From January 1, 2018, new legal regulations regarding the legalization of foreigners work in Poland came into force. The rules for hiring foreigners to perform seasonal and short-term work have changed.
Recent changes are aimed at improve the procedure related to the performance of short-term work (for a period not exceeding 6 months within 12 subsequent months) on the basis of a declaration of the intention to entrust a job to a foreigner who is a citizen of one of six countries: the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine. The employer submits the declaration of the intention to entrust a job to a foreigner to the Labour Office competent for the seat or place of residence of the employer. The declaration should be registered at the Labour Office before the commencement of the employment by the foreigner. The declaration entitles the foreigner to work without the obligation to have a work permit, if the work is performed on the terms specified in this declaration. From 1 January 2018 such statements will be registered only if the foreigner's job is not related to seasonal activity. The employer is also obliged to inform the Labor Office if the employee actually took up work.
A new legal solution is the possibility of applying for a seasonal work permit. Employer will be able to legally hire a foreigner for seasonal work for 9 months a year. This is a positive change compared to the regulations, which allowed for a maximum stay of 6 months in Poland. A seasonal work permit may be issued to citizens of all countries outside the European Union and the European Economic Area. The permit is issued if work is related to agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing or gastronomy and accommodation. A seasonal work permit is issued if the foreigner is hired for seasonal work, the salary will not be lower than the salary of employees performing the same type of work and the employer attached to the application information from the governor. Information from the governor is not required if employee is a citizen of one of the following countries: the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Armenia, Ukraine or during the 3 years preceding the submission of the application for issue work permit, graduated from a university located in Poland, or another country of the European Economic Area or Swiss Confederation, or for three years preceding the submission of an application for a work permit, legally residing in Poland and the stay was uninterrupted. In addition, the employer will be able, under certain conditions, to entrust a foreigner with work of a different kind than that performed as part of seasonal activities, but for a period not longer than 30 days within the validity period of the permit.
The new legal regulations provide for tightening penalties for employers hiring foreigners illegally. The upper limit of the fine for illegal employment will be raised to 30 000 PLN. Work permits and declarations issued under the simplified procedure will be registered in systems available to the Border Guard and the National Labor Inspectorate.