Poland: Restrictions and Increased Administrative Burdens Implemented for Some Workers in Poland

• Foreign nationals subject to labor market testing must now submit documents proving their qualifications. • The work permit exemption process for nationals from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine has been restricted, significantly increasing the administrative burden. • Further changes are expected mid-February, including a new residence permit for secondment of non-EU workers within the European Union by a non-EU employer.

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Jan 09, 2018
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The situation

Effective January 1, 2018, Polish immigration law changed on a number of points related to document requirements, registration and work permit exemption for certain nationalities. Further changes are expected in February.

A closer look

  • Stricter documentary requirements. Foreign nationals subject to labor market testing (Work Force Demand) must submit a diploma and reference letter to prove their qualifications. The qualifications must be consistent with what the host employer declared in the Work Force Demand application.
    • Impact. Since these documents were already requested by Fragomen to prepare the Work Force Demand application, this does not significantly increase the administrative burden on foreign nationals.
  • New employer statement required. Employers must submit a ‘Statement of Employer’ confirming that the employer and/or its authorized representative have never been convicted of any crimes regarding employment, document forgery or human trafficking.
  • Easier registration process. The local Polish town hall now issues a personal identification number (PESEL) to foreign nationals staying longer than 90 days, when the foreign national registers their address. Previously, non -EU nationals were required to submit a separate application to obtain a PESEL.
    • Background. A PESEL may be required for tax, social security, school enrollment and other interactions with national authorities.
    • Impact. This eliminates the need for an additional administrative step for those who require a PESEL number, as it combines two registration steps.
  • Nationals from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. The government has made a number of changes to the Special Permission process, which allows nationals of these countries to apply for a work permit exemption.
    • Fee. A fee of PLN 30 has been introduced for this category. Previously, the process was free of charge.
    • New notification requirement. The host entity in Poland must notify the start of work to the local labor office by the first work day. If the start date is delayed, the host entity must notify the local labor office within seven days of the start date. Previously, no such notifications were required. The host employer may be subject to penalties for failure to submit these notifications.
    • Impact. The notification requirement significantly increases the administrative burden for Polish sponsoring employers under the Special Permission process.

Looking ahead

The following further changes are expected to be introduced once the relevant legislation is officially published, which is expected to happen mid-February.

  • Intra-EU secondment permit. A new residence permit type will be introduced for secondment of non-EU workers within the European Union by a non-EU employer.
    • Impact. This will open a specific permit route for foreign nationals already based in the European Union, since they would not qualify for the intracompany transferee (ICT) Permit.
  • Language requirement for permanent residence. Permanent residence applicants will be required to prove specific knowledge of the Polish language through a language exam, in addition to the other requirements for EU permanent residence.
    • Impact. Obtaining permanent residence will become more difficult.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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