The answer depends on the foreigner’s origin or his status. Issues related to employment of foreigners are specified in the Act on promoting employment and labour market institutions of 20 April 2001 (unified text: Dz.U. [Journal of Laws] No. 69 Item 415, as amended) and in executive orders.
Foreigners are allowed to work in Poland when they meet specific conditions, which, for example, are:
- refugee status granted in Poland,
- permission to settle in Poland,
- citizenship of a European Union Member State,
- citizenship of a European Economic Area Member State, that is not EU Member,
- permission to work in Poland.
In some cases a work permit is not needed. It happens when a foreigner is allowed to settle in Poland for specific time because of marriage to a Polish citizen or when he or she is a family member of a foreigner who has permission to settle in Poland. Work permit is not necessary when a person is entitled to stay and work in one of the European Union Member States and European Economic Area Member States which are not EU members. The same is when international agreements or different regulations grant foreigners a right to work without a permission.
There are also situations when the work permit is a must, for example, when foreigners work in Poland under the contract of employment with an employer whose registered office, place of residence, branch, facility or other form of business is located in Poland; when a person work for foreign employer who delegate him/her to work in his department in Poland for a period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year; if a person performs work for a foreign employer without a branch, facility or other form of business in the Republic of Poland and is delegated to the Republic of Poland for the purpose of execution of a service of temporary and casual nature (export service).
Work permits are issued by a province governor upon the request of an employer intending to employ a foreigner. They are issued for a specified period of time, not longer than 3 years and may be prolonged. Permits are issued for a specific employer, specific foreigner and in a specific place for a specific work position for a period defined by specific dates. A work permit can be prolonged provided that foreigner's employer submits an application to the province governor not later than 30 days before expiry of a current work permit. In such situation the period of an offered employment must begin directly after the end of the period for which a permit had been already issued and the position offered to the foreigner must be the same as the one for which the previous permit had been issued.