Government amends Act on the Residence of Foreigners
17 Jul 19
IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? The Czech Republic has signed legislation that will modify immigration processing and come into effect in August.
- Effective date: July 31.
- Documents impacted: Visas, residency permits, work permits.
- Who is impacted: Foreign nationals working and living in the Czech Republic, and their employers.
- New residence permit. University students and researchers seeking employment after graduation or after completing research activities will now be eligible for a new type of residence permit. Graduates and scientific workers will have an option to apply for long-term residence permits for the purpose of seeking employment. The new type of residency permit may be valid for up to nine months with no extension option.
- EU/EEA and Swiss nationals. Temporary residency validity will change from an unlimited period to 10 years. This will affect all EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who are holders of temporary residence permits. Temporary residence permits issued before Jan. 1, 2010 will expire by Dec. 31, 2019. Therefore, it is recommended that those nationals apply for a permanent residence permit prior to December 31, 2019. In addition, permits issued after Jan. 1, 2010 will expire within 10 years from the time of their issuance. All EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who have been in the Czech Republic for more than five years are encouraged to apply for a permanent residence permit.
- Adaptation-integration course. Foreign nationals, if not subject to an exemption from this obligation, must complete the course during their first year of entering the Czech Republic, to take effect January 2021. The course is expected to last one day (eight hours).
- Quotas. The amendment also introduces quotas for the number of applications received at embassies of the Czech Republic abroad. This regulation is expected to come into effect in September 2019 (an inter-ministerial consultation is currently ongoing). Thus, the government regulation will set the maximum number of applications for long-term visas for the purpose of business and employee cards, that can be filed at individual embassies.
- Labor market testing. The legislation reduces the labor market testing period from the current 30 days to as little as 10 days.
- Change of address. The residence card will no longer include the foreign national’s address; instead, the address will be marked in the passport. Therefore, residence card holders will no longer need to provide biometric data or obtain a new residence card after changing their address.
- Change of employer. Employee card holders will be able to change their employer after six months of residing in the Czech Republic (in specific cases, employees will be able to change their employer earlier than six months) with approval from the Ministry of Interior. Employees must announce the expected change at least 30 days prior to the end of their current employment and wait for the ministry’s approval.
- New government programs. The legislation introduces several new government immigration programs that are set to take effect in September.
- Key and scientific personnel program. This program will replace the Fast Track and Welcome Package for investors. Previously, this program was only available for intracompany transfers and relocations. Per the amendments, it will be possible for new employees to use this program as well.
- Highly qualified employees program. The Highly Qualified Employees program will be expanded to cover all nationalities. Previously, it only included Ukraine and India.
- Qualified workers program. The qualified workers program will be extended to nationals of Belarus, Montenegro, India, Kazakhstan and Moldova. Previously, the program was limited to nationals of Mongolia, the Philippines, Serbia and Ukraine.
It is expected that more information regarding the government programs will be released closer to September.
Analysis & Comments: Employers and foreign nationals should familiarize themselves with the changes outlined above. Students graduating from Czech universities and research workers will benefit from the new residence permit type after the legislation comes into effect. Additionally, temporary residence permit cards for EU nationals will now expire 10 years after issuance, and EU nationals should either extend the permit or apply for permanent residence permits prior to the current permit’s expiration. The governmental projects, to take effect in September, will further clarify the conditions and criteria for obtaining work and residency authorization for specific job classifications and nationalities.
Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.