Work permit in Poland – how to get it?

Work permit in Poland – how to get it?
Karolina Gradowska-Kania

Karolina Gradowska-Kania

Attorney / Head of the Mobility & HR department

Work permit in Poland is not always nor exclusively required to perform work. Foreigners are permitted to work in Poland if they meet certain conditions:

1. Legal Stay in Poland

  • Must be present legally, based on either a visa, visa-free movement, or a residence card granted by Poland or another Schengen nation.

2. Possess a Polish Work Permit

  • It’s a requisite unless exempted. Note: A tourist visa or a visa for visiting family/friends does not authorize work.

The increasing trend of foreigners migrating to Poland accentuates its position as a notable European employment destination. For professional engagement, a work permit is typically required. This permit:

  • Allows foreigners to legally work in Poland.
  • Is job-specific. You can only perform tasks specified in its application.
  • Requires a new application if changing jobs.
  • Has a fixed validity, not exceeding two years.

Exceptions – Who doesn’t need a work permit in Poland?

  • EU Citizens: Those from the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland.
  • EU Long-term Residence Card Holders: Especially if issued by Polish authorities.
  • Permanent Residence Permit Holders.
  • Temporary Residence Permit Holders: Only if your permit mentions that you can work legally.
  • Pole’s Card Holders and citizens from nations like Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine for short-term work (up to 6 months annually).
  • Special categories: Human trafficking victims, refugees, and certain individuals granted protection by Poland.

Uncertain about your work permit requirements? Reach out to the corresponding voivode’s office for clarification.

Visa Requirements for Working in Poland:

  • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: A visa is mandatory.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: If intending to work beyond three months, you need only register your stay. This isn’t a visa application but a notification process for Polish authorities about your extended stay intention.

Work permit in Poland table of contents

Types of work permit in Poland

Polish regulations distinguish several types of work permits for foreigners. The basic criterion distinguishing each type is the place where the work is to be performed by the foreigner.

Work permit in Poland type A

The type A permit is applicable when both the employer’s headquarters and the place of work are located in Poland.

Work permit in Poland type B

This type of permit is issued when a foreigner is to undertake work on the board of a legal entity registered in the business registry or as a capital company in organization. It also pertains to situations where the foreigner is to manage the affairs of a limited partnership or a joint-stock partnership as a general partner, or in connection with being granted a proxy for a period exceeding a total of 6 months within consecutive 12 months.

Work permit in Poland type C

This permit is issued when a foreigner is employed by 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 establishment of a foreign entity.

Work permit in Poland type D

This permit is required for foreigners working for a foreign employer who does not have a branch, establishment or other form of organized activity on the territory of the Republic of Poland, and who are delegated to the territory of our country to provide a service of a temporary and occasional nature (export service).

Work permit in Poland type E

Work permit type E is required if a foreigner works for a foreign employer and is delegated to the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding 30 days within 6 consecutive months for a purpose other than specified in permits type B, C, and D.

Who is eligible to apply for a work permit in Poland?

The application for a permit is submitted by the employer who intends to employ a foreigner who is not exempt from the obligation to have such a permit.

Exempt from the obligation to have a permit include, among others:

  • Full-time students,
  • Graduates of full-time studies from Polish universities,
  • Citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, or Ukraine, for whom a simplified procedure of declaration of intent to entrust work is applied,
  • Foreigners holding a valid Polish Card (Karta Polaka),
  • People holding a permanent residence permit,
  • Foreigners holding a long-term EU resident permit,
  • Foreigners with refugee status.

What documents must an employer applying for a work permit in Poland submit?

The documents that an employer will have to submit will depend on the type of permit they intend to obtain for their employee. In any case, it will be necessary to properly complete the application form available on the website of the voivodeship office. The employer will have to attach the appropriate documents to the application. This will include, among others, a copy of the valid travel document of the foreigner, as well as the company agreement or a photocopy of the employer’s identity card, if they are a natural person.

In some cases, it will also be necessary to attach the information from the district head (starosta) about the impossibility of satisfying personnel needs in the local labor market.

The nature of the decision to grant a work permit in Poland

The decision to issue a permit is individual, meaning it only concerns a specific employer and a specific foreigner. The permit is issued by the voivode (regional governor) for a specified period of time – no longer than three years. However, it can be extended for another three years at the request of the same employer.

It is also important to remember that simply having a work permit does not grant the foreigner the right to work. They must also have a document confirming their legal residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland. For this reason, in certain cases, the employer should consider the procedure for a single residence and work permit.

Are you an employer considering hiring a foreigner? Are you unsure whether to apply for a work permit or for a temporary residence permit for work and stay in Poland? Contact us. Our specialists will answer these and other questions. We will help you correctly submit your application and efficiently carry out the procedure for obtaining a permit.