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The Work Permit and Visa in Poland

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Poland, with its vibrant culture, rich history, and growing economy, has become an attractive destination for companies in search of expansion opportunities. When considering hiring or extending your company’s activities in Poland, it is crucial to ensure that all employees possess the necessary work authorization. Engaging individuals without proper authorization is against the law and can result in severe consequences, such as fines, imprisonment, or a prohibition on employing foreign workers. Two essential documents are required for foreign nationals and non-EU citizens intending to work in Poland: a work permit and a work visa. In our article, we discuss all the tips and tricks you need to know about the work permit and visa processes in Poland.

Work permit in Poland

Before diving into the visa process, it’s important to note that most non-EU/EEA citizens are required to obtain a work permit to work in Poland legally. The work permit gives the legal right to work in the country, while the visa allows the worker to live in Poland.

There are several types of work permits, including temporary and seasonal permits, which are typically issued for employers. The most common work permit is a Type A. It is used for standard employment contracts if the employer has an office in Poland. A Type C work permit is for the workers of a foreign employer to have the right to work in Poland. Therefore, work permits in Poland are categorized into various types based on the nature of employment and the circumstances of the individuals involved. Let’s discuss each in detail:

  • Type A: Intended for foreign individuals for whom a Polish employer has offered employment. A valid residence permit is a must.
  • Type B: Designed for foreign individuals serving as board members
  • Type C: Applicable to foreign individuals sent to work in Poland through an intra-company transfer arrangement.
  • Type D: This is applicable for foreign individuals sent to work in Poland for export services by a foreign employer that doesn’t have a Polish branch.
  • Type E: Pertains to foreign individuals sent to work in Poland for reasons other than those specified in the discussed categories.
  • Type S: Specifically tailored for foreign individuals engaged in agricultural or accommodation-related work for a foreign employer.

Your future employer in Poland plays a pivotal role in the work permit application process. They must apply on your behalf to the respective voivodeship office, where the job is located. There are some cases when the employer should verify that there are no suitable Polish or EU/EEA candidates available for the job. This may involve conducting a job market test and showing actions to fill the position locally.

Application process

Common documents needed for a work permit application include a valid passport, a letter of employment, proof of qualifications, and evidence of health insurance. The processing time for a work permit can vary, but it typically takes 10-12 weeks. It is advisable to start the application process well in advance of your planned employment start date. The application process covers the following phases:

  • The employer applies for the permit.
  • The employer pays the application fee.
  • The employer provides documentation about their legal status, including a company deed, and a profit and loss statement.
  • The employer provides employee information, including a copy of passport, health insurance details, and other relevant information.
  • The employer provides a copy of the employment contract.
  • Once approved by the voivode (regional governor), the permit is issued by the regional voivodeship office.

Duscussion at the office desk

Visa in Poland

After obtaining a work permit, the next crucial step is to secure the right visa that allows you to legally enter and stay in Poland. There are various types of visas available, each serving different purposes and durations based on your specific situation.

Types of Visas

  • Type C: This visa is effective within the Schengen Area, allowing the visa holder to live in any of the Schengen countries, including Poland, for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days.
  • Type D: The Type D national visa grants entry and residency in Poland for durations exceeding 90 days, up to one year. It also permits travel within other Schengen area member states for up to 90 days within 180 days, as long as the visa remains valid.
  • Freelance/Entrepreneur Visa: The freelance visa in Poland is valid for two years and can be extended before expiration. Applicants are required to show a customer base that includes both Polish and international clients.
  • The EU Blue Card: Reserved for highly qualified non-EU professionals, the EU Blue Card enables them to live and work in an EU country. Eligibility hinges on advanced professional qualifications and an employment contract or firm job offer for at least one year.

It’s important to note that residents of the European Union automatically possess authorization to work in Poland and other EU member states and don’t need work permits.

Application process

Visa applications should be submitted to the Polish embassy or consulate in your home country. The application must include the work permit, a completed visa application form, passport photos, and proof of accommodation in Poland. It is mandatory to have health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in Poland. This can be either a Polish insurance policy or an international health insurance plan. In many cases, applicants must provide biometric data, including fingerprints, during the visa application process.

The most common visa types are Type C and D. The application process for Type C or D visas involves the following steps:

  1. Before applying, the worker should find the nearest Polish Embassy or Consulate and make an appointment. Details can be found on the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
  2. The worker contacts the embassy to determine the specific documents required for the application.
  3. The worker submits an online form.
  4. The worker then should gather relevant documentation, such as photographs, passports, and additional papers required.
  5. On the scheduled appointment day, submission of the documentation to the embassy occurs, potentially including a personal interview. The processing time can range from six to 12 weeks.
  6. The worker is issued the visa once approved.
  7. Upon entry into Poland, the worker should register their addresses, obtain necessary permits, and initiate the residency card application process.

The limit on the quantity of work permits one can acquire in Poland

In Poland, there is no specific limit on the number of work permits an individual can obtain. However, it’s important to note that work permits are typically tied to specific employment contracts. To renew a work permit, the employer can extend the work contract, thus extending the validity of the permit.

For individuals on a Type D visa, which is often associated with work in export services by a foreign employer without a Polish branch, it’s crucial to be aware that if the intended period of stay exceeds one year, the employee must switch to a residency permit. This transition is necessary for continued legal residence and employment in Poland beyond the initial one-year period specified by the Type D visa. It’s advisable to initiate the renewal process well in advance to ensure a smooth transition and compliance with the immigration regulations in Poland.

Documents required to apply for a Polish work permit and visa

Work permit

  • Work permit application form
  • Proof of fee payment
  • Passport and passport-sized photos
  • Employer’s documents
  • Company deed
  • Profit and loss statement
  • A copy of the work contract or agreement between the employer and the employee
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Biometric data
  • Additional documentation as required

Visa

  • Visa application form
  • Passport
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Travel arrangements
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of financial means
  • Certificate of employment (only language teachers)
  • Work permit
  • Purpose-specific documents

How do you renew your Poland work permit/visa?

Regarding work permits, employers have the option to prolong a Polish work permit by renewing the employment contract. This renewal process should be initiated 30 days before the visa’s expiration date. Employers can choose to apply for the extension either at a regional voivodeship office or through an online application.

In terms of visas, individuals from foreign countries planning to stay in Poland for more than 90 days can opt for a long-stay or Type D visa. This visa permits entry into Poland for continuous or multiple stays totaling over 90 days within its validity period of up to one year.
To stay in Poland for a long time, you first get a visa at an embassy in another country. When you arrive in Poland, you need to change this visa into a residence permit. If you plan to stay for more than three months, you must get a temporary residence permit, which can last for up to three years. While there is a rare possibility of extending a Type C Schengen visa, Type D visas cannot be extended.

Conclusion

Navigating the work permit and visa process in Poland may seem complex, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, it can be a manageable and rewarding experience. It’s crucial to start the application process early, gather all necessary documents, and stay informed about any updates or changes in immigration regulations. By following the guidelines and meeting the requirements, you can embark on your professional journey in Poland with confidence and legal compliance.

Contact us at [email protected] to learn more or explore valuable insights at www.devsdata.com.

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