Temporary residence permit issued for the purpose of employment of high-skilled employees (EU Blue Card).

If you want to apply  for a temporary residence permit and you were offered an employment requiring high skills – so to say, in the profession requiring higher education or at least 5 years of professional experience at a level equivalent to university degree – you may apply for a temporary residence permit issued for the purpose of employment of high-skilled employees (EU Blue Card).

Blue Card conditions and procedure

To obtain a Blue Card you must be offered an employment requiring high skills (it is regulated by the Act on foreigners from 2013 http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id= WDU20180000107) and remuneration not lowered than – in rounding terms in 2018 – 6,500 PLN gross per month ( approximately 78,000 PLN gross per annum).

The permit might be granted for up to 3 years, with the possibility of applying for subsequent permit.

The basic set of documents necessary to submit an application for the Blue Card should contain:

  • completed and signed application for a temporary residence permit;
  • valid travel document – photocopies of all filled pages + original for inspection;
  • 4 current, colorful, biometric photographs;
  • annex 1 to the application for a temporary residence permit completed and signed by the employer;
  • information of the staroste/labour market test (opinia starosty – Polish) on the situation on the local labour market, or work permit, or documents confirming the exemption from opinia starosty or work permit;
  • an employment contract or a civil law contract concluded for a period of at least one year;
  • documents confirming the possession of higher professional qualifications (university degree, or at least 5 years of proven professional experience comparable to university degree);
  • health insurance;
  • place of residence in Poland;
  • if you have previously stayed in Poland on the basis of a temporary residence permit – a residence card and the voivode’s decision on granting a residence permit – copies + originals for inspection;
  • if you worked in Poland the preceding year, the documents confirming the legality of your employment during this time should be presented (tax declarations [PIT], tax-clearance certificate, contracts, bills, etc.);
  • proof of duty stamp (440 PLN).

The provincial office/voievodship office (urząd wojewódzki) may always ask for additional documents confirming the declared purpose of residence in Poland and the declared state of affairs – these documents should be completed within the time limit specified in the letter.

 

The procedure duration

The duration of the procedure for granting temporary residence permit varies in different voivodships (województwo). As a rule, the case should be settled within one month, but in practice it takes longer (e.g. 5-12 months).

If the application is submitted on time and it does not contain any formal defects, a stamp confirming the legality of the your residence in Poland during the procedure will be introduced in your passport.

If the  decision on granting a permit is positive it indicates a specific employer with whom the foreigner has the right to work (even if he falls into the category of foreigners exempt from the work permit). Afterwards, a foreigner will receive a residence card.

 

Job change or job loss

The holder of the Blue Card is obliged to inform in writing within 15 working days a voivode competent for the place of his current residence about the job loss.

If this obligation is fulfilled, the temporary residence permit will not be withdrawn, provided:

  • the period of your stay without work did not exceed 3 months during the period of validity of your permit, and;
  • the period of staying without a job occurred no more than twice in the period of validity of your permit.

Moreover, if during the first 2 years of residence in Poland based on this permit, the conditions specified in the permit concerning the minimum working time and the type of contract under which you perform the work have changed, you are obliged to inform within 15 working days the voivode competent for the place of your current residence about this fact. Thus, this means that within the first 2 years you cannot:

  • start working with a different employer than the one specified in the permit;
  • change the position;
  • receive a lower salary than the one specified in the permit

without changing this permit.

If, however, after 2 years of his residence in Poland on the basis of this permit, you changed the position,  received a lower wage or changed working time or/and the type of contract under which work was performed, you are obliged to inform within 15 working the voivode competent for the place of your current residence about this fact days. Provided these obligations were fulfilled, you do not have change a permit.

 

Special entitlements of the Blue Card holder

The holder of the Blue Card has the right to:

  • family reunification (under family reunification provisions);
  • obtaining a EU long-term resident permit provided he has a stable and regular source of income for a period of 2 years immediately preceding the submission of an application for the of EU long-term resident permit; in addition, periods of residence in other EU Member States add up when applying for this status.

The right to stay and work in Schengen area countries

A temporary residence permit entitles you to travel to other Schengen countries up to 90 days within 180 days for tourism purposes only.

On the basis of a residence permit issued in Poland you are not entitled to work in any other country than Poland.