As the second largest city in Poland, Krakow is incredibly important to the Polish economy, and is the economic hub of the Małopolska (or Lesser Poland) region. Krakow has a booming private sector, which employs many of the city's residents, including expatriates. At present there are around 50 multinational companies set up in Krakow, including Google, IBM, Motorola, General Electric and Delphi. The presence of these companies is the result of foreign investment, which grew rapidly after the collapse of the Soviet Union — in 2005 foreign investment in Krakow reached $3.5 billion.
According to the World Investment Report 2011 by the UN Conference for Trade and Development, Krakow is the most emerging city in the world for investment in global BPO projects. Krakow is also home to the Knowledge and Innovation Community (Sustainable Energy) of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which is a world leader in researching energy and sustainability and employs many expatriates.
Whether or not you will need a permit to work in Krakow depends on your nationality. As Poland is a member of the European Union, EU citizens will not need a permit to work in Krakow. However, non-EU citizens will need a work permit. If you are to obtain a permit to work in Krakow, you will usually need to provide evidence of prospective employment, and your prospective employer will need to assist with the application.
Before applying for a work permit, expats must first get permission for the application from a Voivode Office; their prospective employer in Krakow will usually secure this. Once this has been granted, the company will then apply for the permit on your behalf. Work permits are issued for a maximum of three years, after which time they can be renewed.
Expatriates living and working in Krakow will be required to pay income tax on their earnings. If you are a classified as a resident of Poland, which means that you live and work in Krakow for more than 183 days in a year, you will pay income tax on your worldwide income.
If you live and work in Krakow for less than 183 days in a year, you are classed as a non-resident and will as such pay income tax on your Polish income only. Poland has a progressive income tax system, where the amount you pay depends on the amount you earn. The tax rates for Poland in 2014 were split into two categories: