The government wants to make changes that will simplify the current procedure for the employment of foreigners. According to labor market experts, the government’s statement is very optimistic information for employers in Poland, because Polish companies need employees who will stay with them longer. The changes will be announced in early 2022.

What changes are you planning to have?

Extending the period of employment of foreigners in Poland without the need to obtain a work permit, introducing a new type of document that allows foreigners to simplify access to the Polish labor market for up to three years, speeding up all legalization procedures and eliminating abuse in the employment of foreigners – these are the government’s proposals, which were reported by Deputy Minister of Development, Labor and Technology Ivona Michalek in an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

“- We have started work and would like to see the new rules come into force on January 1, 2022. It is worth emphasizing that such an important provision takes time, especially since the draft of a new law on the employment of foreigners will be developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There will also be consultations with employers and trade unions, ” Ivona Michalek said in an interview.

According to Ivona Michalek, the planned changes will simplify the current procedure related to the employment of immigrants. Moreover, the government wants all the necessary formalities to be solved in a single order, which would not only reduce the number of necessary documents, but also significantly speed up the process.

-We want all applications submitted by the employer to be considered in one office at the level of the head office, and the number of submitted documents to be reduced. Thus, employers will have easier access to issues related to the employment of foreigners, and the entire system will become more transparent, – said in an interview for DGP.

-We also want employers to be able to hire foreigners who are currently working in Poland on the basis of permits for a period of more than six months. Currently, there is a rule according to which foreigners can work six months a year without the need to obtain a work permit (zezwolenia na pracę), if they have a written application from the employer. They must also be registered with the Powiat employment Service and have a written contract. If the employer wants to hire a foreigner for a longer period, a work permit is required (zezwolenia na pracę). We assume that after simplifying the entire system, the new type of document will allow it to enter the labor market for a longer period (for example, as at present, up to three years), but will retain the simplicity and flexibility that are characteristic of the consecrations.

In the interview, it was also said that the Polish government plans to eliminate abuses in the employment of foreigners. We are talking about the illegality of the employment of foreigners. These issues are planned to be resolved through the modernization of the electronic system and changes in legislation.

2. Assistance for Polish employers

According to labor market experts, the government’s statement is very optimistic information for employers in Poland, because Polish companies need employees who will stay with them longer.

– The existing procedures for the employment of foreigners in Poland are simple only at the first stage. However, when it comes to extending the residence permit and work permit for foreigners who have already started working in Poland, employers face a number of difficulties, – says Michal Wierzhowski, Commercial Director of the employment agency EWL Group.

According to the expert, staff turnover is a serious problem for Polish companies.

– Often the process of introducing a new employee to such an enterprise takes 2-3 months, and sometimes a year and a half. Unfortunately, after this period, an employee, for example, from Ukraine, often has to return to their country or apply for a residence permit, which in turn is associated with a long waiting period, – emphasizes the representative of the employment agency.

According to Michal Wierzhowski, the government’s statement on the introduction of a single simplified solution in Poland, allowing foreigners to stay and work in Poland for up to 3 years without having to apply for a permit, is a very good signal for Polish business.

– This would reduce staff turnover, as well as reduce the cost of doing business, – says the expert. “We are glad that the demands of Polish companies have been heard, because the demand for foreign personnel in our country will continue to grow, and this is an inevitable process if we care about the development of the Polish economy,” he adds.

3. Who goes to Poland?

According to the Department for Foreigners, of the 457.2 thousand foreigners who had a valid residence permit as of January 1, 2021 , the largest group was citizens:

Ukraine – 244.2 thousand people,
Belarus – 28.8 thousand,
Germany – 20.5 thousand,
Russia – 12.7 thousand,
Vietnam – 10.9 thousand,
India – 9.9 thousand,
Italy – 8,5 thousand,
Georgia – 7.9 thousand,
China – 7,1 thousand,
Great Britain – 6,6 thousand

Data from the Office for Foreigners also shows that in 2020, the largest increase in the number of foreigners settled in Poland affected citizens:

Ukraine-by 29.4 thousand. human,
Belarus – by 3.2 thousand,
Georgia – by 2.4 thousand, Moldova – by 1.2 thousand