POLAND – Changes in Immigration Procedures Affect Renewals; Armenian Nationals Added to Exemption List
The Polish authorities have announced some changes to immigration procedures as well as new application forms for work permit and work permit renewal applications.
The most significant change is that evidence of social security is now required for renewal of local hire work permits, which will be an additional administrative burden on companies. Also, all documents for applicants must be submitted in original, or as notarised copies, effective immediately. Minimum salary levels have also increased slightly. Finally, Armenia has been added to the list of “neighbouring countries”, meaning that Armenian nationals are now work permit exempt.
Renewal of Local Hire Work Permits
Effective from 14 January 2013, in accordance with Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 10 December 2013 (Dz.U. [Journal of Laws] of 2013 Item 1674), work permit renewal applications for local hires must be supported by social security documentation showing that contributions have been made for all months of employment to date. The documentation is issued by RMUA and should be readily available from the employing company’s accountant; however, the need to retrieve and submit this documentation will increase the administrative burden on the employing company.
Original Documentation to Be Submitted
Also effective immediately, work permit and work permit renewal applications should be supported by original documentation or notarised copes of originals only. Simple photocopies will no longer suffice.
The only exceptions to this rule are the copy of the applicant’s passport, and the CIT-8 income tax form (required only for Work Permit Type B applications, for management board members), which still may be submitted as photocopies.
Previously, the requirement to submit original documentation or not varied depending on the province and was inconsistent. The new rule, although it may make some applications more burdensome, is at least clear.
Submissions No Earlier Than 90 Days in Advance
The same new Regulation makes it unacceptable to submit work permit applications more than 90 days in advance of employment start date (previously, it was possible to submit applications earlier than this). Note, however, that applications must not be submitted later than 30 days prior to the start of employment.
New Minimum Salary Levels
Effective 1 January 2014, new minimum salary levels are in place. The new minimum monthly gross salary in Poland is 1680 PLN (approximately £333GBP, $546USD or €403EUR). This is according to Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 11 September (Dz.U. [Journal of Laws] of 2013 Item 1074). Note that although official minimum salary requirements are low, the salary for any specific position must correspond to the position – i.e. a work permit application for a senior employee would not be accepted with a very low salary amount, even if that salary amount was above the minimum salary levels stated here.
Armenian Nationals Added to Neighbouring Country List
Finally, effective 1 January 2014 and in accordance with Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 28 November 2013 (Dz.U. [Journal of Laws] of 2013 Item 1507 & 1534), Armenian nationals are now added to the “Neighbouring Country” list and can benefit from an exemption from the requirement to obtain a work permit. Note that registration is still required. Other countries already benefitting from this regulation are as follows: Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine.
More Changes to Come!
Finally, note that although these changes are several, they are relatively minor. However, significant changes to the Polish immigration system are anticipated, with effect from May 2014, due to the implementation of the EU Single Permit Directive. As new procedures become clear, we will keep you updated!
- Note that social security documents are now required to support renewal applications; ensure that your local HR teams are aware.
- Note that original documentation must now be submitted in support of work permit applications, that applications cannot be submitted more than 90 days in advance and that application forms have changed; and notify local HR accordingly.
- Bear in mind that Armenian nationals are now work permit exempt; review existing or upcoming assignments to take advantage of this new rule.