Czech Immigration law changes regularly every two years. We cover the changes in 2021 in this article and the ones from 2019 in this one. Year 2023 brings some pretty significant changes as well. We are dividing the changes into two parts – the ones that the MOI thinks are important and the ones we think are important and were left out from the official information update. We are also sure there have been other changes hidden in the law so we’ll be updating this article as we are discovering these hidden changes. We work with about 1 000 clients a year so we usually find out pretty soon.
Updates to the Czech Immigration Law – Blue Cards
Let us start the list of changes in Czech Immigration law effective from 1.7.2023 with the changes in Blue Card processes since those changes are pretty big!
First of all, the validity of the Blue Card can be 3 years instead of 2 years in the past. This also applies to extending the validity of the Blue Card.
Second great change is that Blue Card holders no longer need to ask the MOI for approval when they want to change employers (or position within the same employer). They just need to report the change within 3 days. This rule already existed for Blue Card holders who have been in CZE for longer than 2 years, now has been expanded to all Blue Card holders.
Newly, Blue Card holders can stay unemployed for up to six months and still keep the Blue Card.
Smaller, but for some significant, change is also that Blue Card applicant can now provide six month employment contract (used to be a year minimum) or even a contract about future contract (that was not possible before the change). If you provide 6 months of employment contract/contract about future contract though, validity of the Blue Card can be shortened accordingly.
Another great changes apply to holders of Blue Card in other EU countries – if you hold a Blue Card in some other EU country (i.e. Germany, Poland, Spain etc.) and want to apply for a Blue Card in the Czech Republic, you do not need to provide any Criminal Check (neither from the country of your origin, nor from other countries where you have lived) and (if you have had the Blue Card for longer than 2 years) you do not even need to proof your education. Great changes which will hopefully simplify and shorten the Blue Card approval process.
Last but not least, newly also Asylum and Subsidiary Protection holders are allowed to apply for a Blue Card, which was not possible before.
Health Insurance for children born at the territory of Czech Republic
This is a change a lot of you were calling for and asking us a lot about – and it finally happened! 🙂 Kids born at the territory of the Czech Republic whose mother holds a long-term or permanent residence permit can be covered buy the Czech public health care (i.e. VZP, OZP or others – we strongly recommend OZP) so you do not have to buy the private pVZP for them.
The same applies to children below 18 years of age.
Long-Term Residence Permit with Family Reunification purpose of stay
The main change here is that kids above 18 years of age do not qualify for the Family Reunification any more, even if they study and do not work.
There have also been a slight change in the definitions but they do not concern most of you.
Applying for visa/residence permit outside of the country of your origin
Nothing changes for notional of the countries whose citizens can apply at any Czech Embassy in the world.
A significant change for other nationalities have been hidden in the latest change of the Czech Immigration Law though. Up until 30.6.2023, people could submit their first Czech visa or residence permit application through a Czech Embassy in the country of their origin or in a country where they hold a long-term or permanent residence permit.
From 1.7.2023, the immigration law says that you can submit your first Czech visa or residence permit application in the country of your origin or in a country where you hold a long-term or permanent residence permit IF you have been living in that country for longer than 2 years.
Employee Card application
A strange change in the Czech Immigration law this is. The law newly says that from 1.7.2023 on, you must submit the vacancy number (i.e. printed from the Labour Office website) along with other required documents. This does not apply in case you mention the number in the application form.
Why we say “strange”? Because you have always needed the vacancy number to apply for the employee card (unless it was the non-dual one which does not need the vacancy number at all). We can not really imagine a scenario where people would not submit the number because without that the MOI would have nothing to check and approve. Well, they probably had their motivation for introducing this change.
Permanent Residence Permit application
The main change here is that it is no longer possible to apply for the Permanent Residence Permit in the Czech Republic if you are currently residing here under the bridge visa (meaning for example your residence permit extension is in process). Exeptions apply.
This might not be too significant for many of you but we have had clients (we deal with about 1 000 clients a year) where this rule would make a difference.
Administrative fees for the Ministry of the Interior
The biggest change here is that the fee for lost of stolen card decreased from 4 000 CZK to 2 500 CZK. Some smaller changes happened in the fees of asylum or subsidiary protection holders.
Registration after arrival to the Czech Republic
If you applied for a long-term residence permit (student residence permit, employee card, blue card etc.) at a Czech Embassy and you have been approved, you usually get a special 60 days visa allowing you to come to the Czech Republic and finish the process here (so called DV/R visa).
You had to register yourself with the Ministry of the Interior within three days after arrival to the Czech Republic. This time limit has been increased to 30 days with the latest change of the Czech Immigration law from July 2023.
This is, in our opinion, also a great chance since in many cases it was not realistic to get the registration done within three days without waiting at the MOI for hours.
These are the major changes we have caught so far. There might be some more appearing later on and if there are, we will for sure list them here, so come back regularly for updates.
If you have any questions about the changes or need help with any of the immigration processes, fill in one of the forms on this website, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help 🙂
Jan & Daria on behalf of the whole Move To Prague relocation experts’ team 🙂