The number of foreigners who wish to work in Poland has increased in recent years. Yet, this inflow of foreigners is slowly changing its characteristics. More and more often, foreigners who come to Poland have specialized education. Additionally, they often have extensive professional experience. The EU Blue Card is exactly for such persons. This form of legalization of stay and work in Poland has certain benefits. Not only for the owner of the card but also for his relatives. It is worth knowing when and in which cases the provisions regulating the EU Blue Card may be applicable.
This solution was first introduced in EU legislation. More specifically in the Council Directive 2009/50/EC of 25 May 2009 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment. The purpose of the Blue Card is to attract highly qualified employees from third countries to the territory of the EU. Its goal is to simplify their employment process and to provide flexibility in changing workplaces. The Polish legislature introduced this directive under the Act of April 27, 2012. At this moment, several articles regulate issuing of such temporary residence permits. More specifically, the permits to work in a profession requiring high qualifications. These are the articles starting from Art. 127 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners.
Who can apply for the Blue Card? And what does’ high qualifications’ mean?
Foreigners who want to apply for a Blue Card should meet all the following conditions:
- work in a profession that requires high qualifications;
- be employed under a contract of employment (or contract of home-based work, or civil law contract), concluded for at least 1 year
- receive a monthly salary not lower than 150% of the average salary in the national economy. This refers to the year preceding the conclusion of the contract. The average salary is announced by the Central Statistical Office (in 2022 it is 8493.80 PLN gross)
The term „high qualifications” refers to qualifications obtained after completing higher education. One can also obtain them after 5 years of professional experience at a comparable level.
What are the benefits of obtaining a Blue Card?
Having the permit to work in a profession requiring high qualifications, a foreigner has two options. He may work for the employer indicated in the decision, or change the decision about the choice of employer. In the second case, there is no need to apply for a new residence permit. Moreover, for the first 2 years with the EU Blue Card, a foreigner can change the type of contract. He can also change working hours. One can do this simply by informing the office. After working under the Blue Card for 2 years, a change of employer or job position will not require (under certain conditions) a change of permit.
Moreover, a foreigner who obtained the EU Blue Card can also:
- apply for a long-term EU residence permit on more favourable terms. With the EU Blue Card, one does not lose the period of stay after changing work and country of residence. The period of stay counts to receiving a long-term EU resident status. However, the change of stay and work must take place within the European Union.
- apply for legalization of the relatives’ stay on more favourable terms. Family members of a foreigner with a Blue Card are able to get a temporary residence permit. The permit is issued with the aim to enable the family’s reunification. It can be granted during the first legalization procedure in Poland. Additionally, there is one extremely beneficial element of this procedure. Family members also gain access to the labour market based on such permits. This means that they will be able to work without obtaining separate permission;
- apply for family benefits in Poland.
There is no doubt that the EU Blue Card is a very beneficial solution for foreigners. Especially for those who plan to migrate with their relatives. Engineers, IT specialists or programmers from across our eastern border – all are willingly employed in Poland. We should expect that the EU Blue Card will become a more popular way of legalizing stay and work in Poland. We constantly observe a growing demand for specialists. The domestic market cannot fully satisfy it.
Are you a foreigner who wants to start work in Poland? Do you need help in legalizing your stay in Poland? Specialists from our law office have many years of experience in legalization procedures. We can also support you in obtaining a work permit in Poland. Do not hesitate to contact us!