Employment of foreigners in Poland

How to hire a foreign worker

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In accordance with the applicable Polish law, the following persons eligible to work without a work permit in Poland:

  • UE citizens;
  • Other European Economic Area citizens (Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein);
  • Pole’s Card holders — Karta Polaka;
  • Long-term EU-resident permit holders;
  • Permanent Resident status holders;
  • Polish citizens’ spouses;
  • Polish universities’ graduates, and others.

Aside from the exceptions described above, most foreign nationals requires this document to work.

Therefore if you would like to hire a citizen of Moldova, India or the Philippines, work permit is required.

Having your employee working without a work permit is not something you should consider. If you are not sure, you can always contact the local Voivodeship’s office.

Please remember that it is a criminal offence to be employed without a Work Permit. Both the employer and the employee will be liable to prosecution.

Work Permit

Work permit is a document which authorizes the foreign national to work legally in Poland.

Work permit type A is required, when a foreigner carries out work under an employment contact — umowa o pracę or a civil law contract — such as umowa zlecenie or umowa o dzieło for a company, whose seat is in Poland;

In order to obtain such a permit for a for non-polish national, the company that wishes to employ a foreign worker, files an online application to the appropriate local Voivode — province governor.

Be advised, that the foreigner worker’s remuneration cannot be lower, than the remuneration of employees on similar position or carrying out similar work.

Furthermore the so called market demand test shall be carried out. The local Voivodeship’s Office has to receive information from the appropriate local county’s Starosta (commissioner) having jurisdiction over the company’s registered office about the situation on the local labour market.

Basically it means, that the local authorities want to make sure, that there are no suitable candidates on the local market.

Once, the county’s Starosta confirms the lack of eligible Polish or EU nationals, the work permit will be issued without any problems, provided that the employer meets wage and employment requirements.

Please remember, that appropriate fees need to be paid to the local Voivodeship’s office, depending on the length of employment:

  • PLN 50 — if work activities will be carried out for a period of no longer than (3) months;
  • PLN 100 — if work activities will be carried out for a period of more than three (3) months.

Declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner

However Polish law provides an additional alternative to obtaining the work permit. 

If the potential worker is a citizen of one of the following countries:

  • Armenia
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Ukraine
  • Russian Federation,

then they may be employed under a document called —  declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner, however no longer than 6 months 12 consecutive months.

In Polish this long name is usually just shorten to „oświadczenie” — lit. “declaration”.

In order to obtain the “declaration”, the company that wishes to employ a foreign worker has to submit an application to the local labour office  — Powiatowy Urząd Pracy.

Government fee for submitting the application is set at: PLN 150.

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