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Senate affirms measures for easier legalisation of foreigner stay

In the course of legislative works on the new Foreigners Act the Senate adopted a provision enabling a foreigner with a family in Poland to legalise his or her stay. Initially, the provision was turned down by two Senate Committees (including the Senate Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Petitions Committee). However, the Senate rejected the Committees’ amendment during its plenary session.

“The EU law obliges the State to enable the legalisation of stay for an EU citizen’s family members other than a spouse. The European Commission has observed deficiencies in this respect and consequently has launched infringement proceedings against Poland”, says Ewa Ostaszewska-Żuk, HFHR’s lawyer.

According to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the Association for Legal Intervention a situation where a foreigner with a family in Poland has no possibility of legalising his or her stay would be a violation of Poland’s obligations under the international and EU law.

Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights has reiterated on many occasions that a family life can exist not only between spouses and between parents and their children but also covers relationships between de facto partners and distant relatives.

On 5 December 2013 the Foreigners Act was approved by the Senate and subsequently sent to the Sejm.

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