Poland Foreign Ministry Investigated over Visas for Migrants

Migrants allegedly paid up to $5,000 per person for faster access

7 September 2023

Adam Jasser

Deputy Managing Editor

A deputy foreign minister is sacked and removed from the ruling party’s electoral list six weeks before a general election as the anti-corruption agency investigates whether a new visa-granting system was not rigged to allow hundreds of thousands of migrants from outside the EU to come into Poland.

The dismissal of Polish deputy foreign minister Piotr Wawrzyk last week over a new visa application system appears to be a damage control operation by the ruling Law and Justice party as it exposed its hypocritical approach to immigration from Asia and the Middle East.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed on Monday that Wawrzyk’s dismissal was related to the anti-corruption agency (CBA) investigation, although he refused to provide details. Wawrzyk was supposed to be the party’s candidate for parliament in a central district of Kielce but was removed from the electoral list without explanation.

International investigation?

Polish newspapers Rzeczpospolita and Gazeta Wyborcza reported that Wawrzyk’s sudden demise followed the discovery that the new electronic visa application system he supervised allowed for privileged access to some applicants, supported by specialised and well-connected recruitment companies. The newspapers said that, according to investigators, such privileged access could cost migrants between $4,000 and $5,000 for each visa.

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Adam Jasser

Deputy Managing Editor

Since 2021, Adam has co-hosted a foreign policy podcast “About the World at Onet” for Poland’s leading web portal onet.pl. He has worked as a business and policy consultant, including with the World Bank on competition, privatisation and regulatory reforms in transition economies. In 2014-16, Adam was head of the Polish competition authority. He served as Secretary of State in the Chancellery of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in 2010-14. He was Secretary of the PM’s Economic Council and oversaw the analytical and policy impact assessment department. Before joining the government, Adam was Programme Director at Warsaw-based think-tank demosEuropa – Centre for European Strategy. Earlier, he spent almost 20 years at Reuters news agency, in roles stretching from translator and head of economic reporting in Warsaw, to bureau chief in Frankfurt and regional editor for central Europe, Balkans and Turkey.

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