What is the change? Applicants for residence permits cards in Warsaw and Wroclaw are seeing delays of up to four months.

What does the change mean? Residence permits are normally issued within four months, but wait times are now reaching six to eight months. The delays have left some foreign workers of neighboring countries stuck in Poland as they await the issuance of their residence permit once their six-month National “D” visas expire.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and non-EU nationals moving to Poland, particularly those eligible for Oswiadczenie work permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing of residence permits in Warsaw and Wroclaw is taking as long as six to eight months, up from the standard four-month processing time.
  • Business impact: Employers should take note of the delays and make sure that affected employees do not travel outside of Poland if their National “D” visas have expired before they have obtained residence permits.

Background: Poland has been experiencing processing delays for some time. The current delays in residence permit processing have caused particular problems for nationals of neighboring countries, including Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians, who are eligible for fast-tracked Oswiadczenie work permits. This is because without a residence permit they cannot receive a work permit before their six-month National “D” visas expire. Applicants for full (Type A) work permits receive 12-month visas and have not been as impacted by the backlog. In cases where visas expire before residence permits are issued, affected workers do not lose their eligibility to remain in Poland but risk being turned away upon re-entering the country.

BAL Analysis: Employers should brace for delays and other problems associated with the increased processing times. BAL has, in some cases, been able to draft additional support letters to speed up the issuance of residence permits. Another option is to apply for a Type A work permit even for those who qualify for Oswiadczenie work permits, but there have been reports of delays with Type A work permits as well. Employers should work with their BAL professional to strategize how best to address this challenge on a case-by-case basis.

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