Flesztag: hiring foreigners

22 June 2023

The government is working on a draft regulation concerning countries where foreigners may submit visa applications directly to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The draft act is intended to implement the Minister’s authority encompassed by the Foreigners Act, which allows such regulations to be issued having regard for the need to ensure efficient support for foreign citizens.

Since June 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs regulation dated 28 May 2021 has been in force. This identifies Belarus as the only country whose citizens may submit visa applications through the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The newly published draft envisages a significant expansion of this list to include the following countries: Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Philippines, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The regulation further differentiates, depending on the country in question, the purpose for which a visa can be applied for. Almost all purposes (except for a visa issued for performance of official tasks by representatives of a foreign state authority or international organisation) will be available only to citizens of Ukraine and Belarus – the scope will be smaller for other countries.

Notwithstanding this, citizens of all the aforementioned countries will be able to apply for work visas. According to the explanatory memorandum to the draft, visas of this kind are the main motivation for issuing the regulation. An important reservation is that applications can only be submitted in countries where Polish consulates use so-called visa outsourcing. This currently only applies to a few countries on the list, including Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, India and the Philippines.

Taking into account the previously published draft regulation on accepting out-of-turn applications for work visas, it appears that this is a long-awaited implementation of the plan to speed up procedures allowing specialists, (shortages of whom are impacting businesses in Poland), to be brought-in more quickly.