Joana Lima

Writer @ WiPjobs Recruitment

Work permits Poland

According to a report from The Statistical Office in Warsaw called “Foreigners on the Masovian labour market in 2018”, the number of work permits issued in the most populated Polish region has been progressively rising since 2013. The most common reasons why expats want to work in Poland are the low unemployment rate, the rising average salary and the relatively low cost of living.

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Poland, as established by immigration laws. However, obtaining the necessary work permissions for non-EU citizens can be quite complicated.

Work permits are undoubtedly our most frequented asked question so hopefully this article will make your relocation and life in the new country a little bit easier.


Note: For more detailed information, contact the local Voivodship Office or visit this website:


  1. What is a work permit?

A work permit is a document that authorizes a foreigner to work legally in Europe.
The permit indicates the company that assigns the execution of work to the foreigner and the position or the type of work which the foreigner is to perform. The work is therefore regarded as legal only if the foreigner performs the work identified in the permit. This means that if the foreigner wants to change jobs (i.e. change employer and/or position and/or industry) in which he is employed, he has to obtain a new permit. The permit is valid for the period for which it was issued. The term of validity of the permit is indicated on the document.


  1. Who doesn’t need a work permit?

In general, to work as an employee in one of the European Union (EU) countries you don’t need to apply to any work permit if you are a national from:

  • another EU country (The European Union consists of 28 member states)
  • any of the countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland,

Liechtenstein and Norway

  • Switzerland (Under the EU-Switzerland agreement on the free movement of persons, Swiss nationals are free to live and work in the EU).
  • People who come from the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan and New Zealand do not require a working visa. However, they are still required to have a legal right to stay in the Schengen Area and have a work permit. Residence and work permits can usually be applied for once you arrive in your chosen country.


If you are in a family relationship with an EU citizen, you:

  • do not need a work permit to work
  • have the right to equal treatment, including access to all social and tax advantages

But in order to have access to work market, while being married to a Polish citizen you need to remain in a marriage recognized by the law of the Republic of Poland with a Polish citizen for at least 3 years before the day in which he submitted the application for permanent residence permit. And immediately before submitting this application, he stayed continuously on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period of not less than 2 years on the basis of a temporary residence permit granted in connection to being married to a Polish citizen or in connection with obtaining refugee status, subsidiary protection or residence permit for humanitarian reasons. This permit is granted for an indefinite period!

A foreigner’s stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland constituting the basis for granting him a permanent residence permit is considered uninterrupted if none of the halves in it was longer than 6 months and all breaks did not exceed a total of 10 months in the periods constituting the basis for granting him a residence permit permanent, unless the break was caused by:

  1. the foreigner performs professional duties or performs work outside the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of an agreement concluded with the employer whose registered office is in the territory of the Republic of Poland
  2. accompaniment of the foreigner referred to in item 1 by his spouse or minor child
  3. a special personal situation requiring the presence of a foreigner outside the territory of the Republic of Poland and lasted no longer than 6 months
  4. a trip outside the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to undergo internships or participate in classes provided during studies at a Polish university.


Other than that you don’t need work permit if:

  • you are a student of full-time studies in Poland
  • you are a graduate of Polish secondary schools, or have completed full time studies (tertiary education), or full-time doctoral studies at Polish universities and scientific and research institutions
  • you are spouse of Polish citizens
  • you have refugee status granted to you in the Republic of Poland
  • you have received subsidiary protection in the Republic of Poland
  • you possess a permanent residence permit issued by the Republic of Poland
  • you hold an EU long-term resident permit issued in the Republic of Poland or in special cases issued in another EU country
  • you have been granted tolerated stay in the Republic of Poland
  • you are a victim of human trafficking (assuming the fulfilment of additional requirements)
  • you have a temporary residence permit or any other legal document that allows for residence in Poland acquired in conjunction with a marriage to a Polish citizen or a foreigner holding refugee status
  • you are a person benefiting from supplementary protection
  • you have a valid Pole’s Card. The Pole’s Card seems to serve as a proof of Polish nationality for people living outside Poland. The document has been introduced for those who feel they have a bond with their homeland through common history and tradition, can speak Polish (or at least have a basic grasp of it) and, most importantly, want to officially give a written declaration of identifying themselves as Polish in front of a Polish consul. In order to do that, an applicant for the Pole’s Card has to be a formal citizen of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine or Uzbekistan.
    Moreover, there is one more condition: such a person needs to prove that in their family tree one will find at least 1 parent or grandparent of Polish origin (or 2 great-grandparents). Another way of proving your special bond with Poland is presenting a special note from a Polish organisation confirming your activity in the field of promoting the Polish culture.
  • you are providing training or taking part in vocational training and internships, or participates in a scheme carried out within the framework of the European Union programmes or another international aid scheme. In general, if the internship or training in which you want to participate is paid, you need to obtain a work permit. Participation in an unpaid training or internship programme does not require a work permit.
  • you are a full-time student and you are legally residing in Poland, you can participate in paid internships or apprenticeships without a work permit.
  • you are entitled on the basis of the Association Agreement between the European Economic Community and Turkey


  1. Main types of work permits in Poland
  • Type A: the foreign employee is employed by a business entity incorporated in Poland;
  • Type B: the foreigner stays in Poland for a specific amount of time to perform a function on a management board;
  • Type C: the foreign employee is employed by a foreign employer and has been delegated to work at a branch or subsidiary in Poland for a period exceeding 30 days;
  • Type D: the foreign employee is employed by a foreign employer that does not have a subsidiary or branch in Poland but the employee has been delegated to perform a temporary service in the country (usually export services);
  • Type E: the foreign employee is employed by a foreign employer and has been delegated to Poland for a period longer than 3 months in the next 6 months of the calendar year, to perform other tasks than those described above.


  1. Documents for working in EU

It is important to understand that the EU is a political and economic union comprised of 28 European states and each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to issuing visas and/or work permits. For example, some of the countries will require that you have a job offer prior to applying for a working visa.  Nevertheless, there are some basic work permits and visa options that non-EU citizens can apply for to have the right to travel and work within the EU.

Please note that the Schengen Visa allows you to travel freely to and from the Schengen countries but not work.


  1. Work permit in Poland

If you are a citizen of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine you don’t need to apply for a work permit if you are intending to work in Poland for no longer than 6 months per year (please note that your employer needs to fulfil some legal obligations like registering in a local labour office the fact that you are hired as a seasonal worker).

Finally, if you are a citizen of any other country you will need to apply for a visa (or residence permit) and work permit in order to work legally in Poland. This document allows any foreigner to undertake legal work in this country. Please bear in mind that this document is valid only for a fixed period of time, which cannot be longer than three years.

You do not apply for a work permit yourself. It is your employer’s duty to start the procedure. The authority responsible for issuing work permits is, as in the case of visas, the voivode’s office. Your employer needs to deliver all the necessary documents, which differ for each type of permit. You will find them listed on the website of the relevant voivode’s office.

There is also a fee for issuing or extending a work permit: PLN 50 for a permit valid up to 3 months; PLN 100 for a longer period of time; PLN 200 if it is a type D work permit.

  1. Formal requirements and list of supporting documents
  • VISA APPLICATION FORM. Each applicant shall submit a REGISTERED, COMPLETED, PRINTED, DATED, and SIGNED application. You can find it on person included in the applicant’s travel documents must submit a separate application form. Minors shall submit an application form signed by a person exercising permanent or temporary parental authority or legal guardianship.
  • 2 PHOTOGRAPHS in colour, passport size, taken within the last 6 months against plain white background.
  • PASSPORTvalid for at least 3 months after the date of intended departure from Poland, with at least two blank Visa pages. The passport cannot have been issued more than 10 years before the date of applying for a Visa.
  • FLIGHT RESERVATIONthat includes a flight ticket to Poland. Please note that Consular Section does not bear any responsibility for any purchased tickets before the issuance of a Visa.
  • PROOF OF TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE: Confirmation letter from your health insurance company stating coverage for emergency medical, hospitalization and repatriation with a minimum of 30 000 Euros. The insurance should be valid throughout the territory of all Schengen countries and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit.
  • PROOF OF SUFFICIENT FINANCIAL MEANS: g. last 3 bank account statements with name and address of owner(s) or proof of regular income (e.g. pay slips of last 3 months).
  • REFERENCE LETTER FROM EMPLOYER: If self-employed, the original business registration, letter from your solicitor or letter from your accountant.
  • CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE is required only when the applicant is travelling with a spouse as a dependent or when a spouse of the applicant is a EU citizen. If the marriage certificate is issued not by EU member state competent authorities, it must have legalisation or Apostille stamp on it and it must be translated into Polish or English (if issued in other languages) by certified translator.
  • CERTIFICATE OF BIRTHis required if an applicant is travelling with a minor. If the birth certificate is issued not by EU member state competent authorities, it must have legalisation or Apostille stamp on it and it must be translated into Polish or English (if issued in other languages) by certified translator.


  • WORKING VISA type D:Work permit issued by Voivodship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) in Poland. 
    Employment without prior authorization is strictly prohibited. Work visas are issued for multiple entries and can be valid for as long as the work permit is valid, but no longer than one year (365 days). Work visas are issued only by a Polish Consul in the consular office corresponding to the place where the applicant has his/her legal permanent residence.


  1. Sources