Immigration Categories

A brief description of corporate immigration categories by assignment type follows. The appropriate immigration category or status for your employees will depend on their specific details and on your company. The most common category for corporate transfers in our experience is the work permit. For details on non-typical categories not listed below (investors, special programs, etc.), please contact your representative.

  • Work Permit: With Employee Card and Labour office Registration.
  • Employee Card: Introduced in May 2014, the Employee Card is a new type of permit for long-time residence in the territory of the Czech Republic (CR) to all non-EU (including EEA Member States and Switzerland) nationals whose purpose of stay  [longer than three (3) months] is employment. An employee card is issued as a plastic card with biometric features (picture and fingerprints).
  • Blue Card: The Blue Card was introduced January 2011 as an alternative to the regular work permit process focusing on highly qualified employees. There are several conditions to be met, and one of the main conditions when applying for a Blue Card is that prior to applying, the applicant must have a signed employment contract for a job requiring a high qualification for a term of at least one (1) year, for the statutory weekly work hours. The agreed gross monthly or annual salary must correspond to at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary in the Czech Republic as announced by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Typical Process Overview

The following process overview is applicable to the work permit category. Approximate overall processing time from the time the first step is submitted to the time the employee is legal to work in the Czech Republic is eight (8) to ten (10) weeks. However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. In addition, although the applicant may legally enter and work with the short term visa (Step Three), he/she will need to return to the home country in order to obtain the long term visa when it is ready. See below for further details. Finally, note that in the Czech Republic, the document gathering stage of the process is particularly labor intensive, as many documents must be legalized and translated. We can assist with this if required. See “Application Materials” section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Step One: Permission to Hire a Foreign National
Processing Time: Three (3) to four (4) days

An application to hire an expat for the position is submitted to the authorities at the Labour Office.

Step Two: Work Permit Application
Processing Time: Thirty (30) to forty (40) days (Prague)

The application for the individual work permit through the Central Labour Office must be submitted after the permission to employ a foreign national was applied for.

Step Three:  Application for Employee Card
Processing Time: Two (2) to Three (3) months

The application for an Employee Card will need to be submitted at the Czech Republic mission in the applicant’s country of current residence/nationality. Personal presence is usually required at the time of application submission.

Once the application has been approved, the relevant Embassy/Consulate/Czech mission will contact the applicant and upon instruction from the Czech Ministry of Interior, will issue a single visa valid for sixty (60) days for the purpose of collecting an Employee Card (D/VR).

Step Four: Registration with the labour office
Processing Time: Same day

At the latest, the day the employee commences work, the employee needs to be registered with the relevant labour office. Personal appearance is not required as long as a Power of Attorney is signed allowing our Representative to register the employee on the employer’s behalf.

Step Five: Registration with Foreign Police and Collection of Biometric Data
Processing Time: Same day

Within three (3) days of arriving in the Czech Republic, dependents must be registered with the Foreign Police. The assignee’s fingerprints will be recorded by the Ministry of Interior. Once the Biometric Data has been recorded, the assignee will receive written confirmation form the Ministry of Interior that he/she is legally allowed to commence work.

Step Six: Collection of Employee Card
Processing Time: Same day

Within two (2) to three (3) weeks after the Biometric data for the assignee has been recorded by the Ministry of Interior, the assignee can collect his Employee Card from the Ministry of Interior. The assignee’s personal presence will be required.

Typical Documents Obtained

Following the work permit category described above will result in the obtention of the following immigration documents. Typical validity is noted next to each document name. For details on the renewal process, please see the next section, “Renewal.”

  • Work Permit (Rozhodnutí): Up to two (2) years
  •  Employee Card : Up to two (2) years

Renewal

  • Renewal is possible. The renewal processes take ninety (90) days; please allow eight (8) weeks lead time for document gathering.
  • As of 1 January 2009, Work Permits can be issued with a validity of up to two (2) years.
  • Once the Work Permit renewal has been issued, the Employee Card can be renewed in-country. Approval is typically granted as long as the applicant has met the requirements of the work permit and visa, paid all necessary taxes, and the position can still be justified. We can assist with all of these processes.

Deregistration

To ensure that assignees leave the Czech Republic after the expiration of their permission to stay and to keep tabs on the number of foreign workers in the country, the government of the Czech Republic requires all applicants to complete the following deregistration process upon departing the country:

  1. Host HR needs to sign and stamp the forms of de-registration and send to the Labour Office (LO) within ten (10) days after the assignment end date.
  2. The Labour Office will then notify the Ministry of Interior without the need for an extra step from HR. In addition to the de-registration forms, the assignee’s original Residence Permit is required.
  3. The assignee will have to surrender the Work and Residence Permit card at least three (3) days prior his departure from Czech Republic.
  4. The dependents must also return the dependent permits, if granted. The same as described above applies.

Dependents

Dependent immigration status approval depends on the immigration status of the principal applicant. Where the principal applicant is in the Czech Republic with a work permit, the following rules apply for dependents:

  • Minimum age: N/A
  • Maximum age: Eighteen (18)
  • Unmarried partners: Possible
  • Same sex partners: Yes, if married
  • Nontraditional dependents (e.g. parents): Possible
  • Work authorization granted? No

Application Materials

Application materials vary depending on the immigration category being applied for and on the specifics of the case. We will advise you in detail for your specific case, however some general application materials for a standard work permit with Employee card application are noted below.

  • A variety of personal and corporate documents will be needed to support the application.
  • Such documents include: diploma of the highest relevant education with transcript (transcript and diploma need to be legalized, the diploma also needs notification), birth and marriage certificates, police clearance certificates, extract from commercial register for Czech company and land registry certificates for the accommodation the work permit holder will be living in.
  • All documentation must be translated into Czech by an official translator, and all personal documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and degrees must be legalized or apostilled. We can assist with these requirements.

Business Visitors

  • Name of visa granted: Schengen type C
  • Duration of stay: Ninety (90) out of 180 days
  • General activities permitted: “business only”, generally defined as attending business meetings and seminars. If you are unsure whether your assignment may be considered business or not, please contact your representative.

Change of Status

It is not possible for some nationalities to convert from visitor to employment status. Employees must arrive with the correct Employee Card.

Salary and Payroll

Salary and payroll requirements vary depending on the immigration category and on the specifics of the case. In Czech Republic, there are minimum salary requirements in place. Please contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for more details for your specific situation.

Qualifications

Qualification requirements will vary from case to case and will depend on the immigration category under which the application is made. However, the immigration authorities do expect to see university level education – without this, it is very difficult to obtain approval for the work permit. Please contact your representative for more details.

Red Flags

In our experience, the following points are important to note at the start of the process. If any of the below situations apply to you, contact your representative immediately for further detailed advice.

  • Absence of university level educational qualifications.
  • The current discrepancy between the expiry of Short Stay visas and issuance of Employee Card means that some assignees may have to return to their home country for one (1) to two (2) months during the first few months of their assignment.
  • A notarized statement from the landlord of the apartment where the employee will stay is required for the visa application. This should be requested as early as possible as the timing of delivery of this will depend very much on the cooperation of the landlord.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The Czech Republic government takes immigration non-compliance very seriously. Penalties for non-compliance range from fines to deportation and even imprisonment.

Employee Penalties:

  • Failure to register with the Foreign Police or failure to inform the authorities of any changes in address may attract a fine of up to CZK 50000 per person.
  • Foreign Police may visit the residence of the applicants for verification and if any discrepancy is found, this may lead to a potential fine or cancellation of the work authorization.

Employer Penalties:      

  • Failure to provide truthful information comply with the terms of the Work Permit or if the employee card does not serve the purpose for which it was issued, the Ministry of Interior may move to cancel the same. Further, the Ministry will set a deadline for leaving the territory of the CR and will issue a departure order to the foreign national; the foreign national is obliged to leave the territory of the CR within the set deadline.

For more details, please contact your representative.

Bilateral Agreements

  • European Union: The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU). Many EU member countries, European Economic Area (EEA) member countries, and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries maintain agreements that allow individuals from member states to travel and work freely within the region without prior authorization. For detailed information on process and requirements for nationals of EU/EEA/EFTA countries traveling to the Czech Republic, please contact Emigra Worldwide. There are no transition periods or restriction enforced towards new EU members. All EU nationals have got the same conditions.
  • Schengen: The Czech Republic is a member of the Schengen agreement. Short term (type C) visas and residence permits for the Czech Republic will allow travel in the rest of the Schengen zone.