Written by: Halka Jaklová
Photo by: René Jakl
If you’re a foreigner and want to work in this country, or if you’re an employer who wants to hire an employee from abroad, you must meet the conditions set forth by law. Otherwise you’ll expose yourself to the risk of problems with the Czech authorities, which can result in fines or even criminal prosecution.
The issue of employing foreigners is governed by Law No. 1/1991 Coll., on employment, in linkage to Law No. 326/1999 Coll., on foreigners’ residency. The law stipulates that foreigners can be employed in the Czech Republic only if they have work and residency permits. Work permits are issued by the employment office in whose district the work is to be done. The permit is contingent upon a vacant job slot that cannot be filled in any other way, with respect to the required qualifications or an insufficiency of available workers. In practice the employer must announce the position he wants to fill with a foreigner at the employment office and stipulate in great detail the selection conditions (e.g., language skills, qualifications, etc.). The office first offers the job to Czech applicants, and only if no suitable candidate demonstrates interest in the position can a permit to employ a foreigner be issued. A work permit is one of the conditions for the issuing of a visa for the purpose of working in the Czech Republic.
An application for a visa covering a stay of over 90 days must be submitted to a Czech Republic embassy or consulate. The application must be accompanied by a photograph, passport, work permit, a document proving that housing is ensured for the duration of the stay in this country, an extract from the criminal registry and similar documentation from the country of which the foreigner is a citizen, as well as from the country in which the foreigner resided for the last three years for a period of over six months without interruption. However, the law doesn’t require a work permit for foreigners who have been granted asylum, foreigners with permanent residency in the Czech Republic, foreigners covered by international treaties, family members of diplomatic mission employees, employees of international governmental organizations that are headquartered in the Czech Republic, and foreigners whose work in the Czech Republic will not exceed seven consecutive days. After entering the EU this will also apply to citizens of EU member countries and their families. Also, foreigners don’t need work permits if they become partners in commercial companies (most often limited liability companies).
This article was prepared with attorney Mgr. Liliana Vochalová.