17 March 2022

PESEL for Ukrainians – guide for employers and applicants

The war in Ukraine has caused a wave of migration on an unprecedented scale in recent years. It is estimated that over 1.9 million Ukrainians have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border. To meet the needs of employees and employers that want to employ citizens of Ukraine, the government adopted a special law to regulate residence, social and employment-related issues.

From March 16th, 2022, refugees from Ukraine can apply for a PESEL number. Obtaining the number opens new opportunities for Ukrainians, including legal work, the possibility of running a business, or access to public health care, vaccinations as well as the 500+ program. PESEL for Ukrainians initiative is currently the major topic in Poland.

In the article, we describe the procedures and requirements that must be met – from the perspective of the applicant, but also useful for any employer wishing to legally employ people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

A special law – legal basis

The possibility of applying for a PESEL number was introduced by the Law of March 12th, 2022, on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that country. You can read its content here [Polish only].

Hiring workers from Ukraine

Following current law, granting a PESEL is equivalent to official confirmation that the stay in Poland is legal for 18 months (starting from February 24th, 2022). Therefore, a person with a PESEL number can be employed without a work permit or declaration of entrusting work. It is only necessary within 14 days of starting work to notify the poviat labor office competent for the seat or place of residence of the entity about the fact of employment – this is the obligation of the employer.

In addition, it is worth remembering that the special act regulated the issues of employment not only of Ukrainians fleeing because of the war, but also covers other Ukrainian citizens legally residing in Poland (as part of a permanent or temporary residence permit, possibly with a biometric passport). Such persons from Ukraine may be employed without a permit or declaration of entrusting work. Here, too, is the requirement to notify the poviat office within 14 days of starting work.

PESEL for Ukrainians – requirements

In the context of the war in Ukraine, the PESEL number can be applied for by citizens of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens with a Pole’s Card, members of the immediate family of Ukrainian citizens who have a Pole’s Card, and spouses of Ukrainian citizens who do not have Ukrainian citizenship.

A necessary condition, provided for in the Law, is the fact of arriving in Poland from February 24th, 2022, directly from the territory of Ukraine, in direct connection with the hostilities. It is important because in the content of the application, apart from the standard fields for personal data, there is also a field in which the date of entry to Poland should be specified. The applicant should also declare his intention to stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland. The stay of such a person is considered legal for 18 months from February 24th, 2022.

To obtain a PESEL number, you must submit a reasoned written application and attach documents confirming the data presented in the application, for example, a passport or a Ukrainian registration number. In this special case, which is an armed conflict in Ukraine – which may mean that the applicants may not have a complete set of documents with them – identification will be made at the commune office based on a travel document, Pole’s Card, or other documents with a photo.

In the absence of any document confirming the data and identity, signing the application is legally equivalent to a declaration that the data provided is true (this declaration is submitted under the pain of criminal liability for submitting a false declaration).

What should you prepare?

  • Completed application (also available in Ukrainian and Russian).
  • A document confirming the identity and data contained in the application.
  • Data to be entered on the application:
    • name and surname,
    • the date and place of birth,
    • the country of birth and citizenship,
    • the date of entry to Poland,
    • Ukrainian registration number,
    • the e-mail address and Polish telephone number (only to obtain a Trusted Profile).

Details related to applications

In addition, remember to have an up-to-date photo taken no earlier than six months before the submission. It should be in color, on paper measuring 35 x 45 mm.

Personal presence for applications is required for applicants who are 12 years of age or older. Parents (but also guardians who care for the child, temporary guardian, or probation officer) of children under the age of 12 may apply on their behalf.

It is worth remembering that with the help of the described form, you can simultaneously obtain a Trusted Profile (by providing an e-mail address and telephone number).

Applicants over 12 years of age will be fingerprinted when submitting their applications.

The application is available here.

Where to apply for PESEL for Ukrainians?

Applications must be submitted to any municipal office. At the same time, the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Paweł Szefernaker, announced that on Saturday, March 19th, an application center for handling requests will be launched at the National Stadium. The system’s efficiency should reach 250-300 people per hour.

PESEL for Ukrainians deadlines

Applications for a PESEL number may be submitted from March 16th, 2022. Then, assigning a PESEL number should last no more than 40 minutes. However, due to the potentially high number of applications in the offices, it is difficult to determine precisely how long the waiting will last. Unfortunately, it is not possible to submit an online application at this point.

Benefits of having a PESEL number and a Trusted Profile

As a rule, the PESEL number can be obtained either ex officio (when drawing up a birth certificate for a child born in Poland) or on request. Having a number entitles you to use public health care and allows access to vaccinations, social assistance, and registration in the education system.

Trusted Profile is a service that allows confirming the identity of a citizen in online contacts with offices. Having a Trusted Profile grants access to such important services as ePUAP, CEIDG, or PUE ZUS.

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