My sister lives in Austria based on an Austrian long-stay visa. She came to help me prepare for my wedding, but the introduction of a state of an epidemic made it difficult for her to return to Austria and she should leave Poland in just a few days. We do not know what to do. Can she obtain temporary visa in Poland?

The Special Act provides for the recognition of a legal stay of foreigners in the Republic of Poland who were staying in Poland on March 14th on the basis of a long-term visa (D symbol) issued by other countries in the Schengen area from the day following the day on which their legal stay on the basis of such a document has expired until the 30th day following the day on which the state of an epidemic emergency or an epidemic have been lifted, whichever will be the last.

 “The recognition of legal stay” is a national, specific form of residence permit which is not equivalent to an extension of a residence permit issued by another Schengen state if such permit expires during the stay in Poland.

Utilising that document as a base for stay after the lapse of the permitted stay does not require submitting any additional applications, obtaining permits or documents. Each foreigner is covered by the solution by law. No additional formalities are required.

Please remember that exercising that right depends on the stay on the Polish territory – leaving Poland will result that a foreigner will be unable to invoke this right as a basis (the sole basis) of re-entering the territory of the Republic of Poland.