European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PL-2022-9/2314 – measures in Poland

Social security numbers and residence for Ukrainian refugees

Numer PESEL i status UKR dla ukraińskich uchodźców

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 24 February 2022 – 24 August 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Other humanitarian measures
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics)
Measure added 18 May 2022 (updated 02 March 2023)

Background information

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. As a result of Russian aggression, many Ukrainian refugees fled to Poland.

On 12 March 2022, the special act regarding Ukrainian refugees entered into force, with effect from 24 February 2022. Its aim is to provide assistance to Ukrainians escaping the territory of Ukraine due to armed conflict.

Content of measure

Every Ukrainian refugee, who entered the territory of Poland from Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022 and plans to remain there, can obtain UKR status and the PESEL number from local authorities (gmina). Usually, the PESEL number is individually assigned to each person born in Poland, who is a Polish citizen or, in certain cases, also to foreigners who legally reside in Poland.

In order to apply for the PESEL number, refugee needs to present a document with a photo to confirm their identity. In exceptional circumstances, a number can be assigned solely based on a declaration. In the case of persons deprived of legal capacity, the application may be submitted by a legal guardian.

PESEL numbers allow Ukrainians in Poland to continue their education, work, set up and run a business on the same terms as Polish citizens, receive social benefits and use all the services of Polish e-administration. If Ukrainian citizen decides to leave Poland for a period exceeding one month, they will be deprived of their legal status.

Use of measure

According to the statistical data published by the Polish government, on 17 May 2022 there were 1,107,970 registered application for the UKR status due to the conflict in Ukraine. UKR status allows to legally reside in Poland and obtain PESEL number. 45.4% of applications were submitted by females between 18 to 65 years old and 46% by children below 18 years old.

According to information from the Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych ( Social Insurance Institution ) of 3 January 2023, about 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine with the special status of UKR have so far been assigned a PESEL number.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A



Views and reactions



  • 12 March 2022: Ustawa z dnia 12 marca 2022 r. o pomocy obywatelom Ukrainy w związku z konfliktem zbrojnym na terytorium tego państwa (
  • 18 May 2022: Registered applications for the UKR status due to the conflict in Ukraine (
  • 04 January 2023: Uścińska: We have about 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine in PESEL registers (


Eurofound (2022), Social security numbers and residence for Ukrainian refugees, measure PL-2022-9/2314 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.