How to legally hire a foreigner in Poland?

Developing economy is showing the shortcomings in Polish labour market. The need of specialists in different fields increases. Unfortunately, employers can’t always find needed employees in Poland. Because of this employers will search in different places, other than Poland. In this case it’s important to legalize the foreigner’s stay and obtain a work permit.

The weight of everything is on employer. Finding out the possibilities of legalization in individual case is essential. It’s really important to check which nationality the foreigner is, because in European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland the ways of employing a foreigner from these places are different than in the other countries.

Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Citizens of countries in this area are treated the same way as Polish citizens. They can work in Poland without any permits. They just need to register they residence after 3 months.

Citizens of other countries.

Foreigner from the country outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland can work in Poland if they meet following conditions:

  • they have Schengen or country visa with work permit included.
  • They have:
    • Permit to work in Poland
    • Statement about entrusting job entered in the register of declaration
    • Permit to seasonal work

Work permit: How to legally work in Poland?

In general, foreigners are entitled to work in Poland if they:

  • stay here legally and
  • have a work permit (if required).

As mentioned above, work permit is not required in case of citizens of the European Union countries, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland and their family members. As long as citizens of other countries are concerned, work permit is not required in case of employment at public research institutions such as:

  • universities,
  • institutions of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
  • research institutions.

Polish low also defines other cases related to foreign scientists, when the work permit is not required. The list includes selected cases that are most relevant to performing scientific research or related activities. It does not refer to other types of employment.

When work permit is required?

Work permit is required in the private sector. Private companies, factories and other organisations cannot hire a foreigner as long as the person does not have a work permit. What is important is that the person who has to apply for the work permit is the employer, not the employee him or herself. The documents are issued by a relevant regional office called Voivodship Office relevant for the region of the employer’s location. Another important thing is that the permit authorizes the foreigner to work only for this particular employer (who applied for the permit and is specified in it). In order to preform work for another company or factory, a new permit is required.

What does work permit include?

Work permit is an important document. It includes all information on the work the foreigner is entitled to perform, such as:

  • the name of the employer,
  • position or type of work,
  • minimum salary required by law,
  • mode (full-time/part-time work),
  • the permit’s validity date.

To sum up this part:

  • A foreign employee who is not a citizen of the European Union countries, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland cannot legally work in Poland without a work permit.
  • It is the employer who has to apply for the work permit for the hired foreigner.
  • The work permit specifies all the details about the foreigner employment: where/what/how long.
  • In order to start work in another company, the foreigner needs a new work permit.

What else should you know about work permit?

The foreigner is ought to start employment within 3 months from the starting date marked in the work permit. If the person does not start employment in due time, stops working for more than 3 months or finishes employment priori to 3 months before the end date of the permit, the employer is obliged to inform the Voivodship Office within 7 days.