What is the change? The Czech Republic will begin issuing long-term residence permits, called “employee cards,” that will allow non-EU foreign nationals to reside and work in the Czech Republic for more than three months and up to two years.

What does the change mean? The employee cards will replace visas for over 90 days for the purpose of employment, permits for long-term residence for the purpose of employment, and Green Cards (which will no longer be issued).

  • Implementation timeframe: The new permits go into effect June 24.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employee cards.
  • Who is affected:All non-EU foreign nationals seeking work in the Czech Republic.
  • Impact on processing times:Employee cards will generally be adjudicated within 60 days, or 90 days in complex cases.
  • Business impact: Businesses will benefit from the simplified procedure.

Background: Enabled by a new law that was published June 9, the employee card is intended for all types of employment regardless of the level of required professional qualifications. However, the job for which an applicant may file for an employee card must come from the central register of job vacancies that can be filled by holders of employee cards.

The employee cards are dual in nature in the sense that they combine the work permit and the residence permit with one authorization. They may also be issued in non-dual form, as a residence permit, to foreign nationals who have free access to the labor market according to the Employment Act and who still need work permits, which would need to be appended to the application for the employee card.

The cards will be issued for the length of employment contracts, but may be extended for up to two years. Applications for extensions must be filed no sooner than 90 days and no later than 14 days before expiration of the current employee card at the Ministry of Interior. If the employee card expires during pendency of the extension application, the applicant must obtain a bridge visa to continue residing in the country, but he or she cannot work until the extension is granted.

BAL Analysis: The employee cards simplify procedures for foreign nationals. Companies should make plans now for their rollout later this month.

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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