Work Permit

Rutland Ježek offers advice to foreigners seeking employment in the Czech Republic

This is a sponsored article provided by Rutland Ježek, advokátní kancelář.

1) What is a work permit and who needs it in order to work in the Czech Republic?

Work permit is a special permit for foreigners, who want to work in the Czech Republic. Without this permission and without valid visa for the purpose of employment, it is illegal to work in the Czech Republic.

A foreigner needs to get the work permit in order to work in the Czech Republic, unless he/she is exempted from the obligation to have the work permit by the Czech Employment Act. According to the Czech Employment Act, work permits are not required from:

(i) citizens of the EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Island or a family members of citizens of such a countries;

(ii) foreigners who have a permanent residence permit in the Czech Republic;

(iii) asylum seekers;

(iv) foreigners staying in the Czech Republic based on a long-term residence permit who are in the country for a reason of family reunion with a foreigner who has a permanent residence permit or is an asylum seeker;

(v) students engaged in full-time studies;

(vi) individuals who finished high school or university studies in the Czech Republic.

2) How to get a work permit in the Czech Republic?

First of all, a foreigner needs to find a job in the Czech Republic and his/her future employer must consult with the Employment Office the intention to employ a foreigner in a specified position. After the consultation, the position must be advertised at least for 30 days. If the position cannot be filled by a Czech national, the foreigner can apply for a work permit for such position.

The foreigner usually applies for the work permit before he/she enters the Czech Republic. He/she applies in writing (application form) to the regional Public Employment Office; some special annexes to the application form are needed (as a photocopy of his/her travel document, a statement of the employer that he/she will employ the foreigner etc.) He/she can be also represented by his/her future employer or by an empowered representative. The administrative fee for the work permit application is CZK 500.

The work permit cannot be transferred, lasts only a definite period of time (maximum is 2 years, but can be prolonged) and is valid only for the particular employer. Due to the stringent administration conditions, the process of obtaining the work permit can take up to 4 months.

3) Is nostrification of diploma required for obtaining a Czech work permit?

Some important changes were introduced in this field from January 2012. If a foreigner wants to apply for a job where a certain level of qualification is required, he/she must show a certificate (and also a list of completed classes) that proves such qualification. This certificate must be legalized in the Czech Republic; it means it must be officially accepted by the Czech Ministry of Education. It is legalized only if the school that awarded a student with this certificate has an equivalent in the Czech Republic. The foreigner should fill in an application for nostrification and submit it in the head of particular school's office in the Czech Republic, which is equivalent to his/her school. It should take about 30 days to consider the certification and provide the nostrification, however, this period can be prolonged. The only exception applies to citizens from countries, which the Czech Republic concluded an agreement on mutual recognition of equivalence of educational documents with.

4) Are there other possibilities for getting a right to work in the Czech Republic?

There are two other possibilities how to work in the Czech Republic – green card and blue card.

Green card is a special permit for residence and at the same time a work permit. It entitles a foreigner to reside in the Czech Republic and to work in a job for which the green card was issued. Green card cannot be issued to every foreigner; only foreigners from particular countries can obtain it (such as Australia, Montenegro, Croatia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, USA, Serbia and Ukraine). To get a green card, a foreigner must find an available job in the Czech Republic (in Register of suitable jobs for green cards at Public Employment Office), fill in the application and send it to the relevant Embassy of the Czech Republic, or in some cases to the Ministry of the Interior. The relevant Embassy will process the application and should answer the applicant within 2 months. Validity of the green card is 2-3 years and there are three kinds of the card (type A, B and C).

Blue card is a new type of a permit similar to the green card mentioned above; it also gives the foreigner a permit for residence and a work permit. The blue card is intended for a foreigner who will be employed in a position requiring a high qualification and his/her employment contract will provide him/her gross monthly or yearly wage at least at the rate of 1.5 multiple of the gross average annual wage (i.e. at least CZK 424 764), whereas his/her employment contract must be at least for 1 year. High qualification means that a foreigner completed the university education or higher specialized education (minimum 3 years of studying). The foreigner must find an available job in the Czech Republic (in Register of suitable jobs for blue cards at Public Employment Office), contact his/her future employer, close the employment contact with the future employer (this is a different from applying for the green card), fill in a special application and attach the employment contract to the application. Validity of the card is 2 years maximum.

For contact details, see Rutland Ježek's Prague TV Prague Directory listing.

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