A work permit is a document that allows you to work legally in Poland. However, not every foreigner needs it. In some cases, eg. when you are an EU/EFTA citizen or their family, or have a permanent residence permit, it is not required. If you come from Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine or Armenia, you may work for 6 months based on your employer’s declaration before applying for a work permit. In any other situation, when you stay in Poland on the basis of a visa or a temporary residence permit, you must fulfil a few formalities right before starting to work.
Remember: it’s your future employer, not you, who files for your work permit.
(here you can find a full list of cases when the work permit is not necessary and some further information, English version available (here).
What are the types of work permits?
Type A: for foreigners who work in Poland under an employment contract or a civil law contract and whose employer’s business is settled in Poland,
Type B: for foreigners who perform a function in the management board of a company, and stays in Poland for 6 to 12 months,
Type C: for foreigners who work for a non-Polish employer, but are delegated for more than 30 days to a branch or plant located in Poland,
Type D: for foreigners working for an employer, who doesn’t have a branch, plant, or any other form of business located in Poland, being delegated for temporary and occasional service,
Type E: for foreigners not listed above.
What about the documents?
Depending on the type of work permit you are trying to obtain, your future employer must present various documents. All of them must be filed to the Voivodship Office (Dolnośląski Urząd Wojewódzki, English version available (here). It may take up to one month before you get your work permit. Depending on the type of it, it costs:
50 zł – permit for up to 3 months
100 zł – permit for more than 3 months
200 zł – permit for foreigners delegated to Poland to perform an export service.
Whenever you change your post, you have to apply for a new work permit. It is given for a maximum of 3 years, though it can be extended (remember to file your documents at least 30 days before it expires).