Blue Card is well known and used in some EU countries because it has many advantages comparing to the Employee Card. In the Czech Republic though, Blue Card is one the types of visa not many people know about and can use. Find everything about the Czech Blue Card in our article below.
What is a Blue Card?
Speaking from the immigration perspective, Blue Card is a type of a Long-Term Residence Permit, allowing its holder to work at one defined position with one employer. Technically speaking, Blue Card is a plastic card containing biometric data (fingerprints, photos) of its holder.
What positions is Blue Card meant for?
Unlike the Employee Card, Blue Card is not meant for all types of position and salaries. If you wanna qualify for it, you must meet the following criteria:
- you must be “highly qualified” which in most cases means that you must hold a University degree,
- your salary must be at least 1,5 of the average Czech salary – the average changes every year (please see the latest amount at the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs). For 2019 the minimum amount needed is 47 828 CZK a month.
- the position must be listed in the database of vacancies available for Blue Card holders.
So, in real life, Blue Card is mainly used for Software Developers or Managerial positions. Most of the jobs available in the Czech Republic would not qualify you for the Blue Card. You can always apply for the Employee Card in such cases though.
What are the differences/advantages of Blue Card comparing with Employee Card?
Well, in general, the process is the same for either of the Cards. The job must be advertised in a special database, you have to collect some documents, you have to wait for approval, once approved, you have to go to the Ministry of the Interior to have your biometric data taken, etc. Both the card also only (primarily) allow you to work at one position for one employer. Blue Card might have some advantages for some people though. It has one disadvantage as well though. Let’s list all this below.
- the approval process is usually faster – since the MOI wanted Blue Cards to be their big success and since no one really applies for them (comparing with the amount of employee cards applied for), the few applications submitted are usually approved fast,
- family members of Blue Card holders can apply for their residence permits right away (without the need of waiting for some time). For example, you have to wait for six months if you are a family member of an Employee Card. You have to wait for 15 months in case you are a family member of most other visa types (student, business, etc.).
- you only have to ask the MOI for approval of change of employer within the first two years. If you have been here for longer than two years, you just report the change of employer to the MOI.
- moving to other EU countries is usually a bit easier since most countries give Blue Cards higher importance than to employee cards.
- the main disadvantage is that the MOI can ask the applicant for a nostrification of his/her diploma. Since high qualification is required, the MOI can request the nostrification in case there are some doubts about the level of education of the applicant. This could mean a couple months delay of the process.
How to get the Blue Card?
If you meet all the above mentioned criteria and you want to apply for the Blue Card, this is the process you need to go through:
- The Employer must advertise the position with the Labour Office for at least 30 days. The positions gets a special number which the applicant has to use for his application only after the 30 days.
- You have to collect the required documents:
- application form
- 2 passport sized photos
- proof of accommodation
- employment contract
- proof of education or/and further qualifications if needed
- criminal background check – from the country of origin and all the countries where the applicant has lived for longer than six months within the last three years
- Take the documents either to a Czech Embassy (if this is your first application for a long-term visa or long-term residence permit for the Czech Republic) or to the MOI (if you are residing in the Czech Republic already).
- Wait for the decision. That should officially not take longer than 60-90 days.
- Get a Czech health insurance, go back to the Embassy to collect a special 60 days visa and come to the Czech Republic.
- Go to the MOI based on the city/district where you will be living and submit your biometric data.
- You can officially start working from the moment of submitting your biometric data but your employer must inform the Labour Office about the start of your employment latest on the same day.
- Go collect your biometric card. That usually happens 2-3 weeks after giving your biometric data.
Once you have completed all the above steps, you should be good for two years (unless your employment contract is for a shorter period of time).
You can imagine that there are many possible complications in the process such as:
- low availability of appointments with some Czech Embassies (Ukraine, India, etc.)
- advertising the job in a correct way
- making sure all the documents are correct (apostilled/superlegalized, officially translated into Czech, etc.)
- booking the biometrics appointment (there can be couple weeks waiting times for the biometric appointments at some MOI branches)
We will cover all those “know-how” things in one of our future articles. So far, we encourage you to contacts us through the Contacts page or through the contact form on the right. We have done many successful Blue Card applications and we’ll be happy to help you as well! 🙂
Move To Prague relocations services – your expert in Blue Cards.