Poland - Work Permits

Poland Work Permit Program

Poland is a garden of nature and a treasure trove of cultural riches. A democracy located in the middle of Europe, inhabited by a friendly, hospitable people building a modern economy, yet cherishing their heritage dearly. As a member of the European Union and the NATO Alliance, Poland plays an active part in the development of European integration.

With a stable democracy and robust economy- Poland is rapidly creating new job opportunities for skilled professionals, resulting into high quality of life for individuals. Professions such as, doctors, pharmacists, architects, IT specialists, accountants, economists, engineers, cooks, product specialist and many other have a huge demand in European Labor Market.

What is a Work Permit?
A work permit is a document that authorizes a foreigner to work legally in Poland. A permit is issued by the voivode (local governor) competent for the seat / place of residence of the employer. The permit indicates the company that entrusts the execution of work to the foreigner and the position or the type of work which the foreigner is to perform.

The work is therefore regarded as legal only if the foreigner performs the work identified in the permit.

This means that if the foreigner wants to change jobs (i.e. change employer and / or position and / or industry) in which he is employed, he must obtain a new permit.

Who requires a work permit in Poland?
A foreigner who is not a national of an EU member state is entitled to perform work in the Republic of Poland based on a work permit, if he legally resides in Poland based on:

A temporary residence permits.

A Schengen visa or another residence document issued by another Schengen Area member state.

Based on visa-free travel if the provisions of an agreement concerning visa-free travel foresee the performance of work by foreigners.

Validity Periods of Work Permits
A work permit is issued for a fixed period, however, for no longer than 3 years. In the case of foreigners who perform work as members of boards of companies employing more than 25 people at the time of application for a permit, the voivode may issue a permit for a period not longer than 5 years. Although the law indicates for what period a work permit may be granted, the voivode may shorten the period for which work permits in the voivodship are issued. The validity of the permit to work may therefore vary between voivodships.

Types of Work Permits Granted to Foreigners
Type A - this type of work permit is issued to foreigner who serve Polish employers who have a registered office, branch, place of residence, facility or any other form of business within the country.

Type B - after the acquisition of this work permit, a foreigner is allowed to stay in Poland for anywhere between 6 to 12 months. It is granted to employees functioning within the management board of a legal person who has established own business.

Type C - a foreigner is employed by a non-Polish employer, but has been delegated for over 30 days to a facility or branch being operated within Poland.

Type D - a foreigner serving a non-Polish employer is duly performing his duties in the country to execute a particular service which is casual and/or temporary in nature. For example, the foreigner can be facilitating export services.

Type E - a foreigner serving a non-Polish employer is delegated to Poland for a period of more than 3 months within the next 6 months for purposes other than those that have been mentioned previously.

Final Tips
Irrespectively of the path you decide to take (applying for a work permit or a temporary residence and a work permit), there are certain do's and don'ts that you should follow to make sure you don't get yourself in trouble. Especially:

  • Never give anyone your passport or identity card.
  • Make sure you receive a copy of your work permit (or in case of seasonal work the certificate of entry of an application into the seasonal work register), this is your legal right and it's important you keep these documents safe.
  • If you are sorting out your work permit remotely you can check the details of your future employer online and make sure they are legit. You can do it online via the official government website if you know the REGON number of the company (this is the national business registry number) or on the National Court Register website if you don't.
  • If you are using a work agency check them online, look for reviews and make sure other expats are happy with them.