Duration of detention


Country Report: Duration of detention Last updated: 10/07/24



The decision to detain an asylum seeker is issued for a period up to 60 days by a court, upon request from the Border Guard.[1] If a foreigner presents an asylum application during the stay in the detention centre, the period of detention is prolonged only if the Grounds for Detention of an asylum seeker mentioned before are met. If so, then the applicant’s stay in the detention centre is prolonged for up to 90 days from the day of filing the asylum application.[2] The period of a stay in a detention centre can also be prolonged if before the end of the previous period of detention, the final decision concerning international protection was not issued and the reasons to detain the applicant still exist. In this case, detention can be prolonged by a court for a specified period of time. There are no timeframes set in law other than the maximum total period of asylum seekers’ detention, which is 6 months for asylum seekers and maximum 18 months for persons facing removal.[3] Prolongation is not possible if the procedure concerning reasons of detention is still ongoing e.g., delay cannot be attributed to any fault on the part of the applicant.[4] However, this is not reflected in courts’ decisions.[5]

If third country nationals apply for asylum from detention, their stay in detention can be prolonged for 90 days and if their application is rejected, their stay in detention can be prolonged even if they lodge an appeal against the negative asylum decision. If the asylum proceedings will end with a final decision within 6 months of applying for refugee status, asylum seekers will spend their whole asylum proceedings in detention, but no information is available on whether that is the case for most of them. In practice it means that foreigners do not know how long they will be in detention centre which caused the distress, anxiety and exacerbated the deterioration of their psychological state. Automatic and long detention of the foreigners, lack of proper psychological assistance resulted in hunger strikes and suicidal attempts.[6]




[1] Article 89(1) Law on Protection.

[2] Article 89(2)-(3) Law on Protection.

[3] Article 89(4)-(5) Law on Protection; Article 404(5) Law on Foreigners.

[4] Article 89(4a) Law on Protection.

[5] Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej, 20 october 2023, Another intervention before the ECHR concerning the detention of migrants in Poland, available in English: https://bit.ly/3UrBlFP and https://bit.ly/4dnGMOM.

[6] HFHR, 26 January 2023, Hunger strikes in guarded centres for foreigners – position and recommendations of the HFHR, available in Polish at: https://bit.ly/4bETJCj.

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