Work for foreigners in Poland

For many years, we have been observing a trend that involves looking for a job outside of the home country. Poles are increasingly going abroad, but equally often citizens of other countries come to work in Poland. It is estimated that almost 2 million Ukrainians have already worked in its borders. Most often they decide to come here because of better economic conditions. In addition, in Ukraine for several years already prevails uncertain political situation, which also encourages people to emigrate. What kind of work do foreigners most often choose in Poland, how are earnings shown and where to look for a job?

Where to look for a job for foreigners?

The collected data and statistics show that when looking for a job, foreigners most often use Internet websites. Almost 70% of those who want to start working in Poland benefit from them. This is also probably the easiest and widest channel – offers on most of these portals are updated daily. A lot of people are looking for a job also through business portals and social media channels, where you can also come across job offers. Frequently, foreigners also contact the company directly or use the services of a job agency that mediates in their contacts with the employer.

It’s easy to find websites that offer jobs on the internet. The portal also has an offer for employees and employers. In addition to websites, there are a number of popular employment agencies.

Formalities necessary when employing foreigners

We should remember that without additional formalities in Poland, we can employ EU citizens. All they need to do is register their stay if it lasts longer than three months. Immigrants from Ukraine must already have a valid work permit. However, an employer, not an employee, applies for such permission. It is issued for a definite period (3 years with the possibility of extension). Seasonal work also requires permits (a period of not more than six months, with the possibility of extension for another 6 months, seasonal work gives the possibility of extending the permit to 9 months). The permit for seasonal work is issued by the foreman responsible for a given place of work or residence. On the other hand, the statement on the intention to employ a foreigner for 6 months is the local Labor Office. The procedures vary depending on whether the person applying for the permit resides in Poland. If so, the employer asks the foreman to obtain a temporary work permit. If the person is not present in Poland, the employer also applies to the foreman who enters the application in the record of applications for seasonal work and issues a relevant certificate on the application. Then the employer passes this statement to a foreigner, thanks to which he gets a visa necessary to come to Poland. After presenting old documents of residence permits, he can take a job. The largest number of work permits is issued in the Mazowieckie voivodship. Often, unemployed people from outside of Poland also have to pass the labor market test. It consists in checking whether there is indeed a shortage of employees in a given sector in Poland. If the Labor Office finds that there are people with appropriate qualifications among the unemployed Poles, then an employee from outside the European Union will not be employed.

Remember – both being an employee and an employer – to complete all formalities and prevent a situation when an employee from Ukraine is employed illegally. It is the employer’s obligation to employ in accordance with the regulations of the law in Poland!

Professions most often chosen by foreigners

Foreigners often choose professions that do not require high qualifications. So there will be production workers, seamstresses, hotel staff, cashiers and cashiers in supermarkets or mechanics. They are also heading towards transport and storage management. They often take on the job of drivers, for example in Uber. Catering jobs are also popular among foreigners. There are also many interested in working in the construction industry – as many as 22% of all foreigners are looking for a job there. Thus, the largest number of permits for work seems to be in the employment of simple jobs, as industrial workers and craftsmen as well as operators and assemblers of machines and equipment.

According to the Statistical Office in Warsaw, most job offers include positions such as: chef, bricklayer, plasterer, nurse, midwife, concrete worker, paver, welder, baker, doctor, truck driver and car mechanic. Unfortunately, it often happens that foreigners work below qualifications – for example due to not being familiar with the Polish language.

How much does a foreigner earn in Poland?

Foreigners should earn money at the rates applicable to all employees – the pay below the minimum wage is illegal. Pursuant to the government order, the minimum wage based on an employment contract is 2,250 PLN brutto, and the minimum hourly rate for those working on specific civil law contracts is 14,7 PLN brutto.

According to data, the best remunerations are foreigners working in the car production industry – an average of 2,500 PLN netto, while in the food industry salaries amount to about 2,000 PLN netto. The statistics show that the total earnings of Ukrainians and other foreigners in Poland oscillate around the amounts given and only about 15% of all employees earn over 3,500 PLN a month. Remember, however, that the majority of foreigners in Poland usually work more than 8 hours a day. The data also show that a large part of them spend less than 1,000 PLN a month on their daily lives.


Poland is becoming more and more beneficial for employees from Ukraine, mainly due to rising wages. The political situation is also in favor of it, which is more stable than the one currently prevailing in Ukraine. There is also growing openness of Poles to employees who come from other countries. Ukrainians are also satisfied with their relations with co-workers and superiors, as well as development opportunities (although older employees are not fully satisfied with this). Unfortunately, however, there are still cases of illegal employment of workers from Ukraine and directing them to poorly paid physical work. Fortunately, it also changes to a plus.

Here is a small collection of information summarizing the text:

The most chosen branches: construction and transport

Average salary: over 2000 PLN netto per month

Most work permits: Mazowieckie voivodeship

The most common way of looking for a job: internet portals

Average cost of living: 1000 PLN netto per month

Average length of working day: 10 hours


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