JP Weber

Amendments to the Act on Foreigners.

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Amendments to the Act on Foreigners.

An amendment to the Act on Foreigners has entered into force. The new regulations introduce very important changes for companies employing foreign workers and for foreigners who want to work in Poland.

1. Declaration on entrusting work to a foreigner.

The validity of a declaration on entrusting the performance of work to a foreigner will be extended from 6 to a maximum of 24 months. There will be no period of non-employment between declarations, which hitherto limited the working period to no more than 6 months within 12 consecutive calendar months.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

Citizens of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Moldova, and Georgia and their employers.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

The extension of the validity of declarations on entrusting the performance of work to a foreigner will significantly facilitate employment, of for instance Ukrainians, for a longer period of time. It might also reduce the waiting period for the issue of work permits to foreigners from other countries.

2. Procedure and formalities.

In order to obtain temporary work and residence permits, fewer attachments will be required. There will be no need to submit a confirmation regarding a place of residence in Poland, nor a confirmation stating that a foreigner has sufficient funds to cover living expenses.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

All foreigners applying to obtain temporary work and residence permits.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

The procedures will be simplified and therefore more comprehensible to foreigners. It is crucial, however, for a foreigner to receive remuneration not lower than the minimum wage, regardless of the type of employment and working hours (it therefore also applies to part-time workers) in order not to be required to prove they have sufficient funds to cover living expenses.

3. Changing an employer.

A foreigner will be able to amend their temporary work and residence permit when changing employers, without the need to obtain a new permit. An application for a decision amendment will be reviewed within no more than 60 days from the submission thereof and will require an administrative fee of 220 PLN.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

Every foreigner having a temporary work and residence permit intending to change their current employment.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Employment change will require fewer formalities from a foreigner and the administrative costs of such will be lower.

4. Simplified mode.

Residence permits submitted prior to 1st January 2021 will be reviewed in a simplified mode which allows for the faster completion of pending cases.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

Foreigners who have been awaiting the issue of a residence-permit decision for an overly lengthy period of time.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

A competent office will not review the fulfilment of criteria allowing the issue of a permit, but once the decision is issued, a foreigner will be obligated to submit an employer’s declaration confirming the foreigner’s current employment conditions. Failure to submit such a declaration within a specified time will result in the withdrawal of the decision to grant a residence permit. Hence, foreigners should pay special attention to the fulfilment of the obligation.

5. Time-frame for issuing a decision.

The time-frame for issuing a decision regarding temporary residence and work permits will be set at no more than 60 days from the submission of an application.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

Any foreigner applying to legalise their stay in Poland.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

The new regulations may encourage offices to issue temporary work and residence permits in a more prompt and efficient manner. There are, however, exceptions to the 60-day rule, which in practice may mean that only a fraction of permits will be issued with the observance of that period.

6. Change of position.

Some changes of a foreigner’s employment position will not require an amendment to their work permit – it applies, inter alia, to a change of a position but with job description remaining the same.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

Employers hiring foreigners who want to change or adapt a position’s name to the nomenclature applicable within the company.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Any changes related to a foreigner’s employment position hitherto required a new work permit. From now on, there will be no such requirement, inter alia, in cases when the position’s name changes (but the job description remains the same) or when working hours are extended (on the condition that the remuneration is proportionately increased).

7. Employment in sectors of strategic importance to the economy.

Permits to foreigners employed in sectors ‘of strategic importance to the economy’ will be issued in a ‘priority’ mode.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

Employers hiring foreigners in industries deemed strategic.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

To date, a prolonged waiting period for the issuance of permits legalising foreigners’ employment was a hurdle that delayed a significant number of construction and infrastructure investments. Industries and positions of strategic importance will be stipulated in a separate regulation. It can, however, be expected that such industries as construction or transport will definitely be on the list.

8. Technical and organisational changes.

An array of technical and organisational changes to procedures related to the legalisation of foreigners’ work and stay will be implemented, which are to accelerate and facilitate procedures and shorten the waiting period. Time-frames for issuing visas will be shortened (from 60 to 30 days), and tools for conducting communication electronically between a foreigner and a competent office will be implemented.

APPLICABLE TO WHOM?

All foreigners and their employers who should pay attention to the amended procedures.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

New regulations are to shorten and simplify procedures, new templates of documents and forms have also been introduced, and new administrative fees have been implemented (among others, a 220 PLN fee for amending work and residence permits). Foreigners, therefore, should pay particular attention while submitting applications to make sure they act in accordance with the current procedures.

 

JP Weber

Adam Smuga

Adam Smuga

Immigration Department Manager

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