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Medical insurance


All European Union citizens have the same rights to health care as people insured in the country they are in. The health care can never be refused even though in case of visiting private health care centres a person might have to pay for the treatment however the reimbursement can be claim after the return to the home country[1].

All the European Union citizens in need of health care while visiting another EU country, no matter if on a trip, business trip or abroad studies, are entitled to any medical treatment that can't wait until the return to home country. As a proof of insurance in another EU country serve the European Health Insurance Card (shortly EHIC)[2]. This card should be at disposal  anytime.

Anyway, there are some important information what need to be mentioned about IHAC. The European Health Insurance Card:

· is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private health care or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property,

· does not cover costs if the travel is for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment,

· does not guarantee free services. As each country’s health care system is different, services that cost nothing at home might not be free in another country[3].

In a case of need any medical treatment abroad and possible misunderstanding, each European Union country has established National Contact Point (NCT, sometimes also even regional or local contact points), in Poland you can contact National Contact Point for cross/border healthcare[4]. NCT will inform you about rights connected with receiving health care, including[5]:

· the right to have some or all of costs covered,

· what types of treatment are reimbursed and how much can expected to be reimbursed

· necessary prior authorisation and how to apply for it

· how to appeal if rights have not been respected

· the health care system of a specific country and how they ensure quality, safety, and compliance with national standards

· whether a particular provider is registered and authorised to provide specific medical treatments, and which quality and safety system covers that provider

· patients' rights in a specific country, including information about your options if something goes wrong or you are not happy with the medical treatment you receive

If an European Union citizen seeks for a health care, for instance in a hospital, the health care provider have to provide him with following information[6]:

· different treatment options, quality and safety, authorisation/registration status of the healthcare provider etc, to allow a person to make an informed choice about his medical treatment

· treatment prices before the treatment take place - and provided with a clear invoice afterwards to facilitate reimbursement

· their liability insurance or equivalent

· (where applicable) different options for covering the costs of treatment

In a case that a person works in one European Union country and lives in another, he/she is entitled to medical treatment in both countries[7]. To ensure such “advantage” a person must register in the country where he/she works and get an S1 form (former E106 form) from his health insurance authority. This form gives him the right to get healthcare in the country where he/she lives[8].








[2] More info about EHIC can be found on following link: http://www.nfz.gov.pl/dla-pacjenta/zalatw-sprawe-krok-po-kroku/jak-wyrobic-karte-ekuz/ (in Polish language only)
[3] https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559&langId=en
[4] See more info on the following link: http://www.kpk.nfz.gov.pl/en/
[5] https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/planned-healthcare/get-more-info/index_en.htm
[6] https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/planned-healthcare/get-more-info/index_en.htm
[7] https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/when-living-abroad/health-insurance-cover/index_en.htm
[8] https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/when-living-abroad/health-insurance-cover/index_en.htm

Hiring foreigners in Poland


The right to live and work abroad, in another EU Member State, is one of the EU’s fundamental freedoms, being also applicable to citizens from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, under the EEA and EFTA agreements. This means that EU citizens, from all these countries, can work in another Member State, meaning Poland in this case research, without having the need to obtain a working permit or other special permits. Citizens from some newer EU countries are subject to some special provisions and requirements based on certain transnational rules. At the moment, there are some rules that apply to Croatia, but Poland does not require any special permits for Croatian citizens.

As a rule, European citizens working in Poland, under an employment contract with Polish employers, are subject to Polish labor law regulations. The act regulating employment of foreigners is the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labor market institutions. Subsequent to this and the freedom of movement, the employer does not have to complete additional formalities related to this employment - those that are related to the employment of a Polish citizen are sufficient (they are contained in the Labor Code, social security regulations, etc.). These obligations include:

· concluding an employment contract in writing;

· informing the employee about his / her daily and weekly working time norms, the frequency of payment of remuneration for work, the amount of annual leave due to the employee, his / her duration of notice of employment contract, the collective agreement the employee is covered;

· initial medical examinations;

· initial OHS training and on-the-job training;

· informing the employee about health and life hazards that occur in a given workplace, about the rules of conduct in the event of a breakdown or a situation threatening health, protective and preventive measures taken to eliminate or reduce risks , employees who have been designated to provide first aid and take action to combat fires and evacuate employees;

· reporting the new employee to ZUS;

· keeping time records and the personal file of the employee etc.

Moreover, in accordance to art. 45 TFEU, they benefit from equal treatment with the citizens of that country. This means that all Polish employers seeking employees from other EU Member State must ensure that they are given the same treatment as applicants that are Polish citizens and, but also same working conditions (salary, paid leave, working hours, dismissal, reinstatement, re-employment, etc.). Moreover, they cannot, under any circumstance, impose discriminatory criteria during the recruitment process, including nationality, gender, racial or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation.


An EU citizen, who entered Poland with the purpose of seeking employment, may stay in this country without having to meet the conditions of residence for a period of not more than six months. If, at the end of this period, the person demonstrates that he / she continues to actively seek employment and has real, genuine chances to get a job, he / she may continue to stay in Poland, even without meeting the conditions of residence. During this period, an EU citizen is required to possess a valid travel document or another document confirming his / her identity and citizenship.

If the residence in the territory of Poland lasts longer than 3months, an EU citizen is required to register their stay at the Voivodeship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) of the region (voivodship) where he / she intend to reside. The registration procedure is easy and free-of-charge. Residence registration obligation also applies to the family members, but does not apply to an EU citizen who has the right of residence in order to seek employment, as discussed above. In order to fulfill the registration obligation, the citizen needs a written statement of the employer of their intention to entrust them with the performance of work, or a confirmation of the performance of work.


A Polish employer looking for employees from the EU may use the help of the EURES network[1]. It is a network of European Employment Services, which consists of national labor offices and other regional, national and international organizations from EU Member States, EEA and Switzerland. This network provides services in the field of EU job placement and consultancy in the field of EU employee mobility, making it easier for employers to find suitable candidates for work, and for employees - the place of employment. The services provided include, among others the opportunity to place a job offer in the EURES system as well as access to the CVs of employees interested in working abroad

In Poland, the system is coordinated by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, and its services can be used at powiat and voivodship labor offices.


If the employer seeks to hire people for regulated professions, there are some special EU rules applicable in this field. Generally, a profession is regulated, according to European legislation, if the person is required to hold a specific degree to access that profession, to take special exams, like state exams, and / or register with a profession body before being able to practice it.   In this case, there are several obligations for both the employer and the employee.

If the profession is regulated in the country where the person is seeking employment, meaning Poland in this case, the person should apply in order to receive their recognition of professional qualifications. The employee[2], but also the employer, must check if the profession is regulated consulting the database of regulated professions[3]. In case of any further questions or if either of them might need assistance, it is advisable to contact  the national assistance center for professional qualifications in the country where they want to work. In Poland, the authority responsible for this is the Ministry of Science and Higher Education[4].

The procedure is different, depending on whether they are seeking to provide their services temporarily[5] or permanently[6]. Depending on the profession, there are specific rules applying to several sectors: some receive automatic recognition[7] (nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons), some are allowed to receive an European Professional Card[8] through  an online procedure (nurses responsible for general care, pharmacists, physiotherapists, mountain guides, real estate agents), others have specific rules[9] (e.g. lawyers, air traffic controllers, pilots).

[1] The EURES portal can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/eures/public/homepage
[2] The employee can use this form to find out if he / she might need to apply for recognition of professional qualifications and, if yes, what type of application it is: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/professional-qualifications/regulated-professions/index_en.htm
[3] The database of regulated professions can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/index.cfm?action=homepage
[4] Contact information for the Ministry of Science and Higher Education: ul. Hoża 20, PL-00-529 Warszawa, Tel: +48 22 52 92 266, Email: Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.,Website: http://www.nauka.gov.pl/uznawanie-kwalifikacji-zawodowych/
[5] Further information upon procedure (for recognition of regulated professions) for temporary services can be found here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/professional-qualifications/apply-temporary-provision-services/index_en.htm
[6] Further information upon procedure (for recognition of regulated professions) for permanent services can be found here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/professional-qualifications/apply-permanent-provision-services/index_en.htm
[7] Further information upon automatic recognition of regulated professions can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/services/free-movement-professionals/qualifications-recognition/automatic_en
[8] Further information upon the European Professional Card can be found here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/professional-qualifications/european-professional-card/index_en.htm
[9] Further information upon specific rules for several sectors can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/services/free-movement-professionals/qualifications-recognition/specific-legislation_en


· https://www.paih.gov.pl/polish_law/employment_of_foreigners_in_poland

· https://udsc.gov.pl/en/cudzoziemcy/obywatele-ue-oraz-eogszwajcarii-i-czlonkowie-ich-rodzin/wymagane-formalnosci/obywatele-ue/zarejestrowanie-pobytu/

· https://www.uj.edu.pl/documents/2206025/698e8cf0-d3f2-4c0c-a093-9a6fdb413f5a

· https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014L0036&from=EN

· https://getsix.eu/resources/doing-business-in-poland/employment-of-foreigners-in-poland/

· https://zielonalinia.gov.pl/foreigners-who-may-perform-work-on-the-territory-of-the-republic-of-poland-34909

· https://www.polandunraveled.com/get-work-permit-poland/

· https://accace.com/labour-law-and-employment-in-poland/

· https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/human-resources/equal-treatment-qualifications/free-movement/index_en.htm

· https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32011R0492&from=EN

· https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/human-resources/equal-treatment-qualifications/recognition-qualifications/index_en.htm

· https://www.prawowmodzie.pl/jak-zatrudnic-cudzoziemca-z-unii-europejskiej/

· https://e-prawopracy.pl/zatrudnic-cudzoziemca-unii-europejskiej/

Medical treatment


Regarding access to medical services in another country[1], the insured citizens of these countries can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card allows access to medical treatment, in accordance to the legal provisions of the Member State where it is provided, including the ones related to reimbursement rates. In Poland[2], this card (or the replacement certificate, as explained below), can be used only when visiting a doctor that is approved by the Polish National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia).

The card can be obtained by contacting the health insurance institution where the person is insured and must be valid in order to be used abroad. It must be ordered at least 3 weeks before departure. In case the local authority refuses to give the citizen a EHIC, the person should be able to appeal. If they cannot grant an EHIC, a provisional replacement certificate can be accepted as well.

If the EHIC is not recognised by the authorities, the citizen should request his / her home insurer to contact the doctor or hospital abroad. If this does not solve the issue, the next step should be asking SOLVIT[3] for help. If the EHIC is not accepted by any means, the citizen will have to pay the costs for the treatment and afterwards he / she can apply for reimbursement, either from a health insurance fund in the country where it is provided, or from his / her competent fund.

If the foreigner does not have the EHIC on him / her when travelling abroad, the cover for medical treatment according to the same conditions and prices as residents does not apply. The citizen will have to advance all the costs for treatment received and then ask the competent health fund, in the country where he / she is insured, for a refund on the return.

In the case of an urgent hospitalisation abroad, even in the absence of EHIC, the foreigner can request the competent fund in his / her country of residence to send him / her, the hospital or the foreign health insurance a temporary replacement certificate. This grants the same level of protection as the EHIC and the treatment will be covered as if the foreigner was insured in the country where treatment is provided.

If the foreigner is not a citizen of the beforehand mentioned countries or he does not own a valid health insurance in the country of residence, there are two types of Polish medical insurance he / she can apply for. The compulsory health insurance is granted automatically to foreigners in one of the following situations:

· the foreigner is employed in Poland;

· the foreigner is a family member[4] of the insured;

· the foreigner is a refugee;

· the foreigner is under the subsidiary protection and integration program in consultation with the county family assistance centre;

· the foreigner is unemployed, registered at the employment office;

· the foreigner is a child attending school, but limited to the care provided by the school;

· the foreigner is in custody, either in prison or in detention facilities;

· the foreigner is a clergyman.

If the foreigner is not eligible for this type of insurance, there is another insurance accessible, the voluntary health insurance. He / she will need to fill out the registration form and deliver it to the regional Polish National Health Fund office[5]. Once the confirmation is issued by the Polish National Health Fund, the foreigner need to fill in another form[6] for the National Insurance Service and deliver it personally or by post to one of its offices. Lastly, the foreigner can register the family members and add them on the same insurance. In order to do so, another form[7] must be filled in and delivered to the local National Insurance Service office[8]. In order to benefit from the insurance, the foreigner will have to pay the contributions to the National Insurance Service before the 15th day of each month. The payment is always done for the previous month.

All those presented above are applicable for the public health system. Besides from the types of insurance presented, the foreigner can opt to take out a private health insurance policy at a private company. Another solution might be visiting a private clinic or a private doctor, as neither require the foreigner to have any kind of health insurance. Unfortunately, unlike the public health service, its private counterpart isn’t for free. In most of the private clinics, the foreigner will have to pay for things like consultations, visits to specialists or examinations. 

[1] Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland; Under a bilateral agreement, it can be used also in Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro
[2] More information: https://www.ekuz.nfz.gov.pl/en/info_dla_uprawnionych_z_innych/general-information-concerning-access-health-care-during-temporary-st
[3] The form for contact can be found following this link: https://ec.europa.eu/eu-rights/enquiry-complaint-form/home ; further information: https://ec.europa.eu/solvit/what-is-solvit/index_en.htm
[4] In this context, family member means: spouse, child under 18, child under 26 if they continue with their education, child with no age limit if they hold a judgement of severe disability, parents and grandparent living in the same household as the insured.
[5] I tried to find the address and phone number from the office in Poznan, but was not able to do so.
[6] A blank version of the document can be found here: https://www.polandunraveled.com/form/zgloszenie_ubezpieczenia_do_ZUS.pdf
[7] A blank version of the document can be found here: https://www.polandunraveled.com/form/zgloszenie_ubezpieczenia_rodzina_ZUS.pdf


· https://cns.public.lu/en/assure/vie-privee/a-etranger/vacances-ue-eee-suisse/modalites-pratiques.html

· https://cns.public.lu/en/assure/vie-privee/a-etranger/vacances-ue-eee-suisse/faq-vacances-ue-eee-suisse.html

· https://www.polandunraveled.com/public-health-service-in-poland/

· https://www.polandunraveled.com/private-health-service-poland/

· https://www.polandunraveled.com/health-insurance-in-poland/

· http://www.migrant.info.pl/Health_insurance_and_medical_care.html

· http://www.migrant.info.pl/health.html

· https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=563&langId=en

· https://ec.europa.eu/solvit/what-is-solvit/index_en.htm

· https://europa.eu/youreurope/advice/

· https://www.ekuz.nfz.gov.pl/en/info_dla_uprawnionych_z_innych/general-information-concerning-access-health-care-during-temporary-st

· http://nfz-poznan.pl/getAttach.php?AttachID=1430&AttachCtrl=107581

Arrest /criminal issues


According to article 2 of the Consular Protection Directive[1], “Member States' embassies or consulates shall provide consular protection to unrepresented citizens on the same conditions as to their own nationals.” The types of assistance for consular protection are defined in article 9 of the same directive, including: arrest or detention, being a victim of crime, a serious accident or serious illness, death, relief and repatriation in case of an emergency, a need for emergency travel documents.

Polish law, more precisely criminal law, insures the protection of every person on its territory against violence and other crimes. Every citizen or foreigner has the right to seek assistance from relevant law enforcing authorities, meaning the Police and the prokuratura (the Prosecutor’s Office). These institutions have the role of providing assistance, support and protection, but also to provide a person with information regarding how he or she might assert his / her rights.

Foreign citizens who have committed a petty offence or a crime within the territory of Poland are subject to the same principles governing legal liability as Polish citizens. The major difference between the two is the fact that it can affect the person’s liability to further stay in Poland. A final and binding sentence issued by a Polish court with regard to a foreigner who has committed an intentional crime may result in entering the offender’s personal data into in the register of foreigners whose stay in the territory of Poland is undesirable, as well as issuing a decision imposing the return obligation on said foreigner (i.e. forcing her/him to leave Poland).

The suspect has the right to remain silent without having to present any justification for doing so. It is advisable that the individual does not make any statements until he or she has appointed a legal defender (an attorney / legal counsellor). Keep in mind that the expenses covering legal assistance fall in the burden of the suspect, unless ruled otherwise by the court.

The next step is to familiarize yourself with evidentiary material constituting the grounds for charges. This right belongs both to the suspect and the defender. This right includes both the right to receive oral explanations on the grounds, to be given a written statement of reasons, which should contain both the facts and evidence, but also the right to receive all relevant materials.

The suspect should be informed of his rights by the authorities. The most important rights include:

· the right to the defender’s presence during the interrogation;

· the right to an interpreter free of charge, including the right to receive translated charges, indictment and court’s verdict;

· the right to be notified whenever the charges are amended in any way or the legal classification is altered;

· the right to apply for certain measures to be taken in the course of pre-trial proceedings, such as hearing of a witness, obtaining a document or allowing an expert’s opinion;

· the right to participate in procedural acts, including the right to ask questions to witnesses;

· the right to have access to case files and to make copies (with some exceptions);

· the right to participate in court hearings;

· the right to comment on all evidence presented in the court, meaning to give explanations or to elaborate upon them.

During pre-trial proceedings, the most important obligations of the suspect include:

· the obligation to undergo examinations not compromising his / her corporal integrity, fingerprint- and photograph-taking, and an identification parade;

· the obligation to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluation, as well as medical procedures such as blood, hair, or secretion (e.g. saliva) sampling whenever necessary;

· the obligation to appear before the summoning authority and notify the relevant authority about every change of his / her place of residence which lasts longer than 7 days;

· the obligation to provide the address to which all the correspondence in his / her case will be directed;

· the obligation to attend court hearings, but only if the court considers the suspect’s presence necessary, and also during some procedural acts related to cases where the crime is punishable by a minimum of 3 years of imprisonment.

[1] Council Directive (EU) 2015/637 of 20 April 2015 on the coordination and cooperation measures to facilitate consular protection for unrepresented citizens of the Union in third countries and repealing Decision 95/553/EC

Decision imposing a return obligation

Pursuant to such a decision being issued, the foreigner loses the right to stay in Poland, with the following implications: their working permit and their permit to cross the Polish border under the principles governing local border traffic are revoked. A decision on imposing the return obligation also includes a ban on re-entry into the territory of Poland and the Schengen Area for a specified period of time.

The return obligation is an administrative decision which may be issued to a foreigner in several types of circumstances, including:

· the foreigner has breached regulations concerning the entry and stay in the territory of Poland, or committed certain petty offences or crimes;

· the foreigner has been considered a threat to national defence or security or to the protection of public security and order;

· the foreigner is included in the Schengen Information System II[1] for the purpose of refusing entry or in the Polish register of foreigners whose stay in the territory of Poland is undesirable.

The proceedings on imposing the return obligation on a foreigner are conducted by the Border Guard. The return decision may provide for a period for voluntary departure of between 15 and 30 days, counting from the date of notification of the decision. In that case a foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within the time limit specified.

The decision on imposing the return obligation can be enforced by relevant authorities in the following situations:

· if the foreigner does not comply with the obligation to leave Poland within the stipulated period of time;

· if the Commander of the Board Guard issues a decision in this matter, based on the fact that exists a justified suspicion or high probability that the person might attempt to escape;

· if the Commander of the Board Guard issues a decision in this matter, based on reasons with relation to national defence or security or the protection of public security and order.

Whenever the decision is enforced by authorities, the foreigner is liable to cover all the costs involved by the procedure.

The re-entry ban is issued for a period between 6 months and 5 years, depending on the reason why it was issued:

Period of time:

6 months – 3 years:
a breach of law governing the entry and stay in Poland

1 – 3 years:
illegal employment or work in Poland

3 – 5 years:
- crimes leading to a sentence to imprisonment by a final and binding decision of the court, if the person will be transferred to another country to enforce the punishment

- any grounds leading to a person being included in the SIS II or in the Polish register of foreigners whose stay in Poland is undesirable

- any grounds leading to a person posing a threat to public health

5 years:

- any grounds leading to a person posing a threat to national defence or security or to the protection of public security and order

The decision on imposing the return obligation can be appealed within 14 days from the receipt of the decision. The appeal must be submitted to the Head of the Office for Foreigners. Against his decision of upholding the decision of the return obligation, the foreigner can file a complaint with the Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw[1] within 30 days from the receipt of the decision, including the application for the decision on the return obligation to be withheld. One of the effects of the appeal and the complaint (with the relevant application) is that the time period given in order to comply with the return obligation is suspended, having relevance both with the voluntary and compulsory return.

The ban on re-entry to Poland can be lifted, under certain conditions:

· the foreigner complied with the duties included in the decision on imposing the return obligation;

· the foreigner’s re-entry in Poland (or another state from the Schengen Area) is justified, particularly under humanitarian premises;

· the foreigner was granted assistance in voluntary return.

If the foreigner is able to evidence these, he / she can apply for the ban to be withdrawn. This decision might be issued by the authority that originally issued the obligation to return, such as the Border Guard. However, even if the conditions presented above are met, there are some circumstances that prohibit such a decision from being issued:

· if the foreigner’s re-entry or stay in Poland may pose a threat to national defence or security or to the protection of public security;

· if the foreigner’s re-entry or stay in Poland may infringe upon Poland’s interests;

· if the foreigner did not cover the costs with the enforcement of the decision imposing a return obligation.

[1] Schengen Information System II (SIS II) is a database that collects information regarding nationals of third countries traveling within the Schengen Area and on its borders. The database includes personal information of individuals who have been refused the right to enter the Schengen Area, pursued for their criminal record, or missing. SIS II is a highly efficient electronic database that contains biometric data, such as fingerprints and photographs.


· https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/320911/Annex_8_-_FTI_-_Arrested_in_another_country.pdf

· http://www.hfhr.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/INTERNET_ENG_pokrzywdzeni-podejrzani.pdf

· https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32015L0637

· https://maee.gouvernement.lu/en/services-aux-citoyens/voyages/assistance-consulaire.html

Child abduction


All minors travelling from one Member State to another should be able to present at the border their valid passport or ID card. Furthermore, the ones that are travelling alone, with adults that are not their legal guardians or with just one parent, might need an official document signed by parents, legal guardians or the other parent, depending on the case and of the legislation of the Member State, which would authorise them to travel abroad. The EU legislation does not have specific rules on this matter, allowing every state to decide whether such a document is necessary or not. When travelling abroad, there are more legislations that should be taken into account in this matter – the ones of the countries of departure, of arrival, but also the countries of transit, if this is the case.

In a specific case, if the mother is Portuguese and the father is French, the children have double-citizenship from both states. In order to establish the jurisdiction, the Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children[1] should be analysed. Looking upon article 5 of the before-mentioned Convention, it establishes that “The judicial or administrative authorities of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child have jurisdiction to take measures directed to the protection of the child's person or property.”. Taking into account that their habitual residence is in Portugal, the applicable rules are the Portuguese ones.

Following this case, if the mother leaves the country with the children and arrives in Poland, without having the written consent of the father, there are several legal implications in the matter. In legal terminology, this situation is called child abduction, as such a document is mandatory under the Portuguese legislation. There are several requirements that such a document[2] should meet:

· It is necessary for all minors who are Portuguese or legally resident in Portugal, who plan to leave the country, who are unaccompanied by either parent;

· It should be issued by the person who has legally certified parental responsibility, meaning either a parent or a legal guardian;

· It should be done in writing, including the date of issue and the signature of the person who is granting the authorisation;

· The signature should be recognised either by a notary or lawyers, solicitors or Portuguese embassies / consulates abroad;

· The third parties who accompany the minor should be identified.

It is advisable to include, besides the identification of the parties, the contacts details of them, but also identification, date, length of stay and reason for travel. The authorisation does not have a limited times of usage, but it does have a period of validity, which should not exceed one year. If such a period is not mentioned, it is presumed that the document is valid for six months from the date of issue.

Even so, this document is necessary only when both parents exercise responsibility upon the child[3]. Under the Portuguese Civil Code, in case of divorce, both parents are responsible for dealing with issues of particular importance, including the child’s residence, unless the court grants full responsibility to one parent[4]. Therefore, a parent can lawfully leave the country with the child without the authorisation of the other when he or she has exclusive parental responsibility or the child’s residence has been determined by court, in case of disagreement, allowing removal to another state.

Furthermore, case-law and legal theory have established that temporary removal for holidays has not been considered an issue of particular importance, without the prerequisite of the consent of the parent. This rule presents a series of exemptions, including:

· removal to countries in armed conflict, countries which are notably unsafe or countries affected by pandemics, thus placing the health and safety of the child at risk;

· removal for health care, depending on the repercussions such treatment might have on the child’s core rights;

· removal which requires changes to the place where a child’s life is centred.

In case the other parent opposes to his or her child leaving the country, the expression of will should be communicated directly to The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF / Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras[5]). This communication should meet the following requirements:

· the declaration should be issued by the parent who is not accompanying the minor and who exercises parental responsibility;

· the declaration should include full identification of the minor and the parent / opponent, as well as the contact details (address and telephone number) of the latter;

· the declaration should be done in writing, including the date of issue and the signature of the parent;

· the declaration should be accompanied by the following documents:

- copy of the identification document of the opponent;

- copy of the minor’s birth certificate;

- copy of the agreement / decision on the regulation of the exercise of parental responsibilities, if this is the case.

The absence of any of the elements above-mentioned makes the manifestation of will impossible. Is has a period of validity of six months, enabling the opponent, as the claimant, to rule on any ban on leaving the country.

The procedures in case of child abduction, regarding the return of the child in the residence country, are regulated on European level. There are two important legislative acts with relevance in this matter:  the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction[6] and Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000[7] (also known as Brussels IIA Regulation).

In case of child abduction, the un-accompanying parent is advised to contact the Central Authority designated in each Member State, usually at the Ministry of Justice. This authority should provide assistance as mentioned in Article 55[8] with regard to the application of Article 11(6–8) of the Brussels IIA Regulation. The jurisdiction in this case usually belongs to the Member State where the child was habitually resident immediately before the wrongful removal or retention[9]. The application, which should be realised at the Central Authority of the child’s habitual residence or the one of any other contracting state of the Hague Convention, shall contain:

· information concerning the identity of the applicant, of the child and of the person alleged to have removed or retained the child; 

· where available, the date of birth of the child; 

· the grounds on which the applicant's claim for return of the child is based; 

· all available information relating to the whereabouts of the child and the identity of the person with whom the child is presumed to be.

The application may be accompanied or supplemented by:

· an authenticated copy of any relevant decision or agreement; 

· a certificate or an affidavit emanating from a Central Authority, or other competent authority of the State of the child's habitual residence, or from a qualified person, concerning the relevant law of that State; 

· any other relevant document.[10]

Regarding the legislation of the destination Member State, meaning Poland, Polish legislation doesn't include separate regulations which would impose on the child's parents or legal guardians an obligation to obtain special consents or proxies for a child to travel independently or with a person who is not their parent or legal guardian.

[1] https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/full-text/?cid=70#ch3
[2] Model form: https://www.sef.pt/pt/Documents/AUTORIZACAO%20DE%20SAIDA%20DE%20MENORES%20DE%20TERRITORIO%20NACIONAL.doc
[3] Articles 1901, 1902, 1911 and 1912 of the Portuguese Civil Code
[4] Article 1906 of the Portuguese Civil Code
[5] Schedule: from Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 17.30 ; E-Mail: Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript. ; Fax: 214 236 646 ; Tel .: 808 202 653 (fixed network) / 808 962 690 (mobile network) 
[6] https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/full-text/?cid=24
[7] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32003R2201&from=EN
[8] Article 55 Cooperation on cases specific to parental responsibility

“The central authorities shall, upon request from a central authority of another Member State or from a holder of parental responsibility, cooperate on specific cases to achieve the purposes of this Regulation. To this end, they shall, acting directly or through public authorities or other bodies, take all appropriate steps in accordance with the law of that Member State in matters of personal data protection to:

(a) collect and exchange information:

(i) on the situation of the child;

(ii) on any procedures under way; or

(iii) on decisions taken concerning the child;

(b) provide information and assistance to holders of parental responsibility seeking the recognition and enforcement of decisions on their territory, in particular concerning rights of access and the return of the child;

(c) facilitate communications between courts, in particular for the application of Article 11(6) and (7) and Article 15;

(d) provide such information and assistance as is needed by courts to apply Article 56; and

(e) facilitate agreement between holders of parental responsibility through mediation or other means, and facilitate cross-border cooperation to this end.”

[9] Article 10 of the Brussels IIA Regulation

[10] Article 8 of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction


·         https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=LEGISSUM:l33194&from=EN

·         https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/family/children/abduction/faq/index_en.htm

·         https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/full-text/?cid=24

·         https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/full-text/?cid=70

·         https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad

·         https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/travel-documents-minors/index_en.htm

·         https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_lawful_removal_of_the_child-289-en.do

·         https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_parental_child_abduction-309-en.do?clang=en

·         https://www.sef.pt/pt/pages/conteudo-detalhe.aspx?nID=73

Lost documents / Zagubione dokumenty


All the above stated will be applied vice versa for foreigners in Poland. At the moment when they realize the loss of their Identity card, they must go to the Police Station and report the loss of their Identity card. Then, with the police report visit their representative office in Poland. If in Poland is no representative office of a foreigner country, he has the right to visit any other representative office of an European Union member state.


Driving license / prawo jazdy


A valid driving license issued in an EU country or EFTA country (i.e. European Fair Trade Association consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) is recognized throughout the Union.

If a person move or just travel to another EU country, he/she usually do not need to apply for a new driving license of a host country. In his host country, he/she can drive with his current driving licencense:

  • the driving license is not expired,
  • he/she meets the age at which he/she is allowed to drive the motor vehicle,
  • the driving license is not suspended or restricted, or will not be removed from the authorities of the country in which the driving license was issued.

If a Polish citizen wants to travel out of the European Union area and drive a motor vehicle there, he/she needs to issue an International Driving Permit (IDP). The International Driving Permit is basically the translation of a national driving license which has to be accompanied by valid driving license issued by the applicant’s country of residence.

There exists 2 types of  IDP. One is according to 1949 Geneva Convention and the second is according to 1968 Vienna Convention. The documents are issued valid in the countries being members of the conventions.

Difference between these two types is in jurisdiction where the convention may be applied. The IDP is issued by district office and a person can submit it in present at the district office or the application can be sent by post. The issuing costs PLN 35,50 and be done in 3 days.