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Working in EuropeWork permitPoland

Work permit

AGH University of Science and Technology, author: KSAF AGH

As a general rule, foreigners are entitled to work in Poland if they:

  • stay legally and
  • have a work permit - if required.

Note: working in Poland is not permitted on the basis of a tourist visa or visa for the purpose of visitting family or friends.

Work permit is not required for citizens of the European Union countries,Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and their family members.


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 empoyment(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-timestudents 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 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 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 employ a foreigner, the Polish employer has to register in a labour office (urząd pracy) a special declaration of intending to hire him/her. Information for Polish employers is available in Polish here.

In the cases when the work permit is not required the residence card (Remarks section) includes the note "Access to labour market" (pl. Dostęp do rynku pracy).


The above list includes selected cases that are most relevant to performing scientific research or related activities. The list of other cases when work permit is not required is provided by the Office for Foreigners.

When work permit is required

As far as scientific employment is concerned, generally speaking, 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 hired foreigner. Work permits are issued by a relevant regional office called Voivodship Office relevant for the region of employer's location. The work permit authorizes the foreigner to work only for this 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, position or type of work, minimum salary required by law, mode (full-time/part-time) and the permit's validity date.

Note that if a foreigner does not start employment within 3 months from the starting date marked in the work permit, stops working for more than 3 months or finishes employment prior to 3 months before the end date of the permit, the employer is obliged to inform the Office within 7 days.

There are several types of work permit depending on employment conditions. Here we provide information on work permit in Polish - for employers