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Changes in application of provisions on banning foreigner’s from entering the EU

On issuing decisions denying refugee status to foreigners, the Office for Foreigners (OF) automatically banned them from re-entering Poland, despite the fact that there was no legal ground for imposing such a ban. The [Polish] Refugee Council revoked such decisions. Only in September 2013 did the Office inform about its change of practice in this regard. Currently, the HFHR calls on the OF to revoke their negative decisions issued before a change of policy.

The HFHR requested the Head of the Office for Foreigners to effect such a change. The Foundation indicated that under the applicable law there was no legal ground to order the ban on re-entering. On top of that, when hearing the complaints against decisions of the OF the Refugee Council disapproved of them and discontinued the proceedings.

“Hence it led to situations where one body issued a ban on re-entering for a specified time and the higher instance authority revoked the ban”, says Ewa Ostaszewska-Żuk, HFHR’s lawyer. “This gave rise to a range of complications in cases concerning foreigners, who didn’t know until the very end what their situation was”, adds Ms Ostaszewska-Żuk.

It was only in September 2013 that the Office for Foreigners notified us that “the practice of revoking decisions denying entry by the second-instance body points towards uniform interpretation, so it is essential that the first-instance authority should change its previous position”.

“We believe the change of practice is not enough”, says Ms Ostaszewska-Żuk. “We asked the Head of the Office to consider changing decisions ordering a ban on re-entering Poland”, she adds.

The HFHR estimates that since June 2012 nearly 3000 such decisions have been issued.

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