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Residence Permit for an Australian in Poland. Applying for another one..

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Oct 12, 2010, 08:56pm  #1

Hi there,

I'm Australian and have been living here for around 3 years. I have had a residence permit for 2 years (technically cos it took so bloody long to get it that by the time i got it, 6mths had already passed). I am in the process of applying for another one and I have been requested to go in with a translator to explain a few things on my application under oath.

I was under the understanding (from the information given to me by the people who work at the foreigners department) that once I have a residence permit I can work at any school. While I had the residence permit, I worked for a few schools- some of them private companies and one 'Placowki Ksztalcenia Ustawicznego'. I couldn't find a translation anywhere for that phrase so I am assuming it means a certified place of learning.

I went in to check the status of my application they told me I need to explain a few contracts with a couple of schools (the ones which aren't certified places of learning) and why the border police were not able to find any neighbors who knew or recognized me at my melded address.

So the questions are:

1) Has anyone had any experience at an official interview or the same problem?
2) Does anyone have any advice?

The facts are:
1) I have been working for 3 non-certified companies for a year without a work permit (because of the information provided) and it can be proven on my account statement which I had to give them
2) I don't live at the melded address because the place I live at is a private flat and the owners have rented it out on the DL.

I know its a long shot and a long post, but I hope someone can led a hand.

Thanks in advance


delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Oct 12, 2010, 11:15pm  #2

To be blunt - you're in a bit of bother here. I'm tired, but I'll try to explain.

stuckaustralian:
I was under the understanding (from the information given to me by the people who work at the foreigners department) that once I have a residence permit I can work at any school.


No. You can only work for schools that have acquired a work permit for you - unless they are approved by the Ministry of Education. This is treated very, very seriously - if you're caught, the usual punishment is deportation. It's important to separate the residence permit from the work permit - one allows you to stay, one allows you to work (for that particular company).

stuckaustralian:
I went in to check the status of my application they told me I need to explain a few contracts with a couple of schools (the ones which aren't certified places of learning) and why the border police were not able to find any neighbors who knew or recognized me at my melded address.


I would strongly advise you to take an English speaking lawyer - there is a very good chance that they've already figured out that you were working illegally. The border police not being able to find you isn't so serious - but the work permit issue definitely is. Having said this - they could use the border police findings as a reason to deny your new residence permit, without getting into the technicalities of you working illegally.

The fact that they want to interview you under oath suggests that this is quite a serious affair and much more serious than the normal interviews there.

stuckaustralian:
1) I have been working for 3 non-certified companies for a year without a work permit (because of the information provided) and it can be proven on my account statement which I had to give them
2) I don't live at the melded address because the place I live at is a private flat and the owners have rented it out on the DL.


1) Uh-oh is all I can say. You really, really must get a lawyer - the fact that they already know about you working illegally means that you're going to be, quite frankly, in the ****.

2) On the DL? I don't understand. In regards to not living there - mostly, they don't care in Poland - but as I said above, it might be used against you to make the case for deportation/refusal of the residence permit.

Sorry that it's not the news you want to hear - but I think that you really are in a tough situation here.

If you want, you can e-mail me at office@lindenia.net and we can talk about it privately :)

mafketis Threads: 15
Posts: 1,858
Joined: Mar 31, 2008
  ♂   Oct 12, 2010, 11:23pm  #3

delphiandomine:
No. You can only work for schools that have acquired a work permit for you


I was under the impression that if you have karta pobytu you're entitled to work anywhere that will hire you (roughly) the certified school part was (I thought) just for those wanting to work without a work permit/karta (or until you do get the karta pobytu). I know, regulations may have changed since I was last dealing with these issues several years ago, but that's what I was told at the time at more than one office.

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Oct 12, 2010, 11:46pm  #4

Thank you for the replies! I'll be going in with my bf's brother's girlfriend. She works for a law firm but isn't a lawyer yet. Cross your fingers for me! I have been trying to save to leave Poland for so long and as you know saving in Poland isn't easy! I have read about the fines too! I hope my friend can sort something out for me! She doesn't speak English well, but I think well enough.

Here I was trying to organize all the documents early and trying to get all of them in order before applying so I didn't have to make a million trips in like the first time, and all I get for it is a kick in the face. So much for that then, aye!

hajlak     Oct 12, 2010, 11:52pm  #5

I'd say that so long as you've been paying your taxes and you've acted in good faith, you've not go so much to worry about. Be honest and be upfront and I'm sure it'll work out.

But I'd be very wary of contacting the clown Delph. Look at his other posts and you'll see what I mean.

Good luck.

delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Edited by: delphiandomine  Oct 12, 2010, 11:56pm  #6

hajlak:
I'd say that so long as you've been paying your taxes and you've acted in good faith, you've not go so much to worry about. Be honest and be upfront and I'm sure it'll work out.


That's not how it works in Poland - and to suggest so is misleading at best.

The work permit/residence card issue is dealt with in a very uniform way in Poland - comply or face deportation and a year's ban from the Schengen zone. Paying taxes means nothing, nor does good faith - it is your obligation to comply with immigration and work restrictions, not theirs. When the Straż Graniczna gets involved, there's usually no negotiation - because when it's serious enough for them to intervene, deportation usually follows.

If anything, Poland is much tougher on non-EU immigrants than most EU countries. But hey, I suppose some anonymous guest poster knows best, huh? ;)

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Edited by: stuckaustralian  Oct 13, 2010, 12:09am  #7

Hijlak, why do you advise me to be wary? I have had a look at his other posts (just a few randoms) and they seem ok...

Honesty and good faith (in my opinion) are laughed at traits in Poland... That is what I have seen in my experience...

delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Oct 13, 2010, 12:16am  #8

stuckaustralian:
Delphi, where do you get all your info from?


A lot of personal experience, a lot of contacts and the law itself. A mixture, really :) I'm also on fairly good terms with the people in the Poznan Foreigners Office, so I know how they deal with certain things.

The thing that worries me about you is that you've admitted working without a work permit - how they'll react to this is a big question. What I suggest is that the person who goes in with you should know the law inside out regarding residency and work permits - and be prepared for the worst (deportation).

Which voivodeship do you live in?

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Oct 13, 2010, 12:31am  #9

I feel sick thinking about all of this! Maybe I should just start packing- just in case... ;(

Olaf Threads: 6
Posts: 1,120
Joined: Oct 29, 2009
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 12:42am  #10

delphiandomine:
That's not how it works in Poland
- That's true. But also being just open and frank etc. does not erradicate your problems, Poland not being an exception here.
Acting in good faith is one thing, but they may as well percieve your lack of work permit as negligence. All in all, I advise to take Delphiandomine's advice. I don't think I encountered any flaws in his advice on formalities.

delphiandomine:
If anything, Poland is much tougher on non-EU immigrants than most EU countries.
- well, that's how EU works, doesn't it.

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Edited by: stuckaustralian  Oct 13, 2010, 12:48am  #11

I have read that pleading ignorance doesn't work... We weren't aware and one boss wants me to say so if they ask. I'm sure that won't work. If I were in their position I would probably say 'tough luck' to that...

Now I'm worried about my kitties too ;(

I found this: But I don't think it helps...

Threegigs Threads: -
Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: Threegigs  Oct 13, 2010, 01:00am  #12

One of the problems with the Karta is that there are actually two of them. Kinda. One for marriage, one for work-based residence. With the work one, you can work anywhere without the need to modify a visa or anything, but your employer is still required to obtain a work permit. However, it's your employer's responsibility to get it, not yours. In fact, you yourself cannot get one, _only_ your employer can, and no input is needed from you aside from a few documents they'd need to copy. And sadly, if your employer screwed up, it can jeopardize your stay here and I'm not sure if there's anything you can do about it. Most schools want you to set up your own company so that they don't have to deal with the work permit issue, nor the taxation issue, so they just kind of ignore the problem. The big question is... did you pay taxes? Did the schools you worked for deduct taxes from your paychecks? If they did, it's your saving grace... it means they should have known about the work permit, so the Foreigner's office has someone else to blame. But... if there were no taxes deducted (which I suspect is the case) then the contracts might specify that you were working as a contractor, responsible for your own taxes, thus removing them from responsibility and placing you square in the gunsights for deportation.

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Oct 13, 2010, 01:12am  #13

I did pay taxes and did my tax return. I even went to the Tax Office to get a declaration stating I don't owe taxes to the state, which is a required document in the application. I'm not set up as my own company either... All the owners say they were not aware I was supposed to have a work permit.

Is deportation the first punishment they reach for? Do you get deported and get a fine? I read the minimum for me is 1000zl and for the companies it is min. 3000zl.

Threegigs Threads: -
Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 01:52am  #14

stuckaustralian:
I did pay taxes

Ahh, but the specific question was did your employers deduct the taxes and pay them for you? If they paid you brutto and *you* sent 19% to the tax office, then it might be a big problem. But if they paid you netto and they sent the taxes in, then you might get off with a fine and a stern warning, instead of deportation.

And note, if you are deported, you cannot transit through Schengen. No stopovers in Schipol or DeGaulle for you. Remember that, or you'll get stuck in limbo as happened to someone I knew awhile back. Went to fly to India and got denied entry to a connecting flight (although I think if both flights have origins/destinations outside of Schengen you might be okay, hers didn't... 2 stopovers).

wiseone     Oct 13, 2010, 07:57am  #15

I would leave now while the goings easy, the police treat people like you as criminals, you could be in prison for a long time till the authorities go thru all the red tape, forget about all comments from all the know alls, just contact the Australian Embassy in Warsaw and seek there advice...they may provide free legal advice and representation.

Harry Threads: 80
Posts: 12,583
Joined: May 2, 2007
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 09:29am  #16

stuckaustralian:
Is deportation the first punishment they reach for? Do you get deported and get a fine? I read the minimum for me is 1000zl and for the companies it is min. 3000zl.

The recent (i.e. post-Schengen) cases which I know of have involved the people being given a week to get their affairs in order and their stuff together and get out of the country with a one-year ban on coming to the Schengen zone. They were not technically deported and were not fined either.

However, I have heard of a couple of people being let off with slapped wrists. It seems to vary according to which office you have to use.

stuckaustralian:
But I don't think it helps...

Sadly it does not. § 2.5 is the one which nails you: if the schools are not Ministry of Education inspected and approved, they can not employ non-EU nationals without getting work permits for those teachers.


wiseone:
you could be in prison for a long time till the authorities go thru all the red tape,

Seeing as you clearly know absolutely fucck all, perhaps you might like to shut the fucck up?

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Edited by: stuckaustralian  Oct 13, 2010, 09:32am  #17

Can a decision be appealed? Or if they have decided on something, whats done is done?

Harry Threads: 80
Posts: 12,583
Joined: May 2, 2007
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 10:02am  #18

stuckaustralian:
Can a decision be appealed? Or if they have decided on something, whats done is done?

The question then is, how much do you want to spend on your lawyer?

delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Oct 13, 2010, 10:41am  #19

Harry:
The question then is, how much do you want to spend on your lawyer?


It is probably accurate to say that if you spend enough money on a lawyer, you can tie them up in enough paperwork and trouble for a decent amount of time. But the cost of that could be horrific.

Harry:
The recent (i.e. post-Schengen) cases which I know of have involved the people being given a week to get their affairs in order and their stuff together and get out of the country with a one-year ban on coming to the Schengen zone. They were not technically deported and were not fined either.


Likewise - it seems to be the standard punishment where it's just a clear cut case of not having the work permit/residency card. I just wonder what chance she has of pleading ignorance - the problem is that the Straz Graniczna have highlighted problems with her address.

It's impossible to advise really - apart from that she needs a lawyer who knows his stuff - and maybe someone connected to the office as well.

stuckaustralian:
Can a decision be appealed? Or if they have decided on something, whats done is done?


Hmm - it depends how they do it. Either way, it could be costly and with no guarantee of a positive result - because the "facts" aren't disputed. My gut feeling is that you should try and be as open and honest as possible - but I fear that they will just say "it's your obligation, not ours".

What may happen is that they will simply deny your renewal of the residence permit and you'll have 90 days from the expiry date to either apply for a new one or leave. I suspect they may not want to go to the trouble of formally banning you - but who knows?

wiseone:
I would leave now while the goings easy, the police treat people like you as criminals, you could be in prison for a long time till the authorities go thru all the red tape


Nonsense. They may stick Chechens in holding areas prior to deporting, but no-one is going to go to prison for this offence - kicking you out is much easier!

stuckaustralian:
I did pay taxes and did my tax return. I even went to the Tax Office to get a declaration stating I don't owe taxes to the state, which is a required document in the application.


I would make sure that they're aware of this at the interview - it still doesn't excuse you, but it might just encourage them to slap you with a fine rather than kicking you out.

Olaf Threads: 6
Posts: 1,120
Joined: Oct 29, 2009
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 11:38am  #20

Consult a lawyer specialised in this area and if s/he confirms that there will be bigger problems, maybe consider sending a letter to the Foreign Affairs Office explaining this and maybe even flee outside the Schengen zone for this time.

al111 Threads: 29
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2, 2009
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 11:43am  #21

I hope the op doesn't mind me dropping in. I'm asking this for clarification from those who know. Karta Pobytu is the residence card and i guess even if you have a work permit you will need this to live in Polska legally. What then happens for non eu spouses of Poles who have the Karta Pobytu, do their employers in this case the private language schools need to apply for working permits on their behalf as well? Is there a difference as to how a non eu citizen on a Karta Pobytu can be employed? What is the difference between those who are spouses of Poles and those who are not in terms of the work restrictions considering that they both carry Karta Pobytu. Are non eu spouses of Poles allowed to work in any schools ( ones that are government certified and ones that are not) without the schools applying work permits for them. If you are non eu citizen on a work permit are u only allowed to work in government certified schools?

Harry Threads: 80
Posts: 12,583
Joined: May 2, 2007
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 11:57am  #22

al111:
What then happens for non eu spouses of Poles who have the Karta Pobytu, do their employers in this case the private language schools need to apply for working permits on their behalf as well?

My understanding is that a non-EU citizen married to Pole does not need a work permit. However, given that I'm neither a non-EU citizen nor a Pole nor married, that isn't based on personal experience.

poland_     Edited by: poland_  Oct 13, 2010, 01:25pm  #23

stuckaustralian:
Is deportation the first punishment they reach for? Do you get deported and get a fine? I read the minimum for me is 1000zl and for the companies it is min. 3000zl.


Then surely it is in the interests of the companies, you worked for, you are not guilty. Maybe these companies will help towards your lawyers costs as you are all in it together. Contact the Aus embassy/consulate, they must have been through this before and they may be able to point you in the right direction of an experienced lawyer in this type of case. Also you may want to get a notarized copy of your passport before the meeting, just in case they take your passport off you ( worst scenario). Any documents you present make sure you have a duplicate copy of everything. Good luck with it all.

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Oct 13, 2010, 02:11pm  #24

So far I have got 2 buddies (trainee lawyers) who are going to help prepare what we will say at the interview. They have been reading up on the law and I think the census is that I am screwed.

I am expecting the worst and hoping for the best. I have also been asking a few of my students (who work at public institutions) if they know anyone who works at City Hall to see if they can help. I know that if you have contacts it is an advantage!

I have already looked at flights back home, just to have a heads up on the costs. I have been saving all this time for my ticket home, but as I mentioned earlier, saving is really hard in Poland! I will have to fly to a non-schegan zone and I am under the understanding that the UK in a non-schengan country.

How much does a notarized copy of a passport cost?

I've called the Aussie Embassy too. There is usually a stupid unhelpful lady there that picks up! On the website they state that they can not give legal advice.

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/assisting_within_limits.html

poland_     Oct 13, 2010, 02:18pm  #25

stuckaustralian:
How much does a notarized copy of a passport cost?


100-200 PLN

convex Threads: 26
Posts: 4,989
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 02:20pm  #26

Unscrew yourself. Why not just start a company?

aphrodisiac Threads: 14
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Joined: Apr 15, 2009
  ♀   Oct 13, 2010, 02:31pm  #27

convex:
Unscrew yourself. Why not just start a company?

good idea

stuckaustralian Threads: 1
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 12, 2010
  ♀   Edited by: stuckaustralian  Oct 13, 2010, 02:38pm  #28

convex:
Unscrew yourself. Why not just start a company?


But how will that help if I am already in this trouble? And wouldn't that take time?

convex Threads: 26
Posts: 4,989
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
  ♂   Oct 13, 2010, 03:16pm  #29

stuckaustralian:
But how will that help if I am already in this trouble? And wouldn't that take time?

Shelf company, it'd be yours to trade with nearly immediately, and quite a few people use them to stay here. Regarding the formalities, contact a lawyer. If you're going to be deported, it won't do you any good, and you might as well give it up and head back home.

delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Oct 13, 2010, 05:10pm  #30

stuckaustralian:
I will have to fly to a non-schegan zone and I am under the understanding that the UK in a non-schengan country.


Yup, the UK is outside Schengen - but (unfortunately) - another word of warning. If you're banned from the Schengen zone, they will stamp the "ban" in your passport. They don't do this in every case, but if they do - you will find it difficult to enter the UK. The UK does tend to follow Schengen decisions in this respect - and they will also ask for proof of why you're there and (worse) - proof of funds.

I'd suggest going to Romania or Bulgaria, but both of those are joining Schengen next year. The other friendly country - Ukraine - requires visas for Aussies.

Tough situation :(




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