Access to the Labour Market
Employment of UK nationals and their family members who continue to live in Poland after the 31st of December 2020
The Withdrawal Agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union provides for the retention of the existing rights of residence, as well as the right to take up and exercise work or commence and continue self-employed gainful activity by UK nationals and their family members who continue to live in an EU country after the end of the transition period (31st December 2020).
The beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement shall enjoy the residency rights and should have access to the labour market in the EU country they live in under the rules applicable to the nationals of the host State.
Posted workers are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
Practical consequences for UK nationals living in Poland who want to continue or take up employment in Poland:
- Persons who have been lawfully residing in Poland before the 31st of December 2020 and continue to live in Poland under the conditions that concern EU citizens maintain their right to work and access to the labour market under the same rules as Polish nationals. These persons have right to continue or to commence employment without obligation of obtaining a work permit, regardless of possessing a residence document.
Practical consequences for UK nationals living in Poland who want to continue or start self-employment in Poland:
- Persons who have been lawfully residing in Poland before the 31st of December 2020 and continue to live in Poland under the conditions that concern EU citizens maintain their right to self-employed gainful activity and are not obliged to obtain a permit. However, in order to start a self-employed gainful activity, registration in CEIDG (Central Register and Information on Economic Activity) is obligatory. To register a business activity in CEIDG a residence document is necessary - from 1st January 2021 UK nationals are obliged to provide the number of the residency document in CEIDG form. More information on registration in CEIDG.
Family members of UK nationals who continue to reside in Poland after the 31st of December 2020:
- Irrespective of their nationality, family members of UK nationals, who have the right to residence or the right to permanent residence in Poland shall be entitled to continue or take up employment or self-employed gainful activity.
- Frontier workers who continue to exercise their right to work or self-employed gainful activity on the territory of Poland without residing on the territory of Poland are obliged to register in Poland till the 31st of December 2021.
- The certificate of registration of a UK national who is a frontier worker will not have the character of a residence document. The certificate will confirm the right to exercise work or self-employed activity on the territory of Poland without residing in Poland. The certificate will entitle the frontier worker to visa-free entry to the territory of Poland on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement, but not to travelling within the Schengen area without a visa.
- UK nationals posted to work in Poland before the end of the transition period under the freedom of provision of services are treated differently and are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
- These persons are obliged to submit an application for a special temporary residence permit (using an application form for a temporary residence permit dedicated to third-country nationals) that will be granted for 5 years, not later than by the 31st of December 2021. This will exempt them from the obligation to obtain a work permit.
Other UK nationals:
- UK nationals who have not been residing and exercising employment or self-employed gainful activity before the 31st of December 2020 and do not belong to any category mentioned above will be treated as third-country nationals in terms of access to the Polish labour market and obliged to obtain a work permit and a visa or a residence permit.
If you are in doubt, struggling or you want to consult your situation, feel free to reach out to IOM for reliable, free of charge assistance!
Contact the IOM office in Poland:
- Call us on the helpline from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm:
(+48) 724 078 536, (+48) 724078533, (+48) 22 490 20 44.
- Email us at: UKnationalsPL@iom.int