The most significant changes in the field of labour migration after the amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners
The amendment to the Act on the Residence of Aliens, which was signed by the President of the Czech Republic on 4th of July and was sent to be published in the Collection of the laws should come into effect in August 2019. The implementing regulations which are part of the amendment should come into effect in September 2019. Based on the EU transposition directive, the changes will enable foreign university students and researchers to stay in the Czech Republic up to nine months after completing their studies or research activities on the basis of a long-term residence for the purpose of finding a job or starting a business.
An extraordinary long-term work visa valid for a maximum of one year will be newly introduced to facilitate the recruitment of foreign workers for certain occupational sectors suffering from a long-term labour shortage. Acceptance of applications for this type of visa should be launched by a special government regulation in order to react flexibly to the situation on the labour market, without the possibility of extension. At present, it is not clear whether the holders of this type of visa will be allowed to apply for another type of residence in the Czech Republic if they want to remain in the territory for more than one year.
In addition, the amendment introduces the obligation to complete an adaptation-integration course (the effect was postponed to January 2021). A foreigner (if not subject to an exception from this obligation) should complete the course during the first year after entering the Czech Republic. It should be a one-day course and the expected length is eight hours.
The amendment also introduces quotas for the number of applications received at embassies of the Czech Republic abroad. This implementing regulation is expected to come into effect from September 2019 (an inter-ministerial consultation procedure is currently ongoing). Thus, the government regulation will set the maximum number of applications for long-term visas for the purpose of business and employee cards, which can be filed at individual embassies. Currently, some embassies do not allow foreigners to arrange meetings to apply for selected residence permits for September 2019 with reference to the quotas under preparation.
Another innovation is the transformation of current economic migration projects into new government economic migration programmes. Current economic migration projects and schemes will merge and three types of government economic migration programmes will be introduced. The new government economic migration programmes should be launched in September 2019.
- Programme for key and scientific personnel
- This program replaces the Fast Track and Welcome Package for Investors.
- Newly there is a possibility of recruiting new employees; previously it was possible to use only intracompany transfers and relocations of employees.
- Programme for highly qualified employees
- Significant territorial enlargement; previously only for highly qualified employees from Ukraine and India.
- Programme for qualified employees
- So far the programme has been limited to Ukraine, Mongolia, the Philippines and Serbia; the programme will be extended to Belarus, Montenegro, India, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
The amendment also includes changes related to the employee card. The consent of the Ministry of the Interior with the change of employer or job position has been replaced by a notification obligation. The foreigner should report the change 30 days in advance and, if the conditions are met, both the foreigner and the employer will be notified by the Ministry of the change approval. The change of employer has been limited to the possibility of change after six months of the foreigner’s residence in the territory (possibility of earlier change in specific cases) in relation to the employer for which the first employee card was issued.
Some changes will also affect EU / EEA or Swiss citizens; pursuant to the transitional provision of the amendment, certificates of temporary residence in the Czech territory issued before 1 January 2010 will expire on 31 December 2019. Certificates of temporary residence issued before the effective date of this Act (after 1 January 2010) will expire in 10 years from the date of its issuance.
We will inform you about further developments on the above topics.