I am a US citizen who lived and worked in Poland for several years. I moved away in 2009 and am thinking about returning.
Originally I worked as an employee of a firm, and later I opened my own business, got a NIP and worked as a freelancer for two different firms as a contractor, paying tax on my income and ZUS monthly. It was no problem for me to open my own business at the time as I had a Karta Pobytu from my original job.
Now if I return I am curious if it would be possible for me to return to Poland, re-open my business and again gain employment as a contractor? A friend from the UK who still lives there says a lot has changed and it's now much more difficult, and that I need a Karta Pobytu in order to open a business, but need a business (or some other legitimate reason to be in Poland) in order to gain a Karta Pobytu, creating a catch-22 type situation.
Could anyone please advise?
The latest rules state that your business must be capable of earning 12 x the average monthly wage, or it must employ at least two EU citizens on umowa o prace. 12 x average monthly wage means roughly 48,000zl a year gross. However, the reports coming out are that teachers are being denied if there is no attempt to establish a real school.
In short, your friend is correct as the process is considerably more tricky. Opening the business is still painless, but obtaining a karta pobytu isn't.
Thank you, Knowledge, for the response.
That is most distressing to hear; it truly sounds impossible to now set up shop as a sole trader and contract put one's skills/labour. May I ask your source on the 12x avg monthly wage / 48,000zl a year gross threshold? I am able to find the requirement regarding two EU employees but not the first option you mentioned.
Here is the relevant information. Second page.
I have reason to believe that the authorities, upon being presented with clear evidence that the business will earn 12 x average monthly wage (gross), will approve the first permit. You need contracts to back this up, and the amount should be (at least) 12 x average monthly wage. Future residence permits will depend on having actually earnt 12 x average monthly wage, with the amount declared and tax paid.