23.03.2020 – Working under a work permit

Apart from foreigners who are exempt from the necessity to obtain relevant documents in order to be able to work in Poland legally, which we described here:

and a simplified procedure consisting in obtaining a statement of the intention to entrust work to a foreigner by the employer, which we brought closer to you here:

another form allowing the access to the Polish labour market is a work permit. In order to employ a foreigner legally on the territory of Poland, it is required that the employer obtains a relevant permit (or statement) and that the foreigner has a relevant, valid residence permit. There are several types of work permits: A, B, C, D, E type. Such work permit is applied for by the employer to a voivode. The most often issued is a A-type permit, which is issued for an employee performing work in the territory of Poland with an employer with its registered office in Poland. B-type permit is issued for a foreigner holding a position in the management board of a company, while C, D and E-type permits apply to persons employed by foreign employers who have been delegated to work in Poland.

There is also a possibility to apply for a temporary residence and work permit under a single procedure. The application for such a permit shall be submitted by the foreigner who:

  • resides legally on the territory of Poland,
  • is covered by a health insurance, has a source of stable and regular income sufficient to cover the cost of living for themselves and their family members,
  • has its place of residence on the territory of Poland

and the employer does not have the possibility of satisfying the personnel needs on the local labour market, that is, it has obtained the information from a starost, about which we describe below.

An application for a work permit for a A-type foreigner may be submitted by the employer in person, but it is more popular to submit applications via the Internet, through the portal www.praca.gov.pl.

In the case of persons who are not yet present in Poland and the employer is still planning to employ them, a permit is needed in order for the foreigner not only to be able to perform work in Poland legally, but, above all, to apply for a visa to perform work. A foreigner then enters Poland with a visa with the permit to work. An A-type permit can be issued for up to 3 years. The permit is issued to work for a specific employer for a specific period of time, on a specific position (in this respect, the employee and the employer may be controlled by the Border Guard and the National Labour Inspectorate – a unit appointed to control the legality of employment).

The A-type work permit procedure is also used by employers for employees who already reside in Poland. Then, in order for foreigners to be able to take up employment and stay on the territory of Poland legally while waiting for the legalisation of their stay, they receive a stamp in their passport, which confirms that they are in the process of obtaining a residence permit.

The application for issuing an A-type work permit shall be accompanied, amongst other things, by

  • copy of all completed pages of a valid travel document of the foreigner concerned by the application, and if the foreigner does not have a valid travel document and it is impossible to obtain it – a copy of another valid document confirming their identity;
  • information from a starost competent for the main place of performing work by a foreigner about the inability to satisfy the personnel needs of an employer on the basis of registers of unemployed persons and jobseekers or about a negative result of recruitment arranged for an employer – if required;
  • documents confirming that the foreigner meets the requirements for candidates to work by the entity employing them, specified in the information from a starost about the inability to satisfy the personnel needs of an employer – if the information from a starost was required.

The employer is obliged to provide the foreigner with one copy of the permit. The employer is also obliged to include in the written agreement with the foreigner conditions, including the amount of remuneration, not worse than specified in the obtained work permit.

Before an employer applies for a work permit for a foreigner, they should (if required) obtain the so-called information from a starost about the inability to satisfy the personnel needs on the local labour market, that is, perform the so-called “labour market test”. This is a procedure aimed at obtaining information on the situation on the local labour market, confirming the impossibility of employment for the given positions of a Polish or EU citizen or a foreigner exempt from the obligation to obtain a work permit (e.g. having the refugee status or permanent residence permit, or a long-term EU resident). The employer attaches such information to the application to a voivode for a work permit for a foreigner.

The information from the starost is not required if the work permit concerns, among other things:

  • citizen of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine, performing nursing and care work or as a domestic helper for individuals in the household,
  • citizen of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine who, in the period prior to the submission of the application for a work permit, was employed for at least 3 months by the same employer and on the same position under the statement on entrusting work to a foreigner entered in the register of statements (in this case such statement, the employment contract and documents confirming the payment of social security contributions should be presented),
  • occupation or type of work for which the issue of a work permit does not require the information of the district governor to be taken into account, these occupations are defined in the following regulation: http://isip.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20190000154/O/D20190154.pdf
  • applying for an extension of the work permit by the employer for the same foreigner and for the same position,
  • foreigner who, in the three years preceding the submission of an application for a work permit, completed a degree programme at a higher education institution established in the territory of Poland or another State of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, or who are doctoral students at a doctoral school run by an entity established in the territory of Poland.