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Foreigners need to obtain work permits in Poland if they intent do work in Poland for more than three months and they have a work contract concluded with an employer registered in Poland. The future employer must apply for a work permit for the employee. Residence permits are also necessary if the individual wishes to stay more than three months in the country.

Our lawyers in Poland can help you with detailed information about the Polish employment law.

There are five types of work permits available in Poland for foreigners who want to work in the country. The employee must bear in mind that his or her employer is the one responsible for obtaining the work permit. Work permits are issued at a regional level and have a limited duration, according to the type of work that is to be performed by the employee (seasonal or permanent work).

The main types of work permits in Poland are:

  • - Type A: the foreign employee is employed by a business entity incorporated in Poland;
  • - Type B: the foreigner stays in Poland for a specific amount of time to perform a function on a management board;
  • - Type C: the foreign employee is employed by a foreign employer and has been delegated to work at a branch or subsidiary in Poland for a period exceeding 30 days;
  • - Type D: the foreign employee is employed by a foreign employer that does not have a subsidiary or branch in Poland but the employee has been delegated to perform a temporary service in the country (usually export services);
  • - Type E: the foreign employee is employed by a foreign employer and has been delegated to Poland for a period longer than 3 months in the next 6 months of the calendar year, to perform other tasks than those described above.

The employer who wants to hire a foreign employee needs to submit the application for a work permit, together with the following documents:

- copies of the ID card or passport of the employee;

- documents from the National Court Register if the employee is a legal person;

- document proving the economic activity of the employer;

- a company deed, if the employer is a limited liability company;

- documents that prove that the foreigner meets the requirements for working in a specific position;

- copy of the employment contract that defines the obligations of the two parties.

Certain fees for the issue of a work permit application in Poland according to the type of work permit and the period for which the permit is requested. Our Polish lawyers can help you apply for a work permit in Poland.

A work permit in Poland has a fixed validity period, usually no longer than three years. This period can be of five years when the said foreign employee is a Board member for a company that has more than 25 employees when the application is made. 

The work permit validity is established by each Voivodship, and as a consequence, employees should be well informed of the certain validity period for the location in which they will work. For example, some voivodships issue work permits with a validity of only one year and they can be extended for no more than two years.

In Poland, the employer will make the necessary work permit extension. For this purpose, he will submit the application for extending the permit no later than 30 days before the expiry of the currently valid work permit. Just like when first submitting the work permit application, the one for the extension will include documents such as proof of payment, the employee’s personal identification details, and the valid employment contract. Additional steps, such as a labor market test for the employee, may be needed when the employer decided that the foreign individual should be promoted.

Work permits in Poland should be issues within one month and the costs are not burdensome for the employer. In general, the extension applications will cost half of the fees for the initial application. The procedure can last longer but in general not more than two months, when the employee who requests the permit has a more complicated situation.

A Polish Voivode can refuse a work permit application. This can happen when:

- the submitted information was false or a document was found to be a forgery;

- the applicant does not meet the approval criteria: has committed crimes or has been found guilty by court verdict for illegal foreign employment;

- the employer did not observe his obligations for hiring foreign employees;

- the employer filed for work permit application for an employee who does not meet the qualification criteria for regulated professions or has been found guilty/was punished for a crime.

When any changes occur to the status of the company that performed the employment, such as a change in the company’s residence, its legal form or name, these changes, along with any other that may occur, need to be reported to the Voivode in writing, by filling in a special form. The submission is made with the Voivode that issues the work permit. 

Please contact our Organization in Poland if you need further information, such as the legal requirements for obtaining a residence permit in Poland. Also if you want to specialize in a particular area, such as management, finance or leadership, before coming to work in Poland,

European Commission and Poland, official website: Useful links

The official website of the European Commission, providing access to information about its political priorities, policies and services.

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