Portrait of an immigrant in Poland

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In this report, we dealt with what is known and what is not known about immigrants working in Poland. The image of the immigrant that exists in society’s consciousness has a positive effect on the assimilation process, if it is true, and a negative one, if it is based on stereotypes. Therefore, care should be taken to ensure that it is as close to the truth as possible. A credible portrait of immigrants working in Poland is also the basis for an optimal immigration policy.

It is known that the number of immigrants in Poland is constantly growing and if the current dynamics is maintained, it is possible that in 2030 they will already constitute 4.26 percent of the total population of our country. Their importance for the Polish economy is also growing. Currently, they produce approx. 2-3 percent Poland’s GDP, and annually pay approximately half a billion zlotys in social security contributions. Poland is becoming a destination country for immigrants. Still ca. 30 percent of foreigners staying in Poland are planning to change the country of residence, and if they were to indicate a specific direction, it would be Germany. In Poland there is a lack of awareness that immigrants are not a homogeneous group. They perform various professions, which is related to, among others, their country of origin.

Africans in Poland mostly do low-skilled manual jobs, and their most common limitation in the labor market is the lack of knowledge of the Polish language. Indian citizens, on the other hand, are not just food deliverers. Increasingly, they perform expert work, especially in the IT sector. Similarly, the common image of a Ukrainian man as a builder and a Ukrainian woman as a cleaner is losing its relevance. An increasing number of Ukrainian citizens are working in office jobs or skilled occupations, although still the majority of them are working in occupations below their competence. All immigrants in Poland share problems related to legalization of residence and work. These procedures are unstructured and vary depending on the location of the provincial office. There is no universal method for hiring foreigners – it depends on the individual situation of a particular person or nationality. As a result of suboptimal immigration policy, Poland is becoming increasingly dependent on workers from Ukraine. There are no significant alternatives from other directions. This is important because in the last 5 years, Ukrainian citizens have become more aware of their rights and have much greater demands on employers, especially in financial terms.

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