Internship Opportunities and Student Visa Requirements in Poland
Poland, a country in Central Europe, is increasingly recognized as a dynamic destination for internships and educational experiences. With its rich history, cultural diversity, and rapidly growing economy, Poland offers a wide array of opportunities for students and interns eager to advance their careers. Here, at Piktalent, you can find placements in various sectors, including technology, finance, and the arts, providing practical experience that aligns with your career aspirations.
In the evolving landscape of European labour laws, Poland has emerged as a key destination for internships, particularly for EU citizens. With significant changes in employment law effective from April 2023, and ongoing updates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial for prospective interns and employers to understand the current legal framework governing internships in Poland.
1. Duration and Conditions
Internships in Poland offer a blend of practical experience and cultural immersion. For EU citizens, the process is streamlined due to intra-EU mobility rights, while non-EU citizens who have graduated from university within the last two years can apply for a temporary residence permit for internships. Internships can range from a few weeks to several months, with some extending up to a year. The conditions are often dictated by the work’s nature, the sector, and the hosting organization.
2. Internship Contract for Interns
A formal internship contract is essential. This contract should state the duration, nature of work, mentorship provisions, and learning objectives. For EU citizens, the process is straightforward, but it’s crucial to ensure compliance with Polish labour laws and EU regulations.
3. Remuneration and Unpaid Internships
The topic of remuneration for internships in Poland varies. Paid internships must comply with minimum wage laws, but many, especially curricular internships, may be unpaid. It’s vital for interns to clarify this aspect before commencing their internship.
4. Steps for EU Citizens to Undertake an Internship in Poland
- Find an Internship: Utilize online platforms, university networks, or professional contacts.
- Understand Visa Requirements: EU citizens benefit from freedom of movement within the EU.
- Arrange the Internship Contract: Ensure a formal agreement with the host organization.
- Accommodation and Logistics: Plan your stay, including accommodation and health insurance.
- Compliance with Local Laws: Familiarize yourself with local labour laws and internship regulations.
- Cultural Integration: Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in Polish culture.
5. After Arrival in the Country for EU Citizens
Upon arriving in Poland, EU citizens should register their stay if planning to reside for more than three months. Additionally, familiarizing oneself with local customs and emergency services is advisable.
6. Personal Identity Number
The Personal Identity Number (PESEL) becomes essential for various administrative processes for longer stays. EU citizens can apply for a PESEL number at the local city hall.
7. Social Security Contributions for Interns in the Country
Social security contributions in Poland depend on the internship’s nature. For curricular internships, contributions are generally not required. However, for extra-curricular or professional internships, standard contributions apply.
8. Remuneration Law for Internships in the Country
Paid internships must comply with minimum wage laws. The law mandates fair compensation for work, but this can be subject to interpretation in the context of internships.
9. Vital Steps for a Seamless and Enjoyable Stay
- Learn Basic Polish: Enhance daily interactions and cultural integration.
- Understand Public Transportation: For ease of commuting.
- Connect with Local and Expat Communities: For valuable support and social experience.
- Explore the Culture: Experience Poland’s rich cultural heritage.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with any changes in laws or regulations.
- Healthcare Preparedness: Ensure access to healthcare through EHIC.
Embarking on an internship in Poland as an EU citizen is an exciting opportunity that combines professional development with cultural exploration. By understanding the legal framework and preparing for life in Poland, interns can ensure a rewarding and enriching experience. Remember, while this guide provides a general overview, it’s always best to seek current and specific advice from relevant authorities or legal experts.
1. Visa Requirements
For non-EU citizens wishing to undertake an internship in Poland, obtaining a proper visa is the first step. Typically, this would be a National Visa (D-type) if the internship duration exceeds 90 days. Applicants must provide proof of their internship arrangement, sufficient financial means, and accommodation plans in Poland.
2. Residence Permit for Internships
If the internship duration is longer than the period allowed by the National Visa, interns may need to apply for a temporary residence permit. This permit is usually granted for the duration of the internship and requires documentation similar to the visa application, including the internship agreement and evidence of financial stability.
3. Extensions and Exceptions
For internships lasting less than 90 days, a Schengen Visa might suffice, depending on the intern’s nationality. Poland may have specific agreements with certain countries that allow for easier visa procedures or exemptions. It’s crucial to check the latest bilateral agreements between Poland and the intern’s home country.
4. New Procedures and Legal Stay Extensions
- The legal stay of Ukrainian citizens in Poland has been extended until 4 March 2024, with additional deadlines for extended stays under specific conditions.
- The validity periods of national visas, temporary residence permits, and residence cards for Ukrainian citizens are also extended until 4 March 2024.
- These changes reflect Poland’s efforts to align with EU Member States’ procedures.
5. Work While Interning
Interns on a student visa or residency permit in Poland are typically allowed to work, but there may be restrictions on the number of hours. It’s important to ensure that the primary purpose of the stay (internship) is not compromised.
6. Vital Steps for a Seamless Stay
- Ensure all documents are translated into Polish and duly authenticated.
- Familiarize yourself with Polish culture and basic language skills.
- Stay informed about your legal rights and obligations as an intern in Poland.
- Keep track of visa and residence permit expiry dates and renewal procedures.
7. Ensuring an Enjoyable Stay
- Engage with local communities and other international interns.
- Explore Poland’s rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes.
- Take advantage of networking opportunities within your internship field.
8. New Legislation on the Employment of Foreigners
- Full digitalization of the procedure for obtaining legalization documents is planned, facilitating both employers and foreigners.
- The introduction of obligatory prerequisites for refusal to issue a work permit, such as non-fulfilment of social & health insurance contributions by the employer.
- Limitations on employee outsourcing as disguised temporary work, with new regulations indicating the infeasibility of obtaining a permit in such cases.
Piktalent Services for Poland
We can provide a range of services to make the internship experience unforgettable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Internships in Poland range from a few weeks to a year, depending on the sector and organization.
Yes, it’s essential to have a formal internship contract stating duration, nature of work, and learning objectives.
This varies; while some internships are paid and subject to minimum wage laws, others, particularly curricular internships, may be unpaid.
Find an internship, understand visa requirements, arrange a contract, plan accommodation and logistics, comply with local laws, and integrate culturally.
Register their stay if it exceeds three months and familiarize themselves with local customs and emergency services.
Yes, for longer stays, EU citizens should apply for a PESEL number at the local city hall.
It depends on the internship type; contributions are generally not needed for curricular internships but are required for professional ones.
Paid internships must comply with minimum wage laws, although the interpretation can vary for internships.
Non-EU citizens typically require a National Visa (D-type) for internships exceeding 90 days in Poland. This requires proof of internship arrangement, financial means, and accommodation plans.
Yes, for internships longer than a National Visa’s validity, a temporary residence permit is needed, requiring similar documentation to the visa.
Yes, for internships under 90 days, a Schengen Visa may suffice, depending on the intern’s nationality and Poland’s bilateral agreements with their country.
The legal stay for Ukrainian citizens in Poland is extended until 4 March 2024. This includes extensions for national visas, temporary residence permits, and residence cards.
Interns on a student visa or residency permit can work in Poland, but there might be restrictions on work hours to ensure the primary focus remains on the internship.
Interns should translate and authenticate all documents, learn basic Polish and local culture, understand their legal rights, and track visa and permit expiry dates.
Engaging with local communities, exploring Poland’s culture and landscapes, and seizing networking opportunities can enhance the internship experience in Poland.
New laws are introducing full digitalization for obtaining legalization documents, mandatory prerequisites for work permit issuance, and limitations on outsourcing employees as temporary workers.