From February 12 this year the amended Act on foreigners is applicable, which implements into the Polish legal order provisions of the European Parliament and the Council Directive 2014/66/EU on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals as part of an intra-corporate transfer (hereinafter referred to as "ICT directive").
The amendment introduced important changes in the movement of foreigners from outside the European Union, who are increasingly willing to come to work in Poland.
Mobility of foreigners from outside the European Union
The amended Act included a definition of mobility, which should be understood as the entitlement of a foreigner to enter and stay on the territory of EU Member States in order to work in a host entity established in a given country as a management employee, specialist or an intern.
A new type of a residence permit
A temporary residence permit for a foreigner has been attached to the current catalogue of permits for residence in the Act on foreigners, in order to perform work as part of an intra-corporate transfer (that is a temporary secondment).
The permit will be issued by the voivode after examining whether the foreigner arriving as part of secondment meets the statutory conditions, which are, among others:
• possession of adequate professional qualifications and experience necessary in the unit to which he/she is to be transferred (in the case of managers and specialists) or a diploma of completion of higher education (in the case of interns),
• uninterrupted employment immediately before intra-corporate transfer within the same enterprise or group of enterprises for a period of at least:
– 12 months - in the case of work as a management employee or a specialist,
– 6 months - in the case of working as an intern.
• possession of health insurance,
• guaranteed residence in the territory of Poland,
• possibility of returning to the home employer after the secondment or transfer to another enterprise within a group of companies established outside the EU.
Maximum period of secondment
The amendment to the Act introduces a maximum period of secondment to Poland – for interns it will be 1 year, and for managers and specialists – 3 years.
After this period, the seconded person will have to leave the territory of the EU Member States, unless he/she applies for a new permit earlier – based on a different basis of residence.
The contract on the basis of which the foreigner is to work, which is the basis for a temporary secondment, should specify the period of transfer of the foreigner within the enterprise, the seat of the receiving unit, the foreigner's job post in the receiving unit and the remuneration and other working conditions of the foreigner in the receiving unit.
In addition to the implementation of the provisions of the ICT Directive, a number of significant changes have been introduced to the Act on foreigners. Below are those of greatest significance.