What is a work permit?

A work permit is a document that authorizes a foreigner to work legally in Poland.

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 has to obtain a new permit. However, there are some circumstances in which the permit remains valid despite a change in the circumstances for which it has been issued.

The permit is valid for the period for which it was issued. The term of validity of the permit is indicated on the document.

 

Who requires a work permit in Poland?

A foreigner who is not a nation of an EU Member State is entitled to perform work in the Republic of Poland on the basis of a work permit if he legally resides in Poland on the basis of :

 

  1. a visa (exceptions to this principle apply;
  2. a Schengen visa or another residence document issued by another Schengen Area member state;
  3. a temporary residence permit (exceptions to this principle apply and are listed below);
  4. on the basis of visa-free travel if the provisions of an agreement concerning visa-free travel foresee the performance of work by foreigners

 

Who may work in Poland without a work permit?

A foreigner entitled to work in Poland without a work permit is a person who:

  1. has refugee status granted to them in the Republic of Poland;;
  2. has received subsidiary protection in the Republic of Poland;
  3. possesses a permanent residence permit issued by the Republic of Poland
  4. holds  anEU- long term residence permitissued in the Republic of Poland or in special cases issued in another EU country
  5. has been granted tolerated stay in the Republic of Poland;
  6. benefits from temporary protection in Poland;
  7. benefits from humanitarian protection in Poland;
  8. is a national  of a European Union Member State or of a member state of the EEA or a family member of such national;
  9. is a victim of human trafficking (assuming the fufillment of additional requirements).
  10.  has a temporary residence permit or any other legal document that allows for residence in Poland acquired in conjunction with a marriage to a Polish citizen or a foreigner holding refugee status, a person benefiting from supplementary protection,  possessing a permanent residence permit or a long term EU-resident permit, permit for tolerated stay or temporary protection granted to him in Poland;
  11. whose family situation (death or divorce with a spouse who was an EU citizen) has retained the right to stay in Poland on the basis of a residence permit;
  12. who has submitted an application in a timely manner for extension of a temporary residence permit, if he was entitled to take up employment without a work permit immediately before the submission of the application;
  13. has a valid Pole’s Card –
  14. is providing training or taking part in vocational training and internships, or participates in a scheme carried out within the framework of European Union programmes or another international aid scheme;
  15. is a foreign language teacher;
  16. performs artistic or scientific activity for up to 30 days a year;
  17. is a student of full-time tertiary studies in Poland studying on the basis of a visa .
  18. is a student of full-time studies in Poland studying on the basis of a residence permit issued for the purpose of continuing tertiary education in Poland for the full year;
  19. is a graduate of Polish secondary schools, or has completed full time studies (tertiary education), or full-time doctoral studies at Polish universities and scientific and research institutions;
  20. is entitled on the basis of the Association Agreement between the European Economic Community and Turkey;
  21. belongs to other groups (foreign language teachers who are delegated to work in cultural institutions, members of the armed forces, permanent correspondents of mass media, athletes, clergymen.

 

When is a work permit granted and what are the types of work permits

A work permit is required when a foreigner:

  1. carries out work in the Republic of Poland under an employment contact or a civil law contract with an employer whose seat / residence is on the territory of the Republic of Poland – in this case the foreigner is issued a type A work permit;
  2. in relation to performance of the function of board member of a company if he resides in the Republic of Poland for a total period exceeding 6 months within a period of 12 subsequent months – the foreigner is then issued a type B work permit;
  3. performs work for a foreign employer and is delegated to the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year to a branch or plant belonging to the foreign employer – the foreigner is then issued a type C work permit;
  4. performs work for a foreign employer that does not have a branch, plant or other organized form of business activity in the Republic of Poland and is delegated to the Republic of Poland in order to engage in export, i.e. a temporary and occasional service – the foreigner is then issued a type D work permit;
  5. The type E work permit is the rarest, and applies to all situations which do not fall under the provisions for types A-D work permits listed above.

 

How to apply for a work permit?

A permit is issued by the Voivode competent for the seat / place of residence of the employer.

The employer applies for a work permit for a foreigner.

Documents attached to the application should be submitted in the original or officially certified for compliance with the originals (with the exception of the identity card and passport).
Documents in a foreign language should be translated into Polish by a sworn translator.

During the proceedings the office may invite the applicant, ie. the employer, to provide additional documents or information. Regardless of the type of work permit, the employer must submit:

  1. application for a work permit for a foreigner
  2. copy of pages of the travel document belonging to the foreigner whom the application concerns with complete personal data,
  3. if other legal provisions require a permit to work in a given profession from an appropriate institution – a copy of documents confirming that the foreigner has met such requirements (for example, regulated professions
  4. copies of documents confirming that the foreigner:
    • in the 3 years preceding submission of the application for a work permit graduated from a school or college with its seat in the Republic of Poland or in another country of the European Economic Area or Swiss Confederation,
    • for 3 years preceding submission of the application for the residence permit issue has stayed legally in the Republic of Poland.

5. copies of documents confirming that the requirements provided for in separate regulations necessary for the application to be processed have been met;

6. If the employer does not submit the application in person – original power of attorney or authorization for the person submitting the application;

7. copy of confirmation of payment of stamp duty for the work permit, containing the following information:

    • the name and registered seat of the employer;
    • whether the employer is seeking to obtain or extend a work permit, and
    • the name and surname of the foreigner on whose behalf the application for a work permit has been submitted.