General Information

Principles concerning entry and residence of the third country nationals under the intra-corporate transfer in the European Union Member States are regulated by the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council 2014/66/EU of 15 May 2014 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals under the intra-corporate transfer (Journal of Laws UE L 157 of 27 May 2014, p. 1 – 21), which was introduced into the Polish legal as of 12 February 2018 by way of the Act of 24 November 2017 on amendment of the Act on foreigners and certain other acts (Journal of Laws of 2018, pos. 107).

In accordance with the directive 2014/66/EU, the intra-corporate transfer means the temporary secondment for occupational or training purposes of a third-country national who, at the time of application for an intra-corporate transferee permit, resides outside the territory of the Member States, from an undertaking established outside the territory of a Member State, and to which the third- country national is bound by a work contract prior to and during the transfer, to an entity belonging to the undertaking or to the same group of undertakings which is established in that Member State, and, where applicable, the mobility between host entities established in one or several second Member States

The undertaking employing the third-country national, which that person is to be delegated from (the so-called parent undertaking) should be established outside the territory of the European Member States, member countries of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and Swiss Conference.

Under the intra-trade transfer under the principals stipulated by the directive 2014/66/EU, work may be performed only as a manager, specialist or a trainee employee.

The maximum period of one intra-corporate transfer within the whole territory of the European Union Member States amounts to 3 years in the case of managers and specialists and 1 year in the case of trainee employees. After expiry of this period those person leave the territory of the EU countries, unless they have received a residence permit on a different basis in accordance with the national or European provisions.

Without prejudice to their obligations resulting from international agreements, Member States may require a period of no more than six months to elapse between the end of the maximum transfer period and a subsequent application concerning the same third-country national for the purposes of this directive in the same Member State.

Polish regulations do not envisage the above grace period in-between subsequent transfers. The foreigner must, however, leave the territory of the EU Member States for the subsequent transfer thereof into the territory of the EU Member States to start, i.e. in order to submit the subsequent application for granting temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer.

Important definitions of terms from the Act of 12 December 2013 on Foreigners (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 2206, as amended):

Intra-corporate transfer – the temporary secondment of a foreigner whose place of residence at the time of application for a temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer is outside the territory of the EU Member States, by the parent undertaking to the host entity or for exercising mobility;

Parent undertaking – legal person or organisational unit not being legal person, which is granted legal personalty by the Act, seated outside the territory of the European Union Member States, member countries of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – a party to the Agreement on the European Economy Area or Swiss Conference, which employs the employee being transferred to the host entity prior to and within the time of the intra-corporate transfer thereof.

Host entity – legal person or organisational unit not being legal person, which is granted legal personalty by the Act to which the intra-corporate transferee is transferred, and which:

  1. a) is, in particular, a branch or a representation office of the parent undertaking, being international entrepreneur or
  2. b) belongs to the same group of undertakings as the parent undertaking;

Group of undertakings – at least two legal persons or organisational units not being legal persons, which are granted legal personalty by the Act, conducting business activities, which:

  1. a) are related in a manner corresponding to the relation of a parent company and a subsidiary, as defined by Article 4 § 1 item 4 of the Act of 15 September 2000 – the Commercial Companies Code (journal of Laws of 2017, pos. 1577) or
  2. b) are in such relations with another legal person or organisational unit not being legal person, which is granted legal personalty by the Act, resulting in the grounds for exercising decisive influence on activities thereof by that legal person or organisational unit by means of practices and rules of governance;

Specialist – a foreigner working in the group of undertakings, having crucial and specific knowledge for the areas of activities of the host entity, its techniques or management thereof, base on high qualifications, including relevant professional experience;

Trainee employee – a foreigner with a university degree who is transferred to a host entity for career development purposes, including in relation with preparation for taking a future position at the parent undertaking or in the group of undertakings, or in order to obtain training in business techniques or methods, and is paid during the transfer;

Mobility – entitlement of the foreigner to enter and reside within the territory of the EU Member States to work at the host entity seated in the given EU Member State as a manager, specialist or a trainee employee, under intra-corporate transfer, resulting from holding valid residence document, referred to in Article 1 (2) a of the Council Resolution (EC) no. 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002, laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals UE L 157 of 15.06.2002, p. 1, as amended. 5) – Journal of Laws EU Polish special edition, chapt. 19, t. 6, p. 3, as amended), with “ICT” annotation, issued by the EU Member States other than the one in which the foreigner exercises the entitlement;

 Short-term mobility – exercising mobility for the period of 90 days in any given period of 180 days in each EU Member State;

Long-term mobility – exercising mobility for the period exceeding 90 in a given EU Member State;

Temporary residence permit and short-term mobility within the territory of Poland

For the purpose of implementing the directive 2014/66/EU, the Act on Foreigners was introduces with two new permits for temporary residence, i.e. temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer and temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility (under intra-corporate transfer), for granting of which may apply the host entity seated within the territory of Poland, as well as the provisions stipulating the basis for entry, residence and work within the territory of the Republic of Poland inter the so-called short term mobility of the foreigners holding residence documents issued by other EU Member States with “ICT” annotation.

The condition for exercising short-term mobility by the foreigner within the territory of the Republic of Poland is receipt by the Head of the Office for Foreigners of a notification from the host entity seated in another European Union Member State, which have provided the foreigner with the residence document referred to in Article 1 (2) a of the Resolution no. 1030/2002 with “ICT” annotation, on the intention to exercise the mobility by the foreigner (the so-called notification procedure).

Exercising long-term mobility within the territory of the Republic of Poland requires obtaining a temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility.

 The right to family reunification

Under the temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer or under the temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility, the foreigners residing within the territory of the Republic of Poland have the right to immediate family reunification, i.e. obtaining temporary residence permit for the purpose of rejoining the family of for the family members. If such application for granting temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification to a family member was submitted on the same day or within the period of 3 days following submission of the application for temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer, temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility, the temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification is granted or refused by the voivode locally competent for the seat of the host entity.

In such case the voivode grants or refuses the temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification immediately after granting or refusing the temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer or the temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility.

After granting the temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunification, the family members may work within the territory of Poland without the need to obtain work permit and are entitled to establish and conduce business activities within the territory of Poland upon terms which apply to Polish citizens.

Lack of entitlement for long-term resident-EU permit

The 5 years period of residence within the Republic of Poland constituting entitlement for obtaining long-term resident-EU permit does not include a foreigner’s stay under the temporary residence permit for the purpose of work under the Intra-corporate transfer or the temporary residence permit for the purpose of exercising long-term mobility.

Sanctions which may apply to the host entity

Article 120 (1) and (3) of the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (Journal of Laws of 2017 pos. 1065, as amended):

  1. Whoever entrusts illegal work performance to a foreigner, shall be subject to financial punishment in the amount from PLN 1000 to PLN 3,000.
  2. Whoever forces a foreigner to perform illegal work by way of deception, exploiting error, exploiting professional dependency or exploiting the inability to properly comprehend the undertaken action, shall be subject to financial penalty from PLN 3000 to PLN 30, 000.