Poland is located in central Europe and belongs to the European Union. In recent years, the country has seen tremendous growth in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, and it is home to nearly 10% of the EU’s total ICT companies.
Poland’s economic success presents an opportunity for employers looking to hire the country's top talent and for employees who are qualified in the tech sector and beyond and looking to partner with companies in the area.
But international working relationships aren't without their own set of challenges, one of which is ensuring that employees are legally entitled to work in the countries they move to and that employers can compliantly continue to hire them once they move there.
In this article, you'll learn about which types of Poland work permits and visas you or your employee will need to obtain before working there, as well as the requirements needed to get these documents and navigate other aspects of the Poland immigration system.
Types of Poland Work Visa and Permits
Although individuals who aren't from Poland or other areas of Europe can live and work in the country, it's essential that they obtain the necessary visas and permits before doing so.
Working internationally poses potential legal and financial risks for employees who don't have the correct documentation, and an employer may also be held responsible if an employee they're working with is found to be working illegally.
When an employee moves to Poland, they will need to ensure they have a visa that entitles them to enter and live in the country as well as a work permit that entitles them to make money there.
The type of visa and permit they will need will depend on various factors, including their country of origin and the type of work they're being hired to do. Below is a list of the types of work visas and permits you can get in Poland.
Work Permit (Type A)
There are numerous types of work permits in Poland, and which one the employee will need depends on the type of work they will be doing, as well as the employer's status and location.
A Type A work permit is designated for foreign employees whose employer is based in Poland. This is the most typical work permit, and it can be valid for up to three years.
Work Permit (Type C or E)
In addition to a Type A permit, an employee may need a Type C or E work permit:
- Type C: The employer is not based in Poland but has a branch or subsidiary there for which the employee will need to work more than 30 days per year.
- Type E: The employer is not based in Poland but requires the employee to work there for more than 30 days per year. This work permit is issued when the employee does not qualify for any other type of work permit.
Business Visa (Schengen Visa C or D)
There are two types of Schengen visas that eligible individuals who want to work in Poland can get.
Schengen Visa C
The Schengen Visa C is the short-term visa available to eligible individuals who want to temporarily live and work in Poland. With this visa, an employee can live and work in Poland for 90 out of 180 days. Whether or not these days are consecutive depends on the type of visa the employee is granted.
There are three types of C visas:
- Single-entry visa: The employee cannot leave and return to Poland once they have entered the country.
- Double-entry visa: The employee can only leave and return to Poland one time once they have entered the country.
- Multiple-entry visa: The employee can leave and return to Poland as often as they choose for the duration of their visa.
Schengen Visa D
The Schengen Visa D is unique because it allows eligible individuals to study or work while living in Poland for up to one year. In addition, visa holders can receive either a single-entry or a multi-entry visa, which affects whether or not they can leave the country throughout the duration of their stay in Poland.
Individuals who plan to live and work in Poland to run their own businesses or to freelance can obtain an entrepreneur visa. With this visa, the individual can stay in Poland for up to 36 months.
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Requirements for Poland Work Visa and Permit
Every country has unique requirements for individuals and employers who are applying for work visas and permits, which means you will need to learn the specific Poland work visa requirements and work permit requirements even if you've moved to another country before.
In Poland, the employer is required to apply for a work permit on behalf of the employee, which means employers will need to be legally entitled to hire individuals living there and work closely with the candidate or employee to gather any necessary documents ahead of time.
Below is a list of eligibility requirements and documents that are needed when applying for a work permit in Poland:
- A completed Poland work permit application form
- A copy of the employee's passport (including passport pages)
- Proof that the employee has an active health insurance policy of at least 30,000 EUR (roughly $31,849)
- A work permit fee receipt (proof of payment)
- A copy of the employment contract
- Company information, including but not limited to the following:
- A company deed
- Company financial statements
- Proof from the National Court Register that the employer is legally entitled to hire candidates in Poland
In addition to obtaining a work permit, an employee must also have a valid visa in Poland that allows them to live and work in the country. The exact requirements and documents needed will depend on the type of visa they require, but below is a list of the Poland visa requirements:
- A completed Poland work visa application form
- A valid, non-expired passport and two colored photos that are in accordance with the Schengen Visa Photograph Requirements & Specifications:
- The photos are 35 mm by 45 mm in size
- The photos are no more than six months old
- The employee's head makes up between 70% and 80% of the space in the photo, and they are facing forward without smiling
- The background is a solid, bright color (preferably light gray) and contrasts with the employee's clothes
- Flight information for the employee's arrival flight
- The employee's resume that indicates they are qualified for the role they're being offered
- Proof that the employee has an active health insurance policy of at least 30,000 EUR (roughly $31,849)
- Proof that the employee has somewhere to live during their stay
- Proof that the employee has a clean criminal record
- A valid employment contract
How To Apply for Poland Work Permit
Unlike applying for work permits in some countries, which falls to the employee, in Poland, the employer applies for the work permit on the employee's behalf. The employee then applies for the work visa themselves.
The process is relatively straightforward. Simply follow these steps:
- The employer applies for the employee's work permit: The employer will need to ensure they and the employee meet the necessary eligibility requirements and collect the documents listed above. Once they have compiled the documents, the employer submits them, along with the completed permit application, to their local Voivodeship office.
- The employee applies for their work visa: To apply for a work visa, the employee must first receive their work permit. Once the employer hears back about the status of the employee's work permit application, they will alert the employee. At this time, the employee will gather the necessary documents, including the completed visa application form, and deliver them to their local Polish embassy.
- Wait for approval: Although the reality of completing the above two steps may end up being slightly more complicated, there's nothing left for the employee to do but wait. Upon receiving their visa approval, the employee can enter Poland and begin working, so long as they abide by the rules established based on the type of visa and permit they receive.
Application Processing Time
The exact time it takes to process your visa or permit applications will vary based on the type of visa you're applying for and other factors.
While it typically takes around 15 days to process visas in Poland once the application has been submitted correctly, this timeline can extend to two months or longer based on extenuating circumstances.
Until your employee's visa and work permits have been approved, they cannot legally work in Poland. For this reason, it's best to get started on the applications as early as possible.
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Poland Immigration and Visa FAQs
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about navigating the Poland immigration system and what to expect when applying for a visa and work permit in Poland.
How much is a work permit in Poland?
The cost of a work permit in Poland will depend on the type of permit or visa you’re applying for. The fee associated with your Poland work permit application will be specified, and you will need to pay the requested amount for your application to be processed.
The costs of work permits and visas in Poland are as follows:
Remember that there may be additional costs when applying for your work permit, such as renewing your passport or obtaining a valid health insurance policy.
How long does it take to get a work permit in Poland?
The length of time it takes to receive your Poland work permit may vary based on the type of permit you’re applying for, your country of origin, and more.
There is no guaranteed timeline to process your application, so you should be sure to apply for your work entitlements early enough that you won’t compromise your ability to move and work.
It typically takes 15 days to receive a Poland work visa, but the process can sometimes take up to 30 days or even longer.
Can a U.S. citizen work in Poland?
If you’re a U.S. citizen moving to Poland, you may be entitled to work there. However, your ability to live and work in Poland will depend on whether your visa and work permit applications are approved.
In Poland, you will need to have both a valid residence visa and a work permit to be legally entitled to work. If your visa is approved, but your work permit is denied for any reason, you cannot work while living in Poland.
What are the benefits of a Poland work permit?
The primary benefit of a Poland work permit is that it entitles you to work while living there. You cannot work in Poland without a work permit, so obtaining one is necessary for living there long-term.
In addition to allowing you to work in Poland, when you obtain a Poland work permit, you’re entitled to the country’s minimum statutory benefits, which include the following:
- Paid leave benefits (e.g., sick time, parental leave, vacation days).
- Maximum working hours and overtime pay
- Social security benefits