Migration in Central and Eastern Europe
Poland is a country of emigration with its migration flows falling in recent years. The country is relatively open to accept labour migrants and the number of issued work permits has constantly been rising since 2007. Moreover, Poland runs a simplified procedure of granting work visas to residents of Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Nonetheless, according to Eurostat, citizens of other countries made only 0.1 percent of the Polish population in 2011, the lowest rate in the whole EU. The national data state that the number of legally staying immigrants reach 97 thousand and there might be another 50-70 thousand staying illegally (NGOs estimate the overall number of immigrants at almost half million). In 2011, the Polish Parliament passed the Act on Legalisation of Stay of Foreigners, a third and most liberal regularization in row. Last year, a new bill on Polish citizenship (Polish only) entered into force. In 2012, the Polish migration policy – current state of play and further actions (Polish only) was adopted, a first comprehensive document on migration policy addressing also the issue of immigrants’ integration.