Applications for international protection should be submitted to the Border Guard (BG) who will then transfer them to the Head of the Office for Foreigners. The Head of the Office for Foreigners is competent to examine the application, so the BG cannot refuse to accept the application.
If the application is lodged at the border or in detention, the BG unit responsible for the border checkpoint or the detention facility is the relevant authority to accept it. If the application is lodged in the territory, it can be submitted to any BG unit. There is also a possibility to declare an intention to apply for international protection by post for i.e., elderly persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and persons in hospitals or imprisoned.
When applying for international protection, one has to submit their travel document (e.g., passport) to the BG. Travel documents are kept by the Head of the Office for Foreigners. Asylum seekers are issued a temporary ID document entitling them to stay on the territory of Poland, the Temporary Identity Certificate of a Foreigner (Tymczasowe Zaświadczenie Tożsamości Cudzoziemca). The document is initially valid for 90 days (10 days in the case of Dublin returnees). The document can be prolonged for 6 months (and every 6 months) by the Head of the Office for Foreigners until the end of the asylum procedure.
The BG is entitled to inform an asylum seeker that it is impossible to lodge an application for international protection on a day when said individual comes to the BG unit. However, the BG must then set a date and place when the application will be accepted. In such a situation (e.g., when there is a need to ensure that an interpreter is available), the intention to apply for protection is laid down in a protocol and registered. The Border Guard has 3 working days to ensure the application is lodged and registered (in case of a large number of applications, it is 10 working days). Decision on return cannot be executed during this time.
According to the official data, 4013 persons declared the intention to apply for international protection in 2022, compared to 937 in 2021 and 298 in 2020. Unfortunately, the declarations are registered without any information on the legal grounds of the application.
 Article 28(2) Law on Protection.
 Article 55(1) and (2) and Article 55a(2) Law on Protection.
 Article 28(1) Law on Protection.
 Article 330(1)8 Law on Foreigners.
 Information provided by the Border Guard Headquarter, letter no KG-OI-VIII.0180.184.2022 from 17 January 2023.
 Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 26 January 2021 and 13 April 2022.