What changes has Poland prepared for Ukrainian refugees and draft dodgers?

Thursday, 20 June 2024 —

Poland is to change the rules governing the stay of Ukrainian asylum seekers next month.

Read more to understand what changes Ukrainians living in Poland should be prepared for in an article by Yurii Panchenko, a European Pravda editor, who spoke with Maciej Duszczyk, Deputy Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior and Administration of Poland. Professor Duszczyk used to be a researcher at the Migration Research Center at the University of Warsaw before.

We couldn't avoid discussing Warsaw's position on returning draft dodgers and the situation on the Polish-Ukrainian border, as well as the possibility of a new blockade.

Answers to these questions can be found in the article – New Requirements for Ukrainians and the issue of draft dodgers: Polish government official on Warsaw's migration policy.


The law, which will come into effect on 1 July, focuses of the extension of the legal stay of Ukrainian refugees in Poland until 30 September 2025.

European Pravda reminds you that Ukrainians who fled the war to the EU are not officially "refugees" because the EU's temporary protection mechanism provides a different legal status. However, this term has become commonly used in Europe regarding Ukrainians.

Most likely, from 1 January 2025, Ukrainians will be able to change the status from temporary protection to temporary residence.

The temporary residence status will be valid for three years, allowing these individuals to make a final decision – whether they want to return home or stay in Poland.

Another significant change is that from 1 September, all school-age Ukrainian children in Poland must officially attend Polish schools, regardless of whether they are receiving online education in Ukraine.

The latest research shows that about 40% of Ukrainians currently in Poland intend to stay there for at least a few more years.

Regarding the deportation of draft dodgers, we are guided exclusively by European Union legislation. So we cannot create a situation where different EU countries have fundamentally different approaches to Ukrainian refugees at the request of the Ukrainian government.

For example, if we agreed to provide the Ukrainian government with information about draft-age men in Poland, these people would simply move to other EU countries with better conditions, such as Germany or Spain.

This would clearly not be in the EU's interest, as it would prefer to avoid repeated migration processes.

At the same time, we do not support those who illegally crossed the border.

Among other changes from 1 July only those who crossed the EU border legally can receive refugee status.

However, this rule does not apply to those who have arrived in Poland and received a PESEL number.

Ukrainians committing crimes in Poland are currently being deported to Ukraine. The fact that there is a war in Ukraine is not an obstacle in this case.

Regarding the issue of draft dodging, there is a problem since martial law is in effect in Ukraine, but not in Poland.

In this case, the principle is that extradition to another country requires the crime to be equally recognised in both countries.

However, this is not possible, at least not until Poland inroduces martial law.

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