The Czech Republic, commonly Czechia, is a member state of the European Union of nations (EU). Citizens from other EU nations do not require a visa or permit to visit and work in Czechia as a mutual treaty among the EU states. Besides that, a few other countries enjoying exemption in this regard, such as the Schengen members; citizens from Schengen states can visit Czechia any time and stay up to 90 days without a visa. However, working under this pretext is still not allowed.
To be able to work and stay in Czechia as a foreign national requires a visa and a work permit. A Schengen travel visa allows the holder to visit Czechia for up to 90 days whether for pleasure or business. For those who wish to study in Czechia, a long-term visa can accommodate their purpose.
Lastly, non-resident and non-EU citizens are provided with a special work visa which allows them to work or engage in employment in the country.
Types of work permits
There are 3 basic types of work permits that are issued to foreigners who aspire to work and stay in the Czech Republic.
EU Blue Card
Usually awarded to highly skilled persons who specialize and excel in their field of work. The holder shall only be able to work in the position and area for which the card is issued. The EU Blue Card is issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs; the holder of the card often earns more than the average national income.
Permits the holder to work in the specific job in the particular company he/she was hired for. The validity of the employee card is 24 months, this can be extended depending upon the contract between employer and worker.
Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Card
Multinational company employees that are non-EU/non-Schengen citizens are allowed to move freely between EU and Schengen states based on an ICT card.
Obtaining a work permit for Czechia
Aspirants shall initiate the process by obtaining lawful employment in Czechia while being in their home country. A job can be applied either through internet job postings or by contacting a local placement agent. Note that a job offer and employment contract are compulsory to apply for a work permit.
The general requirements for an EU Blue card & Employee care are listed below:
- Duly filled application form as prescribed by the Czech immigration
- Valid passport
- Proof of accommodation for the entire length of stay
- Two recent passport-size photographs
- Biometric fingerprint impressions (both hands, all fingers)
- Employment contract
- Proof of sufficient funds to maintain decent subsistence
- Academic documents including certificates, diplomas, courses, etc.
- Medical insurance (travel) and Police character certificate
The processing time for an EU Blue Card is usually 90 days, whereas the employee card may take up to 60 working days to process.
Work permit and visa fees
- A short-term Schengen visit visa with a validity of 90 days costs roughly Euro 80 per application
- A long-term visa D is charged at Euros 98 per applicant
- EU Blue card and Employee Card are charged at Euros 195 per applicant
Non-EU/non-Schengen nationals are required to obtain a work permit, a residence permit, and a visa to enable them to work and stay in Czechia. The process is initiated from the employer’s end; the employer has to sufficiently prove that a specific position could not be filled by a Czechian or an EU national before making it available to non-residents.
Business visa for Czechia
Probably the easiest type of visa to obtain is a business visa. A Czech company can sponsor a third country citizen or a foreign company may apply for a business visa through its official letterhead. A business visa enables the holder to attend meetings and seminars, finalize business deals, etc. However, it doesn’t permit any financial activity directly; such as opening a restaurant, investing in a business, etc.