Posting foreign nationals to the Czech Republic: Work permit with a non-dual employee card or an intra-company employee transfer card?

Are you planning on hiring employees from a foreign branch and looking for the best way to do it in terms of immigration? Since the new Amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic became effective in 2017, employers can decide between a combination of a work permit together with a non-dual employee card and an intra-company employee transfer card, which has been introduced by the Amendment. In our article, we summarise the options these two alternatives bring about and which one to choose in specific cases.

Work permit + non-dual employee card

Foreign nationals from third countries who are posted by their foreign employers to work in the Czech Republic apply for a work permit with a non-dual employee card. This type of work permit can be requested for any position.

The maximum period of validity of both permit types is 2 years with the possibility of extension by another 2 years.

The work permit is to be applied for at a respective Labour Office in the Czech Republic. Subsequently, the non-dual employee card is to be applied for at the respective Representative Office of the Czech Republic abroad. To accelerate the process, it is worth including the Czech branch in one of the government-approved programmes. However, this will accelerate only the issuance of the employee card, not the work permit.

Usually, the approval period for the work permit application is 30 days from the day of submission, though it can take even longer at large Labour Office branches. The non-dual employee card application is usually approved within 60 days from the day of submission but it may be prolonged to 90 days in more complicated cases. Currently, the approval period is being prolonged again. At the moment, the possibility to file a non-dual employee card application at the Representative Offices of the Czech Republic is limited; at numerous offices, it is not possible to file the application at all, with the exception of applications filed under one of the government-approved programmes.

Intra-company employee transfer card

The intra-company employee transfer card (pursuant to Directive 2014/66/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council) is intended for foreign nationals from third countries who come to the Czech Republic for the purpose of employment for a period longer than 3 months. It concerns employees in the positions of managers, specialists or employed interns, who were posted to a Czech branch from a multinational company in a non-EU state.

The ICT Card can be issued or extended for a maximum of 3 years in the case of managers and specialists and a maximum of 1 year in the case of interns.

Applicants file their applications at a respective Representative Office of the Czech Republic abroad, but there are exceptions related to business corporations that are part of a government-approved programme. If the programme allows, the corporation can submit the application on behalf of the foreign national directly at the Ministry of the Interior – Department of Asylum and Migration Policy in the Czech Republic. In addition to the standard documents, such as the proof of accommodation or proof of professional qualification, it is also necessary to provide an assignment letter and a document confirming the affinity of the foreign and the Czech business entities between which the foreigner is transferred. Again, it can be beneficial to include the Czech branch into a government-approved programme; within some of the programmes, certain documents (the assignment letter, the document of the entities’ affinity, the proof of accommodation or the proof of professional qualification) can be substituted by a simple confirmation of the business corporation. This way, both the administrative and the temporal burden of the application submission can be reduced.

The application approval period is 90 days from submission, but in case of the employer’s inclusion in the Key and Scientific Staff programme, the approval period may be shortened to 30 days. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this government programme is heavily overloaded and consequently, the approval period becomes lengthier.

In case that not only the foreign national but also their family is being relocated, the approval period for deciding on the application for a long-term residence of family members is only 90 days and the family members also get free access to the labour market, i.e. they can start working for any employer immediately after their arrival. On the contrary, the merger process to obtain the non-dual employee card is longer (270 days). Foreign nationals, therefore, prefer to reunite the family using a long-term visa (the process takes 60 days). Nevertheless, with this type of visa, it is impossible to work without a special work permit.


Before the ICT Card was introduced, the only choice for the posted foreign nationals had been the work permit and the non-dual employee card. Nowadays, certain employees can choose between the two above mentioned types of work permits. Which one to choose?

In the case of the first type of permit, i.e. the work permit and the non-dual employee card, it is necessary to prepare two types of applications and submit them at two different offices. On the other hand, these permits cover all positions and can be prolonged repeatedly from the territory of the Czech Republic.

In the case of the second type of permit, i.e. the ICT Card, just one application is compulsory and thanks to the inclusion in any of the government-approved programmes, the number of required documents can be reduced to a minimum. However, the permit covers only specific positions (managers, specialists, interns) and it is not possible to prolong the card for more than 3 years from the territory of the Czech Republic. The advantage is, though, that the foreign national’s family can directly apply for a long-term residence permit for the purpose of cohabitation of the family.

The length of the approval period (except for applications under the Key and Scientific Staff government programme) is comparable for both work permit types. At the same time, foreign nationals residing in the Czech Republic are not obliged to attend adaptation-integration courses based on these permits.

If you are not sure which option is the best one for your specific case, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to discuss your situation and find a suitable solution.

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