Poland Business Harbour: Benefits and Documents Explained

The Poland.Business Harbour visa is available to all IT / New Tech employees. It is a state program that was initially designed to support Belarusians seeking to start their own business in Poland. Also until recently, it could only be used by foreigners from selected countries: Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Azerbaijan. The new policy extends it to all foreigners who are considering relocating to Poland and working for strategically important entities in Poland.

Genesis of The Program

Poland Business Harbour program for businesses was expanded to all countries in the world. The program was initiated more than two years ago, right after the social protests following the fraudulent elections in Belarus. At the time, it was clear that there was a demand, that many people in technology companies wanted to relocate their operations to a country that would allow them to grow, and they frequently pointed to Poland as such a country.

Why Was the Program Launched?

The Poland Business Harbour program was launched in September 2020. By creating this project, the Polish government intends to support the development of the IT sector in our country. This way, Poland will contribute to the economic development of Central and Eastern Europe. Those who will take part in the project can benefit from a number of privileges, such as:

  • an easier visa procedure,
  • assistance in setting up and running their business in Poland,
  • early access to the startup acceleration system.

Foreigners participating in the program are mainly IT specialists. It is possible for them to come to Poland with their families. The children are entitled to continue their education at a Polish school. In order to help them adapt to our country, additional classes of Polish will be provided for them.

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Finally, the program provides smooth relocation for freelancers, start-ups, and large companies. In addition, companies will also receive support when relocating their employees. This package connects investors with entrepreneurs. As part of the program, one may also apply for grants for research and development (R&D) activities. Moreover, it includes legal and visa business concierge support.

Was it Successful?

After two years, by evaluating its effects (more than 55,000 visas have been issued in that time), I can tell that it seems to be a good program for Poland. It attracts specialists and those who want to do business in Poland. It brings the most advanced technologies to Poland, so that our labor market develops.

It is worth noting that of these 50 thousand visas, 35 thousand are the relocations that happened after Russian aggression against Ukraine. We are dealing with a sort of exodus after February 24th, especially when it comes to Belarus.

An Instant Visa Procedure

Those foreigners who have an engineering or IT degree are able to take up legal employment that matches their skills. There is a special list of IT companies dealing with personnel shortages. To take advantage of the simplified visa pathway, simply fill out a visa application and contact a Polish counselor. You can submit all of your documents at once for the entire family.

When you schedule an appointment, your visa application will be submitted to a visa center or consulate. Alternatively, you can send it by traditional mail. The documents are processed with priority if any of the following conditions are met:

  • The foreigner is nominated by a partner company included in the list published on the government website: click here
  • The foreigner has at least one year of experience in the IT sector,
  • The applicant has a technical background.

Application approval is considered the same as granting the national visa. Based on this document, it is possible to legally enter Poland and start working without the need for a special permit.

Is it Good for Startups?

Yes. The Poland Business Harbour makes it easier for foreign professionals to launch a startup and allows them to expand their business activities in Poland if they have previously run a business in their home country. The Startup Hub Poland (SHP) Foundation supports international teams and brings them together.

Business startups that develop advanced technologies and those that promote unconventional business models often apply for financial and living support for their founders, companies, and families. It is possible to use this one-time grant to rent an apartment or reimburse travel expenses to Poland. Having access to office space, as well as integration into the Polish high-tech community, is a great benefit as well. An interesting option is also the support provided by the Poland Prize program. This is a nationwide initiative by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development.

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What Are the Necessary Documents?

Those who apply for a visa should prepare the following documents:

  • signed application for a national visa,
  • a valid biometric photo,
  • a passport that has been issued within the last 10 years – it must have a minimum of two blank pages for the visa, and its expiration date should exceed 3 months from the date of intended return,
  • Medical insurance policy with a minimum insurance sum of €30,000 that covers the duration of the visa’s validity,
  • documents that confirm your trip purpose:
    • if you are a freelancer – a document confirming technical education or at least one year of experience in the IT industry,
    • If you are launching a startup, a document issued by the Startup Hub Poland Foundation confirming your qualification for the program is required.
    • If you own a small, medium, or large business, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency will issue you a document confirming your eligibility for the program.

Freelancers should also provide proof of technical education or one year of IT experience. On the other hand, foreigners establishing a startup are required by the Startup Hub Poland Foundation to provide documentation proving their eligibility for the program. Small, medium, or large enterprise owners are required to provide a document certifying their qualification for the program by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.

Any foreigners interested in participating in the Poland Business Harbour can use the special hotline. It provides information in Polish, Russian, and English.


  • https://polskieradio24.pl/42/273/artykul/3031515,polandbusiness-harbour-czy-z-programu-skorzystaja-eksperci-z-kolejnych-krajow
  • https://www.gov.pl/web/poland-businessharbour/specjalista-it#
  • https://www.gov.pl/web/poland-businessharbour