Immigration Categories

A brief description of corporate immigration categories by assignment type follows. The appropriate immigration category or status for your employees will depend on their specific details and on your company. The most common category for corporate transfers in our experience is the intra-company transfer work permit process. For details on non-typical categories not listed below (investors, special programs), please contact your representative.

  • Work permit for intra-company transfer (ICT)
  • Work permit for local hire

Typical Process Overview

Work permit for intra-company transfer (ICT)

Approximate overall processing time from the time the first step is submitted to the time the employee is legal to work in Poland is six (6) to twenty (20) weeks. However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. In Poland, the document gathering stage of the process is particularly labor intensive, as many documents must be translated by a sworn translator. We can assist with this, if required. See “Application Materials” section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Step One: Work Permit Application
Processing Time:  Four (4) to Six (6) weeks and up to eight (8) to seventeen (17) weeks in remote location in Poland;

A work permit application will be made to the Labor Office in Poland on behalf of the sending entity.

Step Two: Visa with Right to Work / Residence Visa
Processing Time: Fifteen (15) to thirty (30) days

Applicants and dependents may apply for a Visa D in their current country of residence/nationality. The work national D visa can be obtained for a maximum of one (1) year. At the completion of this step, the applicant can travel to Poland and begin working legally. The Visa D will serve as a valid document of Residence/Travel for Poland for the first year.

Step Three: Address Registration
Processing Time: Same day (at the discretion of officials)

Within seven (7) days of the applicants’ arrival in Poland, the application for his or her Address Registration will be have to be completed.

Step Four: Residence Permit Applications (family members only, although in some cases the applicant may choose to apply for a residence permit as well)
Processing Time:  Three (3) to seven (7) months based on the location of the application submission.

The family members can apply for their Residence Permits in Poland only.  Personal presence of the applicants is required at the time of submission as biometric data is collected.

Step Five: Address Registration extension (family members only)
Processing Time: Same day (at the discretion of officials)

The Address Registration extension will be done once the application for the Residence Permit has been made to facilitate a stay of more than ninety (90) days in Poland.

Step Six: Residence Cards (family members only, although in some cases the applicant may choose to apply)
Processing Time: Four (4) to eight (8) weeks depending on the location of the application submission

Once approved, the Residence cards will be ready for collection within sixty (60) days of the Residence Permit approval.

Work permit for local hire

The Employee on local payroll can travel to Poland after obtaining the Work Permit and Work Visa D and can start working immediately on arrival while the rest of his application process is completed. Approximate overall processing time from the time the first application is submitted to the time the employee is legal to enter and work in Poland is three (3) to five (5) months. However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. In Poland, the document gathering stage of the process is particularly labor intensive, as many documents must be translated by a sworn translator. See “Application Materials” section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Step One: Application for Work Force Demand
Processing Time:
Three (3) to four (4) weeks

The application for a Work Force Demand can be submitted on behalf of the company.

Step Two: Application for Work Permit
Processing Time: Four (4) to Six (6) weeks and up to eight (8) to seventeen (17) weeks in remote location in Poland;

An application for a Work Permit will be submitted at the Local Labor Office.

Step Three: Application for National Visa D
Processing Time: Fifteen (15) to thirty (30) days

The application for a Visa D will be made in the applicant’s current country of residence/ nationality. At the completion of this step, the applicant can travel to Poland and begin working legally.

Step Four: Application for Address Registration
Processing Time: Same day

Within seven (7) days of the applicant’s arrival in Poland, we can submit the application for an Address Registration valid for stays up to ninety (90) days.

Typical Documents Obtained

Following the application process described above will result in the securing of the following immigration documents. Typical validity is noted next to each document name. For details on the renewal process, please see the next section, “Renewal”

  • Work Permit (zezwolenie na prace): Up to thirty-six (36) months
  • Visa with Right to Work (wiza z prawem do pracy): Up to twelve (12) months
  • Address Registration (meldunek or zameldowanie): Up to visa’s expiration date

Renewal

Renewal is possible. Renewal processes takes fifteen (15) to forty (40) weeks depending on the area; please allow four (4) weeks’ lead time for document gathering. Application to extend legal stay in Poland can be submitted even on last day of current visa/residence permit expiration date.

The work permit renewal application for the intra company transfer (ICT) must be submitted thirty (30) days before the current work permit expiration date.

Deregistration

To ensure that foreigners leave Poland after the expiration of their permission to stay and to keep tabs on the number of foreign workers in the country, the government of Poland requires all foreigners to deregister upon departing the country.

Applicants must cancel their Address Registration using their original passport and a signed deregistration form. Address Registration cancellation should be completed as soon as possible after the applicant moves out of his or her apartment.

Work permits must be cancelled if valid for over three (3) months on departure.

Work Permits may be cancelled by returning the original Work Permit to the Labor Office with a letter signed by the Polish company confirming the termination of employment of the Employee. In some cities, Residence Permits must be cancelled by forwarding the original card to the Foreign Police (Urzad Wojewodzki) along with a letter signed by the applicant. Both of these processes may be completed after the applicant has left Poland.

Dependents

Dependent immigration status approval depends on the immigration status of the principal applicant. Where the principal applicant is in Poland with an intra-company transfer work permit, the below rules generally apply for dependents. Note, however, that Polish legislation does allow for limitations to the issuance of permits to family members, although in practice this has not been enforced.

  • Minimum age (spouses): N/A
  • Maximum age (children): Eighteen (18) years
  • Unmarried partners: No
  • Same sex partners: No
  • Non-traditional dependents (e.g. parents): Yes
  • Work authorization granted? No

Application Materials

Application materials vary depending on the immigration category being applied for and on the specifics of the case. We will advise you in detail regarding your specific case; however, general application materials are noted below.

  • A variety of personal and corporate documents will be needed to support the application.
  • Personal documents include passports (valid for six [6] months beyond the end of the work permit duration), proof of health insurance, and birth and marriage certificates.
  • Corporate documents include reference letters, letters confirming salary and transfer from the company outside Poland, certificate of good standing of sending company, Certificate of Incumbency of sending company (as the proof that the signatory of work permit application forms has the official power to represent the sending company), and an excerpt from commercial register for Polish company – KRS, statistics number for Polish company – REGON, tax ID number.
  • Note that the above mentioned documents are examples of what will be required and that additional documentation will certainly be necessary.  We can prepare all necessary forms and Powers of Attorney and can advise you of the exact documents required based upon the specifics of your case.
  • All documentation must be submitted in Polish.  We can assist with the translation.

Business Visitors

  • Name of visa granted:Schengen type C
  • Duration of stay: Ninety (90) out of one hundred eighty (180) days in the whole Schengen area
  • General activities permitted: “business only”, generally defined as:
    • Business meetings.
    • Sales calls to potential Polish clients provided that the employee represents a commercial entity outside Poland.
    • Attendance of seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.

Change of Status

It is possible in certain cases to convert from visitor to employment status without leaving Poland.

Salary and Payroll

Salary and payroll requirements vary depending on the immigration category and on the specifics of the case. In Poland, there are minimum salary requirements in place. Additionally, payroll location will affect the immigration process. Please your representative for more details for your specific situation.

Qualifications

Qualification requirements will vary from case to case and will depend on the immigration category under which the application is made. However, in general, the immigration authorities do expect to see an undergraduate level university degree. In some situations, a strong case may be made for applicants without a degree provided their level of experience and industry specific qualification is high. Please contact your representative for more details.

Red Flags

In our experience, the following points are important to note at the start of the process. If any of the below situations apply to you, contact your representative immediately for further detailed advice.

  • Absence of degree
  • Insufficient compensation
  • Unmarried partners cannot receive dependent status.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The government of Poland takes immigration non-compliance very seriously. Penalties for non-compliance range from fines to deportation and even imprisonment.

For more details, please contact your representative.

Bilateral Agreements

  • European Union: Poland is a member of the European Union (EU). Many EU member countries, European Economic Area (EEA) member countries, and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries maintain agreements that allow individuals from member states to travel and work freely within the region without prior authorization. Nationals of new EU member countries that are within the two (2) to seven (7) year transition period following accession may still be subject to work permit or other additional requirements. For detailed information on process and requirements for nationals of EU/EEA/EFTA countries traveling to Poland, please contact Emigra Worldwide.
  • Schengen: Poland is a member of the Schengen agreement.  Short term (type C) visas, long term (type D) visas and residence permits for Poland will allow short term travel in the rest of the Schengen zone.
  • Nationals of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Russia may work for six (6) months within a twelve (12) month period without a work permit, but a work visa has to be obtained prior to entry to Poland. This exemption is only applicable to local hires.