CZECH REPUBLIC – Expansion of Fast-Track Pilot for Investors
The Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Czech Republic has announced an expansion of the fast-track pilot project which came into force last year. The project is now referred to as “Welcome Package for Investors”.
Initially the fast-track process was only available for intra-company transfers where the assignee remained on foreign payroll (secondment) but, as of July 2013, intra company transfers where the applicant is transferred to Czech payroll (local hires) may qualify for inclusion in the pilot project.
What are the Benefits?
Government processing times should be reduced dramatically for participants in the pilot project. Work permit applications should be reduced from 70 days to 10 days, and long-term work visa applications from 60-90 days to 30 days under the scheme.
Moreover, supporting documents are greatly simplified, which may save considerable lead time. The documentary evidence required to prove accommodation arrangements in the Czech Republic can be met with a hotel booking confirmation, and the requirement to provide educational certificates can be met by a company declaration of competence for the position.
The project is for the transfer of executives, managers and specialists to established companies in the Czech Republic.
The Czech employer must be approved for participation by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and needs to employ at least 50 people (20 for start-up IT companies), among various other criteria.
Only visa waiver nationals can participate in the project. A list of these countries can be found in the information booklet provided by the Czech authorities available here.
What Else Should I Consider?
Information about the expansion of this scheme has only just been released, and some details are unclear:
- Can transferees work at a client site?
- Can a dependent’s visa application also be processed in 30 days?
- Is the process also available for assignments under three months?
- The process is for "intra-corporate transferees", but this term is not yet clearly defined in the project documentation.
- Does the transferee have to work in a similar position as before?
- Should they have worked for the sending company for a specific amount of time?
However, bearing in mind that this is a new and untried pilot scheme and is expected to run until 2015, the reduced processing times make this an attractive option for some companies if time is critical.