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Foreigners who may perform work on the territory of the Republic of Poland

This article is written according to the legal status current as of: 2018-01-02

Foreigners who may perform work on the territory of the Republic of Poland

What does the term performance of work by foreigners mean?

The term performance of work by foreigners refers to employment, performance of other paid work or performing functions in the managing boards of legal entities, engaged in business activities.

A foreigner may perform work on the territory of the Republic of Poland if he/she meets at least one of the following conditions:

  • has been granted the refugee status in the Republic of Poland,
  • has been granted supplementary protection on the territory of Poland,
  • has a permanent residence permit on the territory of Poland,
  • has a long-term EU residence permit granted in Poland,
  • has a residence permit for humanitarian reasons in the Republic of Poland,
  • has a permit for tolerated stay in the Republic of Poland,
  • has been granted temporary protection in the Republic of Poland,
  • has a valid certificate issued on the basis of art. 35 ust. 1 of the Act of June 13, 2003 on granting protection to foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Poland,
  • is a citizen of a European Union member state,
  • is a citizen of a country that belong to the European Economic Area,
  • is a citizen of the Swiss Confederation,
  • is a family member of a foreigner referred to in Point 8-10, or is a lineal descendant of that foreigner aged up to 21 years, or the foreigner’s or his/her spouse’s dependant, or the ancestor of the foreigner or his/her spouse, 
  •  is a person referred to in Article 19 par. 2-3, of the Act of 14 July 2006 on the entry into, residence in and exit from the Republic of Poland of nationals of the European Union Member States and their family members,
  • has a temporary residence permit referred to in Article 114 par.1, Article 126, Article 127 or Article 142 par.3 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on aliens (under the conditions indicated in that permit),
  • has a work permit and stays on the territory of the Republic of Poland:
    • on the basis of a visa, except for the visa granted for one of the reasons referred to in Article 60 par. 1 points 1, 22, 23 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on aliens, or
    • on the basis of Article 108 par.1 point 2 or Article 206 par.1 point 2 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on aliens, or on the basis of a stamp placed in a travel document confirming that the foreigner has submitted an application for a long-term EU residence permit, provided that directly before submitting the application he/she had the right to work in the Republic of Poland, or
    • on the basis of a temporary residence permit, except for the permit granted for reasons referred to in Article 181 par.1 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on aliens, or
    • on the basis of the document referred to in art. 61 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on Aliens, specifying the status of a family member of a diplomatic mission or consular office of a foreign country or other person equated with them on the basis of statutes, agreements or commonly established international customs, remaining with that person in the community, if between the Republic of Poland and a foreign state a contract or international agreement
      on the exercise of gainful activities by family members of staff on diplomatic missions or consular posts was concluded, or
    • on the basis of a visa issued by a country that belongs to the Schengen area, or
    • on the basis of a document that entitles to stay in the Republic of Poland issued by a country that belongs to the Schengen area, or
    • on the basis of visa-free traffic.

Obligation to have a work permit does not apply to a foreigner who:

  • has a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Poland granted in relation to the circumstance referred to in Article 144, Article 151 par. 1 or 2, Article 158 par. 2 point 1 or 2, Article 161 par.2, Article 176 or Article 186 par.1 point 3 or 4 of the Act of 13 June 2003 on aliens,
  • is a spouse of a Polish citizen or a foreigner referred to in points 1-6 in the above list, who has a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Poland, granted in relation to contracting a marriage,
  • is a descendant (referred to in Article 2 par. 1 point 8 letter b) of a Polish citizen or a foreigner referred to in points 1-2 of this list and points 1-6 of the list above, who has a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Poland,
  • has a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Poland granted pursuant to Article 159 par. of the Act of 13 June 2003 on aliens,
  • stays in the Republic of Poland on the basis of Article 108 par. 1 point 2 or Article 206 par. 2 point 2 of the Act of 12 December 2013, or on the basis of a stamp in a travel document that confirms submitting application for a long-term EU residence permit provided that directly before submitting the application the foreigner was released from the obligation to have a work permit pursuant to points 1-4 of this list,
  • has a valid Polish Charter [Karta Polaka],
  • applies for granting a refugee status or is a spouse on behalf of whom an application for granting a refugee status has been submitted, provided that he/she has a certificate issued in accordance with Article 36 of the Act of 13 June 2003 on granting protection to aliens within the territory of the Republic of Poland,
  • has the right to stay and work in a European Union Member State or a member country of the European Economic Area, or Swiss Confederation and is employed by an employer whose registered office is located in the territory of such country and who has been temporarily delegated by such an employer to providing services on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Foreigners released from the obligation to have a work permit pursuant to the Regulation of 21 April 2015 of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy:

  • persons who organise trainings, participate in professional internships, act as advisors or supervisors or perform functions requiring special qualifications and abilities in programmes implemented within the scope of European Union activities or other aid programmes, also on the basis of loans taken out by the Government of the Republic of Poland,
  • teachers of foreign languages who work in kindergartens, schools or institutions, referred to in the provisions on the system of education, or in Voluntary Labour Corps,
  • members of armed forces or of civilian staff who work in international military structures located in the Republic of Poland or foreigners delegated to implement defence programs conducted under contracts to which the Republic of Poland is a party,
  • regular correspondents of foreign mass media to whom an accreditation of a minister competent for foreign affairs has been granted upon request of an executive editor of a foreign journal office or agency, however only in the scope of professional journalist activities performed for such journal office or agency,
  • foreigners who perform artistic services individually or in teams for a period of up to 30 days in a calendar year, 
  • foreigners who deliver occasional lectures, papers or presentations of a special scientific or artistic importance, provided that it lasts up to 30 days in a calendar year,
  • foreign sportsmen and sportswomen who perform work for an entity with the registered office in the Republic of Poland that consists in representing such entity during sports competitions for maximally 30 days in a calendar year,
  • foreign sportsmen and sportswomen who perform work related to international sports events, delegated by a competent international sports organisation,
  • clergymen, members of religious orders or other persons who perform work related to their religious functions, in churches, religious associations and national inter-religious associations, whose status is regulated by an international agreement, provisions concerned with the relationship between organised religion and the state, or that function on the basis on an entry to the register of churches and other religious associations, their legal persons or organisational units, and foreigners who perform work related to their religious function in other entities, on the basis of a delegation by a competent governing body of a church, or other religious association or its legal person,
  • full-time students and full-time doctoral students studying in the Republic of Poland,
  • students, who perform professional internship work to which they have been referred by organisations belonging to international student associations (e.g. AIESEC),
  • students, whose work is related to cooperation of public employment services and their foreign partners if the necessity to employ a foreigner has been confirmed by an appropriate employment authority;
  • students of higher education institutions or vocational schools in European Union Member States or in the countries of the European Economic Area not belonging to the European Union or a Swiss Confederation, who work under vocational trainings provided for in the regulations of studies or in the curriculum, provided that they have been referred to such trainings by a higher education institution or a vocational school, participants of cultural and educational exchange programs, humanitarian or developmental aid programs or student holiday work programs organised in consultation with the minister competent for labour,
  • participants of cultural and educational exchange programmes, programmes of humanitarian and summer work programmes for students developmental aid delegated to work in culture institutions of foreign countries in the Republic of Poland pursuant to international contracts to which the Republic of Poland is a party,
  • graduates of Polish upper secondary schools or full-time higher education studies or full-time doctorate studies in Polish universities, scientific institutes of the Polish Academy of Science or research institutes referred to in the provisions on research institutes,
  • research workers in entities referred to in regulations on research institutes,
  • persons delegated to the territory of the Republic of Poland by a foreign employer (provided that they have their permanent residence abroad) for a period not longer than 3 months in a calendar year for the purpose of:
    • installation and maintenance or repair of the delivered, technologically complete appliances, constructions, machines or other equipment if a foreign employer is their manufacturer,
    • collection of ordered appliances, machines, other equipment or parts manufactured by a Polish producer,
    • providing a training course for the workers of a Polish employer who is a user of appliances, constructions, machines or other equipment, referred to in letter a, in the scope of operation or use of such appliances, constructions, machines or other equipment,
    • assembly or disassembly of exhibition stands as well as supervision over such stands, if the exhibitor is a foreign employer who delegates foreigners for this purpose,
  • persons working for the members of the European Parliament in relation to the performed function,
  • nationals of the the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Federation of Russia or Ukraine, who work during the period not exceeding 6 months in 12 consecutive months, irrespectively of the number of employers, on the basis of a written contract, provided that prior to undertaking the job by a foreigner, the employer has submitted a declaration on the intention to employ such a foreigner in the district labour office competent for the registered office or address of the employer, additionally it is required that the work is performed on the basis of a written agreement in accordance to the conditions set out in the declaration..
  • foreigners with the right to reside in the EU in accordance with principles specified in legal acts issued by authorities appointed under an agreement establishing an association between the European Economic Community and Turkey, signed in Ankara on 12 September 1963 (OJEC L 217 of 29.12.1964, page 3687, special Polish publication of OJ, Chapter 11, Vol. 11, page 10),

Additionally, you do not have to possess the work permit if you are a foreigner who:

was granted a permit to stay in the Republic of Poland for a definite period of time in order to perform work in a profession of high qualifications for the time exceeding at least 3 months if:

  • you are a party of an employment contract or preliminary employment contract for highly qualified profession for a period of at least 1 year, and also meet the eligibility requirements and other conditions to work in the profession and have a higher professional qualifications and health insurance,
  • the employer employing you is in no position to meet staffing requirements in the local market.

Legal basis:

Act of 20 April 2004 on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions (Article 87 par. 1 and 2, Article 2 par.1 point 40)

Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 21 April 2015 on cases whereby work performance by foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Poland is allowed without the need to obtain a work permit

Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 28 November 20013 amending the Regulation on cases whereby work performance by foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Poland is allowed without the need to obtain a work permit

Development: Editorial team of Zielona Linia


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