Working in Poland

Many expats moving to Poland for work need to get a work permit, some other foreigners are exempt from this rule. We advise when a work permit is needed, how the application process looks like and what are the responsibilities of employers.

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Generally the legislation in Poland has divided expats willing to work in Poland into two groups:

  1. Expats free to work in Poland without any restrictions
  2. Expats needing a work permit

The first group of foreigners with right to an open job market consist of:

  • Nationals of European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries and their families
  • Families of Polish nationals
  • Refugees
  • Foreigners residing in Poland under temporary protection
  • Foreigners holding a permit for a tolerant stay
  • Foreigners holding a permit for residing in Poland

Some of the expats are freed from obtaining a work permit, in case when:

  • Are sent on an international assignment through an employer headquartered in EU or EFTA countries for a limited period of time
  • Reside in Poland to conduct research
  • Study in Poland
  • Entrepreneurs registered in Poland for a limited period of time
  • Special groups of professions: professors, language teachers, NATO employees, sportsmen, media correspondents, lecturers, full-time students

All other foreigner who do not fall into any of the above mentioned categories in order to legally work in Poland need to obtain a visa and a work permit.

Work permit application can be issued solely by an employer.


Responsibilities of an employer when hiring foreigners:

  • Before signing a work contract an employer needs to submit to an employee a draft contract in a language understandable to a foreigner
  • Sign a written work contract with a foreigner including all the conditions from a work permit document
  • Hand over one copy of the signed contract
  • Inform about all actions regarding work permit applications, issued documents, decisions issued by authorities let it be refusal or approval
  • Make sure to apply on-time for a prolongation of the work permit if required


Please note: We do not provide legal advice in the legal sense of meaning. The purpose of the article is solely informative. Please contact a legal attorney if you need any legal advice.