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IT specialists from Belarus will start work in Poland quicker


Polish government continues efforts to facilitate employment of citizens of Belarus in Poland. Starting from December 1, 2020, holders of a humanitarian visa or a visa issued under “Poland. Business Harbour” programme will be able to start work in Poland without additional work permit. The changes are a result of political crisis in Belarus and efforts of the Polish government to support the society of Belarus.

The “Poland. Business Harbour” programme offers possibility to IT specialists from Belarus (and their families) to apply for Polish visa in an expedited process. To qualify for the visa programme, the applicant has to either demonstrate a degree in field of technology or at least one year of professional experience in field of IT. Candidates that do not possess relevant education or experience, can still qualify. Invitation from a Polish company that participates in the programme will be required in such case.

“Poland. Business Harbour” visa will offer shortened awaiting time before a foreigner starts work in Poland. In a normal process, obtaining a work permit is required before submission of a visa application. The new regulation allows to skip obtaining work permit before applying for a “Poland. Business Harbour” visa.

At the moment the programme applies only to Belarus. The government suggests possibility to extend “Poland. Business Harbour” to include another countries. However, no further information is available at the moment.

There is a risk that holders of humanitarian visas or “Poland. Business Harbour” visas will require a work permit to continue work in Poland at a later stage (closer to expiration date of their visas). Current regulations do not include possibility to work after expiration of such visas but before another work authorization document is issued. Additional formalities may be required to avoid gap in right to work of the foreigner..

Currently citizens of Belarus can apply for Polish National visas (issued for up to one year) free of charge. This applies also to humanitarian visas or “Poland. Business Harbour” visas. Exemption from visa fees is planned to be extended until December 31, 2022.

Citizens of Belarus have been exempt from the Covid-19 related restrictions to enter Poland. 10-day quarantine may still apply post-arrival.