A work permit is issued by the voivod at the request of the employer. A foreigner must apply for a residence permit himself, so that he can legally work in Poland on the basis of a work permit (up to 3 months is possible to work under visa-free travel, if such a solution has been introduced for a given country).
The work permit specifies the employer, position or type of work performed by the foreigner, the lowest remuneration that a foreigner can receive in a given position, working time and the period of validity of the permit.
A work permit is not issued if: the foreigner does not meet certain requirements, has been punished for certain crimes, or if his/her personal data has been included in the list of foreigners whose stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland is undesirable.
Types of permits
There are several types of work permits (A,B,C,D,E,S). Authorization procedures and criteria vary according to the type of authorization:
- Type A -applies to a foreigner performing work on the basis of a contract with an entity whose registered office is located in the territory of the Republic of Poland. Regardless of the situation on the labour market, it is required that the foreign employee receives remuneration not lower than the wages of local employees in a comparable position.
Type A permit is issued for a period of up to 3 years, but this period may be shortened, according to the criteria set out in local regulations, i.e. in the so-called voivodeship criteria, issued by the voivode.
- Type B -applies to a foreigner performing work consisting in performing functions in the management board of a legal person entered the register of entrepreneurs. A type B permit is issued for a standard period (up to 3 years), but management board members of enterprises employing more than 25 people may apply for a permit for a period of up to 5 years.
- Type C -applies to a foreigner working for a foreign employer, delegated to the territory of the Republic of Poland to a branch or plant of a foreign entity or an entity related to that foreign employer, for a period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year.
- Type D -applies to a foreigner working for a foreign employer who does not have a branch, plant or other form of organized activity in the territory of the Republic of Poland, delegated to the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to perform a service of a temporary and occasional nature (export service). For export services, the applicant must provide details of the contract.
- Type E -applies to a foreigner working for a foreign employer, delegated to the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period exceeding 3 months within the next 6 months for a purpose other than that indicated in type B, C and D permits.
Posted workers must be provided with employment conditions not worse than those specified in the Polish labor legislation in areas such as working time, overtime, minimum wage, occupational health and safety, parental rights, etc.
In addition, third-country nationals posted to Poland should receive remuneration at a level not lower than 70 % of the average wage in the region in which they are to work.
The foreign employer is obliged to appoint a representative in Poland who collects basic documents related to employment, enabling checking whether the above-mentioned the conditions have been met (time records, contracts, proofs of payment, etc.).
- Type S –Seasonal Work Permit.
Seasonal work is work performed: for a period not longer than 9 months in a calendar year, as part of activities recognized as seasonal. These are selected activities in the field of agricultural crops and animal husbandry, as well as accommodation and catering services (25 subclasses in section A: agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing, and 4 subclasses in section I: accommodation and food service activities).
Seasonal work of a foreigner is not allowed on the basis of a declaration entered the register of declarations. It is possible only on the basis of a seasonal work permit (unless the foreigner you want to employ is exempt from the obligation to have a work permit).
An employer may conclude with a foreigner both an employment contract and a civil law contract (e.g. contract of mandate, contract for specific work). The contract should be concluded in writing.
The remuneration offered under the employment contract may not be lower than the minimum wage (in 2023 - PLN 3,490 PLN), and under the contract of mandate not lower than the minimum hourly rate (in 2023 - PLN 22.30 PLN)
Obligations of the employer
An employer who employs a foreigner is obliged to:
- checking before starting work by a foreigner whether he has a valid residence permit,
- make a copy of the residence permit and keep this copy for the entire period of work by the foreigner,
- concluding a contract with a foreigner in writing on the conditions contained in the work permit,
- provide the foreigner with its translation into a language understandable to the foreigner before signing the contract,
- providing the foreigner with one copy of the work permit in writing,
- informing the foreigner about actions taken in connection with the proceedings for granting or extending a work permit and decisions on issuing, refusing to issue or revoking a permit,
- if the foreigner does not start work within 3 months from the initial date of validity of the work permit, breaks work for a period exceeding 3 months, ends work earlier than 3 months before the expiry of the work permit, the employer must inform the voivode of this fact within 7 days.
An employer who employs a foreigner on the basis of a work permit has the same obligations towards him as towards a Polish citizen. And so:
- notification within 7 days from the date of starting work for social and health insurance and monthly timely payment of contributions to the Social Insurance Institution in the appropriate amount (if required by the type of contract - primarily an employment contract and a contract of mandate, does not apply to, for example, a contract for specific work),
- calculation, collection and payment of income tax advances (the method of tax settlement depends on the tax residence of the employed foreigner),
- compliance with the provisions of the Labour Code.
A work permit entitles you to perform work only for the employer indicated in the permit. In order to work for another employer, the new employer must apply for a new work permit.
A work permit in Poland entitles you to work only on Polish territory. If a foreigner wants to work in another country, he must apply for a permit in that country.
Illegal performance of work by a foreigner is a misdemeanour - a foreigner is liable to a fine of PLN 1,000 to PLN 5,000.