Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Poland, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Polish market. Poland is known for typically being quite inflexible with its visa arrangements for foreigners, and visas will only be granted if no suitable Polish candidate can be sourced for a position. If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.
It is possible for companies that have established limited liability or joint-stock companies, or limited or limited joint-stock partnerships, to arrange visas for their workers. The relevant visa is Work Permit C, for foreigners who perform work in Poland for a foreign employer for a period exceeding 30 days, as long as the conditions of their employment align with the conditions stipulated within the Polish Labour Code. Permits are issued by the Province Governor. Work permits are valid for a maximum one year and are only valid if the applicant performs the work specified in the permit.
Non-EU residents must apply for a work permit if they wish to work in Poland. There are various exceptions, including:
The steps to apply for a work permit in Poland are as follows:
Employers must carry out a labour market test to acquire information about the circumstances surrounding employment in the local labour market. This test must confirm that there are no eligible Polish or EU nationals who could be employed in a given position.
The process is as follows:
1. Employers submit notification of vacancy to the County Labour Office.
2. The Labour Office then analyses the records of all unemployed people and job seekers
3. If the analysis determines that there are sufficient persons meeting the job requirements, the Labour Office will undertake its own recruitment amongst these individuals.
4. Remuneration proposed by the employer is compared to the remuneration that could be obtained in the same or similar position for similar work by the Labour office. These sums must be similar
5. The County Commissioner will issue the relevant decision.
6. If appropriate, the governor will issue the decision to the employer who is then able to apply for a work permit and temporary residence permit on behalf of the foreigner.
The labour market test does not need to be carried out in the following circumstances:
Fees: Varies based on the Voivodship
Employees may only receive work permits provided the following conditions are satisfied:
The employer must submit a completed application form along with the following documents:
The relevant forms can be found at the website of the Department of Civil Affairs and Foreigners of Malopolska Regional Office.
Aside from completing the application form for the foreigner, the employer must also:
If employers do not comply with these duties and are found to be in breach, they must immediately rectify their mistake, otherwise risk penalties of between PLN 3,000 and PLN 5,000.
Time: The entire process generally 3-4 weeks for approval, but may extend to up to 8 weeks.
Once the work permit is issued, one copy is retained by the Voivodship Office, and two are transferred to the employer, who is required to issue one copy to the foreigner.
The employee may commence work if a work permit is successfully issued.
It takes around 10-12 weeks to secure a Work Permit in Poland.
The processing costs are around €2,750 through Shield GEO’s local partner.
Documentation required (Employee): Copy of the personal pages of the applicant’s passport, CV, passport photos, copies of degree/diploma/professional certificates and copies of professional references (may need to be notarized/apostilled depending on nationality). All documents need to be translated into Polish. Client will also need to provide a detailed job description in both English and Polish.
The process for obtaining a Work Permit for Poland once the above documents are received is as follows:
|Category||Description of Visa|
|Work Permit (Type A)||
Work permits are required to work legally in Poland if an individual is:
The following documents are required and must be supplied in Polish:
|Work Permit (intra-company transfer) (Type C or E)||
This permit is intended for foreign individuals who work for a foreign employer and have been sent to Poland to work at one of the employer’s branches or plants.
|Business visa (Schengen Visa C or D)||
A Schengen visa is required to visit Poland for business purposes. To apply for a Schengen visa, the following information is required:
The type of visa required is dependant on the length of the stay – C visas are suited for stays under 90 days whereas D visas are for stays exceeding 90 days.
It is sometimes possible to convert from a business to employment visa.
|Freelance/entrepreneur visa (temporary residence card)||
This type of visa is valid for up to 2 years and can renewed before expiry.
The approval process usually takes between 10 and 60 days.
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