What is the change? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued new restrictions on short-term visa applicants, a move that could cause delays for foreign nationals entering the country for work.

What does the change mean? Under the new rules, short-term visa applications will only be accepted in situations where the applicant intends to stay for no more than 90 days. Czech consulates will no longer accept simultaneous applications for short-term visas and non-dual employee cards—previously, simultaneous applications allowed applicants to enter the Czech Republic and begin working while their employee card application was still pending. Employee cards take much longer to process than short-term visas, meaning some foreign nationals could face significant delays entering the Czech Republic. 

  • Implementation time frame:  Implementation of the new restrictions may vary from consulate to consulate.
  • Visas/permits affected:Short-term visas.
  • Who is affected:Foreign nationals applying for short-term visas for the purpose of entering the Czech Republic to work.
  • Impact on processing times:The change in some cases will significantly add to the time it takes for foreign nationals to enter the Czech Republic because they will have to wait for an employee card instead of a short-term visa. Employee cards can take 60 days to process (or even as long as 90 days in complex cases) compared with 14 days for short-term visas.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates to account for the difference in processing times.

Background: Czech authorities cited an increase in workload, in part due to the migrant crisis in Europe, in announcing the new restrictions. The restrictions will ease the workload at Czech consulates, but are expected to cause delays for foreign nationals entering the Czech Republic for work.

BAL Analysis: While the new rule could delay the process employees face when entering the Czech Republic, it remains unclear which Czech consulates have yet implemented it. BAL is available to work with clients on a case-by-case basis to determine what the best available options are.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Czech Republic. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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