Work In Europe On Your Own Terms
English Wizards’ programs for freelancer teachers and other professionals offers the tools, support & opportunities to live and work in Europe.
What Does Being a Freelancer Mean?
Our Freelance programs are a unique model that takes the concept of flexibility while working abroad to a whole new level.
Under this program, you have the freedom – whether a teacher, creative specialist, or other freelance professional – to work anywhere in Poland, while setting your own hours, schedule, and negotiating your own rate. All this, while under a single work visa not tied to an employer.
Have peace of mind through having a legal work visa, paying local taxes, and enjoying social security and healthcare benefits.
The freedom to find your own clients, negotiate your own rates and be your own boss; not tied to the whims of an employer.
Dedicated Community Managers and a 300+ strong community are at hand to help every step of the way: from registration to work.
Leverage our network of contacts and extensive training opportunities to make your freelancing fruitful and fulfilling.
Discover magical Poland; a beautiful and affordable country in the heart of Europe; a gateway to the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Baltic and beyond.
What Can I Do As a Freelancer?
Creative services underpin everything what we do here at English Wizards, fueling the demand for English language materials in Poland, whether it be in audio, video or written form.
Teaching English & Other Languages
The demand for foreign languages in Poland is huge, from 2 year old toddlers, all the way up to your most serious of professionals, with every major city in Poland having over 100 language centers (over 300 in Warsaw).
Poland’s IT sector has been booming for over a decade and shows no sign of slowing down. If you’ve got a background in tech, whether it be programming, web development, or IT support, you’ll have loads of opportunities available for you!
Many people’s work is fully remote; affording them the opportunity to do what they do best from anywhere in the world. English Wizards offers an incredible opportunity to live in Europe and experience its beauty, culture and charm.
What Do They Say?
I began teaching as an English Wizard this past October. English Wizards helped ensure a smooth transition to my new life in Poland despite the chaos of bureaucracy, moving abroad and settling into a new school. I appreciate their quick responses, open communication and most of all that they provide me with a strong foundation that is allowing me to advance in my teaching career...Read more
How Much Can I Earn?
English Wizards’ freelance programs empower you to operate as independent freelancer in Poland. As a freelancer, you are free to negotiate your own rates and terms with clients; forging your own pathway.
Unlike most work visas, which are tied to a single job and a single company, a freelance visa does not limit you to any single employer, job, or occupation. You can work for as many companies and clients you wish, from just one to over one hundred!
The freelancer English teachers in our community typically earn between 50-70PLN/hour, and work between 15-25 hours/week at most language schools. This give you both the money you need to live a comfortable life in Poland, and also the time on your hands to dedicate to your side-projects and passions. Those with the right skillset in the creative or IT fields can command even higher rates. English Wizards will proactively support your journey into becoming a polished professional in either education or another industry.
The numbers below give an overview of the typical income of a freshly starting English Wizards freelancer teacher. Have a look at the costs of living below to find how affordable Poland really can be.
PLN per hour
hours per week
PLN per month
What Are the Costs?
Poland is an incredibly affordable country for all. However, it is incredibly important to be realistic and keep in mind the costs of living. Nobody like surprises, so below you’ll find the average costs of living in Poland:
Rent in Poland can be as low as €200 per month for a room in a shared flat, or even a private apartment in a smaller city.
A private apartment in a big city like Warsaw will cost between €350 and €500 per month.
Transport & Services
Public transport is excellent in Poland, so there’s no need to have a car. A monthly pass is around €25.
A mobile phone plan costs less than €8 per month, and home internet plans start at €15 per month.
To join either the freelance teaching or digital nomad pathways, be fully legal to live and work in Poland, non-EU citizens are required to have:
- Type-D Visa €60 – €80
- Program Joining Fee from €295
After housing and commuting costs, a reasonable budget for living and having fun in Poland is between €200 and €500 per month depending on your spending habits.
Taxes and Administration
Personal Income Tax in Poland for freelancers is between 8.5% and 19%, depending on your income level and line of work. Most English teachers, as well as those in most creative professions, pay the lowest tier of income taxes.
Freelancers in Poland can pay into Poland’s public healthcare and social security system, and in return, receive full access to public healthcare and social services in Poland and the entire European Union. The cost of this is between 300 and 700 PLN (about €65 to €150) per month.
English Wizards takes care of accounting, invoicing, and tax management for our freelancers.
Our ongoing monthly fee for this service is 300PLN (about €65) per month. This includes and covers:
- Invoice Creation & Management
- Monthly & End-of-Year Tax Filing
- Social Security Registration & Management
- Dedicated Community Manager & Support
You are also welcome to utilize the services of your own accountant, however this rate is fairly standard for the Polish market. Feel free to read more about the administrative costs of being a freelancer on our blog.
If you’re a talented professional, skilled in a marketable field in the Polish and European economy, then opportunity awaits!
The most in-demand fields for freelancers in Poland include, but are not limited to, creative services (content writing, photography, graphic design, video production, social media management, etc), and technical services (programming, app/web/game development, IT support, network administration, database management, etc).
Advanced (C1) Proficiency in English
English is the language of business in Europe
Proficiency in other languages are a plus
International businesses love to work with people who are multilingual
Qualifications and experience as a professional in your field
This is assessed individually on a case-by-case basis, depending on your skillset
Being a freelance ESL teacher means having the freedom to find your own schools and private clients, negotiate your own rates and hours, and build your schedule exactly as you’d like it.
Poland’s teaching market is massive; and as a freelance teacher, it will all be open to you! There are opportunities to teach the youngest of kids at preschools and kindergartens, all the way to advanced business professionals at language centers.
Native / C2 Proficiency in English
Across all 4 skills
This means having a CELTA, TESOL, or equivalent certification including observed teaching practice
Or equivalent professional experience
Prior teaching experience highly preferred
Though not a hard requirement, having prior experience teaching is highly preferred
In today’s world, it is more common than ever before to work fully remotely. This is the program for you if you’re currently working online as a creative professional and would like to move across the pond to Europe – while maintaining your creative work.
In addition to providing the legal framework for you to legally live and work in Poland as a digital nomad, you’ll also have the opportunity to develop your professional skills in one of the world’s fastest growing startup markets.
Must be entirely self-sufficient through online work
This means earning a minimum of 4500 PLN (about €1000) per month to satisfy visa requirements
Your remuneration must come to Poland
For tax reasons, your current employer or clients will need to pay you through Polish invoices. This can be accomplished if you have a registered business (LLC or equivalent) in your home country.
Nobody likes to feel alone when moving to a new country, and navigating the bureaucracy of visa processes and self-employment certainly isn’t for everyone. To accommodate the needs of freelancers relocating to Europe, English Wizards offers a number of levels of support services.
Basic PackageVisa Support Only
- Registration as self-employed in Poland (jednosobowa działalność gospodarcza)
- Registration in Poland’s social security (ZUS) and public healthcare system (NFZ)
- All documents necessary to obtain a visa (Type-D)* and Temporary Residence Permit as a freelancer
- Step-by-step guidance in obtaining the necessary visa and residence permit
- Access to our massive community (200+ members strong) full of resources, support, and opportunities
Support PackageVisa + Arrival Support
- All assistance support in the Basic Package, PLUS:
- A dedicated Community Manager to answer your questions before you arrive and after
- Assistance finding accommodation – we’ll make sure you find an apartment before you arrive!
- Personal assistance finding work – we’ll help you do up your CV, identify the best opportunities, and point you in the right direction based off your skillset
- Airport pickup
- Personal assistance opening a bank account, getting a phone plan, getting a PESEL (tax ID) number, and setting up home internet
- Invitation to attend one of our fun-packed Orientation Weeks (held bi-annually in August and January)
Premium PackageVisa + Legal + Arrival Support
- All support offered in the Basic and Support Package, PLUS:
- Full in-person support from an immigration professional to obtain your Temporary Residence Permit
- Ongoing legal council with an immigration specialist to ensure the legality of your stay in Poland
Recommended for those already in Poland or with significant experience or connections dealing with matters in Poland.
Recommended for freelancers, ESL teachers, and digital nomads looking to make Poland their home for a year or two.
Recommended for freelancers looking to make Poland their long-term home and those relocating with family.
For those with EU citizenship or who otherwise do not need to obtain a visa or Residence Permit, a discount of €100 applies to the Basic Package and €200 to the Support Package.
Read more about freelance teaching on our blog
Can I work anywhere in Poland, or am I limited to certain cities?
As a freelancer, you are free to work anywhere you’d like to in Poland. We can’t make this decision for you as this is not a “placement” program.
Warsaw has by far the highest demand for English teachers, followed by Krakow, so choosing either of these cities will make the job hunt much easier. However, competition is also the highest in these cities, so if you are a less experienced teacher it may pay off to choose a smaller city where you’ll be one of the token native teachers. Other freelance professionals will find the highest demand for jobs in the big cities, as well as numerous “second cities” such as Wroclaw, Katowice, Lodz, and Poznan.
Small cities such as Bydgoszcz, Gliwice, and Bielsko Biała have numerous language schools and far less competition than the capital. The smaller cities are also an excellent place to live as a digital nomad or a freelancer with remote clients; with costs of living only a fraction of what it is in the capital.
As many of our freelancers work remotely, many freelancers like to live ‘nomadically’ in Europe, using Poland as a home base and spending time living in other parts of Europe throughout the year. Your visa and residence permit is valid not only for Poland, but the entire Schengen Area (though you can only live in Poland, ie you might run into issues if you try to open a bank account or sign a long-term apartment rental agreement elsewhere in Europe).
Am I free to arrive in Poland at anytime, or does the program have specific start dates?
As a freelancer, you are free to come to Poland and start working whenever you’d like to.
If you’re coming to teach English, hiring seasons for English teachers in Poland are between September and mid-October, and again between January and mid-March. We highly recommend that you schedule your arrival for one of these hiring seasons to give yourself the biggest window of opportunity to find work.
If you are coming with the Support or Premium Package and would like to take advantage of the include Orientation Week, keep in mind that we only hold these in January and March. Contact your Community Manager for the exact dates.
What are the chances that I'll be able to find a teaching job before I arrive?
This is difficult to say, as it largely depends on how much effort you put in. From our experience, if you’re an English teacher and are actively digging on job boards, you will usually at the very least have a number of job interviews scheduled before they arrive. If you have a unique skillset in high-demand fields such as tech, the chances are even higher. But at the same time, if you put no effort in, chances are slim that a job offer will just land on your lap.
If you’re concerned about lining up work and clients before arriving in Poland, we highly recommend the Support or Premium Package, which includes personalized assistance in finding work. The support provided by our seasoned veterans can exponentially increase the likelihood of getting a callback from a job application.
If I'm a freelancer and responsible for myself, why is your criteria so high?
Basically, we don’t want anyone to be disappointed.
Our requirements are in-line with what most schools and clients in Poland expect for English teaching and other freelance job opportunities. If you do not meet our requirements, while you may technically be able to get the visa, you’ll likely struggle to find work. And that is obviously not a situation we want anyone to be in!
To satisfy the visa requirements, you must earn above the median income in Poland, which is between 4000 and 7000 PLN before tax, depending on the region. We know the industries and how much they pay, and depending on your qualifications, we’ll give an honest assessment on whether you’ll be able to meet this requirement.
I'm interested in the digital nomad option. Will I be allowed to teach English part-time as well?
No matter which pathway you choose, you’ll have the same freelance work visa giving you access to the Polish market. You’ll also have access to the same billing system and database of schools; so go for gold!
I'm looking to be an English teacher, but also have some income from teaching online and/or other online work. Will this be a problem?
Not at all!
In today’s digitalized economy, even people who are not full-time “digital nomads” often do online work to supplement their main income, and that is completely permissible under your freelance visa.
I am currently traveling/working/studying abroad! Can I start freelancing in Poland without having to go home first?
Indeed you can!
US citizens can come to Poland visa-free and apply for a Residence Permit on the basis of self-employment. Keep in mind that this is a significantly more difficult process than applying for a visa at the embassy in your home country, so if possible, we recommend making a trip to the embassy.
Are there any nationality restrictions to participate in this program?
There are currently no nationality restrictions for this program, however, we have found that nationals of certain countries often encounter visa problems. For nationals of English-speaking countries (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa), as well as most Spanish-speaking countries (Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, etc) we have never had any problems. If you come from another country, we still invite you to apply and will advise on any potential visa problems you may encounter.
Poland has two options for freelancers to register and get a visa, and while one option is restricted to only certain nationalities, the other option has no restrictions. Our team can advise on which is best for you.
I'm looking to be a freelance English teacher and I have a TEFL certificate, but I've never taught before. Am I eligible to apply?
If you are a native speaker and a qualified TEFL teacher, you are welcome to apply. If we think you have what it takes to make a great Wizard, we can accept you into this program. Be aware that, for teachers without prior experience, you must have a TEFL certificate that includes observed teaching practice, such as the CELTA. Online-only TEFL certificates are not accepted unless you also have real-life experience to back them up.
We highly recommend that less experienced teachers first start with one of our Training Programs. Through these programs, we are able to offer world-class teacher training and guarantee paying jobs for aspiring teachers. You are welcome to move into the Freelance Program after completing the internship.
However, if you are new to teaching yet have the right personality and motivation to jump in the deep end and find work yourself, we can certainly consider you for the Freelance Teaching Program.
I do not have a Bachelor's Degree. Am I still eligible?
Yes, assuming you meet the rest of our eligibility requirements. A Bachelor’s degree is not required to work in Poland.
If you have a degree in education, linguistics, English, or a related field, this will be seen as a huge plus for teaching opportunities and will open up numerous job opportunities and a potential for a higher salary. Companies in certain other sectors (such as IT) often will prefer to work with people who have a degree, though it is almost never required.
Are there any age restrictions to participate in this program?
You must be a legal adult (18+), but there is no upper age restriction. Age discrimination is illegal in the European Union, and any school advertising a preference for teachers of a certain age is breaking the law.
Where will I live?
As a freelance teacher, your accommodation is your responsibility. However, if you opt for our Support or Premium Package, you will receive assistance from our team in securing a place before arrival. If you’d prefer to find accommodation yourself, we highly recommend taking advantage of our Accommodation Packages so you’ll have a place to stay while you look at apartments during your first week. Most cities have English-language Facebook groups for apartment-seeking expats.
Unlike in more expensive Western European countries, it is feasible to live alone in a studio or one-bedroom apartment on an English teacher’s salary. However, many teachers prefer to save money and opt to share an apartment with flatmates. With utilities included, a private apartment will cost around 2000 PLN per month (about €450), while a room in a shared apartment will be about half of that.
Will it be hard to have a social life in Poland?
Not at all! You will quickly get to meet the other Wizards working in your city through our Facebook group and regular social events. Check out our Community Page for a quick snapshot into what our community is up to!
All big cities in Poland are very cosmopolitan and have vibrant expat scenes. These communities of fellow foreigners are usually very friendly, with Facebook groups and regular meetups to welcome newcomers to the city. The Polish people are also very friendly and welcoming to foreigners, just make a few trips to a social bar or cafe and you’ll see for yourself! The level of English spoken by Poles is very high, so the language barrier is rarely a problem when meeting locals.
Our staff also organize language exchanges, which are a perfect opportunity to mingle with locals, expats, and fellow Wizards.
How much will I get paid?
As a freelancer, you will be paid by the hour, by the class, or by the project. The rate of pay is completely between you and the client(s), and you are free to negotiate your own pay rate with each company. English Wizards does not mediate such negotiations, however we can offer you advice on what rate(s) you should be asking for.
The typical monthly earnings of an English teacher in Poland range from less than 2500 PLN to more than 6000 PLN per month. As pay is hourly, the more hours you teach the more you’ll end up earning at the end of the month.
There is no upper limit to your earnings as a freelancer. Some of our highest earning and most qualified teachers have netted over 8000 PLN per month, and freelancers with advanced qualifications in fields such as programming and IT can often earn upwards of 15000 PLN per month.
How do taxes work?
Freelancers are typically responsible for their own taxes, meaning that every single penny earned must be declared to the government and then taxed. However, our accounting team can process all of our taxes through our payroll system, so you’ll never have to deal directly with the tax office.
Income tax for freelancers in Poland is between 8.5% and 17%, depending on your type of work (English teachers and others working in education pay the lowest amount). For those covered by Poland’s national healthcare and social security system, social security is charged at a flat rate of between 350 and 700 PLN per month.
For managing taxes, our accounting service costs 300 PLN per month. You are of course welcome to find your own accountant, however our prices and services are very competitive in comparison to what others offer in the Polish market.
I've found a job with a school that has offered me full time hours, and told me I can't work for anyone else. Is this possible if I am a freelancer?
Yes, it is possible, and in fact, is very common in Poland.
Many schools and companies in Poland, especially in the education, tech, and creative industries, hire full-time staff on freelance contracts (often called “B2B” or “business-to-business” contracts in Poland). About half of the freelancers on our program work entirely or primarily for a single school or company.
Since you are a freelancer, there is technically no way for a school to stop you from working at another school on the side; the most they can do is fire you if they find out.
Am I required to work a minimum number of hours or earn above a certain income level?
No you are not. As a freelancer, the nature of your hours and earnings is between you and your school or clients.
For visa purposes, there is no minimum income that you are legally required to meet. In some cases, in order to extend your visa beyond the first year, you’ll be required to prove that your freelance work is generating at or above the median income of your province (between 4000 and 6000 PLN per month before tax, depending on the province). For freelancers earning less than that, we can advise on other visa options to extend your stay.
If I'm on holiday will I still have to pay for accounting and social security?
For short-term holidays, unfortunately, yes.
For longer-term breaks (2+ months), it is possible to put your social security and accounting payments on hold, provided that you are not earning any income during this time.
How long can I stay for? Is it possible to extend my stay if my visa is expiring?
Will it be possible to utilize my social security and healthcare benefits outside of Poland?
Freelancers paying social security are insured by Poland’s public healthcare system (NFZ) can utilize free public healthcare services in the entire European Union using a European Health Insurance Card. If you’re coming on the Advanced or Premium Package, our Polish-speaking staff will help you obtain this.
Poland has facilitated bilateral social security agreements with all European Union countries many other countries including the United States, Canada, and Australia, which allows you to transfer your social security benefits to your home country upon leaving Poland. Our accounting team will give the necessary information for this before leaving the country.