A foreigner who would like to work legally in Poland should have a work permit and a residence one. These are two different documents. However, a special type of temporary residence authorisation exists – temporary residence and work permit, also known as a uniform permit. It legalises both the stay and work of a foreign national in Poland.
1. Temporary residence and work permit, i.e. the uniform permit
The uniform permit constitutes a type of temporary residence authorisation. This document entitles the foreigner to stay and work in Poland for the period for which it was issued. An undeniable advantage of applying for this type of authorisation is that the foreign national’s stay and work in Poland are legalised within one administrative procedure. It isn’t necessary to apply separately for regularisation of work and that one of stay.
2. Conditions for applying for a temporary residence and work permit
The application for a uniform permit should be submitted by the foreigner. It can’t be made by the employer.
It’s possible to submit the request if the foreigner’s intended stay in Poland is to last longer than 3 months and will be related to performing paid work in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
The basic requirement for obtaining the permit is that the foreign national has health insurance within the meaning of the provisions of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds (Official Journal of 2004, No. 210, item 2135, as amended), or a confirmation of coverage by an insurer of the treatment costs in Poland. This condition is considered to be satisfied if the foreigner will have health insurance in relation to the performance of the work constituting the basis for the application for a temporary residence authorisation (Article 114 (1)(1), (4a) of the Act on Foreigners of 12 December 2013 (i.e. OJ 2023, item 519, as amended), hereinafter referred to as the Act on Foreigners).
The legislator also requires that the entity entrusting work to the foreign national shall not be able to meet the staffing needs in the local labour market. This circumstance is confirmed by the staroste in the information concerning the inability to meet staffing needs in the local labour market. It constitutes an annex to the application for a uniform permit. Only in exceptional situations it’s possible to derogate from obtaining information on the local labour market from the staroste (Article 114(1)(3), (3) of the Act on Foreigners).
Requirements are also imposed on the remuneration to be received by the foreigner. It can’t be lower than the salary of employees performing work of comparable type or in a comparable position in the same working time. Simultaneously, the amount of monthly salary can’t be lower than the amount of minimum remuneration for work, regardless of the working time and the type of legal relationship constituting the basis for the performance of work by a foreign national (Article 114(1)(4, 5) of the Act on Foreigners).
If a temporary residence and work permit is to be granted in connection with planned employment in an occupation desirable for the Polish economy, the foreign national should have the professional qualifications required to perform work in that occupation (Article 114(1a) of the Act on Foreigners). The requirement to have appropriate qualifications also applies if the foreigner is to carry out work in a regulated profession.
The uniform permit can’t be applied for by a foreigner:
- being an employee posted to work in Poland, by an employer with a head office outside the Republic of Poland – for the entire period of posting;
- staying in the territory of Poland on the basis of obligations specified in international agreements on facilitating the entry and temporary stay of certain categories of natural persons engaged in trade or investments;
- conducting an economic activity in Poland;
- staying in the territory of the Republic of Poland in connection with performing a function of a legal person in the management board or of a capital company in organisation either in relation to running the affairs of limited partnership or limited joint-stock partnership as a general partner, or in connection with granting him/her a power of attorney;
- staying in Poland on the basis of a visa issued for tourist purposes or to visit family or friends;
- staying in the Polish territory for the purpose of tourism or to visit family or friends on the basis of a visa issued by another Schengen State (Article 116 of the Act on Foreigners).
3. Stay and work while waiting for the issuance of a uniform permit
The stay in Poland of a foreigner who has submitted an application for a temporary residence and work permit is considered legal in the period from the date of making the request for a uniform permit to the date on which the decision on granting the authorisation became final (Article 108(2) of the Act on Foreigners).
The day of submitting the application for a single permit can be determined on the basis of the stamp confirming the presentation of the request, placed by the voivode in the foreigner’s travel document. The voivode places the stamp in the travel document when the deadline for making an application for granting a uniform permit to a foreign national has been respected and the request doesn’t contain any formal defects or the formal deficiencies have been corrected on time (Article 108(1) of the Act on Foreigners).
The stamp also entitles the foreigner to work in Poland during the period of waiting for the issuance of a temporary residence and work permit, provided that immediately before submitting the application, the foreign national was entitled to work in Poland, i.e. he/she performed work on the basis of a valid work permit, a valid employer’s declaration on entrusting work, entered into the records or registered by the appropriate powiat labour office, or was exempt from the obligation to obtain a work permit.
It should be emphasised that the stamp doesn’t entitle the foreigner to travel to other Schengen countries. However, a foreign national may travel to his/her country of origin. Nevertheless, if this State is subject to the visa requirement, a visa shall be obtained in order to return to Poland.
4. Application for a uniform permit
A foreigner submits an application for a temporary residence and work permit to the voivode competent for his/her place of stay. The request shall be made in person. When submitting it, the applicant’s fingerprints are taken.
The foreign national may also send the request by post. In that case, the voivode will invite the applicant – the foreigner to appear in person at the office in order to provide fingerprints.
A foreigner should submit an application for a temporary residence and work permit no later than on the last day of legal stay in Poland. If the request is sent to the office by post, the date of making the application is considered to be that one of sending the correspondence to the post office.
The application for a uniform permit shall be submitted on an official form in 2 copies. The request shall be accompanied by:
- the annex No. 1 to the application completed by the entity entrusting work – it’s an official form containing, among others, information on the entity entrusting work, on the user employer – if the foreigner is to perform work as a temporary employee, on the work to be entrusted, and a declaration by the entity entrusting work of no criminal record;
- 4 photographs fulfilling the following conditions:
- with good sharpness,
- photo dimensions: 35 mm x 45 mm,
- taken not earlier than within the last 6 months;
- showing the foreigner’s facial image from the top of the head to the upper part of the shoulders, so that the face occupies 70-80% of the photo, on a uniform light background, in a frontal position, looking straight ahead with eyes open, not covered with hair, with a natural facial expression and the mouth closed, reproducing the natural color of his/her skin and showing clearly the eyes, especially the pupils, the line of the eyes must be parallel to the upper edge of the photograph;
- a photocopy of all written pages of the foreigner’s valid travel document – if the applicant doesn’t have a valid travel document and it isn’t possible to obtain it, another document confirming identity may be presented;
- proof of payment of stamp duty on the application;
- documents confirming the circumstances indicated in the request, in particular:
- information from the staroste about the incapacity to fulfil staffing needs in the local labour market – if required;
- a document confirming that the foreigner has health insurance or that the insurer has covered the costs of treatment in Poland;
- a certificate of no tax arrears and, in the case of work performed on the basis of a specific task contract, a declaration by the foreigner about no tax arrears;
- documents confirming qualifications or the fulfillment of the conditions required to perform a specific job;
- documents confirming that the entity entrusting work has funds or sources of income necessary to cover the obligations arising from the entrustment of work to the foreign national and confirming the actual economic, agricultural or statutory activity.
Theoretically, the decision on issuing a temporary residence and work permit should be taken within 1 month from the date of initiation of the proceedings. In reality, the proceedings take much longer. This is due to the need for the voivode to obtain a lot of information from the appropriate services and authorities.
If the voivode accepts the application, he/she takes a decision to grant a temporary residence and work permit. It’s issued for a fixed period – from 3 months to 3 years.
The decision, in addition to the period for which it was issued, indicates the circumstances related to the work entrusted to the foreign national, i.e.:
- entity entrusting work and, in the event that the foreigner will be a temporary employee, also the user employer;
- the foreign national’s job position,
- the lowest remuneration that a foreigner may receive in his/her position – if the application concerns part-time work or work under a civil law contract, the decision indicates the salary proportionally to the working time or the expected period of fulfilling the obligations resulting from the contract,
- working time,
- the type of contract under which the foreigner is to perform work (Article 118(1), (5) of the Act on Foreigners).
The aforementioned elements aren’t included in the decision if the foreigner fulfils the conditions for exemption from the obligation to have a work permit. In such a case, the decision to grant a uniform permit includes, in addition to the period of validity of the authorisation, information that the foreign national is entitled to perform work under the conditions specified in the provision constituting the basis for exemption from the obligation to have a work permit (Article 118(3), (4) of the Act on Foreigners).
Moreover, the decision should contain an instruction on the obligation to notify the voivode of the loss of job with any of the entities entrusting work, listed in the permit (Article 18(1a) of the Act on Foreigners).
The uniform permit can’t be extended. If the expiry date of the document is approaching, a new decision shall be applied for.
6. Obligation of the foreigner after obtaining the uniform permit
A foreigner holding a temporary residence and work permit is obliged to notify the voivode who granted the authorisation of the loss of job with any of the entities entrusting work, listed in the permit. The notification shall be made in writing within 15 working days (Article 121(1) of the Act on Foreigners).
If a foreign national would like to change the employer indicated in the authorisation, he/she should apply for a new uniform permit. The same should be done in the event that a foreigner who is a temporary worker wants to change the user employer. A foreigner should also apply for a new permit if he/she intends to perform work in a different position or under conditions other than those specified in the authorisation.
Reclassification of a civil law contract indicated in the authorisation as an employment contract doesn’t require the application for a new temporary residence and work permit. It isn’t necessary to inform the voivode of this change.
7. Legal notice
The study is a work within the meaning of the Act of 4 February 1994 on Copyright and Related Rights (OJ 2006, No. 90, item 631, consolidated text, as amended). Publishing or reproducing this study or its part, quoting opinions, as well as disseminating in any other way the information contained therein without the written consent of Crede sp. z o.o. is prohibited.