Criteria and conditions


Country Report: Criteria and conditions Last updated: 26/05/22



The procedure of family reunification is governed by Article 159 of the Law on Foreigners. Family members who are eligible to reunite with the beneficiary are:

  • spouse (marriage has to be recognised under the Polish law, but does not have to be concluded before the beneficiary’s entry to Poland);
  • minor child (biological or adopted) of the family member dependent on them and under their parental authority
  • minor child (biological or adopted) of the beneficiary and his or her spouse dependent on them and under their parental authority

In case of a minor beneficiary of international protection, family members who can reunite with them are not only parents but also grandparents or other responsible adult under Polish law (e.g. legal guardians). A beneficiary can also apply for a residence permit for a family member, who already stayed in Poland without permit when the beneficiary had applied for protection. In such a case they have to prove that family has already existed in the country of origin.

There is no waiting period for family reunification in Poland, nor is there a time limit. Foreigners who have obtained refugee status or subsidiary protection are eligible for a simplified family reunification procedure, but still it is very complicated and expensive procedure. If they submit a relevant application with a Voivode of proper venue within 6 months from the date of obtaining protection within the territory of Poland, they are not obliged to comply with the conditions of having health insurance, a stable source of income or accommodation in Poland. It must, nonetheless, be remembered that when the residence permit is granted, the beneficiary’s family residing outside Poland is obliged to obtain a visa from a Polish consulate. The requirements under which a visa is obtained, in turn, include having adequate financial means and health insurance.[1]

There are no differences between refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection as to the family reunification conditions. The beneficiary is not required to know Polish, is not subject to DNA tests, but has to present original documents certifying the family ties, translated into Polish by a sworn translator.

Data on family reunification of beneficiaries of international protection are generally not disaggregated by the authorities.[2] However, for 2021 the Office for Foreigners shared that 91 family members  applied for family reunification with the beneficiary, which led to 62 decisions granting this permit.[3] The main challenges for beneficiaries of international protection to be reunited with their family members are: a narrow definition of family members (e.g. civil partners are excluded), lengthy and complicated and costly procedure (submitting and translating official documents, journey to Poland, to Polish consulate, paying several visits to the consulate).[4]




[1] HFHR, Family Reunification of Foreigners in Poland, Law and Practice, June 2016, available at:, 19-20.

[2] A. Kulesa, ‘Łączenie rodzin’ in A. Górska, M. Koss-Goryszewska, J. Kucharczyk (eds), W stronę krajowego machanizmu ewaluacji integracji: Diagnoza sytuacji beneficjentów ochrony międzynarodowej w Polsce (Instutut Spraw Publicznych 2019), 9.

[3] Information from the Office for Foreigners, 26 January 2022.

[4] Ibidem, 21.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation