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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities

Last update: 12 January 2021
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  1. Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility
  2. Legal framework

Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility

The educational and professional mobility of young people takes place primarily within the framework of EU programmes – presently the Erasmus+ programme. There are other multilateral, bilateral and national programmes (co-)financed by Polish authorities and/or by other countries or foreign organisations. Services to promote professional mobility are offered by the European network of Public Employment Services EURES.

Erasmus+ in Poland

The structure of the Erasmus+ programme for 2014-2020 includes the following components:

  • Key Action 1. Mobility of Individuals;
  • Key Action 2. Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices;
  • Key Action 3. Support for Policy Reform;
  • Jean Monnet programme;
  • Sport –  support for sports-related initiatives.

Within the Key Action1 international mobility of learners and staff is supported. Information on programmes regarding international job mobility, entrepreneurship mobility and career opportunities is available at by sector and by action: school education, vocational education and training, higher education, adult education, youth, central projects, and sports.

Voluntary Labour Corps (Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy, OHP)

OHP conduct youth exchange programmes and organise youth holiday excursions, including trips to work in other countries. The international exchange of young people is carried out within the following programmes: Erasmus+, the Polish-German Youth Co-operation, the Polish-Lithuanian Youth Exchange Fund, and the Visegrad Fund.

From 2015, EURES services are provided (in addition to Employment Offices) at OHP by EURES advisers and EURES assistants, who are employed in 16 OHP Regional Headquarters and 49 OHP Youth Education and Employment Centres.

They are open to the public, free of charge, and addressed to jobseekers interested in moving to another country for employment, as well as to employers who wish to recruit foreign workers.

Other entities for students

Studentsare offered many work placement schemes in other countries with a variety of entities. For example:

International Parliamentary Scholarship of the German Bundestag. The scholarship programme of the German Bundestag and the Berlin Universities – International Parliamentary Scholarship (IPS) lasts five months. The main part of the programme is a 15-week internship at the office of one of the deputies to the Bundestag.

The Polish-American Freedom Foundation offers internship scholarships and internships at reputable American companies.

Services by Public Employment Services

Public Employment Services in Poland are a member of EURES network since the time of Poland’s accession to the European Union (2004). The function of the National Coordination Office is performed by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, Department of Labour Market. EURES helps jobseekers to find jobs and employers to recruit from all over Europe

Vortal of Public Employment Services

Contains current job offers in EU and EEA countries.


In Poland, activities within the EURES network are performed by:

  • Provincial Employment Offices
  • District Employment Offices
  • Provincial headquarters of Voluntary Labour Corps (OHP)
  • Youth work and education centres of Voluntary Labour Corps (OHP)
  • Entities accredited by the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy

The network of EURES advisers and assistants is nationwide.

It is also worth to stress the importance of the European Job Mobility Portal.

Other opportunities for students

Legal framework

Employment of foreigners in Poland

Employing foreigners in Poland is governed first and foremost by the Act of 20 April 2004 on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions, the Act of 12 December 2013 of Foreigners and implementing regulations.

In accordance with EU documents, Poland accepts the free movement of workers in the Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland.

Permits to work in Poland are not required e.g. for family members of EU/EEA/Switzerland nationals, foreigners granted protection in Poland (e.g. a refugee status, tolerated stay), people holding a Polish Card, foreign language teachers in education system institutions, graduates of Polish upper-secondary schools and full-time university courses as well as students and PhD students during their studies in Poland.

The foreigners, third country nationals, can be entrusted work in Poland provided they obtain work permit and they stay in Poland legally. The work permit is applied for by an employer to a competent voivode, and if this is an S-type permit (i.e. a seasonal work permit) to a competent starost (Poviat Labour Office). With respect to a temporary residence and work permit, the foreigner staying in Poland legally applies to a competent voivode. 

The simplified procedure, also known as the “declaration procedure” (without the need to obtain a work permit), applies to citizens of the following countries: The Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. They can work in Poland for 6 months in any period of 12 consecutive months, if the employer made a special declaration at the employment office.