop, Małgorzata Kolasa-Dorosz, Magda Kowalczyk, Michał Majnusz, Katarzyna Małaniuk, Tomasz Pleśniak, Joanna Wcisło-Jaśkowska


14 March 2022





The Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in connection with an armed conflict in that state was published in the Journal of Laws and entered into force on 12 March 2022 (the Special Act, Journal of Laws of 2022, item 583). The document introduces, among other things, special solutions for the regularisation and employment of Ukrainian citizens.


Who is covered by the act

The Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in connection with an armed conflict in that state currently applies to four groups of people:

  1. Ukrainian citizens who arrived:
    - in Poland legally, directly from Ukraine;
    - between 24 February 2022 and the date to be specified under separate regulations;
    - in connection with hostilities conducted in Ukraine;
    - who declare their intention to stay in Poland.
  2. Spouses of Ukrainian citizens who do not hold the Ukrainian citizenship but meet the conditions specified in item 1.
  3. Ukrainian citizens who:
    - hold a Pole’s Card;
    - have left Ukraine together with their closest family because of hostilities conducted there;
    - arrived in Poland legally between 24 February 2022 and the date to be specified under separate regulations;
    - declare their intention to stay in Poland.
    4. Closest family members of the Ukrainian citizens referred to in item 3, to whom the act applies as appropriate.


The act does not apply to Ukrainian citizens who hold: a permanent residence permit, a temporary residence permit, a long-term EU residence permit, the refugee status, the right to subsidiary protection, or a permit for tolerated stay.


Nor does it apply to Ukrainian citizens who:

  • whether personally or through third parties, have applied for international protection in Poland;
  • have declared the intention to apply for international protection in Poland;
  • or to whom such declared intention refers, unless the application or declaration has been withdrawn.


Legal residence registration deadline

According to the act, Ukrainian citizens who arrived legally in Poland on 24 February 2022 or after this date will be allowed to stay legally in Poland for 18 months counted from 24 February 2022.
The provisions of the act permitting Ukrainian citizens to stay legally in Poland do not apply to Ukrainian citizens who stay legally in Poland based on another legal basis.

If the crossing of the border by a Ukrainian citizen was not registered by the head of a Border Guard outpost during a border inspection, the Ukrainian citizen should apply for a PESEL number within 60 days of arriving in Poland. In such a case, the Head of Border Guard will enter his or her residence in Poland in a register set up under the act. Ukrainian citizens will be allowed to submit the application personally in any municipality in Poland.

The Head of Border Guard must keep the register of Ukrainian citizens who have arrived in Poland directly from Ukraine in connection with hostilities conducted in that state and who have applied for a PESEL number under the act. The register will include without limitation data such as the date of crossing the Polish border, and date of filing the application for a PESEL number being the basis for the registration. The register will also include information about the end date of stay in Poland considered legal based on the act.


Obtaining a PESEL number

The act says that Ukrainian citizens (whose stay in Poland is considered legal based on the act) may apply for a PESEL number personally in the office of any municipal authority in Poland (the application must be in paper form, must be legibly signed by the applicant, and must be filled in either by the applicant or by an authority officer based on the details provided by the applicant). The PESEL number will be useful in filing applications, such as applications for benefits.

Applications on behalf of persons with no or with limited legal capacity are filed by a parent, guardian, curator, temporary guardian or a person who has actual custody of the child.


The application includes basic personal and other data, such as:

  • the date of arrival in Poland;
  • the statement on arriving in Poland directly from Ukraine in connection with hostilities conducted in that state;
  • the statement of being the spouse of the above-mentioned Ukrainian citizen;
  • the statement that the data included in the application are true, and the following clause: “I am aware of the criminal liability for making false statements.”


The application may include additional details (email address, mobile phone number) and, e.g., consent to entering data in the contact data register, or confirmation of trusted profile.

A photograph meeting specific requirements must be attached to the application. The person to whom the application refers will have his/her fingerprints taken when filing the application.

The municipal authority confirms the applicant’s identity based on his/her travel document, the Pole’s Card, or another document with a photograph enabling identification, and for persons aged below 18 – also based on a birth certificate, and enters the data in the PESEL register. The applicant’s identity can also be confirmed based on an invalidated document, if such a document allows the applicant’s identification.

The relevant application templates should be prepared and made available in Polish and in Ukrainian.



Employment facilitation

The act simplifies the employment of Ukrainian citizens. Every Ukrainian citizen staying legally in Poland (this refers to both the Ukrainian citizens who crossed the Polish border after 24 February 2022 and other Ukrainian citizens staying legally in Poland) may be employed in Poland.

A Polish entity may employ Ukrainian citizens for a period not longer than the period of their legal stay in Poland.

The only formality that the Polish entity must fulfil is to notify the district labour office competent for its registered office. The Polish entity may submit such a notification to the labour office after employing an Ukrainian citizen, but no later than 14 days of the employment start date. Notifications should be sent electronically, via www.praca.gov.pl.


The notification must include the following details:

  • details of the Polish entity (name, address, phone number or email address, tax identification number (NIP), statistical number (REGON) or personal identification number (PESEL); business activity according to the Polish Classification of Activities (PKD), and a description of the activity involving the employment of the Ukrainian citizen, and if the Ukrainian citizen is employed by a temporary employment agency – also the agency's registration number);
  • personal data of the Ukrainian citizen (first and last name, date of birth, sex, citizenship, type, number and series of the travel document or another identity document and the state in which the document was issued, and the Polish personal identification number (PESEL) – if the Ukrainian citizen holds a PESEL number);
  • type of contract concluded with the Ukrainian citizen, position / job, place of work.

The act also envisages the option to cap the number of Ukrainian citizens that an entity may employ. The Minister of Labour may set in a regulation the maximum number of Ukrainian citizens that an entity may employ – such a number is to be determined in proportion to the entity's total headcount.

Education and healthcare services


The act gives Ukrainian citizens staying legally in Poland access to medical care services provided in Poland, including health care services and access to prescription drugs. Health care does not include health resort treatment and rehabilitation.


The Special Act introduces various facilitations for students.


I Nurseries and schools

To facilitate school and early education and to increase the number of places for Ukrainian children, the act enables the opening of “other teaching, educational and child-care facilities” which will be organisationally subordinate to schools or kindergartens. The act also facilitates the setting up of new nurseries and kindergartens.

Additionally, the act allows teaching in preparatory units where children will learn Polish before they start attending public schools.



II Universities

Polish or Ukrainian citizens who studied at a university in Ukraine and do not hold any documents confirming the period of their study and the obtained grades can have their knowledge confirmed through an examination.
Polish citizens who studied at Ukrainian universities as of 24 February 2022 and have been admitted to a Polish university will pay the same tuition fees as those they paid for their Ukrainian studies.

The act also makes it easier for persons who worked as university teachers in Ukraine to take up work according to their profession. According to the act, it will be easier to employ teacher assistants; such persons can be non-Polish citizens speaking Polish.

Financial support

Ukrainian citizens staying in Poland legally based on Article 2(1) of the Special Act and holding the PESEL number have the right to apply for:

  • financial support in the form of a one-time cash benefit in PLN 300 per person for maintenance, especially for covering the costs of food, clothes, shoes, personal care products, and housing fees;
  • family allowances referred to in the Family Allowances Act of 28 November 2003;
    - at the same time, when determining the entitlement to family allowances, which are income dependent, the family income per person is calculated without taking into account the family members who, according to the statement of the applicant, are not staying in Poland;
  • child-care allowances referred to in the Act of 11 February 2016 on the State Support in Raising Children, if they are living together with children in Poland (the so-called 500 plus allowance);
  • good-start allowance, if they are living together with children in Poland (PLN 300);
  • family care capital referred to in the Family Care Capital Act of 17 November 2021 (Journal of Laws, item 2270), if they are living together with children in Poland (new allowances for parents of children aged 12 to 35 months – a total of PLN 12 thousand for the second and every subsequent child);
  • a subsidy reducing the fees that parents pay for the nursery or kids’ club attended by their child or for the daily child carer, as referred to in Article 64c(1) of the Act on Taking Care of Children up to Three Years of Age of 4 February 2011;
  • cash and non-cash benefits to be granted according to the rules and procedure set in the Social Welfare Act of 12 March 2004, if they submit a statement on their personal, family, income and financial situation.


The following will be relevant at the application stage:

  •  entry in the register of Ukrainian citizens kept by the Head of Border Guard (according to Article 3(3) of the Special Act);
  • PESEL number;
  • setting up the trusted profile;
  • bank account.

Cash benefits for entities providing lodging and accommodation

According to the act, persons providing lodging and accommodation to Ukrainian citizens will be allowed to apply for cash compensation in this respect. Cash benefits will be granted based on agreements with municipalities, which will be concluded for maximum 60 days. The benefit payment period may be extended in special and justified circumstances.

As of writing this article, the implementing regulations setting the final amount of cash benefits or the detailed conditions of their granting were not yet known. It follows from the government’s declarations that the benefits will amount to PLN 40 per day per person (about PLN 1,200 per month).


Opening of certain professions

In addition, the act provides for significant facilitations for Ukrainian citizens who obtained appropriate medical qualifications (among others, physicians, nurses, midwives) outside the European Union Member States. They may practise their profession in healthcare units if they report this to a competent minister and need not obtain any additional professional qualifications for this purpose.

The act also makes it easier for foreigners to take up work as teacher assistants if their Polish skills are sufficient to help students who do not speak Polish to participate in classes held in Polish schools.


The provisions apply retrospectively since 24 February 2022

The act was published in the Journal of Law of Laws on 12 March 2022 and came into force on the date of its promulgation, but the provisions on war refugees apply retrospectively, i.e. since 24 February 2022, when Russia started its aggression in Ukraine.

This will enable regulating the stay of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and their families who arrived in Poland before the act was published.


If you have any questions about assistance to Ukrainian citizens, please contact our experts.


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Katarzyna Małaniuk

Attorney at law (Poland)

Associate Partner

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