“UKR status – what does it mean, and is it significant for the employer?

Czy wydłużenie terminu legalnego pobytu jest już pewne?

“UKR Status – What Does It Mean, and Is It Significant for Employers?

The employment of Ukrainian citizens is becoming increasingly common among Polish employers. In general, these individuals have legal residence in Poland until March 4, 2024, granted under the special law, and employers can hire them through a simplified procedure known as ‘notifications of entrusting work.’ During the recruitment process, questions often arise about whether the employee holds UKR status. Let’s clarify the doubts related to this.

What is UKR Status?

Ukrainian citizens who arrived in Poland after February 24, 2022, and declared their intention to reside permanently in our country can legally stay in Poland until March 4 of the following year. They also have the opportunity to apply for a PESEL number. According to the population registry law, the registry includes information about a foreigner’s status, and one of these statuses is ‘UKR.’ It is merely an indication of a person who has been assigned a PESEL based on the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with the armed conflict in Ukraine.

What Does UKR Status Provide?

One could say that UKR status confirms the temporary protection granted to Ukrainian citizens in Poland. Since it is granted through registration in the PESEL registry, it is linked to the rights and benefits that come with having a PESEL number, such as access to healthcare, subsidies for childcare, or the ‘500+’ program.

When Can You Lose UKR Status?

The special law specifies that UKR status is automatically revoked in the following situations:

Leaving Poland for a period exceeding 30 days. Having one of the following: a permanent residence permit, a long-term EU resident permit, a temporary residence permit, refugee status, complementary protection, a tolerated stay permit, a stay permit for humanitarian reasons. Submitting or intending to submit an application for international protection. Benefiting from temporary protection in another EU member state due to military actions in Ukraine. Does a Temporary Residence Permit Remove UKR Status? Obtaining a temporary residence permit may raise some concerns because, as mentioned earlier, obtaining one is listed as a reason for losing UKR status. While this is true, it only applies to specific types of temporary residence permits, namely:

Temporary residence and work permits.

Temporary residence permits for high-skilled work.

Temporary residence permits for conducting business activities.

These exceptions are related to the fact that, as of April 2023, the special law granted Ukrainian citizens with UKR status the right to apply for the above-mentioned types of residence permits.”

Please note that the specifics of UKR status and its implications may change over time, and it’s advisable to consult legal experts or relevant government agencies for the most up-to-date information.

Lack of UKR Status – Can You Still Employ?

Yes! The absence of UKR status does not affect the ability to legally employ a foreigner. However, it is advisable for the employer to verify the reasons for this situation. If the foreigner had UKR status but lost it due to leaving Poland, they also lost the right to legal residence. In such cases, it’s necessary to take legalization actions, such as obtaining a temporary residence permit. The absence of UKR status may also suggest that such a Ukrainian citizen is not benefiting from temporary protection granted under the special law, meaning they were in Poland before February 24, 2022. Perhaps they are working based on a permit or declaration, and their stay is supported by a visa or a temporary residence permit. If the Ukrainian citizen’s stay in Poland is legal, the UKR status from the employer’s perspective is irrelevant.

UKR and Legalizing Residence While the absence of UKR status doesn’t complicate employment matters, it’s essential to remember that there are separate issues related to residence, which are not the same. Having UKR status determines legal residence in Poland, but what about when there is no UKR status? In such cases, it’s possible that the Ukrainian citizen does not have a legal basis for staying in Poland, and the prospective employer must verify this before formal employment can occur.