Duration of detention


Country Report: Duration of detention Last updated: 30/11/20



The decision to detain an asylum seeker is issued for a period up to 60 days by a court, upon the motion of the SG.[1] If a foreigner claims asylum 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 12 to 18 months for persons facing removal.[3] Prolongation is not possible if the procedure concerning reasons of detention is still ongoing e.g. the identity of the asylum seeker still is not verified, and this delay cannot be attributed to any fault on the part of the applicant.[4

There are no figures on the average duration of detention of asylum seekers in 2019.[5] In the first half of 2018, asylum seekers were detained on average for 97 days and children for 115 days.[6] The average stay of all foreigners in detention centre in Bialystok was 180 days, 115 days in Biała Podlaska and 132 days in Ketrzyn in 2019.[7]

Generally, most asylum seekers are unlikely to spend the whole status determination procedure in detention. However, if they 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 from applying for refugee status, asylum seekers will spend their whole asylum proceedings in detention, but it is hard to say that this is the case for most of them.


[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] Information provided by Border Guard, letter, 14 and 25 January 2019.

[6] Information provided by Border Guard, letter to Legal Intervention Association, 25 January 2019.

[7] Information provided by Border Guard, letter, 21 February and 3 March 2020.


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