Poland has become an increasingly popular destination for international students seeking a high-quality and affordable education. The country offers a rich cultural heritage, beautiful architecture, and a vibrant student life. Its prestigious universities provide high-quality education at an affordable cost, attracting a growing number of international students. Poland offers excellent academic and work opportunities for students from all backgrounds. Most international students work and study in Poland, whereas many wish to continue to stay and work in the country since it also offers a low cost of living. For those who wish to extend their stay after completing their studies, it is essential to understand the rules and regulations regarding the post study work visa in Poland.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the requirements, application process, and work opportunities available to international students in Poland.
What is a Post Study Work Visa in Poland?
A post study work visa in Poland, or more generally a work visa, is a type of visa that allows international students who have completed their studies in Poland to stay in the country and seek employment or establish their own business. The purpose of this visa is to provide an opportunity for international students to apply the knowledge and skills gained in a professional setting. It allows them to gain practical work experience, contribute to the Polish labor market, and potentially secure long-term employment or entrepreneurship opportunities in the country.
The work visa allows you to remain in Poland for a specific period after completing your studies, during which you can search for employment or establish a business. Typically, it is initially granted for a limited period, such as one or two years, with the possibility of extensions based on employment or business progress.
Here is the general process for obtaining a post study work visa in Poland:
- Graduates need to apply for a temporary residence permit as soon as their studies are over, which allows them to search for employment in the country.
- After being contracted, the employer will apply for a work permit on the student’s behalf.
- After obtaining a work permit, the student can apply for a work visa at the Polish Embassy or Consulate.
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Work and Residence Permits for International Students
EU/EEA citizens generally have the advantage of being able to work in Poland without any restrictions after graduation. They do not require a work permit to commence employment. Non-EU/EEA citizens, on the other hand, who wish to work in Poland after completing their studies are required to follow an extensive process for obtaining a post-study work visa. They have to apply for a residence permit and work permit to stay and work in Poland. Find below the essential permits required to extend your stay in Poland:
Temporary Residence Permit
Students who have completed their studies and wish to stay and seek employment in Poland for an extended period have to apply for a temporary residence permit. This permit is valid for a maximum of two years and can be renewed every two years. The temporary residence permit can be issued once, directly after graduation for a period of 9 months. A temporary residence allows you to search for employment opportunities while legally extending the stay post the expiration of your student visa.
Work Permit for Non-EU/EEA Students
Students from Non-EU/EEA countries who wish to work in Poland are required to obtain a work permit. A work permit can only be applied for the student by the employer. The application for a work permit should be submitted to the Voivodeship Office in the district where the company or institution is located. The Voivodeship Office will assess the conditions for granting a work permit, ensuring that there are no suitable Polish candidates for the position. After fulfilling the conditions, you can obtain a work visa. Graduates must comply with Polish labor laws and regulations, including tax obligations and social security contributions. Furthermore, it is crucial to maintain a valid residence permit and adhere to the visa conditions to ensure a smooth transition into the Polish workforce.
Blue Card Scheme
The Blue Card is a residence permit that allows highly skilled non-EU/EEA nationals to work and stay in Poland. To be eligible for the Blue Card, applicants must have a signed employment contract or a binding job offer for at least one year, higher education qualifications, and health insurance. The Blue Card is valid for a period longer than the employment contract, up to a maximum of three years. With a Blue Card, individuals can enjoy multiple border crossings within the Schengen area without the need for additional visas.
Permanent Residence in Poland
After living legally in Poland for at least five uninterrupted years, non-EU/EEA citizens are eligible to apply for a permanent residence card. This allows them to stay in Poland indefinitely but does not grant permission to work abroad. Holders of a permanent residence card can travel as tourists to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days within a six-month period. The permanent residence card is valid for ten years and can be renewed.
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Eligibility Requirements for Post Study Work Visa in Poland
Poland offers a post-study work visa to international students who have completed their studies at a Polish higher education institution and wish to work in the country. Here are some general guidelines regarding the eligibility requirements for the post-study work visa in Poland:
Completion of Studies: You must have completed a full-time course of study at a recognized Polish higher education institution. This includes completing the final exams and obtaining the relevant diploma or degree.
Valid Residence Permit: You should have a valid residence permit for study purposes in Poland at the time of application for the post-study work visa.
Job Offer: You must have a job offer or an employment contract from a Polish employer. The job offer should be related to your field of study or expertise.
Labor Market Test: In some cases, the employer may need to demonstrate that there are no suitable Polish or EU candidates available for the position, which involves conducting a labor market test.
Financial Requirements: You must show evidence of financial means to support yourself during your stay in Poland, including accommodation, healthcare, and daily expenses.
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Application Process for Post Study Work Visa in Poland
The application process for the post study work visa in Poland typically involves the following steps:
Research and Preparation: Students should gather all necessary documents, including a valid passport, residence permit, job offer letter or business plan, proof of financial means, and other supporting documents as required.
Application Submission: The application should be submitted to the relevant Polish authorities, such as the local Voivodeship Office. It is advisable to consult these authorities or seek guidance from the nearest Polish embassy or consulate to ensure accurate submission.
Document Verification: The authorities will review the application and verify the provided documents. They may request additional information or conduct interviews if necessary.
Visa Approval: Upon successful verification, the post study work visa will be approved and issued. The duration of the visa can vary, typically ranging from one to two years, with the possibility of extensions.
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Studying in Poland offers not only quality education but also the potential for post-study work opportunities. Whether you are an EU/EEA citizen or a non-EU/EEA citizen, there are options available to extend your stay and work in Poland. From temporary residence permits to work permits and the Blue Card scheme, Poland provides a variety of pathways for international students to pursue their careers. It is important to familiarize yourself with the requirements and procedures to ensure a smooth transition from student to professional life in Poland. If you have any questions or need further information on post study work visa in Poland, do not hesitate to reach out to our admission experts at OneApply. Book a free video call now. You can also go through our article on student visa in Poland for international students.