UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees all over the world. UNHCR’s purpose is to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge from war and persecution. UNHCR also protects stateless people. In all its activities, UNHCR pays attention to the needs of children and seeks to promote the equal rights of women and girls.
What is the role of UNHCR Poland?
UNHCR has one office in Poland, located in Warsaw. UNHCR also is present in Krakow, Lublin, and Rzeszow. UNHCR monitors the Polish government’s compliance with international standards of refugee law, law regarding statelessness, and human rights. The office advocates for swift access to fair and efficient international protection procedures, access to rights, and access to information. UNHCR in Poland is also active in raising awareness for refugee and statelessness topics and works together with a broad range of partners including NGOs, academia, schools, youth organisations, and businesses.
In Poland, the Government, not UNHCR, is responsible for processing international protection claims, recognizing someone as a refugee, and facilitating their integration.
This means that in Poland, UNHCR does not have authority to:
- Register refugees
- Review international protection applications
- Issue refugee documents
- Influence the outcome of international protection proceedings
Instead, the Polish government is responsible for these procedures.
UNHCR in Poland does not offer any appointments for individual counselling. You can contact UNHCR if you are an asylum-seeker or a refugee in Poland and need information or advice on:
- Procedure on international protection in Poland, your rights and obligations
- How to find cost-free lawyers and legal assistance
- Where to find necessary assistance
- Family reunification
- Detention and release from detention
- If you are stateless in Poland and need assistance.
UNHCR Offices in Poland:
UNHCR Representation in Poland
Address: Przemysłowa 30, 00-450 Warszawa
E-mail: [email protected]
Office hours: Monday – Friday from 9:30 to 16:30
UNHCR Office in Warsaw
Address: Kamionkowska 11, 03-805 Warsaw
Office hours: Monday – Friday from 08:30 to 16:00
UNHCR Office in Lublin (please note that refugees are only received at the Community Center located at Krakowskie Przedmieście 39, 20-076 (open Monday – Friday, 9:00-17:00)).
Address: Jana Gilasa 3, 20-109 Lublin
Office hours: Monday – Friday from 8:30 to 16:30
UNHCR Office in Kraków
Protection Team E-mail: [email protected]
For support, you may also approach Blue Dots or Community Centers – find locations here.
All UNHCR support is free of charge.
Where can I find legal assistance and other services?
Free-of-charge legal counselling for asylum-seekers and refugees is available from specialized organizations, including UNHCR’s partners. UNHCR Poland closely cooperates with these organisations, and they alert us as appropriate.
Below organizations provide assistance to asylum-seekers and refugees in Poland:
The Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center: Free legal advice for asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons
Ocalenie Foundation: Free legal advice, Polish language lessons, psychological assistance, integration support programs, housing search support
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights: Free legal assistance
The Association for Legal Intervention: Free legal assistance; integration assistance; medical, social, and housing support
Warsaw Multicultural Centre: Free legal advice, counselling, and practical help; multicultural lessons, workshops, seminars, conferences; Polish language lessons.
The Federation for Women and Family Planning (FEDERA): Helpline for Women about reproductive health and rights of women, including issues of gender-based violence (GBV). Operated by sexuality educators, gynecologists, lawyers, and psychologists.
LAMBDA Warsaw 🏳️🌈: Information, counseling, support, and self-support groups, and anti-discrimination support – for members of the LGBTIAQ+ community.