Global Alerts

Poland – Almost 200 Occupations Now Exempt from Labour Market Testing

Effective July 1, 2018, new regulations allow non-EU nationals to apply for work permits for almost two hundred occupations without the requirement to first obtain confirmation from the labour office.


To obtain a work permit for a locally-hired non-EU national, the host company normally has to submit a notification of the vacancy to the regional Labour Office (Powiatowy Urząd Pracy / Starosta) who will check if any local residents of Poland or the wider EU can be found to fill the role in their system, and conduct labor market searches if this is the case. If no suitable candidates can be found within a maximum of 21 days, approval for the hire of a foreign national will be issued.

Previously, an exemption was available locally for certain shortage occupations as listed by provincial governors, for some nationals of countries neighboring Poland, for assignees remaining on home-country contract and for work permit renewals for the same person in the same post.

What has changed?

The Regulation of the Polish Minister for Family, Labour and Social Policy of June 28, 2018 introduced a list of 197 occupations released from the obligation to provide labor office confirmation of labor market testing.

The list of professions which no longer require a labor market test includes, among others: IT specialists, construction workers, electrical engineers, lorry drivers, doctors and nurses.

  • It is important to note that the new list of shortage occupations is applicable throughout Poland, regardless of the non-EU national’s place of work.
  • For these occupations, the work permit application process may be shortened by up to 21 days.
  • The new regulation is also applicable for pending work permit applications.

Action Items

Employers looking to hire non-EU nationals to work in Poland are encouraged to consult an immigration specialist for specific advice on how these changes may affect them.

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