Marija Jakubowycz came to Poland in 2001 from a village near Ternopil in Ukraine in search of a job. She was going to stay in Poland for a month, but she has been living in our county for as long as 13 years now. In the beginning Marija went through a baptism of fire, working as a cleaning lady, a carer for a sick lady and a child… Numbers of various jobs! For the last 8 years, she has worked as a teacher of Russian and Ukrainian, and a translator. In 2009, she set up the Ternopilska Foundation. She uses her skills and experiences in social work and volunteering for the benefit of Ukrainians. She feels best among books, in libraries and bookshops. Her long-standing dream is to read together with others. She likes Turkish coffee and Ukrainian poppy-seed cakes (Ukrainian: palanyci z makom). She likes travelling and visiting foreign countries but also wants to explore as many corners of Ukraine as possible.
I would like to start with some positive aspects but the first sentence goes as follows...
Unfortunately, a Polish employer is not willing to employ a foreigner and fulfil all standards of law. They do not have to be and indeed are not bad themselves nor are they a horror of a foreigner. However, complicated legal rules and disproportionately high costs of the employment cause the employers to look for easier ways of documenting all situations that take place in their firms or companies.
How is a foreigner supposed to act when they were employed on an oral contract basis (the law allows also for such a form of employment) by an employer that is not willing to apply for a work permit, submit a declaration, register them for social security, pay obligatory financial contributions to the ZUS (ZUS – ZakładUbezpieczeńSpołecznych, Social Insurance Institution), or pay the income tax? All those matters should be documented and, more importantly, they should require frequent contacts between an employer and some public administration institutions.
Let us step back for a moment: why should employers bother with some complications related to employing foreigners when they have to face almost as many formalities when they want to employ NON-foreigners?
My advice for all foreigners who want to document their employment and residence is to apply the most popular solution – take maximum responsibility for the contact with public administration and accounting services, being aware of the future costs of employment and willing to cover some of them on one’s own.
Below, I provide a practical example.
Ms N. has been working for some family for years: she does the cleaning, she cooks, takes children to school and picks them up. She likes her job and does not complain about her earnings. However, after a few years she learns more about regular employment and the possibility of obtaining permanent residence on the basis of the several years of employment. What is she supposed to do?
- She should find the information about the costs of the regular employment.
- She should find the information about the proceedings and formalities in public institutions.
- She should find the information about the institutions that deal with work permits, social security register, or residence permits, and find local institutions, to which she should apply.
- She should collect all mentioned information and be aware that she can do that on her own, authorized by her employer.
- Only then can Ms N. talk with the family for which she works about her wish to take up regular employment; she can tell them that she is aware of all proceedings and that she can deal with them on her own.
The success in solving the case is guaranteed.
Knowledge about everything that concerns public administration is also an invaluable asset for a foreigner, to their benefit for many years of their residence in Poland.
Should you have any additional questions or need the models of documents, authorizations, or help with filling them in – I offer my help; my e-mail address: . While working with foreigners and public administration authorities, I prepared the models of various useful documents and I am willing to share them.
Some important rules concerning applying for a work permit:
October-November 2014, MarijaJakubowycz
Translation: Alicja Kosim
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R like registration of residence
The law has many faces – the theory may be helpful while dealing with them. However, the thing that encouraged me to write this article was the everyday experience of Foundation Ternopilska concerning registration of residence. Step by step, I will write how to register your place of stay in Poland.
When the registration of residence of a foreigner is necessary?
In order to receive PESEL number. Similar numerical identifications function in any country, where tax and evidence data of its citizens is collected and stored.
PESEL is given to a foreigner after two weeks, after registration of a stay for a period longer than 3 months – it may concern 92, 95, 100 or more days. If the stay is shorter than 3 months – PESEL number will not be given.
Why this article is concerned so much with PESEL, when it was meant to provide information about registration of residence? For a foreigner the registration of residence, as I have mentioned above, is the only way to receive PESEL number. Having such identification number makes the life in Poland easier.
We will be asked to provide our PESEL number in following institutions and situations:
- ZUS (Social Insurance Institution)
- tax office
- in a hospital, on ER
- when signing an agreement with employer
- university, higher education institution
If we do not have the PESEL number, we are obliged to present international passport, but still not all institutions are allowed to identify a person on the basis of this document, as the number of the passport may change, just like a surname – PESEL is always the same.
When the registration of residence is helpful?
- when applying for a residence card
- when registering as an unemployed
- for the sense of stability in a foreign country
When the registration of residence is substituted by other documents?
Very important institution for us foreigners is the Office for Foreigners, located in Voivodeship Offices. When applying for a residence card, it is necessary to deliver all the required documents certifying our stay in Poland, and providing certain place of residence. The department demands one of the following documents: confirmation of registration, rent contract, lending contract, deed of ownership of the apartment we live in. It is worth to obtain one of the documents required by the institution, but do not panic if you are not able to get the registration of residence or the rent contract.
I am emphasizing the moderation because in case of registration of residence the good will of the flat owner is crucial – if the owner does not want to register our stay there is nothing much we can do. Owner of the apartment has such right and registration of residence of the others is a right, not duty.
If the department insists on the certification of registration of residence, it’s worth to write a declaration: “I declare that the owner of the apartment I currently reside, has not assented to my registration of residence.” This should be enough to make our case carry on.
Registration – step by step
You would like to register your place of residence but you are convinced that it’s complicated and time consuming. I’ll prove you wrong – there is nothing easier.
You are no longer obliged to deregister your previous place of residence. Now all the formalities may be solved in the office. The whole procedure of registration of residence takes 10 minutes – you only need to collect necessary documents. You may already have some of them:
What else you should know? (Changes from January 1, 2013)
Foreigners other than mentioned before residing on the territory of Republic of Poland are obliged to register the place of residence 4 days at the latest, counting from the day of arrival, if the stay is longer than 3 months. But if the stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland does not exceed 14 days, there is no such obligation.
Source and more information: Ministry of the Interior
By Marija Jakubowycz (October 2014)
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I have a fear of state institutions…
While writing an article about foreigners and Polish public offices together with my friend from Ukraine, I decided to show how Ukrainian public office workers treat their customers. A rhetorical question asked by me friend working for a non-governmental organisation gives an idea of what dealing with administrative matters means for Poles: “Is it also so difficult to do anything in public offices there in Ukraine?”
Anything that concerns dealing with administrative matters creates negative emotions in most of people. Such is also the attitude of many, if not all, foreigners who come to Poland. I will not write, however, about what waits in store for them in Poland; I will write about the Ukrainian experience which has shaped the consciousness and beliefs also of those who begin new lives in new countries with a negative attitude towards public offices.
And the ever-helpful Janusz Weiss from the first channel of the Polish radio, always striking a chord with the spirit of the times with his programme “Everything you don’t know and are not afraid to ask” addressed to a Polish citizen in a public office (and here comes this fear again…).
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I’m leaving the country… What to take with me?
A flower is not always able to blossom there where it springs up …
I’m leaving now…
There may be some moments in our life when we have to move to a new distant place. On the emerging horizon, expectedly or unexpectedly, there appears a non-touristic trip, full of emotions and attractions. It’s only the beginning of our new life in a foreign country. Circumstances force us to leave our cosy old house and build a nest for ourselves in an unknown new place. What to take and not to take on this trip to a new world? Let’s think about that.
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Such is human nature that one always wants more money and believes that there is a better world elsewhere… I think this quality manifests itself particularly strongly among Ukrainians – it is better OVER THERE… Many people think that their problems revolve around day-to-day living and money. But when they leave the country, it turns out that the problem lies in themselves – in their hang-ups, stereotypes, behaviours, beliefs, emotions and laziness…
…as a child, when I lived in a small village in the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine, I saw many of my friends’ parents go abroad to earn some money and leave their kids under the care of their grandparents. Those parents seemed to me to be extremely courageous people, almost supermen, because their children stood out with their new clothes, shoes and toys which were quite extraordinary for us. The neighbours who stayed put at home were jealous of those people and often judged them, when family fell apart because they could not bear separation (or maybe that separation was the final part of a break-up caused by weak family ties, a lack of love and understanding). Judging and criticising, devoid of any sympathy, were especially harsh towards the children who got into trouble in the absence of their parents.
Prolonged isolation accompanied by separation from family and familiar environment is psychologically straining, leads to depression, deepens helplessness and confusion. Some time ago, I encouraged people on Internet forums and conferences to set up hostels where migrant workers could at the same time be independent and stay in touch with other migrants, gaining knowledge and skills useful in finding a safe and legal job. Working on grey market, migrants are exposed to abuse on the part of their employers and stand a lesser chance of gaining positive experiences with Poles. This also contributes to the strengthening of organized groups who reap profits from illegal employment, issuing fictitious invitations and employing migrants illegally. Therefore, it is in the interest of the host country to create conditions in which migrants would be aware of their rights and how to assert them as well as would see the benefits of legal residence and employment. There are no hostels for migrant workers in Poland at the moment. Migrants come to Poland at their own risk and look for a job on their own. It is common practice, however, in the industrial, food and agricultural sectors to provide accommodation near the workplace. As for agriculture, the conditions are uneven, but as for manufacturing plants, there are well-functioning hostels for migrants across the country – they are cheap or even free. Employers often invite married couples if they can offer only a family room. After all, it is common knowledge that family ties strengthen good relations between the employer and the employee.
Projekt ‘MIEJSKI SYSTEM INFORMACYJNY I AKTYWIZACYJNY DLA MIGRANTÓW’ jest współfinansowany z Programu Krajowego Funduszu Azylu, Migracji i Integracji oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.
Projekt LOKALNE MIĘDZYSEKTOROWE POLITYKI NA RZECZ INTEGRACJI IMIGRANTÓW realizowany był w ramach programu Obywatele dla Demokracji, finansowanego z Funduszy EOG.
Projekt LOKALNE POLITYKI MIGRACYJNE - MIĘDZYNARODOWA WYMIANA DOŚWIADCZEŃ W ZARZĄDZANIU MIGRACJAMI W MIASTACH był współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Integracji Obywateli Państw Trzecich oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.
Projekt LOKALNE MIĘDZYSEKTOROWE POLITYKI NA RZECZ INTEGRACJI IMIGRANTÓW był współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Integracji Obywateli Państw Trzecich oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.
Projekt ‘WARSZAWSKIE CENTRUM WIELOKULTUROWE’ był współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Integracji Obywateli Państw Trzecich oraz budżetu państwa. Wyłączna odpowiedzialność spoczywa na autorze. Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za sposób wykorzystania udostępnionych informacji.
LOKALNE MIĘDZYSEKTOROWE POLITYKI NA RZECZ INTEGRACJI IMIGRANTÓW Projekt realizowany był przy wsparciu Szwajcarii w ramach szwajcarskiego programu współpracy z nowymi krajami członkowskimi Unii Europejskiej.