Assessing travel and visa obligations in Poland

When traveling to Poland, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Poland, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business and sales meetings
  • Buy goods for sale inside or outside the country
  • Tour a company facility
  • Attend a conference or trade show

In most cases, foreign nationals are advised to only engage in business activities for up to 30 calendar days as there are limits placed on the permitted period of stay depending on the specific activity and job title. An individual assessment is recommended prior to travel to determine the advisable period of time that the activities may be conducted.


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Poland?

Nationals of the European Union, the United States and many other select countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa in order to enter and conduct business activities in Poland.

Poland is a member of the Schengen Area, a free-travel zone comprised of 29 European countries. If your nationality is not eligible for a visa waiver in the Schengen Area, you will be required to obtain a Schengen Visa prior to travel. Visa-waivered nationals, as well as those who are required to obtain a visa, are authorized to travel to Poland and throughout the Schengen Area. Please note that travelers may not spend more than 90 days within any 180-day period inside the Schengen Area.

Working in Poland

What types of activities require work authorization?

The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Polish law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Poland, even if conducted for a short duration.

  • Auditing
  • Consulting
  • Marketing

Poland does offer short-term work authorization exemptions for certain activities and groups of foreign nationals, including short-term and technical activities, without obtaining work authorization. An individual assessment by an immigration consultant is recommended in order to determine whether a foreign national is eligible for one of the short-term work authorization exemptions.


If I am traveling to Poland for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Poland. The most common types of Polish work authorization are:

  • Type A Work Permit (direct-hire work permit)
  • Type B Work Permit (work permit for management board members, general partners or proxies of a Polish legal entity registered in the Register of Companies of Limited Liability)
  • Type C Work Permit (work permit for those transferred to a Polish branch office of a foreign company or to an affiliated Polish entity)
  • Type D Work Permit (work permit for those assigned by a company without any form of organized professional activity in Poland to provide services to a Polish entity)
  • Type E Work Permit (work permit for purposes not covered by the Type A-D Work Permits)
  • Long-Term Mobility Permit (work authorization for EU ICT Card/Residence Permit holders)
  • EU Blue Card (highly skilled work authorization for direct hires)
  • Polish Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Residence Permit (work authorization for managers/specialists/trainees sent on ICT by non-EU entities)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

Nationals from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are not required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Poland. However, registrations or other formalities may be required prior to working or residing in Poland.

Additional long-term work authorization exemptions are available in Poland for certain groups including permanent residents and students. In these cases, a legal assessment to determine the possibilities for a work authorization exemption should be obtained prior to traveling.

What else should I know?

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which governs post-Brexit relations between the EU and the U.K., has altered immigration regulations in the affected countries. Please be sure to contact your immigration representative for full details regarding the TCA’s impact in Poland.

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2023 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.