As a general rule, foreigners are entitled to work in Poland if they:
- stay legally and
- have a work permit - if required.
Legalization of stay
For detailed information on legalization of stay, please visit our webpage.
A work permit is a document which entitles a non-European foreigner to work legally in the territory of Poland. It is required not only if you are employed on the basis of an employment contract but also civil law contracts.
When the work permit is NOT REQUIRED
In case of third country nationals, scientific employment at public research institutions, such as universities, institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and research institutes, does not require work permit.
In addition, the Polish law defines other cases, which can be related to foreign scientists, when the work permit is not required:
- foreigners who have a Polish national visa for the purpose of conducting scientific research and their family members,
- foreigners who have a temporary residence permit for the purpose of conducting scientific research or a temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment (EU Blue Card) as well as their family members,
- foreigners who have a residence permit of another EU country with a note "researcher" who come to Poland to conduct a part of the scientific research based on the short-term mobility rule (for up to 6 months),
- foreigners who have a residence permit for the purpose of study, incl. PhD study, as well as their family members,
- full-time students and doctoral candidates in Poland or those who have graduated from a Polish secondary school, university or a doctoral school (only full-time courses),
- foreigners who run a training course, participate in a professional training, fulfil an advisory or supervisory function or other function requiring special qualifications and skills within European Union programmes or other international aid programmes, also based on loans taken by the government of Poland,
- conduct occasional lectures or presentations of a particular scientific or artistic value (up to 30 days in a calendar year),
- have a temporary residence permit in order to join a family member in Poland,
- are citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Georgia: citizens of these countries can work in Poland without the work permit up to 6 months within subsequent 12 months. In order to hire such a foreigner, the Polish employer has to register a declaration of intended employment in a labour office (Urząd Pracy).
When the work permit is REQUIRED
Generally speaking, as far as scientific employment is concerned, the work permit is required in the private sector, e.g. in private companies, factories, in industry, etc.
It is the employer who has to apply for the work permit for the employed foreigner. Work permits are issued by a relevant regional office called the Voivodeship Office (relevant for the region of the employer's location). The work permit authorizes the foreigner to work only for the particular employer specified in the work permit. In order to perform work for another employer, a new work permit is required.
The document includes: the name of the employer, the position or type of work, minimum salary required by law, mode (full-time/part-time) and the validity date of the permit.