In 2018, 48,006 foreigners worked in Lower Silesia; today, already 60,624 foreigners are registered in the state social insurance (ZUS) system. According to data published in August 2019, the number of citizens of foreign states who took up employment or started their own business activity in the Lower Silesia Province has increased by 12,618 persons (around 27%). Among foreigners legally employed in Wroclaw, there are many students who arrive in Wroclaw within the scope of such projects as Study in Wroclaw.
‘Traditionally, Ukrainians are the biggest group – in Lower Silesia, they account for around 82% of all foreigners paying social insurance premiums,’ says Iwona Kowalska-Matis, Regional Spokesperson for the Social Insurance Company (ZUS) in Lower Silesia. ‘Last year we had 31,000 registered employees from Ukraine; today there are already 49,000, so it is not surprising that we hear Ukrainian language in many Lower Silesian companies and advertisements in this language addressed to this nationality group,’ adds the spokesperson.
ZUS reports that more Ukrainians work only in Warsaw
‘The payment of premiums by foreigners is advantageous not only for our social insurance system, but also for them. Their premiums are paid to the Social Insurance Fund, but in return they can count on free treatment and sickness benefit in the case of illness. They also accumulate capital for their own pension,’ explains Iwona Kowalska-Matis.
According to information from ZUS, more than one half of foreign employees registered in the social insurance system are employed under an employment contract, and 20,000 persons run their own business activity. Others are employed under civil law contracts. Most foreigners are registered in three ZUS branches in Warsaw, in the Wroclaw Branch and in two ZUS branches in Poznań.
Websites for foreigners in Wroclaw
Study in Wroclaw
Students constitute a large group of foreigners working legally in Wroclaw. Only in Wroclaw are there currently 6,675 foreign students. Within this group, around 50% persons work, and permanently employed students account for 35%. Full-time students work 28 hours per week on average, and extramural students work 36 hours per week.
Since 1 May 2015, persons attending full-time studies have been allowed to work legally in Poland without a work permit, which makes it easier for employers to engage them.
‘A large majority of foreign students (85%) plan to work after graduation in professions consistent with the profile of their current studies in Poland, and this allows us to believe that they will remain on the local labour market,’ says Darek Piasecki, Director of the Centre for Promotion and Services of the Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency.
Wroclaw recognises the high potential related to foreigners studying in Wroclaw universities and their professional activity on the local labour market during and after studies.
‘For this reason, the Study in Wroclaw project has been functioning since 2006 in order to encourage foreigners to choose Wroclaw as a place to study, work and live,’ adds Darek Piasecki.
The project gives foreigners an opportunity to study entirely free of charge at selected Wroclaw public and public universities. In addition, an annual free consultation point is available to help candidates and foreign students choose studies, legalise their stay, arrange formalities, etc. Thanks to these actions, a few hundred foreign students have an opportunity to begin studies in Wroclaw every year.
The number of foreign students in the academic year 2018-2019:
in the Lower Silesia Province – 6,675 persons (4th place in Poland according to the number. The first three provinces are Mazovia, Małopolska and Lubelskie).
in Wroclaw – 6,621 persons (including 4,142 at public universities and 2,479 at private universities)
Foreign employees in Wroclaw [GUIDE]
There are increasingly more foreign specialists working in Wroclaw. To address their needs, as well as those of their families and employers, we have prepared a sort of guide: – Foreign employees. Further articles (in German and English) dealt with topics such as the relocation of employees from abroad in practice from the employer’s viewpoint, the relocation of an employee’s family members from abroad, initial costs of a foreigner’s removal to Wroclaw, the registration of a company by a foreigner in Poland and an expat’s mini guide – how to make your way in Wroclaw.