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Relocating your employees to Poland
Poland is probably not the first country that comes to your mind when considering expanding your business and relocate your employees. However, Poland has an ever-growing economy due to its strategic location for trading and is very attractive to expats because of the low cost of living, rich culture and beautiful landscapes. Especially IT companies and specialists have found their way towards Poland. In this article, you will discover the most important things to consider when relocating your employees to Poland.
Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can live and work in Poland without a visa or residence permit. In other cases, a work permit is required, depending on the situation.
An Intra-Company Card is available for so-called third-country nationals that are being transferred to Poland to work for a branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of their current employer outside the EU. Managers, specialists and interns are applicable. The employee must have worked for the company at least twelve months and must earn 70% of the average remuneration in the region. For Warsaw (for example), this is currently PLN 3.887. The holder of the card is also allowed to work in another EU member state for the same company for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. The card is issued for a maximum period of 3 years (for managers and specialists) or 1 year (in the case of an intern or trainee).
When an intra-company transfer is not the case, but an employee starts a new position at a Polish company, other permits are available. The employee can apply for the EU Blue Card (when from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea or the US). This Blue Card allows the employee to work and live in an EU country for two years. EU long-term residence is applied to a Blue Card holder when having it for over 5 years and proofing a proficient level of the Polish language (minimum level of B1). In fact, Poland is one of the easiest countries to obtain a long-term EU residence permit and is therefore an interesting option for expats outside the EU desiring to live within Europe long term.
What about spouse and children?
The partner and children (under 18) of Intra-Company and Blue Cards are allowed to live and work in the country by applying for their own residence and work permits. Spouse is not required to have proof of Polish language knowledge. Children can study in Poland’s educational institutions for free and do not have to meet several requirements of the permits.
Special rules for relocating from Ukraine
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, many companies and their employees decided to cross the border to Poland. To contribute, Polish government and immigration eased their policies. Ukrainian citizens that cross the Polish-Ukrainian border may immediately start working for any company in Poland; no permits are required. Also company registration in Poland can be completed now in a couple of days.
The best option for expats is to rent a property in Poland. Buying a house as a foreigner is in most cases not an option since one has to be a permanent resident for that. In fact, people born in Poland also have difficulties with getting a mortgage. Finding a rental home can be difficult when you do not speak Polish. Therefore, asking the help of a local or professional relocator that speaks the language will be helpful. Not only to ease the communication, but also because many landlords raise their rent prices when they deal with foreigners.
It is important to keep in mind that most foreigners will have to adopt to new standards when it comes to housing. Apartments in Poland are very small in general. Whole Polish families live in apartments of sometimes 50 m2 only.
Children of expats are allowed to attend public schooling that comes free of charge. However, the main language spoken in Polish. Therefore, attending an international school makes more sense in most cases.
Other points of attention
Poles work hard and spend long hours in the office. This sometimes comes to a surprise for foreign employees. That also leads to competition within the Polish offices and big companies for the best positions and highest salaries.
Although the younger generations often speak English, the older people or people from the country sides only speak Polish. This language barrier can become a problem because Polish is a difficult language to learn. It is almost impossible to achieve things in a Polish institution if you only speak English.
Costs of relocating to Poland
The costs of a residence or work visa depends on the type of visa, but in most cases lies between $100 and $200. Costs will rise when a case is more complicated or when the help of an expert or lawyer is needed.
Shipping goods and household effects to Poland is easy and cost effective. The major ports are in the cities of Gdansk and Gdynia. These cities are poorly connected to other major cities, and therefore often lead to delays. Shipping by plane is usually faster but also more expensive. Discuss the options and preferences of the employee in advance in order to make the right choice for this move.
Costs of living in Poland
The costs for daily life are lower than in most other places in Europe. Rents are cheap (but apartments are small) and eating out and having a drink at a bar or pub is very affordable. Petrol is relatively expensive what makes the public transportation system a better option. This is also the most logical option for transportation within the bigger cities. Because of the low cost of living, expats can live in Poland with higher standards than they are used to. However, salaries are also among the lowest on the continent. This is something you must make good agreements about with your employees.
Find a professional relocator in Poland
Especially because of the language barriers and the time certain things can take at the public institutions (this has to do with the communist history of Poland), hiring a professional relocator in Poland is recommended. Voerman International has helped many companies and expats with move management and relocation management in Poland in the past.Back to overview