What is “irregular residence”?
Although “irregular residence” is not explicitly defined in any Polish legal act, in practice the expression is interpreted as residence that violates the provisions of applicable acts regarding border crossing and residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland. It also pertains to employment conditions and business run by foreigners.
Irregular residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland may result in a decision under which a foreigner may be forced to return to another country or prohibited from re-entering the territory of Poland (or the territory of Schengen Area members) for a period from 6 months to 5 years.
Actions connected with countering irregular migration, taken as from the moment on which it is established whether a foreigner’s entry and residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland is legal or irregular, throughout the process of issuing decisions obligating a foreigner to return to a country, until, if so required by legal regulations, expulsion (forced implementation of a decision), fall within the competence of the Polish Border Guard.
Legal and continuous residence is a prerequisite for obtaining a permanent residence permit and long term resident’s EU residence permit, which provide foreigners with more extensive rights in the territory of the Republic of Poland and with a chance to be granted Polish citizenship. This is one of the reasons why a right to legal residence in Poland is so important to foreigners. To be sure that your residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland is legal and that your residence documents are valid and cannot be revoked or cancelled, you must follow several rules. Knowing them will help you prevent irregular residence.