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New visa restrictions for Americans?
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: New visa restrictions for Americans? Reply with quote

It seems like there a new restrictions on work visas for Americans in Poland. Does anyone have any info on this, if this will become easier in the future or if this is a permanent change?

I tried applying for a work permit, but it seems as though you have to apply at a regional consulate in the US now in person (at some travel expense depending on where you live) or wait 60 days for working papers if you apply from within Poland.

Kind of a shame Confused Amazing country, great people. Unfortunately I can't travel all the way to Los Angeles to get a visa, at least right now from where I live Sad
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wojbrian



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last time I applied in 2011 a visit was not needed. However, the person I talked to said they could make that a part of the process. Is it in writing somewhere?

I did not think you could do it in country either. You have to have the stamp before you go.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1624
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:50 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Seems dumb to me. There are other dumb rules now like you can't get a new passport from the British embassy in Warsaw (not Poland's fault) and as of last month you can't get a mortgage in Zloty if you earn Pounds but you can if you earn Euros.

What a shag all this is!
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, if you look at the consulate website, in the visa section, it talks about how you need to visit the consulate now in person to apply for the visa -

"Since May 1st, 2014 every visa applicant must apply for visa in person, according to the new Polish Act on Foreigners."

Which means you have to visit the consulate that covers your area. Unfortunately, if you live far away from the consulate for your region, that can involve a large amount of time and money to get to the consulate in person.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 674

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's the case. That is specifically referring to visa applicants, but Americans are under no obligation to obtain a visa before travelling unless they intend to start working immediately.

Unless something has dramatically changed, the old system of coming to Poland first and applying for residency once you're here is still valid.
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wojbrian



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always told that you can't do that. You have to have a valid reason to be in Poland before you go. However, I know there are loopholes. It seems like this is getting stricter for Americans.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 674

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wojbrian wrote:
I was always told that you can't do that. You have to have a valid reason to be in Poland before you go. However, I know there are loopholes. It seems like this is getting stricter for Americans.


The valid reason is tourism.
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend in Poland (American) was told that she needs to be in the U.S. to apply for a visa in order to work there by the people she asked.

I was told that the procedure for applying for residency while in the country has also changed, and now takes about 60 days instead of 2-4 weeks like it did previously. If that's the case, I imagine it'd be pretty tough to find a school who's willing to wait that long for you to start working, and especially since the Schengen visa only lasts for 90 days over a 180 day period.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 674

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just checked the May changes and there is no such requirement to apply for a visa before travelling for citizens of countries that can access Poland on a tourist visa waiver.

What changed was rather things making life easier - 3 year residence permits are now possible, the time for processing residence permits has been cut to around 2-4 weeks and so on.

As far as Americans go, they can still apply for a residence permit in Poland. Whoever told you that this changed was frankly wrong - however, the consulate would be correct in saying that you need to apply for a visa if you intend to go to Poland and start working straight away, as you would be entering on the basis of work and not as a tourist.
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, a school told me that it takes 60 days to get the residence permit once you're in the country so they couldn't wait that long.

Perhaps they overlooked something on their part, as I read that they have to post the job and see if a polish person applies (for I think 30 days) before they can hire someone. So perhaps they hadn't done that procedure.

They wanted me to go to poland and then apply for the residence permit instead of getting the work visa in the US because the consulate was too far and not possible for me to go in person.

But they told me that they asked the vovoideship office and were told it would take 60 days to get the residence permit from within the country, and that the procedure had changed from the previous year, and thus wanted to hire someone who could start earlier.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 674

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In other words, they wanted someone now, and they didn't want to pay the 100zl (or however much it costs these days...) to apply for a work permit for someone that wasn't on the ground.

60 days would be about right - 30 days to get the confirmation that no EU worker could be found, then another 2-4 weeks for them to process the application for residency.

In reality, most people will start working even before a positive decision has been reached.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coolguy123 wrote:
But they told me that they asked the vovoideship office and were told it would take 60 days to get the residence permit from within the country, and that the procedure had changed from the previous year, and thus wanted to hire someone who could start earlier.
And this is the reason why Americans are a huge disadvantage when it comes to working 100% 'legally' for a language school in Poland. Unless the school recruits an American well over 60 days in advance (which almost none of them do) it's impossible to get the work permit before the teacher starts working.

Brits can just pack their fanny packs, hop on a cheap Ryanair flight, and start working for a school before tea time.

delphian-domine wrote:
In reality, most people will start working even before a positive decision has been reached.
Totally true. I'm American and have done this before working for a couple of different schools.

If the school in question has any experience at all dealing with the American visa situation, they should know the above. I've never heard of any school or teacher running afoul if immigration for working before the work permit has come through, just for working without a wp.

Coolguy123, if you do come to Poland you'll quickly realize that rules are enforced pretty selectively there. I lived in Poland from 2006-2014 and have gone through the residency process several times. If you don't like the the answer one immigration officer gives you, just try asking a different person - you'll likely get a completely different answer.
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wojbrian



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come for vacation = no visa
Coming for work = work permit applied for in the USA

However, there are probably ways around this but I never found them.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wojbrian wrote:
Come for vacation = no visa
Coming for work = work permit applied for in the USA

However, there are probably ways around this but I never found them.
Did you read the last few posts? The answer lies within...
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 674

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wojbrian wrote:
Come for vacation = no visa
Coming for work = work permit applied for in the USA

However, there are probably ways around this but I never found them.


It doesn't work like that.

Work permits are applied for by the employer, not the employee. The employer needs to receive the work permit from the local labour office, and it takes around 30 days to receive it, as the job must be advertised throughout the entire EU through EURES as well as locally.

Once they get the work permit (or technically, permission to employ the non-EU citizen), you go to the Foreigners Office and apply for a residence permit based on that. It can be done in-country, and no-one will bat an eyelid as you're simply applying to change your immigration status.

This procedure is absolutely normal, as many students every year do just that. If you don't need a visa to enter, then you can enter as a tourist without fuss. You just can't work (legally) without the work permit.

As Shake says above, as long as the application is in progress, the authorities tend to turn a blind eye to people that are working for the employer who requested the work permit. It's working without any application that will see you deported, like what happened to you previously.
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