Business, Visa

New Immigration Law – Changes and rules


Amendment to the Czech Immigrant Act – important changes

 

From the 15th of August, there are going to be a few major changes in the Immigration law. The changes mainly apply for holders / applicants of long-term visas, business visas, and holders/applicants of long-term residence permits in the Czech Republic, as well as family members of EU citizens. Please, read the article, where we summarised and simplified the new changes, and see if any of this applies to you!


GENERAL

• Administration fees

For applications filed by third country nationals in the territory of the Czech Republic, administrative fees have been introduced for reception of the application. It means, you newly are required to pay the fee already when filing in the application, and also after receiving the card.

• New types of permit

New types of long-term residence permits have been introduced, specifically a card of an intra company transferred employee (for foreign nationals who are transferred within a company from a state, which is not an EU member state, to the Czech Republic) and a card of an intra company transferred employee from another member state of the European Union (for foreign nationals who have already been transferred within a company to an EU state and wish to be transferred from that state to the Czech Republic now).

 

• Filing an application

An application for a long-term visa and an application for a long-term residence permit or a permanent residence permit is inadmissible, if the foreign national did not make a prior appointment at the embassy for filing the application.

It is mandatory to submit the originals of the travel document, documents from the vital statistics office and the document on the purpose of residence in the territory of the Czech Republic.

 

• Submission of the application

Failure to submit the required attachments to an application for issue or for renewal of the period of validity or residence with a long-term visa when such an application is filed will result in such an application being inadmissible and the proceedings on such an application will not be commenced. If a foreign national files such an application, he or she will not even acquire the authorisation to stay defined in Section 60(4) of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals (referred to as the “fiction of the validity of a long-term visa”).

 

BUSINESS VISA

• Transition to a business residence

If you`re in the Czech Republic with a long-term residence for less than 5 years, and you decide that you want to change the purpose of your stay here for a business residence, you must submit your application as soon as possible. How it used to be: you had to stay at least 2 years in order to change the purpose of your stay to business, now it is 5 years. Foreign nationals who are staying in the country with a long-term residence permit for the purpose of family unification are exempt from this rule.

 

• Long-term residence permit

An application for renewal of all long-term residence permits (including employee cards) is to be filed 120 days – 0 days before the expiry date of the existing permit. The extention of the long-term visas is 90 days in this case.    If the time limit for filing an application for renewal of a long-term residence permit ends on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the application can still be filed on the following workday.

 

• Long-term residence permit for the purpose of business

Newly, you are also required to present Absence of outstanding payments is to be proved by certificates from the authorities of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic.

 

EMPLOYEE CARDS

• Employee card for shareholders and managing directors of companies who also work for their company

If you have an employment card based on the fact that you`re a shareholder or a managing director for this company, you may want to ask for a change of your residence permit to a business one or change your employer. After the change to the Immigrant Act takes place, you will no longer be able to be an executive and a shareholder in a company based on your employment card, basically you will be no longer be able to employ yourself. And more important, after the Amendment will become active, you will no longer be able to apply for a change to the business residence, unless you`re in the Czech Republic for more than 5 years.

 

• Change of employer

If you own an employee card for Czech Republic, and you decide to change jobs while you`re also applying for a new card (permission to change your employer), you must do it now. After the Immigrant Act becomes active, the process will get more complicated, a new change may be that you will need a document from your employer that the original job lasts. So, if you wish to avoid more paperwork, try to do it before the Immigrant act becomes active.

An applicant for renewal of an employee card has an opportunity to find a new employment within 60 days of the termination of his or her employment, for which the employee card was issued to him or her, and to apply for an approval of the change of his or her employer no later than within this time limit.

 

 

EU CITIZENS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS

• Family members without a residence permit

If you are in the Czech Republic based on having a family member here, without a residence permit or based on an exit order or exit visa, you must submit your application as soon as possible. After the amendment to the Immigrant Act becomes active, you will have to leave Czech Republic and apply for a short-stay visa through your embassy. (now, you still can apply for temporary residency even if you have non or are here on the basis of exit order).

 

 

OTHER

• Permanent stay for an adult dependent child
According to this change, it will no longer be possible for a dependent child to receive a permanent residence permit for unification with the parents. This change will only apply to minors (up to 18 years old). If you have permanent residence and you`re planning to apply for a residence permit for your child who studies in Czech Republic, you may want to do it before the amendment becomes active.

The full text of changes made by the Amendment to the Act on the Residence can be found and downloaded here:  List_of_Changes_of_the_Amendment_to_the_Act_on_the_RFN_-_from_August-15th-2017


If you found yourself in one of the situations above, and you are not quite sure what your rights are, don’t panic! Give us a call or write us an email at info@movetoprague.com, or directly to our Immigrations Specialists Jan, Daria, Mari or Michaela (see all the necessary contacts here ), and ask about your case! We will be very happy to advise you, and will not leave you in the dark! 

39 Comments

  • Under ‘Change of Employer’, what do you mean by ” the original job lasts. “? That the job you had is still a position the company offers (that you haven’t been “let go/fired”)?

    “An applicant for renewal of an employee card has an opportunity to find a new employment within 60 days of the termination of his or her employment, for which the employee card was issued to him or her, and to apply for an approval of the change of his or her employer no later than within this time limit.” This is 60 days from the end of employment, meaning the last day you were employed by the original company – which means, with the 60 days notice you must give your employer, that would be 120 days between when you give your resignation and the application for a change of employer, correct?

    • Hi Jason,

      Firstly, the document that the priginal jobs lasts can be just a simple proof from HR saying you still work them. Or, if you don’t work there anymore, it has to be max 60 days old, saying that the job finished. For example, the agreement of termination, or the notice of termination. I believe it is 60 days after the job has oficially finished, not when the leaving notice was given, if that was your second question.
      Also, note they might require additional documents, but it is not possible to know which ones by now.
      Daria

  • Dear Daria/Jan

    Does any of this apply to us? As I understand the text we are EU citizens residing in CZ.

    • Hi Robin! So far, there are no changes for you you can be calm! If there is any new information, we will let you know. Daria

  • Hi,
    I am finishing my studies in next year. i will complete my 2 years in December . i am having trade license as freelancer. can i change the status from student to freelancer? i am from Bangladesh.? Thanks

    • Hi Ariful,

      thank you very much for your question.

      A new immigration law will become effective from the 15th of August. This new law unfortunatelly changes the rule about switching to business residence. You can only do it after 5 years of legally staying in the Czech Republic.

      If you wanted to change your status to business, you would have to go back home and apply from there.

      Please let me know if we can help!

      Have a great day!

      Jan – Your first friend in Prague

      • Hi Jan,
        Thanks a lot for ur response. is it possible to change employee if i am getting job while studying?

        Thanks a lot

        • Hi again 🙂

          you can apply for an employee card if you find an employer who is willing to go through the employee card process with you 🙂 That would allow you to stay after your studies.

          If your question was if you can change employers during your studies than yes, why not 🙂 You just need to follow the employment contract you have (leaving notice, etc.).

          Have a lovely day!

  • Hello,

    Currently, I resigned managing director(Jednatel) in the company. my visa (Business visa(no.36) is valid until march of 2018. It’s possible to apply for employment card if I would find a job in Czech Republic? Thank you. Ivan

    • Hi Ivan,

      thank you for your question.

      As always, it is hard to tell you something certain if we do not know anything about your case (every case is different even if you are doing the same thing). In general, you can apply for the employee card anytime until the end of validity of your current visa/residence permit. You just need to find an employer who is willing to go through the process with you (since the employee card requires a lotfrom his side too).

      Please let us know if we can help!

      Jan on behalf of the whole Move To Prague team 🙂

  • hi….i am a job and bio metric card holder in prague and also i am legally doing job here from last 5 months. can i change my job ?let me know

    • Hi Tanim,

      thank you for your comment 🙂

      Yes, you can change your job anytime but you have to ask the Ministry of the Interior for approval of the change first. You will need your new employment contract and new translation of your diploma. The approval process should officially not take longer than 30 days but the Ministry do not really respect any timelines so it can take even longer.

      Have a lovely day!

      Move To Prague relocation experts

  • Hi. I’m getting a new passport next week so that means my current passport will be canceled. Currently, all my papers regarding my trade license, residence permit etc. have my old passport details on it. Does that mean that I have to go the immigration office to change these details? Would it be possible to do it after I return from a trip because I don’t think I have time to do all that in the next two weeks. Any help or advice would be great! Thanks.

    • Hi C,

      thank you for your comment and question.

      Yes, you have to report all such changes to the Ministry of the Interior. You need to report the new passport within three days. If you don’t, you can pay uo to 3000 CZK fine and the Ministry will see the note everytime they open your file (renewing visas, etc.).

      Let us know if we can help and have a lovely day!

      Jan on behalf of the whole team 🙂

  • Hello,
    I am nonEU citizen with an Employee Card.
    1)In case i want to change my Employee, can i ask for approval while i am on notice period? It means i have alredy resigned but i have to stay the notice period.
    2)Does the new job should be listed on the jobs for foreigners before offered to me?
    Kr,
    Andy

    • Hi Andy,

      thank you for the comment and apologies for the delayed reaction.

      As for your questions:

      1. Yes, you can apply for the change of employer anytime (before leaving notice, during leaving notice and after leaving the job).

      2. Yes, the new job must be advertised with the Labour Office and must have the number of position (given after three daysof advertising it).

      Hope this still helps!

      Move To Prague relocation experts

  • Hello,
    I have heard that if you change employer you need to go to a labor/immigration office with the resignation letter signed from your current employer and the signed accepted offer from the new employer all translated into Czech. Only after having done this you can start the employee card process (I am not from an EU country). Once you have the stamp from this mysterious labor/immigration office you cannot start your new job for another 3 months. Do you know anything about that?

    • Hi G 🙂

      there has always been a process for changing the employer.

      You need to go to the Ministry of the Interior and submit request for the change of employer. You will need a new employment contract (the job must be advertised with Labour Office for at least 30 days to get a special number), you might need the resignation from the previous job and also new copy of your diploma/qualification.

      Of course, all the above documents must originals or notarized copies, all of them must be in Czech or officially translated into Czech and all the documents issued outside of the Czech Republic must be apostilled or superlegalized first.

      As for not working for three months, yes, until the change of employer is approved, you are not allowed to work for the new employer. No one says though, that you can not keep working for the old one 🙂

      Please let us know if you wanna do a consultation about the topic to make everything more clear for you 🙂

      Thank you and have a great day!

      Your first friend in Prague!

  • I am curious, will the new laws affect third nationals applying for studies at Czech universities (Student visas)? I am an American planning to apply to a university in Brno and hope to stay/teach English between terms.

    • Hi Rick,

      thank you for your comment.

      I do not think thereare any major changes in this field.

      The only thing is that you were allowed to switch from your study visa to business (freelance) visa after two years before. It is 5 years now.

      Nothing else we could think of now 🙂

      Let us know if you need help with your application!

      Move To Prague relocation experts

  • Hi,
    Currently i am working for a restaurant in prague about 18 month with unlimited contact, i have plan to change my job and get a offer from another company with different position. what is the best processor to change my job. please not i have long term residence permit,

    • Hi Nurul,

      thank you very much for your comment and question.

      The new job will have to be listed at the Labour Office for 30 days before you can apply for the change of the employer. So the first thing I would do in your position is to make sure that your new employer is gonna give you a full support in the process. You will need the position to be advertised + you will need a new employment contract. You should also consider how long your leaving period is in your current job and how easily they will let you go.

      Please get in touch with us through one of these contacts if you have further questions!

      Have a great day!

      Your first friend in Prague!

  • My girlfriend is pregnant and wants to have my child in the CZ is it possible for me to apply for a long term visa thru family reunification?

    • Hi Oscar,

      thank you for the comment.

      Unfortunatelly, we do ot have enough information to give you a proper advice.

      The main thing missing is your nationality an the type of visa/residence permit you are holding. Your girlfriend’s nationality is also important.

      If one of you is from the EU, no problem with bringing her here. If none of you is from the EU, you would have to get married first.

      Please get in touch if you want a more detailed answer.

      Thank you and have a lovely day!

      Your first friend in Prague!

      Jan

  • Hi,

    My wife just moved here on long term visa basis, I am here on employee card and I have Czech diploma, is she allowed to look for jobs?

    • Hi Leander,

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Unfortunatelly, your wife is not allowed to work under the long-term visa. Once you have been here for longer than 6 months though, she can apply for the long-term residence permit and once she gets it, she´ll be able to work 🙂

      Let us know if you want us to help you with obtaining the long-term residence permit 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Jan on behalf of the whole Move To Prague relocation services team 🙂

  • Respected,
    I am in the process of getting employee card and my husband and children will apply for family reunification type of residence permit (dependants). We are all non EU citizens. Big question follows: is my husband allowed to change his type of residence permit from family unification to employee card (given that his new company will go through whole long process of advertising position in Labour Office, he apply then in home country Ambassy, wait 60-90 days etc.)? Is there any time limits during which he is not allowed to change type of residence permit? I found at one web site that after you get family unification visa you are not allowed to apply to employee card for one year? True or false? Thank you very much in advance.

    • Hi Sanja,

      Thank you very much for your comment.

      Good news for you 🙂 Your husband can apply for the employee card anytime 🙂 I am not aware of any limitations in this matter. He also does not need to go to any Embassy. As long as he has the long-term visa, he can apply for the employee card here.

      Another thing is that when he gets the long-term residence permit, he will have a free access to the Labour Market so he will be allowed to work legally even without the switch to the employee card.

      Please feel free to get in touch if you need any more information 🙂

      Thank you and live to the fullest!

      Jan on behalf of the whole Move To Prague team! 🙂

  • Hi,

    I am in the last course of my master study and also working for full time 8-9 month now.
    Is it possible for me to apply for employment visa and change purpose from study to work by myself?

    Thank you in advance,
    Orkhan

    • Hi Orkhan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Let me divide my reply into two parts:

      1. Yes, you can apply for the employee card and switch there from the visa you currently have.

      2. No, you will very likely not do that yourself. The thing is that obtaining the employee card usually requires good cooperation of the employer, the employee and an experienced visa adviser. It is a several steps process and all the steps must be done properly if you wanna get the card.

      Please feel free to get in touch if you wanna discuss further.

      Thank you and have a lovely day!

      Jan on behalf of the whole team 🙂

  • I got a question here, if I have an employee card, and my wife has long visa to stay with me, will she be able to work in CZ? Is she entitled to work? I heard that after 6months of starting my job she can start to work, is there is anything clear for this?

  • Hello. I have an employee card visa and work for company A. Now I want to change my job, sign contract with company B and work full time based on trading license which I have obtained. Do I need to change my purpose of stay to business visa? Or should I wait 5 years in order to do so?

    • Hi Rovshan,

      Thank you for the comment.

      Several points to your questions:

      1. Working full-time for one company based on trade license is basically illegal because the only thing why companies do that is to save a lot of money on taxes, health insurance and social security.

      2. You can onl change the purpose of your stay from employee card to business residence permit after 5 years of being here.

      Please get in touch with us if you need any detailed information 🙂

      Thank you and have a great day!

      Move To Prague relocation experts

  • Hi .
    I have czech residance permit for 5 years and i did renew it again for 5 years because my wife is czech.now we unfortenatly spearte.im afraid i cant renew my residence again by my self next year.so im asking please whats the best solution for me .do i have to change to buisness residence and open trade licence.or just because i was married now for 8 years will that allow me to stay in czech even after divorce.thanks for help
    Im 3 national

    • Hi Ali,

      Thank you for your question.

      It would be better to discuss your case in person so please get in touch with us here.

      In general though, if you have been here for ten years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, which might be the best way forward 🙂 If you have the Temporary Residence permit you will not even need to do the language exams 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Jan on behalf of the whole team 🙂

  • Hi. I filed for an extension for my long term residence permit a few months back and I was wondering how long approximately it takes for the Ministry to come to a decision.

    Thanks.

    • Hi 🙂

      Well, it depends on what type of residence permit you have. In most cases, the official period is 60-90 days. Honestly speaking though, the MOI does not care. We know of cases which have been taking 1,5 years and longer.

      You can always ask about the status of your application as well as to file a complaint against inactivity of the MOI.

      Please let us know if you need any help with that 🙂

      Jan on behalf of the whole team!

  • Hello. I am a non-EU citizen and my employer is on the process of applying for my employee card/work permit. My husband will apply for family reunification (dependant). Can he work if he finds a job as soon as we arrive? does he need to apply for an employee card sponsored by his employer?

    • Hi Juliana,

      Thank you very much for your question 🙂

      Unfortunatelly, if you have the employee card, the first step for your husband will be obtaining the long-term visa. He unfortunatelly can not work under this visa. He will be allowed to work freely once he receives his long-term residence permit for which he can apply once you reach 6 months of being here under the employee card 🙂

      Please get in touch if you need more detailed explanation 🙂

      Thank you and have a lovely weekend!

      Move To Prague relocation experts

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