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Poland grants amnesty to illegal immigrants

30th December 2011
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From January 1 to July 2, 2012, illegal immigrants residing in Poland will be able to submit applications to legalize their stay under a new amnesty program, the Ministry of Interior has announced.

The amnesty will apply to undocumented immigrants who have been residing in Poland illegally and continuously since at least December 20, 2007. It will also apply to asylum seekers who were denied refugee status but who have remained in Poland continuously since January 1, 2010.

“We all know of whole families which reside in our country illegally, because of an error in paper work. We want to help these kinds of people,” Jacek Kozłowski, the Voivode of the Mazowieckie Voivodship, said in a statement.

Rafał Rogala, head of the Office for Foreigners in the Ministry of Interior, told that this new amnesty program should be more successful than the previous ones implemented in 2003 and 2007, because they contain fewer restrictions.

“Applicants won't have to give proof of their place of residence or possession of funds, all they need is a valid identity card, proof that they have been residing in Poland continuously and no criminal record," Mr Rogala said.

Although previously the majority of applicants were from Vietnam, it is now expected that there will be many from Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Armenia, as “Poland is becoming increasingly attractive in terms of economic opportunities,” Mr Rogala said. The Mazowieckie voivoidship, which includes Warsaw, is expected to account for 70 percent of all applications.

Izabela Depczyk

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