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Working in Poland: Legal employment

Legal employment

The law concerning foreigners working in Poland distinguishes two categories of foreigners: EU citizens and non-EU citizens. Each category is treated differently concerning employment. Furthermore, specific procedures apply to the employment of a foreign press correspondent, to university teachers and to CEOs of a Polish company which is part of multinational group.
The issue of employment of foreigners is regulated in Polish law by art. 87-90 Law of 20th April 2004 on employment and labour market institutions (Polish Official Journal no 99, i. 1001); regulation of the Minister for the Economy and Labour of 26th May 2004 on the scope of limitation in foreigners’ employment in Poland (Polish Official Journal no 123, i. 1293).

A foreigner intending to work in Poland has to first find an employer in Poland who will agree to apply for a work permit to a voivoidship in the district where the company or institution he runs is located. A foreigner can obtain such an agreement if there are no counter-candidates among Polish citizens for the position he or she is applying fori. Note! After 1st May 2004, a requirements to obtain a work permit does not concern:

  • citizens of EU member states;
  • members of families of EU members who have business or work in Poland.

Other foreigners will be obliged to follow general regulations of working in Poland. The procedure for employing a foreigner in most cases consists of three stages. A person applying for a working visa or a Polish residence card has to present an employer's promise to give him or her work, which is issued by a voivodship relevant to the location of the employer's company.

The application for such a document is filed by the future employer to a voivodship. Employers employing foreigners are not required to have a promise of a work permit if on the day of submitting an application to the voivodship a foreigner has a valid working visa or a Polish temporary residence visa.

When the promise is issued to an employer, the voivodship will define the conditions for a foreigner to obtain a work permit. Only after these conditions have been established can a foreigner obtain the appropriate work permit.

There are no limitations for non-EU citizens wishing to work in Poland as a press correspondent, a university teacher or as the CEO of a Polish unit of a multinational company.

Source: PAIIIZ, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

more information: www.poland.gov.pl; www.paiz.gov.pl

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