In connection with the political crisis in Belarus, over four hundred citizens of the country arrived in Poland by various means, Deputy Interior Minister Bartosz Grodecki told the Polish Press Agency PAP on Tuesday.
Belarusians were able to enter Poland thanks to humanitarian visas, the procedure of granting international protection or under the programme for entrepreneurs "Poland. Business Harbour". In special cases, their entry may also be allowed by the commanding officer of the Border Guard.
Humanitarian visas are free and long-term, valid for up to one year. Belarusians receive them in an accelerated and simplified procedure.
The Office for Foreigners is responsible for the procedure of granting international protection in the territory of Poland. In turn, individual permission to enter the country is issued by the commanding officer of the Border Guard, in line with Art. 32 of the Act on foreigners. Such situations occur when, for example, a given person does not have an entry permit to the territory of Poland.
Participation in the "Poland.Business Harbour" programme is intended to make it easier for Belarusian freelancers, start-ups, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and large companies to relocate smoothly to Poland.
In the face of the political crisis in Belarus, the Interior Ministry changed the regulation on restricted traffic at the external border of the EU, in force since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, every Belarusian who has an entry permit can formally enter Poland, just like before the pandemic.
The official results of the August 9 Belarusian presidential elections saw long-time incumbent Alexander Lukashenko victorious with over 80 percent of the vote. The election is believed to have been rigged in his favour. 50 days have passed since hundreds of thousands of citizens first took to the streets in protests against the country’s authorities, as demonstrations are still underway.