WORK PERMIT IN POLAND
Generally, foreign nationals must obtain a Work Permit prior to engaging in employment in Poland. This general provision applies both to persons engaged in a traditional employer/employee relationship as well as to independent entrepreneurs who perform their services on a contractual basis.
The same rules apply to Intra-company transferees.
"Regularisation" of immigration status from Visitor status to Work Status
A foreign national employee may NOT convert his or her immigration status from a Visitor status to Work status while remaining in Poland. The employee can be present in Poland while the work permit application is being processed; however, the employee will not have authorisation to work. Once the work permit application is approved, the employee MUST obtain his or her Work Visa from a Polish Consulate in the home country (this requirement does not regard EU citizens)
Types of Work Visa
The Work Visa is a Polish residence visa with a right to employment in Poland. This is the only type of work visa.
The General Process
Please note that these are subject to change based on the Labour and Immigration authorities of Poland.
1. The procedure for obtaining a Work Permit in Poland commences with an application for a Promissory decision for a work permit. This document is the basis for issuing a Work Visa and a Work Permit, which will enable a foreign national to enter and remain in Poland for the duration of his/her Employment Contract or assignment.
2. The application of a Promissory decision for a Work Permit is submitted by the prospective employer to the local Labor Office with jurisdiction over the place of the intended employment. Processing time takes approximately 1.5 months.
3. Upon approval of the Promissory decision for a Work Permit, an application for a Work Visa is submitted to the Polish Consulate with jurisdiction over the applicant's current legal residence. Processing of the application takes approximately two to three weeks.
4. In order to obtain the Work Permit, the foreigner should present the required documents to the Provincial Employment Office. Processing time takes approximately 2-4 weeks.
Basic Requirements to Qualify
There are no specific qualifications required but the higher a qualification a foreigner has, the greater the chance of the Labour Office approving the application.
The most commonly required documents are:
- School diploma (university if possible),
- Substantial working experience (confirmed by the letters from the employers, present and former),
- Language knowledge (confirmed by the official certificates)
Polish Corporate Documents Required for Work Permit
The sponsoring Polish employer must present the following documents:
- Court registration;
- Registration number (REGON);
- Tax identification number (NIP);
- Lease agreement for the office space;
- Statement from the company that does not have outstanding liabilities towards Polish authorities.
Employee and Family Documents
1. Documents certifying the foreign national's academic and professional qualifications;
2. Legalised Marriage certificate;
3. Legalised Birth certificates of assignee, spouse and each child;
4. Legalised photocopy of employee's and each family member's full passports.
The approximate time to process the work and residence permits can take at least three months.
Validity of the Work Visa
The Work Permit is valid as long as the Promissory decision up to a maximum of 1 year.
Most Commonly Requested Documents
Please note that the Polish authorities and/or Consulate reserve the right to request additional information and/or documentation. These additional information and/or documentation are:
A. Requirements for Promissory decision on a work permit
1. One application form, signed on behalf of the Polish company by the Management Board member/s and stamped with their personal stamp, according to the representation rules
2. Letter of support from the Polish employer, including detailed information pertaining to the foreign national and the job being offered
3. Documents establishing the company's credentials in Poland, including statistical and tax information
If necessary, the documents must be accompanied by a certified translation into the Polish language.
B. For Work Permit Visa*
1. Visa application form.
2. Original Promissory decision on the work permit.
3. Two passport-style photographs.
4. Passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of expiration of the visa.
5. Application fee.
* EU citizens do not need visa but they have to apply for the residence permit instead
C. For Work Permit
1. A photocopy of his/her passport (the pages showing personal data and the visa with the right to work) as well as the original passport document.
2. A photocopy of the promissory decision on the Work Permit for employment of a foreign national.
3. A photocopy of the foreign national's temporary registration in Poland.
Registration Upon Arrival
Within 48 hours of the foreign national's arrival in Poland, he/she must contact the Department of Registration at the local commune along with the owner of the house where the foreign national will reside, or the owner's proxy, for the purposes of registration of his/her residence. At this time, the owner is additionally obliged to present the title deed to the property or, in the case that the foreigner will reside in housing cooperative, evidence the cooperative approves of the living arrangement.
Registration for Residence Permit and Tax Card
Work Visa does not have to be registered but the address registration has to be obtained. In order to register the address, the owner of the property and the assignee (tenant) must appear before the local district office with the passport and work visa.
Cancellation of Work Visa with Migrations
It is not necessary to cancel the employee's Work Visa upon his/her departure from Poland.
FAMILY AND DEPENDENTS
Spouse and Children
Spouses and children who wish to accompany the employee on a business visit must travel as a tourist, and obtain a visa according to their nationality.
A two-year waiting period before immediate family members of a foreign national authorised to work in Poland may be authorised to reside in Poland. The work permit holder must have worked and resided in Poland lawfully for at least two continuous years before becoming eligible to sponsor accompanying family members for residence in Poland.
Unmarried partners are not recognised as a legal dependent relationship. Thus, he/she must obtain his/her own authorisation to legally reside/work in Poland.
Ability to Work
Spouses, dependents and unmarried partners are not granted immediate work authorisation as a derivative status of the employee. Spouses, dependents and unmarried partners must obtain their own Work Permit and Work Visa in order to secure employment in Poland.