How to get a work permit in Poland?
Citizen of a country outside the European Union or the European Economic Area, who would like to work legally in Poland, must meet the following conditions:
- have a document admitting him to the Polish labour market, such as:
- a work permit,
- a seasonal work permit,
- a declaration on entrusting the performance of work to a non-Polish citizen,
- a temporary residence and work permit;
- have a residence permit with an entitlement to work in Poland (e.g. appropriate visa or residence permit);
- perform work on the conditions defined in an appropriate permit or declaration, and only for the employer indicated in the document;
- sign an appropriate employment contract with an employer.
An employer who employs a non-Polish citizen from outside of the EU or EEA should obtain documents entitling his employer to perform work in Poland, or to issue a visa or a temporary residence permit. The employer is also required to keep copies of documents confirming the legal stay of his non-Polish employer in Poland.
A non-Polish citizen who performs work contrary to the regulations is subject to a fine of at least PLN 1,000 and an obligation to leave the country. An entity employing non-EU citizens illegally is subject to criminal liability.
Work and residence permit as one document
Non-Polish citizens can work in Poland if:
they reside in the country legally and have a valid work permit (unless the permit is not required);
have a temporary residence and work permit, or a temporary residence permit in order to perform work in a profession requiring high qualifications.
Non-Polish citizens from outside of the EU who came to Poland to work and reside in the country legally can apply for a single temporary residence and work permit.
To receive such a permit, a non-Polish citizen has to submit appropriate documents in a Province Office (Urząd Wojewódzki). Citizens of the EU/EFTA can work in Poland legally without applying for the work permit.
Permits are issued in so-called “single application procedure” – one document is being issued, authorizing a non-Polish citizen both to reside and perform work Poland.
Remember: A non-Polish citizen with only a tourist visa cannot work legally.
Work permit: The employer applies for the permit in the Province Office. The work permit is usually valid for 3 years.
Seasonal work permit (type S): The employer applies for the permit in the regional employment bureau (Powiatowy Urząd Pracy). The permit entitles to perform work considered seasonal (such as work in tourism, agriculture, horticulture) up to 9 months in a calendar year. Performing seasonal work legally is only possible with the appropriate seasonal work permit.
Who does not need a work permit to work in Poland?
Citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine, who have performed seasonal work for a given employer at least once in the previous 5 years, and whom the employer wants to hire again, can obtain a multiseason permit (the employer applies for the entry in the seasonal work register for 3 consecutive years). On the basis of the entry, citizens can apply for a visa in those 3 years.
CITIZENS OF UKRAINE DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE PERMISSION TO WORK IN POLAND
Citizens of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova have simplified access to the Polish labour market. Citizens of the above-mentioned countries may perform work in Poland on the basis of a declaration on entrusting the performance of work to a non-Polish citizen (submitted by the employer in the Powiatowy Urząd Wojewódzki; valid for 6 months in the next 12 months after issuing).
If a non-Polish citizen wants to perform work in Poland for longer than 6 months, their employer can apply for a work permit, or the employee can apply for a temporary residence and work permit.
On the basis of the above-mentioned declaration or the seasonal work permit (valid for 9 months in a calendar year), the employee is entitled to start working for a different employer. Nevertheless, the new employer must apply for a new document allowing the employer to perform work legally.
Citizens who do not need a work permit to work legally in Poland are:
- citizens with a permanent residence permit;
- citizens of the EU;
- citizens of the EEA countries that are not part of the EU;
- citizens of countries that are not part of the ETA agreement, who may exercise the freedom of movement on the basis of the agreement with the EC (European Community) and the member states;
- Citizens with a temporary residence;
- Teachers of foreign languages working in kindergartens, schools, teaching institutions mentioned in the rules and regulations of the Polish education system;
- Citizens performing artistic services (individually or in groups) lasting up to 30 days in a calendar year;
- Citizens with a Karta Polaka.
A detailed list of situations in with a non-Polish citizen does not need a work permit can be found in the “Employment promotion and labour market institutions act” (Ustawa o promocji zatrudnienia i instytucjach rynku pracy) and the “Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy on cases in which entrusting work to a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland is permissible without the need to obtain a permit work”.