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Migrants view on the family reunification in Poland

15. 5. 13
In Poland, since the implementation of the Council Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification, voices have been raised for the regulations to be adjusted according to migrants’ problems and expectation which have arisen during the implementation process. A Polish NGO - the Association for Legal Intervention (ALI) - involved in providing foreigners with legal and integration aid since 2005 and, hence, being highly informed on problems migrants are facing in Poland, has issued a letter in 2012 to the Department of Migration Policy at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The letter contains comments and recommendations regarding the policy of family reunification in Poland, underlining especially the need to broaden the concept of a family to include the extended family members (due to the group of the extensive family structures in some cultures) and adult and unmarried children of those who are unable to support themselves because of poor health or old age. As in some cultures marriages are only of a religious rite, ALI suggests to enter also the third country national unmarried partners living in stable and long term relationships with persons subjected to family reunification. Moreover, the authors recommend providing an extensive offer of language courses and trainings focused on improving professional and civic skills, which, due to various family and personal reasons, should not be one of the conditions for granting or prolonging residence permit. It is crucial for those courses and trainings to be carried out by professionals and include issues concerning cultural differences and the conditions of foreigners stay in Poland.

The testimonies we are presenting do not directly correspond with the issues raised in the letter to the Ministry. However, it is necessary to note further relations, such as those stated by the Vietnamese migrant referring to the language difficulties of the Vietnamese population in Poland, which acknowledges the inadequacies in the offer of integration courses’ for third country nationals. Another example is the issue of cultural differences faced by this person and which to some extent determined a negative decision regarding prolonging residence permits for her children. The lack of cultural competences among public officers is an important problem, often raised by migrants when asked about their stay in Poland.   

We also would like to present the story of an Iraqi student who got stuck in a deadlock between missing his family he cannot bring to Poland on the one hand and his obligation to the scholarship provider on the other. Hence, the author of the testimony admits to have many friends in Iraq who have declined the offer to study in Poland, due to the issue of family reunification, and chose other countries.

 Herewith we are presenting stories of two migrants in different circumstances and from different countries who are facing the problem of reuniting with their families in Poland. Although they came from different places, they speak one voice with many other migrants – they want to be with their family.       

Read the two articles prepared by migrants:

Home in Poland, kids in Vietnam by Young Woman from Vietnam, who’d prefer to be anonymous
My Dream of Family Reunification by Maan Aubed

This article is one of the migrants’ contributions to the project Migration to the Centre.

The article has been written with support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union and the International Visegrad Fund. The article reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


The project has been generously supported by the European Commission The "Europe for citizens" programme, International Visegrad Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
Funded by the Europe for
Citizens Programme
of the European Union
Visegrad Fund. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Daniela Pěničková, project coordinator
Phone: (+420) 296 325 345, E-mail:

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