Employment of foreigners from outside the EU - changes from 01/01/2018


It is more and more common in Poland to employ foreigners, especially from beyond the eastern border. It is related to the shortage of staff among Polish citizens. Foreigners are most often employed for short-term and physical work. Therefore, from 2018, changes will be introduced regarding, inter alia, employing foreigners from outside the European Union for seasonal work.

Amendment to the act

From January 1, 2018, the Act on Promotion and Market Institutions of April 20, 2004 will be amended. Directive 2014/36 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and stay of third-country nationals for the purpose of employment as a seasonal worker will be implemented into Polish law (Act of 29 April 2016 amending the Act on employment promotion and labor market institutions , the Act on the National Labor Inspectorate and the Act on the implementation of certain provisions of the European Union in the field of equal treatment). It concerns, inter alia, citizens of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Employing foreigners - how is it now?

Currently, in order to be able to employ a foreigner from outside the European Union, it is necessary to have a work permit or the employer's declaration of the intention to entrust work to a foreigner. A work permit is issued by the voivode for a maximum period of 3 years. On the other hand, the declaration enables the performance of work for a period of 6 months within 12 calendar months. It is issued only to citizens of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine who have one of the following documents:

  • visa,
  • visa-free travel,

  • temporary residence permit.

Employing foreigners since 2018

In addition to the existing work permit, an additional seasonal work permit will be introduced. This document will be issued by the staroste competent for the seat or place of residence of the entity employing the foreigner. Thanks to it, he will be able to work legally for up to 9 months in a calendar year. Importantly, any third-country national will be able to obtain a seasonal work permit.


From January 1, 2018, an additional seasonal work permit will be in force, issued for a maximum period of 9 months.

To obtain a seasonal work permit, the following steps will have to be carried out:

  1. Carrying out a labor market test - the local labor market can be assessed on the basis of the register of unemployed and jobseekers and the negative results of the recruitment process. In order to apply for a seasonal work permit, it is necessary to receive information from the staroste that it is not possible to meet staffing needs in the local labor market.

  2. Submitting an application to the poviat labor office for a seasonal work permit along with the above information from the starost (it will have 7 days to issue the PUP decision).

  3. If all the conditions are met, the application will be entered in the register.

  4. After registering the application, the foreigner will be able to apply for a visa.

  5. After receiving the visa, it will be possible to employ a foreigner, but his remuneration may not be lower than the remuneration of employees working in similar positions and with the same working hours.


If the work permit expires, you can apply for another one, but if the work is continued with the same entity, under the same conditions, there is no need to re-perform the labor market test.

Refusal to issue a work permit or declaration of intention to entrust work

It may happen that a work permit is refused. Such a situation may take place if the application for a permit does not coincide with the actual intention to entrust work to a foreigner or if the foreigner will perform work for another entity. Such effects will also result in giving false information in the application

What else are the changes from 2018?

The declaration procedure for issuing declarations of intention to entrust work to a foreigner will also change. From the new year, in order for the declaration to be entered in the register, the following conditions will be required:

  • a foreigner having the citizenship of one of the countries behind the eastern border;

  • performance of work by the foreigner, which is not also seasonal work;

  • performing work for a maximum of 6 months within 12 calendar months (based on this declaration).

Additionally, in order to eliminate abuses, from the new year an obligation will arise to inform the employer about taking up work or not taking up work by a foreigner.

The employer will also have to sign a declaration that the data provided in the application and the submitted documents are true.

From 2018, a new solution will also be a multi-season permit, thanks to which the employer will be able to receive an entry in the seasonal work register for a maximum period of 3 years.

Employing foreigners - not every employer will be able to do this

In order to employ a foreigner, the employer must meet certain requirements, including can not be:

  • punished for crimes against peace,

  • punished for offenses against infringement of employee rights,

  • punished for falsifying documents,

  • associated with convicted persons for the above-mentioned reasons.

An employer who does not fulfill the obligations related to running a business will also not receive the consent.

Due to changes on the Polish labor market related to the decline in unemployment and difficulties in recruiting suitable candidates for work, the government is meeting the expectations of foreigners coming to Poland to look for work more and more willingly. It is worth getting acquainted with the upcoming changes.