Losing a job does not mean you have to leave the country immediately. However, if you know that your job contract  (or a civil-law contract that meets the criteria typical for of a job contract) is about to be terminated, you need to contact the voivodeship office within 15 working days.

Once you do that, you will be allowed to stay for 30 more days in Poland (your residence permit will be prolonged by this period). Make sure you fulfill this obligation – it is not only beneficial but also not informing about your unemployment may cause the voivode to withdraw your residence permit. They may also oblige you to leave the territory of Poland in a stated period of time.

What if you want to appeal your obligation to return? It should be filed to the Office for Foreigners (UdsC). This may buy you some time as your stay in Poland is deemed legal until the final decision is issued.

You need not worry about your right to stay in Poland after losing a job if you have a permanent residence permit, long-term EU residence permit or if you are married to a Polish national.

Registering as unemployed

Foreigners with the following statuses can register as unemployed in a local jobcentre (Urząd Pracy):

  • refugee status;
  • permanent residence permit;
  • long-term EU residence permit;
  • EU Blue Card;
  • temporary residence permit issued for the purposes of scientific research;
  • temporary residence permit issued on the basis of being a long-term EU resident in another member state; 
  • tolerated or humanitarian stay;
  • temporary or subsidiary protection;
  • temporary residence permit for a family member of a Polish national; or a passport stamp indicating that the individual has filed an application for a residence permit (provided they already had a temporary residence permit before);  
  • temporary residence and work permit provided they have been employed for min. 6 months before registering as unemployed.  

Your rights upon registration

You will have access to benefits and jobcentre services (counseling or job-seeking training). Your right to the benefit applies if you fulfill one of the conditions above and some other conditions listed in the Act on employment promotion and labor market institutions (basically you need to have been employed and paid contributions to the Labour Fund for at least 365 days in the period of eighteen months before your unemployment registration).  

How much is unemployment benefit?

It is arranged for either 6 or 12 months and depends on your employment history. If your overall work history is between 5 to 20 years, you will get 831.10 PLN in the first three months of unemployment and then 652.60 PLN

However, if you have:

  • overall work experience shorter than 5 years, you will get 80 percent of these amounts;
  • longer than 20 years, you will get 120 percent.

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