Continent Warsaw. Warsaw of Many Cultures
IMI Radio. The First Polish Radio for Migrants
Turn to Poland
Posted: |
Updated: |
Hijran Aliyeva-Sztrauch

Journalist, graduate of the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw, a PhD in Sociology and Psychology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, the founder of the Azerbaijan Culture and Information Centre in Poland (2001) and President of the Common House of Caucasus in Poland. "Nothing is impossible in this world!  Understanding between the nations of the Caucasus is a necessity for all the citizens of the region. The Common House of Caucasus is the forgotten past, peaceful future and laborious present. It is worth your devotion!" 

Dear Mummies! I would like to give you some advice about how to secure a place for your children in a kindergarten or crèche. This applies in particular to female immigrants who have decided to spend their life in Poland.

I am from Azerbaijan. My husband, and the father of our 3-year-old Patrycja-Aisha, is a Pole. I was excited when my daughter was born because I had defended my PhD thesis just then. I was thinking of pursuing an academic career and developing the international scholarly magazine “New Prometheus,” the editor-in-chief of which I am now.

We came up against troubles when we started to search for a public crèche for Patrycja because we could not afford a private one. We live in Warsaw. We had believed we would find a place in a municipal unit in the capital city quite quickly. Quite the contrary. Due to a lack of places in the crèche, I had to suspend my academic career and devote all 3 years completely to my daughter. Of course, this was wonderful! Thanks to me little Patrycja knows almost all the letters, can count to twenty, knows some basic social rules, can use a computer and recite poems in three languages (by the way, I write poems and fairy tales for my daughter by myself). Still, I felt as if someone had deprived me of a chance to pursue a career, and Patricia of a possibility to learn Polish well.



My advice!

Dear Mummies, you should look for a crèche and register your child there as early as during your pregnancy!

My fault was to miss by one year the deadline to register my child on the so-called queue list.

My advice!

Dear Mummies, keep track of the deadlines for crèche or kindergarten registration.

In the age of computers, almost all offices give customers a possibility of submitting
an application on the Internet. The registration application form is available in the application registration system on the website of Warsaw Crèche Complex. A map of all the crèches in Warsaw is available here. The recruitment process usually begins in May and lasts till mid-June. It does not take much effort to fill in the form. Attention! You can choose three crèches in one application form. After you fill in the form, print, sign and submit it to the your first choice crèche.

Troubles begin when it comes to scoring points because “the system calculates points for the criteria chosen by parents by itself; in the event more than one applicant have the same number of points, the date and time of the application submission shall be the deciding factor so that a child is admitted to a crèche on the basis of a printout from the system, in a way that do not allow discretion” (1).

What does point scoring mean? In the application form, you have to answer several questions, for each of which you either gain or lose points, for instance: where do you submit your tax returns? My husband is registered for permanent residence in Turek; I am registered for temporary residence in Warsaw. We submitted our tax returns in different places although we both live and work in Warsaw. This detail cost us a loss of several points.

My advice!

It is better to submit your tax returns there where you live rather than in the place where you are registered for residence!

But it is not that bad still. “(...) You should make allowances for the fact that children who meet the following requirements can be admitted out of turn: 1) children of parents/guardians whose one or more other children go to a given crèche, 2) children whose one parent or both parents hold a moderate level of disability certificate, 3) children whose parents/guardians are in a difficult living and housing situation.(...)” (2).

My advice!

If your child has not been admitted due to a lack of places, you should not give up but wait patiently!

It should be noted that your child can take part in holiday classes conducted by public special kindergartens on duty. The following children have the right of priority to participate in the classes 1) children who attend a kindergarten on duty during the year; children who attend other public special kindergartens in Warsaw; children of working parents; children of single parents. The condition for the admission of a child to a kindergarten on duty is the submission by parents to the kindergarten on duty of an application and a copy of a certificate about special educational needs, certified to be a true copy of the original, from 5 to 31 May 2014” (3).

Now I am struggling with the kindergarten enrolment procedure. I missed the first deadline when “the full offer of kindergartens and primary schools was made available and the possibility of registration of admission applications was opened up” (3). The process lasts from 12 to 25 March. The full schedule of the process is available here. We were looking forward to the second round of the recruitment process, which began on 6 June. The list of free places in Warsaw kindergartens was published then.

We chose three units, filled inand signed an application form. The following day I went to the first choice kindergarten, where only one place was left. The kindergarten is situated in 1 Sierpnia Street and met all my criteria. It turned out, however, that there was a glitch in the system and the place was reserved for disabled children. Consequently, we were actually deprived of a chance to choose another kindergarten with places available. I went to the second kindergarten we had chosen in the application form, but I did not like it. My husband and I decided to enrol our child in a private kindergarten and wait for a place at the kindergarten in1 Sierpnia Street to be vacated.

What amuses me the most is my daughter’s approach. When our family and friends ask her “are you going to kindergarten this year?”, she answers in a sad tone “there’s no place for me there.” That’s too bad! I would like my daughter to start to integrate with her peers.

Dear Mummies-immigrants, do not be afraid of sending your children to Polish crèches or kindergartens. Do not lock your kids at home for fear of social intolerance. Please, follow my advice. It is Poland that has given us the second life and is our second motherland. Do not build national ghettos, but let’s integrate with Polish society. Remember that our children will be a part of the history of this country. As for other concerns, you should remember that “the European Parliament Resolution of 2009 states clearly that multiculturalism in a European school is a common phenomenon: << school institutions and individual teachers should regard diversity as a normal situation, treat each individual with respect, and give migrants the support they need>>. In contemporary Europe, the education of children with a migrant background is considered to be an important and obligatory element of the social policy of every UE member state, while pre-school and vocational education are the most important factors of effective integration process (Document of the Council of Europe of 2009 on the education of children with a migrant background)” (4).


Works cited:

  2. Information on holiday duties of Warsaw special kindergartens in 2014.

By Dr Hijran Aliyeva-Sztrauch

Translation: Anna Orzechowska


Good to Read more articles > Hijran Aliyeva-Sztrauch

The First Steps of an Emigrant in Poland

Dear Readers! I would like to address people who consider leaving their own country and moving to Poland. Here is some advice for future emigrants:

1) Most of all, before leaving, one should visit some websites, on which emigrants write about their “new life.” It will help set priorities and manage financial resources. Make good use of the time spent on planning your future abroad and remember about the fast integration with Polish society.


Read more >

The migration policy of Poland and the European Union

Dear readers! I would like to address those who are interested in the information on the migration policy of Poland and the whole European Union. We should remember that Poland closely cooperates with the offices of that European organisation in this regard. At first, I would like to remind some key terms, among which the most important seem: emigration, immigration, migration, remigration, repatriation and deportation.

  • Emigration, in short, "means a group of people who left their native country and now live in another one” (1).
  • Immigration is “group of people who come to a country and settle there as permanent residents” (1).
  • Migration describes the state when people who move from one place to another in a country, an area or in the world.
  • Remigration means a group of people who return to their native country after emigration.
  • Repatriation also means the return to the native country, but it is caused by some particular reasons. More information can be found on the website of the Polish Ministry of the Interior. (2).
  • Deportation means the forced resettlement, the expulsion of a person or a group of people as a penalty for their deeds (3), e.g. deportation of Poles to the USSR (1940-1941). More information can be found on the website about the history of Poland, Russia and Eastern Europe. (4).

Each European Union country has its own statistical system of migration. “According to the Polish regulations, every person intending to live permanently in Poland, is obliged to report their permanent residence in a municipal (Polish: gmina). Similarly, every person who leaves Poland permanently should de-register their permanent residence in Poland.The information about registration and de-registration is put in the Personal Identification Number system (PESEL), which is administered by the Ministry of the Interior. The statisticsreceive data on the international migration quarterly from the system” (5).More information can be found on the website of the Polish Central Statistical Office (GłównyUrządStatystyczny).

I would like to present some numbers concerning the legalisation of the foreigners’ residence in Poland. According to the Office for Foreigners:

  • in 2013, 35.000 applications for the residence permit for a fixed period were accepted ...,
  • in cases of the permit to settle (4.500 applications in total), the number of applications due to a marriage to a Polish citizen increased,
  • the number of the applications for a long-term resident-EU permit increased (over 2.000 applications),
  • 3.000 visas were issued (renewed) on Polish territory,
  • about 80.000 invitations were issued,
  • 9.000 citizens of the EU countries applied for the residence registration in Poland,
  • the expulsion decisions against 1.000 foreigners were issued …,6.500 foreigners were obliged to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland,
  • 34.000 people were refused entry to the country by the heads of border authorities.

More information can be found on the website of the European Migration Network (6).

Economic, political, social, educational, ethnic, religious, medical, family or other issues are the main reasons of emigration. The process of migrations in the EU is not easy to control, since some immigrants come here illegally, and they do not have the registration or Personal Identification Number. The management of the process is crucial. “Indeed, the existence of irregular immigration and the perceived failure of migrants to integrate successfully – especially in some European countries – have helped drive a trend in many OECD countries in recent years to make traditional migration more difficult, especially in family migration. There is also a new emphasis on encouraging immigrants to play a bigger role in managing their own integration. Language courses are becoming widespread, as are information programmes that provide practical advice and describe the country’s administrative systems and the formalities to be fulfilled” (7). It is a common knowledge that an immigrant faces many problems at the beginning of their visit to another country. That is why they sometimes do not hold to the formal regulations of the residence. But we have to understand that when one resides on the territory of another country, e.g. Poland, and does not provide complete information about oneself, one infringes not only Polish legal order, but also the legal order of the whole European region.

The information about the process of migration in the EU is collected by the Eurostat – the European statistical office. It “compiles the statistics concerning many issues connected to the international migration flows, the size of the population of the foreigners and acquiring citizenship. The data is collected on the annual basis. They are provided to the Eurostat by the statistics offices of the EU member countries” (8). Interestingly, that European statistical office encounters problems concerning measuring the emigration: “it is more difficult to count people leaving a country than those entering it. The analysis including the comparison of the emigration and immigration data from the EU countries in 2008 (mirror statistics) confirms that it applies to many countries” (9). Let us also remember that a non-citizen of the EU who enters any EU country, enters also the Schengen area – an area with free movement of persons, without border checkpoints. The whole area uses one Schengen Operation System that is a self-contained database. It allows for controlling the information of the people who enter or leave the area, to which 26 countries belong. These are Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, France, Holland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden. It should be noted that only Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not members of the European Union.

Poland joined the Schengen area on the 21st of December 2007. According to the Office for Foreigners, it resulted in “a substantial increase in the number of lodged applications for the refugee status in 2007 in Poland. 4563 such applications were accepted in 2007. 10.048 people applied for the refugee status. In comparison to 2006, there was an increase in the number of lodged applications by about 45% and an increase in the number of people applying for the refugee status by about 41%” (8). No wonder that Poland has to control every citizen of the Third World country who enters the Schengen area by crossing the Polish border.

“In order to find the solution for the immigration problems and seize the opportunities, the countries of the European Union have to cooperate with one another and with the immigrants’ countries. Therefore, the European Union has adopted a consistent policy on migration, setting clear and fair rules of the legal migration, preventing illegal migration and promoting integration” (10).

Poland has also another task: by protecting its borders it is responsible for the borders of the whole Schengen area. Therefore relevant structures of Poland increase their cooperation with the eastern neighbours. A number of projects concerning internal affairs have been realised in recent years together with the Ukrainian partner. A big number of people crossing the border and the length of the border line (535 km), which is also the external border of the Schengen area, determine the fact that it is essential for Polish interests to support the activities of the Ukrainian authorities in terms of the internal affairs” (10).

It is estimated that 200 million of people settled outside their country. It constitutes about 3% of the world’s population. Together with the development of communication and technology the process of migration will gradually increase. The economic and political instability in some areas of the world will contribute to the development of this process. On the other hand, many countries improve their systems of managing the process of migration, of the transfer and the protection of information. The international security cooperation becomes more and more globalised.




1) M. Tytuła, M. Łosiak,Polski bez błędów. Poradnik językowy dla każdego

2) MinisterstwoSprawWewnętrznych RP


4) Internetowy serwis historyczny dotyczący historii Polski, Rosjii Europie Wschodniej

5) System badań migracji zagranicznych w Polsce

6) Migracja do Polski w 2013 r. w liczbach, Europejska Sieć Migracyjna

7) B. Keeley, International Migration: The human face of globalization

8) The statistics concerning migration and the population of migrants


10) Polskie doświadczenie transformacyjne w programie polskiej pomocy, MSZ RP, Departament Współpracy Rozwojowej, Warszawa 2013, s.13.


By Dr HijranAliyeva-Sztrauch

Translation: Alicja Kosim



Read more >

Pros and cons of emigration

Dear readers, in this article I would like to share my views on pros and cons of emigration to Poland.

There are two sides to every coin, and similarly, it is possible to find both positive and negative aspects of every new situation. Where should I start? It may sound banal but we should remember that we live in the era of globalization: the world is shrinking, the boundaries disappear and electronic networks allow people from different continents to communicate.

The decision about emigration is usually well thought over. However, according to the proverb “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched,” obtaining a visa, getting on a plane and believing in a miracle are not enough. The problems arise after many years.


Read more >

What are the benefits from setting up an organisation?

Dear readers! I would like to address the people who have been considering the idea of setting up an organisation. I would like to share my experience with you.

I have been leading a life among quite interesting people. My studies at the University of Warsaw and the Graduate School for Social Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences have taught me to express my ideas openly and loudly, carry out bold projects and listen carefully to advice offered by experienced people.

Read more >



Projekt ‘MIEJSKI SYSTEM INFORMACYJNY I AKTYWIZACYJNY DLA MIGRANTÓW’ jest współfinansowany z Programu Krajowego Funduszu Azylu, Migracji i Integracji oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.

Projekt LOKALNE MIĘDZYSEKTOROWE POLITYKI NA RZECZ INTEGRACJI IMIGRANTÓW realizowany był w ramach programu Obywatele dla Demokracji, finansowanego z Funduszy EOG.

Projekt LOKALNE POLITYKI MIGRACYJNE - MIĘDZYNARODOWA WYMIANA DOŚWIADCZEŃ W ZARZĄDZANIU MIGRACJAMI W MIASTACH był współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Integracji Obywateli Państw Trzecich oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.

Projekt LOKALNE MIĘDZYSEKTOROWE POLITYKI NA RZECZ INTEGRACJI IMIGRANTÓW był współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Integracji Obywateli Państw Trzecich oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.

Projekt ‘WARSZAWSKIE CENTRUM WIELOKULTUROWE’ był współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Integracji Obywateli Państw Trzecich oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.

LOKALNE MIĘDZYSEKTOROWE POLITYKI NA RZECZ INTEGRACJI IMIGRANTÓW Projekt realizowany był przy wsparciu Szwajcarii w ramach szwajcarskiego programu współpracy z nowymi krajami członkowskimi Unii Europejskiej.