Visas, Work Permits and Migration
Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. Companies targeting the Czech Republic for their Global Expansion face unravelling the red tape surrounding work permit, visa, and immigration laws if they intend to move existing staff into their new territory.
Few companies have these resources or the time. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO service we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence. We are experts in hiring staff, applying for work visas in the Czech Republic and ensuring employees meet Czech work visa requirements with the correct documentation. Our team is trained to research the latest information on Czech visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. This guide highlights the complexities of obtaining the necessary documentation.
What types of Work Visas and Permits for Czech Republic are there?
The Czech Republic (Czechia) is a member of the European Union, giving licenses to EU citizens to travel for vacations, visits, as students or for employment without the necessity of a Work Permit or entry visa. There are also certain exemptions for other countries (including Schengen area members) who are not part of the EU and can visit Czechia for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa, to visit family, for pleasure, business meetings or sporting events – but not for employment.
From 2022, these citizens will, however, need to apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) Visa. Third Country Nationals not on the visa exempt list must visit an embassy in their home country for information about required documentation. They can apply for:
- Schengen Visa for travel up to 90 days within a 180-day period for leisure and business purposes.
- Long-term Visa For those wanting to stay longer than 90 days, for the purpose of education.
- A Special Work Visa. For those who are non-EU (Third Country Nationals) applying for a work/residence permit. This will be issued to allow employees to enter the Czech Republic to collect their permits.
EU Blue Card – Is a long-term residence permit, for those highly skilled persons with a university education wanting to work, for at least one year, in the position for which the Card was issued; from the EU Blue Card Vacancies Database through the Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs portal. Qualifying earnings are 1.5 times the national average; for 2021 CZK 53,417 (€2,078, US$2,415). Employee Card – allows employees to work in a job specified by the Card and covers the duration of the employer and employee relationship (up to two years – extendable). This card is intended for all third-country employees regardless of their level of education and acts as a long-term residence permit.
Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Card – allows employees working for a company which has branches or is based in the EU to move to another EU country to work. For those requiring an entry visa and once the permit has been sanctioned, a special work visa is automatically issued upon completing the long-term visa form (no extra documentation is required) to allow the employee to enter the Czech Republic to collect the Work Permit/Residence Permit.
For employers: An employment contract is also required to obtain a Work Permit, which doubles as the Residence Permit.
How to obtain a Czech Republic Work Permit
Those wanting to work in the Czech Republic begin the application process in their home country. (However, exceptions can be made for those already in the country). They require a Work Permit, for which a job offer is required, followed by the employment contract. This requires cooperation between the prospective employer and employee regarding documentation. For foreigners requiring an entry visa and once the permit has been sanctioned, a special work visa is automatically issued on completion of the visa form (no extra documentation is required) to allow the employee to enter the Czech Republic to collect the Work Permit/Residence Permit.
- Gather all necessary documents for the Visa/Work Permit
- Obtain application forms – they will need to be submitted in person
- Make an appointment at the local Czech Embassy for an interview
- Passports with two blank pages for visas
Also, the employee needs to have been granted a work permit before entering the Czech Republic otherwise the employer may have to pay to return them to the home country. The Work Permit is also the Residence Permit.
Labor Market Test: The vacancy must first have been offered to Czech or EU citizens through the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs register for job vacancies (advertised for 30 days). Also, an employer needs permission from the Labor office to employ foreign nationals. The Work Permit is non-transferable so if the employee leaves, a new one must be applied for regarding any new employer. There are two types:
- EU Blue Card is for highly qualified and skilled, experienced staff valid from one to two years and has a minimum salary of 1.5 times the national average (2021 CZK 53,417, €2,078, US$2,415) – renewable. Vacancies can be found on the EU Blue Card Vacancies Database through the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs portal.
- An Employee Card, which is for all third-country nationals irrespective of qualifications valid for up to two years (renewable). Also, a directive for the EU Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Card was issued in 2017 to help mobilize multinationals’ workforce.
NOTE: Not all non-European Union citizens require visas or work permits/residence permits to stay and work in Czechia. Some countries have their exemptions, and this should be checked.
How to Apply for Work Permit for Czech Republic
Once an employee has a job offer and has concluded his employment contract, the application process can begin for the Work Permit, as long as the employer has permission from the Labor Office to employ foreigners and the vacancy must first have been offered to Czech or EU citizens through the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs register for job vacancies (advertised for 30 days). The following documents need to be submitted to a Czech Republic embassy which is able to process the Card. All documents should be original or authorized copies with an official translation.
- EU Blue Card / Employee Card documentation:
- Application form – completed and signed
- Passport or similar identification document
- Proof of accommodation for the length of residence in Czechia
- Two photographs
- Biometric fingerprints
- Employment contract with details of the type of employment, duration, and place of work
- Financial stability for the duration of stay
- Authorized copies of diplomas and qualifications for occupation as required
- Travel medical insurance
- Application fee
- A police report with criminal record details and a medical report on the employee’s health may be requested.
Processing time for EU Blue Card is 90 days and for Employee Card 60 days. Work Permits double as Residence Permits. Once sanctioned, a special work visa is automatically issued on completion of the long-term visa form (no documentation is required) to allow the employee to enter the Czech Republic to collect the Work Permit/Residence Permit. A medical insurance document is required with proof of premiums paid before travel. Foreign nationals will also need to register with the Foreigners’ Police Inspectorate.
How much is a Czech Republic Work Permit / Visa?
- Short Term Schengen Visa: €80 (valid for 90 days in a 180-day period)
- Long-term Visa D Visa: CZK 2,500 (€97, US$113) (valid for periods of longer than 90 days for study, visit, seasonal work or working holiday, leisure, or business purposes).
- For Employment: The Employee Card and EU Blue Card – a fee of CZK 5,000 (€194, US$226).
This may be requested in cash or postal order when collecting the card at the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy in the Ministry of the Interior within three days of arriving in Czechia. This includes the application fee and issuance fee. However, service charges (consular fees) may also be involved at the home country Embassy and costs may vary.
Working Permit / Visas for Czech Republic
EU Citizens and citizens living in Nordic countries do not require any Visa, Work Permit or Residence Permit to live, work or travel within the Czech Republic (Czechia). Third-country nationals require a Work Permit, Residence Permit and Visa to enter the country. The process starts with getting a job and securing an employment contract so a Work Permit can be applied for. Also, the employer needs permission to employ third-country nationals and the vacancy must first have been offered to Czech or EU citizens through the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs register for job vacancies (advertised for 30 days).
There are two types of permits:
- EU Blue Card is available to highly qualified or skilled people for one to two years. Qualifying earnings are 1.5 times the national average. In 2021, it is CZK 53,417 (€2,078, US$2,415). This Card is also renewable.
- Employee Card is available to all third-country nationals irrespective of their qualifications as long as they are skilled for the relevant job. It is valid for two years and is renewable.
- These Work Permits also double as Residence Permits to allow citizens to live and work in Czechia.
It is also important to note a few things regarding your visa/permit applications:
- All documents to apply for a work permit should be original or authorized copies with official translation
- Once sanctioned, a special visa (unless exempt) is automatically issued on completion of the long-term visa form (no extra documentation is required) to allow the employee to enter the Czech Republic to collect the Work Permit/Residence Permit
- A medical insurance document is required with proof of premiums paid before travel
- Foreign nationals also need to register with the Foreigners’ Police Inspectorate
There is a daunting mass of bureaucracy surrounding visa and work permit applications. Bradford Jacobs will ensure your employees are onboarded with the correct documents to avoid complications that could prove costly and waste time for your expansion into the Czech Republic.
Business Visa for Czech Republic
To visit the Czech Republic (Czechia) for business purposes – meetings, conferences, contract signing etc. EU citizens do not require a visa. Also, there are many exempt countries whose citizens can travel for business without a visa for 90 days out of a 180-day period. From 2022, these citizens must apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) Visa.
All other nationals require a Business Schengen Visa.
- Completed and signed application form
- Passport with three months validity after leaving the Schengen area
- Travel insurance policy
- Proof of accommodation while in Czechia
- Proof of financial stability during the stay in the Schengen area
- Receipt of visa fee
- Letter explaining the purpose of the stay
- A letter of invitation to attend meetings, events or from companies
- For a full list and explanation of the paperwork required, click here. You can apply to the local Czechia Embassy or Consulate in your home country.