Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine
According to Art. 2 clause 1 of the Law of the Republic of Poland “On providing assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of this state”:
- The stay of all citizens of Ukraine who arrived legally on the territory of the Republic of Poland in connection with military operations in Ukraine and declared their intention to stay in Poland is considered legal for 18 months, starting from February 24, 2022.
- Citizens of Ukraine, who at any time while crossing the border announced their departure from Ukraine in connection with the purpose of obtaining protection in Poland, can freely leave Poland and return to Poland during this period for 18 months from February 24 of this year will be legal.
- Citizens of Ukraine entering Poland must inform the border control about the purpose of their trip every time. Thus, having declared the purpose of entering Poland – the need to obtain protection in connection with military operations in Ukraine, citizens of Ukraine have the opportunity to acquire the right to legal stay, which is mentioned above.
- A citizen of Ukraine loses the right to legal stay in Poland for 18 months, starting from February 24 of 2022, in the case of a one-time departure from the territory of Poland for a period of more than one month, and not when the sum of short departures exceeds this period.
- A citizen of Ukraine whose entry into the territory of the Republic of Poland from the territory of Ukraine is not related to military operations, but has the character of regular border traffic, is subject to border control based on the principles defined in the Schengen Borders Code (the presence of a biometric passport and compliance with the corridor of stay until 90 days within 180 days).
- A citizen of Ukraine who has fully used the allowed period of stay may apply to enter Poland in connection with military operations on the territory of Ukraine, which will require additional examination of their application based on Article 32 of the Law on Foreigners and, in case of positive consideration, they may be allowed to enter the territory of Poland.
Refugee status/ asylum seeker status/ temporary protection status
- The legal status of the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine, and come to Poland is temporary protection status
- Temporary Protection Status is granted on arrival at the Border Control. In the case of proceedings for temporary residence permits (and proceedings for changes in temporary residence and work permits), the term for the voivode to resolve the case will be 60 days after submission of the application in person, or subsequent personal appearance of the foreigner in the voivodship administration (except in cases when the foreigner is not obliged to appear in person).
Learn more about your stay in Poland:
Government counselling is organised at reception points: At the reception point, persons can receive more detailed information about their stay in Poland, be provided with temporary accommodation in Poland, receive a hot meal, drink, basic medical assistance, and a place to rest.
Migration counselling websites:
- Refugees Welcome Polska (PL / EN / RU)
- Fundacja Współpracy Polsko-Ukraińskiej (EN / PL / UK / RU)
- Caritas Polska (PL)
- Polski Czerwony Krzyż (PL)
- Fundacja Ocalenie (EN / PL)
- UA SOS (EN / UK / PL / RU)
- Peer support for youth: Druha we mnie masz (EN / UK / PL)
- Fundacja Współpracy Polsko-Ukraińskiej (EN / PL / UK / RU) Stefana Batorego Street, 2/28, 31-135 Kraków, phone. +48 12 312 0646 email@example.com,
- Help Center for Foreigners in Warsaw, Krucza 6/14a, 00-537 Warszawa, Fax: +48 22 828 50 02, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help Center for Foreigners in Łomża, Sadowa 8, 18-400 Łomża, E-mail: email@example.com
- Łódź Multicultural Center, Narutowicza street 8/10, 90-135 Łódź, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dorohusk, Pałac Suchodolskich, Gminny Ośrodek Kultury i Turystyki, ul. Parkowa 5
- Dołhobyczów, Przygraniczne Centrum Kultury i Rekreacji, ul. Spółdzielcza 8
- Horodło, Zespół Szkół w Horodle, ul. Piłsudskiego 58
- Lubycza Królewska, Szkoła Podstawowa w Lubyczy Królewskiej, ul. Jana III Sobieskiego 5
- Korczowa, Świetlica, Korczowa 155
- Medyka, Hala sportowa, Medyka 285
- Krowica Sama, Szkoła Podstawowa, Krowica Sama 183
- Ustrzyki Dolne, była Szkoła Podstawowa w Łodynie, Łodyna 41
Access to healthcare services
The First Contact Teleplatform (TPK) program in Ukrainian; a doctor or nurse will contact you within 3 hours over the phone, tel. 800 190 590
- Medical care is provided to citizens of Ukraine who crossed the border no earlier than February 24, 2022, in connection with the armed conflict, and this is confirmed by a certificate issued by the Border Service of Poland or the Border Service stamp of Poland in the travel document. Such a document must be presented to the health care institution.
- To receive medical care, a person registered with the City Council – meaning the receipt of a special PESEL number assigned to Ukrainian citizens – can directly contact a family doctor (POZ)
- To identify one, use the hotline (also available in Ukrainian): 800 190 590. For not registered persons: records and coordination of medical appointments are made via the hotline of the medical operator, Petra Medica No. 22 112 02 06, based on an agreement with the Office for Foreigners in the following scope: basic medical care, specialist treatment, dental treatment supply of drugs and medical materials In the event of a sudden threat to health and life requiring emergency measures, the National Medical Rescue team should be called by calling the emergency number 112.
- Registration upon the first visit to a family doctor (POZ) – to identify one, use the hotline (also available in Ukrainian): 800 190 590. pacjent.gov.pl
- To access medical services, one of the documents that confirm the identity and their family members is needed, including the passport of a Ukrainian citizen with the stamp of the Polish Border Guard, certificates issued by the Polish Border Guard, ID card, driving license, or, for example, a Pole’s card, birth certificates of children, etc.
- After the entry into force of the special act, i.e. from March 12, 2022, refugees are subject to the new law, using medical services, may additionally use:
– a special PESEL number assigned to Ukrainian citizens
– an e-document (adults who register in the commune and will be given a PESEL number and set up a trusted profile, can activate an e-document confirming the status of an authorized person)
– a printout of the confirmation of the creation of a trusted authorized person’s profile (it includes the name and surname and PESEL number)
Same rights are given to third-country nationals based on a valid permanent residence permit issued in accordance with Ukrainian law, and who are unable to return in safe and durable conditions to their country or region of origin.
Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for the following healthcare services?
The First Contact Teleplatform (TPK) – tel. 800 137 200 – works in Ukrainian, providing teleconsultation in primary healthcare outside office hours, on holidays and weekends. A doctor or nurse will contact a patient within 3 hours over the phone.
Medical care covers services analogous to those covered by compulsory or voluntary health insurance (excluding spa treatment or rehabilitation).
- Emergency services OR SOR (112)
- Rhinitis, cough, fever, diarrhoea, ear pain, other symptoms of infection before 18:00 on weekdays POZ; after 18:00 or on a holiday – NiŚOZ
- Pregnancy management gynaecology and obstetrics (referral not required)
- Sudden toothache, rapidly increasing edema of the lower jaw/upper jaw, visible periodontal abscess -> dental clinic (enter “urgently” in the search engine)
- „POZ” (Podstawowa Opieka Zdrowotna – Primary Care) primary and specialty care
- Obtaining a prescription for constantly used drugs, consultations on chronic diseases -> primary care POZ
- Exacerbation of a non-life-threatening chronic disease, such as increased edema of the lower extremities in a person with heart failure or shortness of breath in a person with asthma or COPD -> specialist care
Visiting family doctors
- Advice on vaccination of adults and children -> POZ Primary Care
- Registration for vaccination against COVID-19 -> 989
- Vaccination of children and adults -> POZ
- Database of Ukrainian / Russian / English speaking medical facilities
- The Ministry of Health has launched the LikarPL application, which will help Ukrainian citizens to communicate during a medical consultation. The application consists of two modules – for the patient and the doctor. The patient module has a special form for entering basic health information. This will allow the doctor to prepare for a medical consultation. The questionnaire can be filled in by computer or telephone, in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and English. The application can be found at:
Services for People Living with HIV
Antiretroviral treatment (ART)
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine can receive HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis is not refunded by the National Health Foundation, approximate cost of one month of therapy: 130 zl
- PrEP should be strictly continued for 2 days (emergency PrEP), or 7 days (continuous PrEP), after the last risk behaviour. The CDC recommends continuing PrEP for an additional 28 days after the last risk behaviour.
- Eligibility for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis:
- Based on a doctor’s assessment.
- Indications to PrEP as per Polish HIV Society.
- Has unprotected non-condominium sexual contacts with potentially HIV-positive persons or multiple persons with unknown serological status.
- Had an STI in the last year.
- Has sexual contact under the influence of psychoactive substances.
- Uses drugs intravenously.
- Provides sexual services.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- PEP is recommended in situations of non-occupational accidental exposure to HIV, such as sexual assault, needle injuries of unknown origin, or other events. The antiretroviral drugs should be taken as soon as possible (preferably within 2-3 hours after the incident). Prevention is most effective if it is implemented within 48 hours of the incident. aids.gov.pl/co-robic
- HIV post-exposure prophylaxis is free of charge for Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine aids.gov.pl/ukraina/
- Database of clinics
Services for People Living with Hepatitis B/C
Hepatitis B/C testing, Hepatitis B vaccination, and Hepatitis B/C treatment availability
- Free testing is available under the governmental prophylaxis programme.
- Screening for testing and the first consultation is done at primary care facilities (link above). Further referral to specialist clinics is done after test results are confirmed.
- Clinics for treatment
- If there is no possibility to provide a medical history of hepatitis B vaccination or hepatitis B or C treatment, the testing request should be coordinated by the family doctor (at POZ)
- If a person tested positive for acute hepatitis B or C, but is not undergoing treatment because of contraindications or low viral load, the treatment options are prescribed at specialist clinics after a referral from a family doctor (at POZ)
- Blood tests for anti-HCV antibodies are recommended for people who:
- Have elevated levels of the enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the blood.
- Have ever injected drugs.
- Are chronically dialyzed.
- Are children of mothers diagnosed with HCV infection during pregnancy.
- Have had blood transfused or were organ recipients before July 1992.
- Have hemophilia and were born before 1991.
- Perform work related to exposure to infection after professional exposure to blood-borne pathogens (including surgical doctors and nurses, paramedics, and employees of diagnostic laboratories).
- Are infected with HIV.
High risk of HBV infection considered in persons:
- Unvaccinated against hepatitis B, vaccinated with less than three doses, or with unknown vaccination history (no documentation).
- Who have had blood transfused before 1992 (the risk is now completely limited).
- Who stayed in the hospital more than 3 times and/or the stay lasted longer than 10 days.
- Whose sexual partner is or may be infected with HBV and/or HCV.
- HBV infection is easily transmitted sexually.
- Who used/uses narcotic drugs (injection, nasal).
- Having home contact with someone infected with HBV because of the shared use of hygiene items, personal items and/or high possibility of close contact in case of minor injuries/ body fluids from family members.
Treatment options available for hepatitis related liver diseases
Treatment is available at specialist clinics after a referral from a family doctor (POZ)
Support systems (harm reduction/safer use, social support, or psychosocial support) are available for the Ukrainians undergoing therapy for hepatitis C or related liver diseases
If the person has TB symptoms:
- No TB screening is provided if a person is asymptomatic.
- If there are symptoms of TB, it is necessary to refer to a family doctor (at POZ) To identify one, use the hotline (also available in Ukrainian): 800 190 590.
If TB was already diagnosed in Ukraine and the person needs to continue treatment:
- Refer to a family doctor for further treatment.
- If a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine started the TB treatment for multidrug-resistant TB in Ukraine, the continuation is possible upon referral from POZ/family doctor to specialist care.
- If a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine started the TB treatment and was on Directly Observed Treatment (DOT), the continuation is possible upon referral from POZ/family doctor to specialist care.
If a person has a Ukrainian prescription for TB treatment medication…
The collection of medicines with a Ukrainian prescription at the pharmacy is possible as prescriptions are transferable. All anti-TB drugs, as well as those for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, are free for TB patients.
The continuation of preventive treatment is possible via family doctor (POZ)/out-patient.
Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children
BCG vaccination is possible through a family doctor (POZ). According to the Protective Vaccination Program for 2022, vaccinations against tuberculosis can be given before the age of 15 years.
Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Services
- If the person has medical records of treatment in Ukraine, the treatment can be implemented right away. If not, a psychiatrist consultation is needed upon referral from a primary care doctor.
- Having documentation (doctor’s prescription) is not a prerequisite for entering therapy. An appointment with a psychiatrist has to be scheduled in advance.
- OAT medication is free of charge. Check the clinics here.
- To get the dosage, treatments available at www.kbpn.gov.pl
More info on tel. 800 11 08 11
- If the person has medical records of treatment in Ukraine, the treatment can be implemented right away. A list of OAT programs can be found here.
- To be included in the substitution treatment, people need a PESEL number. An appointment with a psychiatrist has to be scheduled in advance.
What OAT drugs are available in the country?
Buprenorphine and methadone are available for OAT treatment.
See details at the website.
General requirements and access to healthcare
01. Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382
Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022 establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC, and having the effect of introducing temporary protection. Available at