Poland’s new law makes it easier for foreigners to obtain work permits from February 2023
The Government of Poland has passed into law the long-awaited amendment to the Polish Act on Foreigners. The new law came into effect from 29 January 2022.
This is good news to international job seekers who have been eyeing a move to central Europe as Poland is now one of the most sought-after nation to go to for those seeking a great life and career in the heart of Europe.
The aim of the new regulations is to make it easier for foreigners to obtain residence and work permits in Poland.
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The new law introduces a number of significant amendments to the rules governing the legalisation of stay of foreigners in the territory of Poland, placing particular emphasis on persons who work. Here we unpack the main changes you need to know about.
Following the amendment, applicants for temporary residence and work permits will no longer be required to prove that:
- they have a source of stable and regular income, sufficient to support themselves and dependant family members,
- they have a place of residence in Poland (i.e. proof of accommodation such as rental contract).
All temporary residence and work permit applications will have to be processed and decided within 60 days of receipt of complete documentation. Applications submitted before 1 January 2022 that have not been determined yet may be reviewed under an expedited procedure.
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Conditions of employment
At the same time, the current requirement that a foreigner’s remuneration cannot be lower than the minimum wage is going to be amended (Article 114 section 1 item 5 of the Act on Foreigners).
In result of this specific amendment, the monthly remuneration of a foreigner cannot be lower than the minimum wage, regardless of the working hours or the type of legal relationship constituting the basis for the foreigner’s employment. Therefore, it also applies to cases where a foreigner performs a part-time job.
It is also worth noting that foreign employees will no longer be required to apply for new work permits if:
- their job title changes but the scope of duties remains the same or
- if they work longer hours while receiving proportionally higher pay.
Article 119 of the Act on Foreigners will be amended by introducing two new circumstances, the occurrence of which will not require a new temporary residence and work permit or its amendment.
Namely, these circumstances include a change of the name of the position in which the foreigner performs the work, while retaining the scope of his/her duties and an increase in the working time with a proportional increase in remuneration.
The amending Act also introduces, as a result of the practical demands, significant changes in the procedure for amending the temporary residence and work permit.
In the current legal status, a change of this permit may include a change of the user employer or a change of the conditions for performing work specified in the permit pursuant to Article 118 section 1 items 2-5 of the Act on Foreigners.
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The upcoming amendment will consist in the fact that the scope of the change allowed under this procedure will also include the change of the entity entrusting the performance of work, as well as the fact that the foreigner will be granted an exemption from the obligation to possess a work permit specified by separate provisions.
Employer’s declaration of intent to employ a foreigner
Under the new amendment, citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine will be able to work in Poland on the basis of a “Declaration of intent to employ a foreigner” (Oświadczenie o zamiarze powierzenia wykonywania pracy cudzoziemcowi) for a maximum of 24 months.
It is a significant change considering that until now the document could only be issued for a period not exceeding 6 months within 12 subsequent months. For more detailed information on the amendment, please visit the website of the Polish Office for Foreigners.
What all this means to a foreign job seeker
What all these changes do is make it easier for foreigners to find jobs in Poland, acquire work permits and live in the central European country. This is an opportunity to secure jobs with Polish employers and move to the 8th strongest economy on mainland Europe.
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You may read Complete Guide: How To Find Jobs And Immigrate To Poland In 2023 for the latest available jobs for foreigners in Poland, how to apply for the permits and immigrate to Poland.
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