Poland Visas and Work Permit

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Poland Work Permits, Visas and Migration 

Expanding a business into new territory can be both thrilling ... and daunting, especially if it’s thousands of miles away. Dealing with immigration legislation and risking sanctions and fines for non-compliance is a major consideration, unless you are in the hands of experts such as Bradford Jacobs, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR).

With over 20 years’ experience of locating staff, to organizing work permits and running payroll, our specialists at Bradford Jacobs take the ‘daunting’ out of the equation leaving you to get on with what you do best – running your business.

We are experts in hiring staff, applying for work visas in Poland and ensuring employees meet Polish work visa requirements with the correct documentation.

Our team is trained to research the latest information on Polish visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. This guide highlights the complexities of obtaining the necessary documentation.

What types of Work Visas and Permits for Poland are there?

Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have ‘free movement of persons’ entering, living, and looking for employment in Poland. They do not require entry visas or work permits. They can stay for three months with just their EU passports or ID card. After this, they must register with the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they live for a temporary residence permit for up to three years. This is an easy process with no charge.

Third Country Nationals (TCNs) to visit, holiday or for unpaid business purposes who are not visa-exempt, must apply for:

  • Schengen C Visa gives them a 90-day stay in a six-month period
  • For stays of more than three months, a National D Visa is required

Generally, all TCNs who wish to enter Poland for employment, require a work permit. There are a few exceptions related to scientific research

Also, some countries have an agreement with Poland allowing for an Employer’s Declaration of Entrusting Work to a Foreigner’ rather than a work permit, such as the Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Moldova, Belarus and Georgia. 

Conditions include:

  • For six months in a 12-month period
  • Employers make a ‘written declaration’ to provide the employees with work
  • The declaration has to be posted in Poland’s Labor Office

They have up to 90 days visa free, after which they must apply for the appropriate visa or temporary residence permit for the length of their stay.

All other TCN citizens require a work permit which is applied for by the employer at the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) they will work and live. The employer pays for the permit and must give a copy to the employee on acceptance.

Main Work Permits

  • Type A is the standard permit for foreigners who have been offered a job by Polish employers
  • Type B is for a board member residing in Poland for six out of 12 months
  • Type C is for ‘intracompany’ transfers sent to a branch of non-Polish employer for more than 30 days
  • Type D is for employees sent to non-Polish employers to perform a service
  • Type E for employees working with non-Polish employer sent to Poland (intracompany) for longer than three months
  • Freelance / Entrepreneur permit for the self employed
  • EU Blue Card which is a combined work permit (A Type) and residence permit for highly skilled and qualified workers or professionals with five years’ experience

As well as the work permit which gives permission for employment, TCNs also require a National D Visa to enter and stay in Poland legally. This can be applied for in the home country from a local Polish Embassy or Consulate or their official representative. A Residence Permit can be applied for when arriving in Poland.

Note:
Work permits are issued on the basis of:

  • A specific employer
  • A particular job position
  • A designated period of employment

So be careful, you may need to apply for a new work permit if there is a change of employer and if all documents are rendered invalid by the move.

Being illegal in Poland can bring fines and sanctions for both employee and employer. Reasons include:

  • Not having the relevant visa or residence card to live in Poland even though employees may have a work permit
  • Performing work that is not specified in the work permit or not having a work permit
  • Being employed with documentation which does not cover paid employment

Fines up to PLN 5,000 (€1,103, US$1,264) for individuals and expulsion from Poland and the Schengen area for three years can apply. Employers must cover all costs relating to the expulsion of employees PLUS fines which can be excessive if the employee was asked to work illegally.

TCNs seeking employment - from outside of Poland

  • A job offer is required with initial contract detailing working conditions, salary, start date etc. However, the position should have been offered first to Polish/EU/EEA nationals (Labor Market Test) through the local labor office or the European Job Bank (EURES). This needs to have been verified before the employer can apply for the work permit for a TCN. Exceptions apply if their occupation is on a skill shortage list
  • The employer applies and pays for the work permit. This is the legal permission to work in Poland. It is typically the standard Type A permit or Type C/E for intracompany transfers
  • A National D Visa is also legally required by employees to enter and live in Poland. This D Visa can be applied for when the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) to which the employer has issued an employment application, sends an invitation to the employee
  • The employer must ensure that the Visa or Residence Permit are legally correct and keeps a copy
  • The contract needs to be concluded before the employee starts work. Failure results in a fine of PLN 3,000 (€662, US$758). Type of contract determines if employees are covered by the Labor Code. Employment contracts are covered but civil contracts are not e.g., task contract, agency contract or contract of mandate (for a determined period) are covered by the Civil Code
  • Employees are legally entitled to a copy of the contract in a language which they are familiar with and is provided by the employer
  • Within four days of entering Poland, the employee must register at the ‘voivodship’ where he lives and works
  • Within seven days of the contract being signed, the employer must register the employee with the social security and health insurance authorities, so the employees are covered for health care as well as benefits and entitlements
  • After entering Poland, a residence permit can be applied for during the legal stay (i.e., documents are still valid) at the ‘voivodship’

For foreign employees already in Poland

These employees can apply for a combined Temporary Residence and Work Permit or an EU Blue Card, also known as a "Temporary Residence Permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment". This permit allows foreign nationals to live and work in Poland. Certain conditions and documents are required when applying.

How to obtain a Poland Work Visa / Work Permit?

European Union (EU), European Economic Area and Swiss nationals, do not need a work visa/permit to enter, live and work in Poland.

Also, some countries have an agreement with Poland which allows for an ‘Employer’s Declaration of Entrusting Work to a Foreigner’ rather than a work permit; these are citizens from the Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Moldova, Belarus, and Georgia. Conditions include:

  • For a period of six months in a 12-month period
  • Employers make a ‘written declaration’ to provide employees with work
  • The declaration has to be posted in Poland’s Labor Office

For those who do require a work permit, the employer applies and pays for it. They are issued by the relevant voivodship (county, province) in which the company operates. Choose between:

  • Type A – for a contracted individual employed by a company based in Poland
  • Type B – for a board member residing in Poland for six out of 12 months
  • Type C – for a person working for an international company’s branch or subsidiary for more than 30 days in 12 months
  • Type D – for individuals working for a non-Polish employer, transferred to Poland
  • Type E – for a person transferred to Poland for longer than three months within six months
  • Type S – seasonal work permit
  • EU Blue Card which is a combined work permit and residency

Note:
Work permits are issued on the basis of:

  • A specific employer
  • A particular job position
  • A designated period of employment

Generally issued for three years. Deviating from what is stipulated in the work permit can bring fines or deportation and the need to apply for a new permit.

To obtain a Type A permit (most popular) to work as a Third Country National in Poland, conditions:

  • A job offer with conditions of employment
  • The employer must have put the job through the Labor Office for a Labor Market Test to see if any local, EU or EEA citizen could fill the position, unless they are on a skill shortage list
  • The employee must also have the required qualifications. Some positions may stipulate proficiency in Polish
  • The employer must have submitted an employment application in the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they operate, for the work permit
  • The voivodship issues an invitation to the employee on approving the work permit; they should also receive a copy. It is for a period of three years although it may be tied to the length of the employment contract
  • Employers must have no relevant criminal convictions, can financially support the employee and the company must be functioning
  • A National D ‘Work’ Visa needs to be applied for to enter Poland from a local Polish Embassy or Consulate in home country
  • Upon receipt of the work permit and the entry visa, the employee can go to Poland to work
  • Before fourth day of arrival, foreigners (TCNs) must register at the ‘town hall’ or provincial office in the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they are working and living 

Before starting employment, the contract of employment needs to be concluded and signed or fines will be imposed.
The residence permits can be applied for two months before the end of the ‘legal stay’ by the employee and replaces the D Visa.

For the EU Blue Card

  • Confirmed job offer for at least one year in a highly qualified position
  • Documents verifying higher qualifications, degrees, or relevant professional experience (Polish translation required)
  • Offer required minimum salary e.g., at least 1.5 times the average gross salary for the position in Poland
  • Have required health insurance
  • Have legal paperwork to reside in Poland e.g., D Visa/Residence Permit
  • For more information click here

For Temporary Residence Permit requirements are:

  • The employee must obtain valid insurance for Poland
  • Have sufficient funds for their stay
  • Have accommodation in Poland

How to apply for Work Visa / Work Permit for Poland

Third Country Nationals travelling to Poland to take up an employment offer need:

  1. A Work Permit – giving permission to work in Poland
  2. A National D Visa for Work – to enter Poland for work and to reside for more than 90 days
  3. A Temporary Residence Permit which replaces the D Visa when it expires

Applicants need to ensure they qualify for relevant work permit for e.g., qualifications, minimum salary requirements, have a contract with acceptable working conditions for foreign nationals. Applicants must make sure their passports are up to date with six months validity and no more than 10 years old with blank pages for visa stamps.
Also, check which format documents should be in, or what language or if translations are needed.

For Third Country Nationals who are contracted to a Polish company: A Type permit

It can take between eight and 20 weeks for this permit to be issued. It is for three years and can be extended. The employer applies and pays in the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they are located. Dependents can join employee but cannot work with this permit.

Documents required:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport
  • Passport photograph
  • Proof of a temporary address in Poland e.g., hotel reservation
  • Evidence of health insurance
  • Proof of all relevant qualifications, professional experience
  • Employer’s official ‘National Court Register’ documents 
  • Evidence a Labor Market Test has been conducted (if required)
  • Evidence the employer has no relevant criminal convictions
  • Company deeds
  • Details of employment and evidence of employment contract

Before fourth day of arrival, foreigners (TCNs) must register at the ‘town hall’ or provincial office in the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they are working and living with proof of residence e.g., lease. This service is free. This is also the office where a Temporary Residence Permit can be applied for.

For Third Country Nationals that are contracted to a Polish company: EU Blue Card documents:

Applicants should ensure they qualify for this permit/EU Card e.g., higher qualifications (degree or similar / five years professional work experience) minimum salary requirements, at least a year’s contract.

Employer applies for the A permit. Documents are the same as the above PLUS:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Employment contract for at least one year
  • Airline tickets /Hotel accommodation dates

After arriving in Poland, other documents are required to do with annual tax returns, how many dependents will be supported in Poland, health insurance certificates, accommodation agreement/lease.

Dependents joining applicant can work in Poland with this combined Work and Residence Permit. It takes between 16 to 28 weeks to issue.

NOTE: Information on other types of work permits can be accessed here 

Documents for the D Visa to enter Poland:

Applied for in the home country at a Polish Embassy or Consulate that is commissioned to issue visas valid for between three months and one year.

  • Passport – less than 10 years old. With three months validity upon return to home country and having at least two blank pages for visa stamps
  • Application form
  • A recent photograph according to guidelines
  • Work Permit issued by ‘voivodship’ office
  • Health/medical insurance for more than €30,000
  • Proof of accommodation during stay
  • Paperwork giving reasons for travel
  • Financial documentation showing funds to cover planned stay, or availability of funds

Other documents may be required depending on the country where the application is being filed.
Applicant may be called in for an interview. The visa should be issued 15 days after receipt of payment. If the documents cannot be collected from Embassy, include a self-addressed, pre-paid envelope (Special Delivery).

How much is a Poland Work Visa?

Schengen Visa C Type                             PLN 362                          €80                        US$ 91
National Visa D Type (Work)                   PLN 362                          €80                        US$ 91

Work Permit           less than three months                 more than three months                 Type D Permit

                                 PLN 50 (€11, US$12.5)                       PLN 100 (€22, US$25)                 PLN 200 (€44, US$50)

Fees may vary according to province office.

Residence Permit  PLN 340 – 440 (depending on basis of application)         €75 - 97                US$85 – 110
Refundable in case of refusal.
Approval – PLN 50 issuance fee

Sifting through the available information on the various websites regarding compliance with work permits, visas and residency, can be a significant burden. Choosing the correct route, translating the websites from Polish, filling out the forms in Polish, is time consuming and labor intensive. 

This is not what you’re good at ... but it is what Bradford Jacobs do and have been doing for more than 20 years. From permits to payroll, using all of our Professional Employer Organization (PEO) networks and Employer of Record (EOR) platforms enables companies like yours to ‘cut through the red tape’, beat the bureaucracy and have your employees at their desks when you need them. You can then get on with what you are good at ... doing business in a new and exciting country! 

Poland Business Visa

European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals have ‘freedom of movement’ to enter Poland for business purposes. There are also a number of other countries who can travel visa-free for a period of 90 days. 

Those who require a visa, can apply for the Schengen Visa as Poland is a member of the Schengen area. This gives applicants 90 days in a 180-period to visit for a holiday, to visit friends and for business - such as meetings, conferences, networking etc. but not for paid employment. If longer is required, then applicants need to apply for the National D Visa for Business.

Documents required for a Schengen C-Type Visa

  • A completed and signed application form 
  • Passport with three months’ validity after return from trip with blank pages for the visa stamps
  • Two photographs 
  • Copies of any previous visas from Schengen area countries
  • Travel insurance of €30,000 to cover the stay in Schengen area
  • Return flight ticket and itinerary
  • Details of accommodation
  • Marriage or birth certificates of dependents as proof of status
  • Money to cover the stay in Poland
  • Cover letter for reasons of travel. For business this might mean including invitations from companies, conferences etc. plus itinerary
  • Letter from employer sanctioning business trip
  • If employed - bank statements for previous six months, plus tax return plus employment contract for the employed or business license if self-employed
  • Any company documents such as Articles of Association, licenses both original and renewals

Other documents may be required depending on which country the application is made. Check with the local Polish Embassy for any updates.

Cost: PLN362                €80                    US$91

Poland Visa for EU Citizens

European Union, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals do not require a visa or work permit to enter Poland or live and work, due to the ‘free movement of persons’. They can stay for three months using their EU passports or ID cards. After this, they must register with the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they live for a temporary residence permit (for up to three years). This is an easy process with no charge.

Poland Visa for UK Citizens

UK citizens can travel to Poland for visiting friends or family, for a holiday or business purposes (though not paid employment), for 90 days in 180 days without requiring a visa.

By the end of 2022, the European Union planned to implement a new system allowing them to monitor the comings and goings of visa-exempt travelers in the Schengen Zone. A European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver is required and can be applied for easily and quickly online. However, if visitors wish to stay longer than three months, they need to apply for the National D Visa for tourist or business purposes.

If citizens want to work in Poland, they must find a job, acquire a work permit through their prospective employer, apply for a National D (Work) visa and upon entering the country register at the ‘voivodship’ (state or province) where they are working and living (within four days). 

Applicants need to make sure they qualify for whichever work permit is applied for e.g., qualifications, minimum salary requirements, have a contract with acceptable working conditions for foreign nationals. 

With some occupations, applicants should speak Polish. Most jobs are first offered to EU/EEA citizens (Labor Market Test). 

Poland Visa for US Citizens

US citizens can travel to and from Poland in the Schengen area, without a visa, for 90 days in any 180-day period for business or pleasure, but not paid employment. For longer stays, a Polish National D Visa should be applied for.

By the end of 2022, the European Union is planning to introduce an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) visa waiver to track visitors who at the moment do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area (for stays of less than 90 days) which includes US citizens. It is simple and quick to apply online.

Americans wishing to live and work in Poland require:

  • A job offer with details of the employment
  • The relevant work permit applied for by their employer
  • A National D (Work) Visa 
  • They should register at a local ‘town hall’ where they intend to live and work within 4 days
  • Request a Residence Permit at the same office

They should be qualified for the position to apply for the appropriate permit e.g., salary offer, working conditions, hold the necessary qualifications.

Poland Visa for Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens can travel to Poland without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period whether for business or pleasure. For any longer they require a National D Visa. By the end of 2022, the European Union is planning to introduce the ETIAS visa waiver which is a European Travel Information and Authorization System keeping track of people coming and going within the Schengen Area. It gives added security and is easily available online.

Citizens wanting to live and work in Poland need a job offer. The employer applies for appropriate work permit, after which employees apply for a National D (Work) Visa to enter Poland  They are expected to register at the local ‘voivodship’ (within four days) where they intend to live and work. This is also where a Residence Permit can be obtained. Applicants need to make sure that they qualify for whichever work permit is applied for e.g., qualifications, minimum salary requirements, have a contract with acceptable working conditions for foreign nationals. 

Poland Visa for Chinese Citizens

Chinese citizens wanting to visit Poland for business or pleasure can do so with a Schengen C Visa. The visa is valid for 90 days, but for longer stays nationals need to apply for the National D Visa.

Applications for the C Visa cannot be made for more than six months before traveling. Many documents must be organized, an interview arranged at the local consulate or embassy who issue the visa (if not a visa application center) and biometrics will be taken, so apply well before. For visa types, documents required and application form click here

More information on C and D Visa for Poland click here

A work permit is needed to live and work in Poland. Employers apply, after making a job offer, in their local district office (‘voivodship’). A Labor Market Test is required (position is offered to local /EU/EEA/Swiss citizens first) unless the employees occupation is on the ‘shortage list’. Applicants need to make sure they have relevant requirements: qualifications, minimum salary, have a contract with acceptable working conditions for foreign nationals. 

After acquiring a work permit, applicants also need a National D Visa to enter Poland. After arrival, they have four days to register in the ‘voivodship’ office, they are living and working. This is also where they would receive their residence permit when they apply – two months before the D Visa expires.

Call us now! Expanding into the Polish market? You will need a firm grip on work permit and visa compliance if moving your staff there. Contact Bradford Jacobs’ international payroll today for advice – and the other options.