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Brexit: Poland passes law on immigration and social security arrangements in the event UK leaves EU without a deal

Executive summary

The President has signed an Act of Parliament on “Regulating Several Matters in Case of The United Kingdom leaving European Union without a deal”. This Act deals with the following issues; legalizing the stay of UK nationals and their third country family members, social security, healthcare coverage and the rights to social aids and benefits.

The Act will take effect from the date of any “no deal” UK departure from the EU, and provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, after which the measures cease to apply.

Key provisions

Immigration

Generally, UK nationals will be treated as third country nationals and will therefore have to obtain work and residence permits in Poland. UK individuals who can prove they had a right to stay in Poland before the date of the UK’s departure will be able to apply for a special temporary five year residence permit (if they had stayed in Poland for less than five years) or a permanent residence permit (if they had stayed for more than five years in Poland).

The Brexit residence permit application filing deadline is 31 December 2020. All UK nationals who comply with the requirements will have a right to work in Poland during the residence permit processing period and after such a residence permit is issued.

Any business activity in Poland may continue under the condition it had been run and registered according to the Polish law requirements before Brexit. All third country nationals assigned by UK companies to Poland, will be able to continue to work in Poland without a work permit for up to three months after UK’s departure. After three months, work permits will be required for such individuals to continue working in Poland.

Social security

In general, from the date of departure, the United Kingdom will be treated as a third country with regard to social security benefits and other related welfares and support, including health insurance.

The Act sets out the rules for crediting social security insurance periods covered by British legislation for the purpose of determining the rights to Polish pension entitlement. Under the law, where an individual was covered by the EU social security regulations (Regulations 883/2004, 987/2009 and 1408/71) prior to the date of Brexit, they will continue to be covered by these after the Brexit under certain conditions (where the day before Brexit the individual had been subject to the UK social security system or had lived in the UK and continues to live there).

Family members of EU / Polish citizens who are UK nationals will enjoy the same rights as Polish citizens with regard to old age benefits, incapacity for work and survivors' pensions.

Next steps

UK nationals who wish to remain in Poland should ensure that they keep the proof of their right of stay in Poland before the UK’s departure (whenever this is), such as a certificate of registration of a EU citizen in Poland. They will also need to be prepared to apply for a residence permit before the end
of the transition period.

UK employers with third country nationals assigned to Poland will need to ensure that appropriate work permits are obtained, if they are to continue working in Poland more than three months after any no deal departure.

EYG no. 05795-193Gbl

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