For those who employ or plan to employ foreigners, the following is an overview of the changes introduced by an amendment to Act No. 326/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Czech Republic (hereinafter the “Act”), which was promulgated in the Collection of Laws on 16 July 2019. These modifications are intended as improvements in the areas of security and economics of the Czech Republic.
Special work visas
A new feature is the special work visa according to Section 31 of the Act. This visa allows stays of over 90 days and can only be issued by government order in accordance with the conditions of such an order. In the event of a serious lack of workers on the labour market, the government can determine the field or profession, the target country, the number of workers or the length of time for which the special visas can be issued. These visas will be issued for a maximum period of one year and cannot be extended from within the territory of the Czech Republic; it is also not possible to apply for family reunification with a holder of this visa. The purpose of a special work visa is to ensure sufficient labour for sectors of the economy currently struggling with labour shortages.
The amendment also includes changes to employee cards. A new change means that a card holder is now obliged to inform the Ministry of the Interior of any change in employer, work position or job at the same or different employer at least 30 days before such a change. Another significant change is that an employee card holder is only permitted to change employers after 6 months from the date on which the decision to issue their employee card takes effect. However, this does not apply in cases in which the employment relationship is terminated by the employer giving notice for any of the reasons listed under Section 52(a) to (e) of the Labour Code, or if the employee is able to immediately terminate their employment under Section 56 of the Labour Code.
Integration of foreign nationals
The amendment also deals with the issue of improved integration of foreign nationals. Integration support centres for foreign nationals established in individual regions will provide Czech language courses, social and legal counselling, etc. In order to help them adapt to the Czech Republic and as an introduction to its values, local conditions and cultural norms, foreigners will be required to attend an orientation-integration course. Previously, foreigners were able to attend voluntarily, but the amendment makes participation mandatory. Foreign nationals will be required to complete the course within a year of their arrival, starting 1 January 2021. Failure to attend the course can lead to a fine of up to CZK 10,000.
The amendment also deals with students and scientists, providing them with the ability to stay in the Czech Republic for up to 9 months based on a long-term residence permit while seeking employment or starting up a business. Anyone who has a long-term residence permit for study or scientific research issued by another Member State of the European Union may temporarily stay in the Czech Republic for up to one year without a visa.
The amendment also deals with administrative fees. A short overview can be found below.
- Submission of a residence permit application – foreign nationals will pay CZK 2,500, with those under 15 years of age paying CZK 1,000
- Submission of a residence permit card extension application – foreign nationals will pay CZK 2,500, with those under 15 years of age paying CZK 1,000
- Submission of an application for changes to a residence permit card – foreign nationals will pay CZK 1,000, with those under 15 years of age paying CZK 500
- Allocation of a national identification number to a foreign national – CZK 1,000
This fee does not include the first issue of a residence permit card before 15 years of age, which entitles a person to permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
- The fee for the submission of a long-term visa application is CZK 2,500
- The fee for the submission of a long-term business visa application is CZK 5,000
In this case, the fee is waived for persons applying with diplomatic, service, official or special passports.
- The fee for the submission of a request for an extract from the Czech Republic Criminal Register is CZK 200.
- The fee for the submission of an application for an employment card, blue card, in-house company employee transfer card, in-house company employee transfer card of another Member State of the European Union or a long-term residence permit for investment purposes is CZK 5,000.
If you require help with new or existing employees’ visas or employment cards, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help and take care of all the paperwork for you. Just give us a call.