Change of law on foreigners

Poland: Simplified procedure for obtaining temporary residence and work permit plus longer validity periods as of 1 May 2014

In December last year the Polish parliament adopted a whole new law on foreigners. Coming into force on 1 May 2014 this will replace the old law of 2003.

In the new act the maximum duration of a temporary residence permit is extended from two to three years. Moreover, from now on a foreigner will be able to obtain a single permit in one go – comprising both the right to stay in Poland and to work there. This means a simplification of the previous procedure, in which a work permit (obtained in a separate procedure by the employer) was a necessary prerequisite for a residence permit. This should make matters easier for employers, who used to have to apply for permits for their non-EU future employees. The new law also avoids the timing incoherence between durations of both permits (where the residence permit often expired long before the work permit, making the latter practically futile). The new permit is granted in the form of a decision by the provincial governor (wojewoda) competent for the place of residence of the foreigner in Poland.

A foreigner no longer needs to attach – to the permit application – evidence about their accommodation. It is enough to confirm that accommodation is arranged – with a criminal penalty for false statements.

Section V of the new law – entirely focusing on temporary residence permits for various categories of foreigner – separately regulates their stay in Poland for the purpose of: practicing in a profession requiring high-level qualifications, performing work delegated by a foreign employer, conducting business activity in Poland, carrying out research, as well as for other reasons. The new law also uses the term “permanent residence permit”, which will replace the previous permit for settling in Poland. Procedures launched prior to entry into force of the new rules will be governed by the previous law.

The new act comprehensively regulates all questions connected with foreigners residing and working in Poland. Due to its vast size (more than 500 articles) it is sometimes even called “the foreigners’ code”. Time will tell if the lawmaker managed to clearly regulate this delicate subject.

For more information, please contact:

Kamil Kucharski
Associate, bnt Warsaw

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