Changes in Polish Immigration Laws affecting Work Permit Applications

The Polish government recently with effect from January 1, 2018, implemented the following changes to laws pertaining to work permit applications. These changes have been explained below: 

  • Employers are required to provide new additional documentation;
  • Modifications in Type B work permit requirements;
  • Additional requirements entrusted to nationals of six neighbouring countries;
  • Provision of new seasonal work permits; and
  • New grounds established for work permit denials. 

Further to the above, the Ministry of Labour will now enforce a limitation on the number of work permits and residence permits issued. However, the Labour authorities have so far not set any limits.

Additional documentation requirement: Employers applying for work permits on behalf of the applicants are now required to provide copies of the applicant’s diplomas, certificates and reference letters at the time of conducting the Labor market test in the work permit application process. Employers are also required to provide a declaration that the employee does not have a criminal record. The statement primarily refers to labour laws and must be provided on the specified government form, which must be signed by an authorized company representative (not a proxy).

Type B Work Permit: General partners and proxies must obtain a Type B work permit if they intend to work in Poland for more than six months in a 12-month period. Previously, this requirement was only extended to management or members of a company’s board.

Work permit requirements for nationals of six neighbouring countries: Nationals of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine can now be hired based on a “declaration of employment,” which allows eligible foreign workers to work in Poland for up to six months in a 12-month period. The new law indicates that the employer must provide the criminal record statement described above. In cases where an employer submits an application on behalf of a national of one of the above-mentioned countries, their work authorization will be extended until they are issued their new work/resident permit. In some labour offices there have been delays in registering the declaration of employment due to the large number of applications submitted.

Seasonal Work Permits: The Polish government has introduced new seasonal work permits (Type S work permits) to allow workers in seasonal industries to work for up to nine months in a calendar year. Nationals of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine are exempt from labour marketing testing requirements for the new seasonal work permits.

New grounds for work permit denials: The Polish government may reject work permit applications if (A) the qualifications of the applicant cannot be clearly established; (B) the sponsoring employer’s financial means cannot be established; (C) the employer has not fulfilled its obligations as per the tax, social security, health insurance or labour laws and regulations; (D) the employer is in the process of being liquidated or has been struck from the Company register where it is registered (such as the national court registry, or KRS); or (E) if any of the employer’s managing employees or proxies have been convicted of offenses that authorities deem to be disqualifying. 

Manizeh Mistry, Deputy Head – Global Immigration

Keywords: Polish work permit, Type B work permit, Seasonal work permit, Denials

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