By Michał Kacprzyk, RACZKOWSKI. IUS LABORIS , Global HR Lawyers

Significant changes of Immigration Law will be introduced in Poland soon. The Act has been signed by the President on January 4, 2022 and will enter into force by the end of January 2022. Reform will allow both employers and foreign nationals to receive permits in a faster manner.

Below we discuss the most important changes.

1. Declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner / simplified work permit (in Polish: oświadczenie o powierzeniu wykonywania pracy cudzoziemcowi)

The validity of declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner is to be extended to 24 months. Until now, declarations were issued for a maximum period of 6 months.

Currently required break period in employment on the basis of the declaration is also to be eliminated. Before, this type of work permit could be used for maximum period of 6 months in each 12 months period. Thus 6 months break was required. Now this limitation is lifted.

This type of work permit is still available only to citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Moldova.

2. Work permit application

The work permit processes will be faster in selected cases. Priority is to be given to foreigners performing work for entrepreneurs conducting activities of strategic importance to the national economy. The entity competent to determine the activities of strategic importance will be the minister responsible for the economy. Definition of “an activity of strategic importance” has not been specified yet.

3. Temporary residence permit application

The rules for applying for temporary residence permits for the purpose of work will also change. Foreign nationals will not have to demonstrate stable and regular income and place of residence in the territory of Poland. In consequence, foreign nationals will not have to present, e.g. rental contracts or confirmations of house ownership in the territory of Poland during the residence permit processes.

Furthermore, their financial situation will not be subject to detailed verification, however remuneration proposed by the employer cannot be lower than the minimum wage regardless of the working time and type of employment contract.

The problem behind promotion of employees has been partially solved. Change of residence permit will not be required any more if:

the name of the position is changed but the scope of his duties remains the same; increase of remuneration in also accepted;
working time is increased along with proportional increase of remuneration.
It will be possible to change residence permit if foreign national decides to change employer during the term of validity of a temporary residence permit. Currently this is not possible and foreign national must apply for a new residence permit each time prior to change of employer.

4.           EU Blue Cards

In case of EU Blue Cards for highly sklilled employees, remuneration of foreign nationals cannot be lower than the equivalent of 150% of the average salary in Poland in the year preceding the submission of the application for a temporary residence permit (at least 7751.21 PLN gross basing on the average salary in 2020). Currently the remuneration cannot be lower than the equivalent of 150% of the average salary in the year preceding the conclusion of the agreement.

5.           New terms of processing

New processing terms by the Immigration Offices apply. Decision on granting a temporary residence permit shall be issued within 60 days, counting from the day on which the foreign national has submitted a complete application. In case of appeal proceedings, the decision shall be issued within 90 days. A similar guarantee is given in the scope of proceedings on granting permanent residence permits or long-term EU residents’ residence permits. In this case permit shall be issued in 6 months.

6.           Outdated temporary residence permits applications

Temporary residence permit applications launched before 1 January 2021 and not completed as of the date of enacting the foregoing amendments shall be finalized, provided they meet statutory requirements.

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By Michał Kacprzyk, Senior Lawyer Account Manager. Head of Immigration Practice

Raczkowski is the largest and leading HR law firm in Central and Eastern Europe. In partnership with clients, Raczkowski solves all legal problems arising in HR related to labor law, employee taxes, data protection, immigration and global mobility, court disputes, compliance and white collar crimes

The law firm has offices in Warsaw, Kraków and Poznań.

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