Pending Brexit, on  January 11, 2019, the Polish government made available for consultation the draft act on the rules of residence of British nationals and their family members in the Republic of Poland due to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.

According to the act, upon the UK’s leaving the European Union, British nationals residing in Poland will have 12 months (i.e. until March 31, 2020) to confirm their rights by obtaining a temporary residence permit (zezwolenie na pobyt czasowy) or permanent residence (zezwolenie na pobyt stały). The right to apply will be granted to all British nationals and their family members, even if they are not British citizens: spouses and children (up to 21 and dependent) and parents (dependent), who had been legally residing in Poland until the day of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Applications in this regard will be processed by voivodeship offices, with the right to appeal any negative decisions to the Office for Foreigners. After receiving a positive decision, the person concerned will obtain a residence card with a special “Brexit” annotation, indicating the acquisition of the card in connection with the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Temporary residence cards will be issued for a three-year period, unless conditions for permanent residency are met and a permanent residence permit is issued.

The project provides for maintaining of, among other things, the right to reside and work on the same terms as the Polish citizens in the interim period, as well as after receipt of a “Brexit” residence card.

It is proposed that the act enter into force on March 30, 2019, but its final form may be changed over the course of the legislative process.