Getting a job in Prague / The Necessary Paperwork
Ex-pats who are looking for a job will be pleased to know that the period following the economic crisis is characterised by increased work vacancies for ex-pats in Prague. Big global firms are now searching for people with overseas experience to address new post-crisis concerns. Language teaching roles, creative executive and senior positions, HR, IT, accounting and finance, sales, pharmaceutical, customer service, engineering, hospitality and automotive —are all open to overseas applicants in the Czech Rep. Whilst English is essential, people who speak additional European languages will have an advantage in lots of fields.
Be aware—lots of companies demand certified permission for working in the EU. Whilst some will be happy to assist non EU applicants with their paperwork, not all of them will be. In such instances, an EU native might have a better chance of getting a job.
Permits for Working
To do business legally in the Czech Rep, you have to be either an independent worker with a trade license (živnostenský list), an employee, or the owner of a firm. If you are an employee, then a non EU citizen must initially obtain a permit for work (povolení k zaměstnání) and a visa given for purposes of employment, or a long term permit for residence. An EU citizen and his/her family does not need a permit for work to be employed legally in the Czech Rep; but anyone else has to get one.
Nonetheless, there are several exceptions where a green card, blue card or work permit is not necessary. Should you already have permanent residency in the Czech Rep, or if you are told to go to the Czech Rep to carry out tasks for an employer who is located in a different member state of the EU, you do not need a permit for residence. To get the complete list of instances where work permits are not required, see the official Employment Act.
You have to apply for a permit to work at the appropriate regional branch bureau of the Czech Republic’s Labour Office. The primary Labour Office in Prague is situated in Prague Three. Your application might be passed to a 3rd party who has the power-of-attorney (employers will frequently organise this) and each submission costs 500CZK. The work permit application has to detail a particular employer, job role, work place address, and period of validity. If you want to do multiple job roles, you have to get a separate permit for work for every position. If you need a visa or a permit for residence (which is probable) for employment purposes, you can fill out an application for this at the Ministry of Interior’s local office, utilising the permit for work application as the basis for your permit for residence.
Furthermore, the role detailed in your application has to initially be recorded by the employer as an open position, at the LOCR’s regional branch bureau. The Labour Office will try to fill the role itself with suitable candidates, i.e. certified job-seekers. Only once it has been unable to do this (this procedure can last as long as thirty days and, in certain cases, up to 60 days) will it issue the permit for work to a non-EU citizen. In specific instances (e.g. intern-ships) a permit for work is awarded irrespective of the circumstances of the labour market.
A blue card or green card application has to be made at a Czech Rep embassy, usually in your native country (in certain instances directly in the Czech Rep following a prior legal visit). People resident in the countries outlined in the Ministry of Interior’s Decree No 462/2008 Coll, can make their application at any Czech Rep embassy.
Blue cards and green cards are a work permit and residence permit incorporated into a single document, and the Ministry of Interior issues both. These can only be awarded for roles which were registered as open to the LOCR’s regional branch bureau by the employer, and then reported in a specialised register of suitable vacancies for blue or green card holders. The admin charge for both a blue card and a green card is 1000CZK (for application and collection).
Only people who live in twelve particular countries can apply for green cards: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Australia, Croatia, Canada, Macedonia, Japan, New Zealand, Montenegro, South Korea, Serbia, the Ukraine and the USA.
There are 3 categories of green cards
– Category A: for key personnel and workers who are qualified with degree level education
– Category B: for workers undertaking roles requiring minimal educational qualifications
– Category C: for any other workers
A blue card can only be issued for highly skilled roles which fit the below criteria:
– Senior professional role or university degree necessary
– Contract of Employment for a minimum of twelve months, for the statutory weekly hours of work
A gross annual or monthly salary which amounts to a minimum of one-and-a-half times the Czech Republic’s gross annual salary, as outlined in the notice published by the Labour & Social Affairs Ministry (presently 43 1118 CZK per year, or 35 926 CZK per month).
Should the criteria above be satisfied, the LOCR’s regional branch bureau will award a permit for work, which details a specific job role, employer, work address and employment duration (two years maximum). Should you be granted a permit for work and then some, or all, of the details above change, you have to apply for a fresh permit.
Green card validity lasts for two to three years. Category A and Category B green cards can have their validity extended, in some instances, for as long as three years.
Blue cards are valid for the employment period outlined in the contract of employment, plus ninety days, up to a two year maximum.
Should your employment be terminated on a date prior to that outlined in the permit for work, you will also be stripped of your permit for residence (if you made your application on the basis of a permit for work). In specific instances, an overseas worker will be allowed a 30 day period of “grace” that they can use to get a different job. Should the person be unable to find any employment during that period, the Labour Office will tell the Overseas Police and the Overseas Police will end that person’s visit, and stipulate the time when they have to depart the Czech Republic territory. Freelancing professionals, and people who have visas linked to their business licenses, do not have to abide by the same rules.
The permit for work is valid for only two years and, following this, it can be prolonged. However, it has to remain subject to identical rules as to when it was awarded! Every extension can only be valid for a two year maximum. The request for prolongation has to be accompanied by an employer’s statement confirming that they agree to it. After each annual prolongation, you also have to report to the Ministry of Interior’s local office to request a prolongation of your visa or permit for residence. The request for prolongation has to be made not before ninety days prior, and not after fourteen days prior, to the expiration date. The administrative charge for prolonging a work permit’s validity is 250 CZK.
Refer to the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs‘ employment section on their website to get more details in English, along with a searchable database for jobs.