CZECH REPUBLIC – Combined Work and Residence Permits Imminent
The Czech Ministry of Interior formally published an amendment to Act 326/1999 on 9 June introducing a combined work and residence permit, called an employee card, for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.
The amendment represents Czech Republic’s implementation of the single work and residence permit, as required in the Directive of the European Parliament and of the European Council 2011/98/EU of 13 December 2011.
The new combined application process will come into force on 24 June 2014, and should reduce processing times once fully implemented, although delays are anticipated as the amendments are put into place.
What is an Employee Card?
An employee card is a new type of single permit, issued for stays for longer than three months,authorising long-term residence and employment in the territory of the Czech Republic.
An employee card holder is entitled:
- to reside in the territory of the Czech Republic,*to work in the job for which the employee card was issued, or
- to work in the job for which the Ministry of Interior granted consent (in connection with changing employer, changing job, taking up employment with an additional employer or in an additional job).
An employee card is issued as a plastic card and will contain biometric data (photograph and fingerprints). It will be issued for the duration of the employment contract (and up to two years), with an option to repeatedly extend its validity.
The employee card application can be submitted at a Czech consulate, as with employment visa applications previously.
The deadline for making a decision on an application for an employee card is 60 days; or 90 days in especially complicated cases.
What Does the Employee Card Replace?
The employee card replaces the long stay D visa for the purpose of employment and the long-term residence permit for the purpose of employment.
For intra-company transfer applications, a work permit will still be required. The employee card will simply replace the employment visa as a final work and residence document.
Blue Cards will continue to be issued.
Extension of the Employee Card
The validity of an employee card can be repeatedly extended, provided that the same conditions applicable to the issuance of an employee card are met and a valid contract is produced. For work permit holders (i.e. intra-company transferees), the validity of the employee card will be extended in line with the extension of the work permit.
Applications for extensions of employee cards must be filed at an office of the Ministry of the Interior and must be filed no sooner than 90 days and no later than 14 days before expiration of the current employee card.
If the employee card expires while the application for its extension is in process, the foreign national will be permitted to remain in the Czech Republic, and to apply for a bridge visa to confirm their status.
However, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Interior, the foreign national will not be allowed to work (not even with a bridge visa) until the application for the extension has been approved.
- Note that the new employee card replaces the employment visa and residence permit for non-EU/EEA nationals in Czech Republic as of 24 June 2014.
- A notable exception to the above is intra-company transfer, which still requires a separate work permit.
- Note that non-EU/EEA nationals will not be allowed to work during the application for an employee card extension, but may remain in Czech Republic with a bridge visa.
- Expect some delays in processing applications as the new regulations are implemented.