October 19, 2010

Polish government authorities have agreed on a complete waiver of immigration requirements for certain, short term assignments. Assignees coming to Poland as intra company transfers* for under 30 days in a 12 month period, and who are visa waiver nationals for the Schengen area**, will now no longer require work permits or visas for Poland.

What’s Changed? 

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polish Ministry of Labor have recently concluded a new agreement in respect of short term assignments.

Previously, a work permit waiver was in place for short term, intra company transfer* assignments of less than 30 days in a 12 month period.

The waiver previously in place removed the need for the work permit, but all applicants from outside the European Union were still required to apply for the waiver permission, at the Polish Embassy or Consulate in the home country.

Now, the new system allows for visa waiver nationals (i.e. nationals who do not need visas to enter Poland or the rest of the Schengen area** for business or tourism purposes) to enter Poland for work for up to 30 days in a 12 month period, as an intra company transferee, without making any application at all. Neither a visa nor a work permit will be required.

It is important to note the following:

  1.  The waiver is only applicable for transfers of up to 30 days within a 12 month period.  If there is any chance that the short term assignment will be extended, or if further work related visits after the initial short term assignment will be required, a work permit should be obtained.
  2. Not all short term assignments will necessarily qualify for the waiver.  Pro-Link GLOBAL advises that if your company has upcoming short term assignments and would like to take advantage of the waiver scheme, you should contact us for more information first.
  3. Visa nationals – i.e. individuals who require a visa to enter Poland and the surrounding Schengen area, will still need to obtain permission to enter Poland from the Polish Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their area of residence.
  4. Individuals who do qualify for the waiver may need to demonstrate their purpose of entry at the port of entry to Poland.  Therefore, a support package explaining the assignment should be carried – Pro-Link GLOBAL recommends that this is prepared with expert counsel.
  5. Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the new regulations, written legislation is as yet unavailable.

* An “intra-company transfer“, or “ICT” assignment is a transfer of an employee overseas where the home (sending) and host (receiving) entity are linked by common ownership. 

** Schengen Area – A zone in Europe with no internal border controls, encompassing Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

Review short term assignment plans – if your company is sending non-EU, visa waiver nationals on short term intra company transfer assignment to Poland, those assignments may now be visa and permit free.  Contact Pro-Link GLOBAL for more advice and information.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG|KGNM correspondent office in Poland to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.