Immigration law /

Suspension of Poland.Business Harbor program. What’s next for relocation to Poland?

From the point of view of entrepreneurs, the Poland.Business Harbour project was a key project. After it was put on hold, many entrepreneurs have concerns about whether they can still bring in workers from abroad.

What is the Poland.Business Harbour project?

From the point of view of entrepreneurs considering starting a business in Poland, the Poland.Business Harbour project was a key immigration law project. It was intended to make Poland the eponymous business haven, primarily for IT companies and professionals. Significantly, it offered small, medium and large enterprises, start-ups and IT professionals assistance in relocation (not only of the employee himself but also of his family) to Poland. In addition, the program included visa, legal, official and integration support. The project covered the following countries:

  1. Azerbaijan,
  2. Armenia,
  3. Belarus,
  4. Georgia,
  5. Moldova,
  6. Ukraine.

Moreover, with regard to strategic industries, it covered companies from all over the world.

With an announcement dated January 26, 2024, it was announced that the Poland.Business Harbour program had been suspended. However, this does not mean that relocation to Poland has become impossible.

This article will present other paths for relocating an employee outside the Poland.Business Harbour program.

Reasons for suspending the project

Project Poland. Business Harbour is a project that supports investors and entrepreneurs, as well as the workers themselves. Despite some rather inflammatory communications from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the immediate reason for its suspension was that visas issued under the simplified PBH procedure were not being used for their intended purpose. Workers with  PBH visas, instead of staying in Poland, continued to travel to other European Union countries. They then legalized their stay outside Poland. Due to the above, it was necessary to temporarily suspend the Project, in order to revise the procedures.

It should be emphasized that the Poland.Businness Harbour Project has not been closed, but merely suspended.The above means that with some probability the suspension of the Poland. Business Harbour is only temporary. This is quite obvious, for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently planning to start work on streamlining visa procedures. It can be anticipated that the Poland.Business Harbour project will be resumed after the introduction of new, more effective procedures. Today, however, it is not possible to give a probable date for the resumption of the project.

Other opportunities for foreign experts

However, the suspension of the Poland.Business Harbour program does not mean that it is impossible to relocate to Poland. On the contrary, the suspension of the aforementioned program does not affect the issuance of visas or temporary residence permits on a general basis.

The following are the standard stages of relocation to Poland outside the Poland program. Business Harbour:

Stage 1 Work Permit.

An employer interested in employing a foreigner in Poland should first obtain a work permit. This can be done in a traditional form, by sending an application for a permit by mail, or by submitting documents through the government’s IT system.

In addition, the procedure provides for simplified forms of legalization of work, replacing the time-consuming procedure of obtaining a work permit, among others, statement of entrustment of work. If the foreigner is a citizen of Belarus, Armenia Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, he or she can take advantage of this fast track.

Stage 2 Visa

On the basis of a work permit or registered statement of assignment, a foreigner staying abroad can obtain a work visa by submitting a visa application to the relevant consulate. A working visa is valid for a maximum of 1 year;

Stage 3 Arrival in Poland and commencement of work

After obtaining a work visa, a foreigner may arrive in Poland and immediately start work on the basis of a work permit or statement of assignment previously obtained by the employer.

Step 4 Residence permit

If a foreigner plans to stay in Poland longer than the visa allows, he or she may apply for a temporary residence permit. Such a permit is valid for a period of up to 3 years, and before the expiration of this period the foreigner can apply for another temporary residence permit for a further period.

However, it should be noted, this is only one of many available procedures, addressed to most categories of foreigners. Due to the high casuistry and distinctiveness of each case, the Law Firm team makes an individually tailored recommendation and prepares a customized relocation plan after analyzing the client’s needs and requirements.


The Poland.Business Harbour project facilitated the relocation of workers to Poland, but its suspension does not have a significant impact on the availability of relocation opportunities. Entrepreneurs can still bring in workers from abroad using the standard procedure, the steps of which are outlined in this article.

Author team leader DKP Legal
Contact our expert
Write an inquiry: [email protected]
check full info of team member: Denis Ushakov

Contact us

Młyńska 16
61-730 Poznań
+48 61 853 56 48[email protected]
Rondo ONZ 1
00-124 Warsaw
+48 22 300 16 74[email protected]
Swobodna 1
50-088 Wrocław
+48 61 853 56 48[email protected]
Opolska 110
31-355 Kraków
+48 61 853 56 48[email protected]
Jana Sobieskiego 2/3
65-071 Zielona Góra
+48 61 853 56 48[email protected]