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• Hello, can a foreigner from PERU who has been married to a Polish woman for 9 months and living in Poland for 3 months, and who has a temporary residence permit for 1 year, continue working as a sailor with a company based in the USA? In such a way as to avoid losing his right to remain in Poland and continue his residence, and after a year apply for a subsequent permit without any problems?? If his wife were to work in the same company, would this change the situation?
According to the Polish Aliens Act (Dz. U. 2006, No. 234 item 1694 with later amendments), a foreigner is granted a temporary residence permit after presenting circumstances which justify his or her stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months. According to this law, one such set of circumstances is remaining in a marital union with a citizen of the Republic of Poland.
A representative of the Department of Foreigners’ Affairs of the Mazovian Voivodship Office (DFA-MVO) says that the right to temporary residence is granted to foreigners who demonstrate the intention to remain in Poland for a period longer than 3 months.
“A foreigner will be able to extend his residence card on the condition that he demonstrates the intention to remain in Poland for a period of time longer than 3 months, and also carry out the necessary formalities,” says Barbara Mingin of the (DFA-MVO). “He has to apply for a new card at most 45 days before the expiry of his existing card, he must collect the card in person, and must simply be in Poland at the time when he is extending the validity of the document. Once he has the document, he can work as a sailor without any obstacles.”
In this context, it is important to know the nature of your husband’s work and the duration of his work at sea. For example, if your husband spends half a year at sea and half a year in Poland, he fulfills the condition of ‘remaining in Poland for a period longer than 3 months’. The situation will be more difficult if he is away for longer.
“Time actually spent in Poland during the validity of a residence card is very important when applying for a permanent residence permit,” emphasises Ewa Ostaszewska, a lawyer with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. “You are then required to demonstrate continuous residence in Poland with a temporary residence permit. ‘Continuous’ residence allows for trips outside Poland for a period no longer than 6 months, and also no longer than 10 months over the course of the two years with a valid temporary residence card.”
In practice, this means that your husband can be away for up to 10 months over the course of the next 2 years, if you intend to apply for the right to permanent residence in Poland for your husband in 2 years’ time (or a little longer, as you need to be married for 3.5 years for this type of legalisation to occur).
“The foreigner will need to legalise his stay in Poland if you wish to settle permanently in Poland,” says Barbara Mingin of the Mazovian Voivodship Office, suggesting that it may be easier for him to come to Poland with a visa until he intends to settle permanently in Poland. Such a solution, however, postpones the moment when your husband will gain the right to permanent residence in Poland (not to mention greater flexibility in carrying out his profession as a sailor).
Your idea of working in the same company as your husband does not bring any advantages to your husband’s legal situation.
- Your husband may carry out his profession as a sailor as long as he is Poland at the time when he needs to extend the validity of his documents;
- At the moment when he is applying to extend his documents, he has to indicate that he will be in Poland for more than three months;
- If you are counting on your husband quickly qualifying for permanent residence in Poland, his absences from Poland must be no longer than 10 months over the course of the next two years.
We suggest that you contact a lawyer, for example the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, to discuss the possibility of extending the validity of your husband’s temporary residence card to a two-year period (the law allows for the possibility of issuing a temporary residence card valid for two years). This solution would simplify your situation to some extent.
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Migration Helpline (Infolinia Migracyjna) is now run thanks to voluntary work of PFM staff. Before, it was maintained (2012-2014) thanks to co-financing of the project Information Center for Foreigners 2, run by PFM in partnership with the Association for Legal Intervention and the Mazovian Governor. It is co-financed by the European Fund for Integration of Third Country Nationals and by the state budget.
In the years 2009-2011 the project was run as part of Information Center for Foreigners run by the same partnership, also co-financed by the European Fund for Integration of Third Country Nationals and by the state budget.