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CZECH REPUBLIC – Degree Equivalency Now Required for Work Permit Extensions

The labour office in Prague has confirmed that, effective immediately, degree equivalency certificates will be required for work permit extension applications as well as first time work permit applications. This will significantly extend lead time to prepare for extension applications and companies should plan accordingly.

Background

As announced in Peregrine’s alert on the subject earlier this year, the labour office in Prague started requesting degree equivalency certifications for first time work permit applications in January. Prior to January, this was required only for Blue Card applications. From January 2012, it was a requirement for work permit applications where the applicant was to be on local payroll; this was subsequently expanded to include all new work permit applications. The requirement has now been further expanded to include work permit extensions, except in cases where the original work permit application was accompanied by a degree equivalency certificate.

What is the Degree Equivalency?

The degree equivalency certificate, also known as a “nostrification” is a document confirming that a work permit applicant’s foreign educational qualifications are equivalent to a certain standard of Czech qualification. More information on the process can be found on the website of the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC). The following documents must typically be presented in order to obtain the equivalency certificate:

  • Legalised or Apostilled diploma with verified Czech translation
  • Legalised or Apostilled transcript with verified translation

Impact on Applications

Obtaining the degree equivalency certificates will likely add several weeks to processing time, since it typically takes at least 4-8 weeks for NARIC to process applications (sometimes longer). Additionally, obtaining the certificate is of course administratively tiresome.

The Ministry of Labour has not yet indicated if it will be possible to submit applications without the certificate initially, and to provide it at a later stage of the application process.

Action Items

  • Review expiry dates for employees or assignees in the Czech Republic and start extension processes at least four months in advance, to allow time for the new requirement
  • Contact Peregrine’s partner in the Czech Republic, IBS, for assistance if necessary (link below).

This news alert was prepared using information provided by International Business Support s.r.o.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.