Poland is a great destination for foreigners with its popular tourist destinations, a variety of thriving industry sectors, and a lower cost of living in Europe. Its central location introduced a multinational community where you’ll experience a mix of cultures as well.
If you’re considering getting a work visa in Poland, this guide outlines the things you need to prepare for.
Do I need a work visa in Poland?
Your entry and mobility in Poland vary depending on your nationality. Having been part of the European Union (EU) since 2004, Poland has adopted the standardized work visa process of the union. Thus, its rules and regulations are closely aligned with fellow EU-member states.
Citizens of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland do not need any special authorization to enter and work in Poland. On the other hand, non-EU/EEA nationals must hold a work visa to enter Polish borders for employment purposes. You can obtain this visa by applying for a work and residence permit.
What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in Poland?
If you wish to enter Poland for employment, you can apply for a “Visa for the purpose of work.” To obtain this Poland work visa, you should supply your application with a temporary residence and work permit.
You are only exempted from a work permit when you:
- are a family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss national or a spouse of a Polish citizen
- have a residence permit for study, humanitarian reasons, family reunification, EU long-term residence, or international protection from Poland
- are a graduate of a Polish university
Otherwise, you have to go through the regular work visa application process. You can apply for either of these work permits:
- Temporary residence and work permit (combined) for general employment that is longer than three months to three years; or
- Temporary residence permit for highly qualified employment for jobs requiring at least five years of professional experience
Work permits are employer and job-specific. They are valid for three years and are renewable.
Find out which work permit best suits your situation. Usually, you will be assisted by your employer in obtaining it. Once the residence and work permit is secured, you can personally apply for the work visa at the Polish embassy.
You can start by preparing the documents below.
General Requirements for temporary work and residence permit:
- Visa for Work Purposes Application Form
- Valid travel document or passport
- Four colored face photographs measuring 25x45mm
- Permission to Work from Polish authorities
- Proof of no available Polish national for the job position (This is not required in some cases).
- Contract of employment showing allowable monthly salary or at least minimum wage
- Proof of accommodation or place of residence
- Proof of no criminal record (e.g., police records)
- Registrar documents (e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate)
- Travel medical insurance for the period of residence
- Documents showing professional qualifications, such as:
- Diploma or transcript of records
- Required professional licenses, certifications, or proof of work experience
Additional Requirements for a temporary residence permit for highly qualified work:
For this permit type, you need to prepare the general requirements as well as the following:
- Proof of completion in a graduate university program; or
- Proof of five years of professional work experience necessary for the job you’re applying for
For less common occupations, such as seasonal work and appointed work in Poland by a company abroad, you can visit Poland’s Office for Foreigners website.
Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in Poland
Work visa applications in Poland follow a general procedure. You begin with a work and residence permit application, followed by a work visa application in a Polish embassy. The former is initiated by an employer from Poland, while the latter is continued by the applicant in his/her country of residence.
You can follow this detailed guide:
1. Find an employer in Poland
Before a foreign national can apply for work in Poland, employers must prove that there are no Polish workers or EU nationals available for the particular job. For this reason, a majority of your Poland work visa application process becomes the responsibility of your employer. So you must already have a job offer or contract so your employer can initiate the application process.
2. Apply for a “permission to work”
Your employer must first secure “permission to work” from a voivode office. The voivode office is a provincial government office that regulates foreign employment in Poland.
You will submit a copy of the requirements listed above to your employer, especially the documents that prove your eligibility for the job position you’re applying for. These are your educational and professional qualifications.
At the same time, your employer will prove their capacity to hire a foreign national in order to get a work visa for Poland. They will provide documentation showing the working conditions and remuneration they provide are following existing Polish employment regulations. All these documents are submitted to the voivode office in the province where you will work.
3. Obtain a residence and work permit
If the application is successful, the voivode office will issue three copies of the work permit (or combined residence and work permit) – one for your employer, one for you/the employee, and one for the records of the voivodeship office.
Remember that the issued permit is job and employer-specific. Should you change jobs or companies, your new employer will apply for an entirely new permit.
4. Apply for a work visa
Find a Polish embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission in your country of residence and set a visa appointment. In most countries, you are required to register through this visa application website. Fill out the application form and make sure all information matches those in your printed documents.
On the day of your appointment, bring with you all the documents concerning your visa application, including a printed application form. You will submit this package as well as a biometric photo and scanned fingerprints. Furthermore, officers have the right to request additional documents if deemed necessary for your case.
While it may vary among missions, you will pay a certain amount of administrative fees per Poland work visa application. After your payment, you can expect the result of your application after ten to twelve weeks.
I hope this article on how to get a work visa in Poland was informative and helpful! Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!