“Can my spouse work under the family (reunification) visa in the Czech Republic” is a question we get a lot. The answer is not that simple. This article explains everything about working of spouses under the family reunification visa in the Czech Republic. So, read on 🙂
Two types of family reunification in the Czech Republic
There are generally two way of bringing your family to the Czech Republic:
- Long-term visa with the “family” purpose of stay,
- Long-term residence permit with the “family reunification” purpose of stay.
You can read more about each of the options simply by clicking on the links (they open in a new window so you can keep reading this article 🙂 ) so we will not go much into details about their general differences. What is important for this article is how are they related to the ability of your spouse to work in the Czech Republic. Let’s discover that now.
Working under family (reunification) visa
Simply put, if you are here under a long term visa (sticker in your passport) with the family (reunification) purpose of stay, you can not get easily employed, you still have a few options how to make this work and earn some money in the Czech Republic.
1. Get a trade license
The easiest thing we recommend our clients is to get a trade license and start freelancing. Getting the trade license will not give you access to the Czech Labour market, meaning that you will not be able to get employed. You will be able to invoice companies for your work though.
On one hand, it means you will not be able to get the benefits of standard employment (i.e. paid vacation, social and health insurance etc.), on the other hand, it is the fastest way to start earning money under the family reunification visa. To put it into perspective, we can get you the trade license in 3-5 business days once all the documents are ready. All the other ways to work we describe below will take at least couple months to process.
In some cases the trade license serves as a temporary solution before you process some of the options below. And honestly speaking, some companies even prefer you working under the trade license rather than being “standard employees” since it is way cheaper for the company to hire you as a freelancer.
Get in touch using the form below if you have any questions regarding the trade license, we’ll be happy to answer them. The article continues under the form.
2. Switch to an employee card or a blue card
We described all the required documents and process steps in separate articles but to give you a general idea of how it works. You first need to find a job willing to “sponsor” you, meaning help you a bit with the process (get a vacancy number for you, provide you with an employment contract).
While those are being prepared, you can work on collecting all the other required documents (proof of accommodation, education proof etc.) and once everything is ready you go to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) office responsible for the location where you live and submit your application.
The MOI officially has 60-90 days to make the decision about an employee card or a blue card. When they approve it, you have to book an appointment for the biometrics and once you have done your biometrics, you can start working.
The disadvantage of this approach is that it can take a long time to process everything (say 3-6 months) and it also ties you to one employer. On the other hand, this approach is especially useful if there is a chance the main applicant might lose their job, has no job or might be moving away from the Czech Republic.
You can also use the trade license to bridge the 3-6 months of waiting time for the employee card/blue card to be issued.
3. Working under family reunification residence permit in the Czech Republic
The third way to be able to work in the Czech Republic under the family visa is to actually switch from the long-term visa (sticker in your passport) with family purpose of stay to a long-term residence permit (plastic card, kind of like a separate piece of ID) with a family reunification purpose of stay.
The great advantage of getting the family reunification residence permit is that you get free access to the Czech Labour market along with the residence permit. That means that you can work freely. You are not tied to any employer either so you can switch jobs kind of as you like (just sticking to the legal employment procedures) or even have multiple jobs at the same time.
You also do not really need to work if you do not want to. This is a big difference between this family reunification residence permit and the employee card for example where you can only stay without a job for up 60 days.
So, if possible, if you can wait a bit, applying for the family reunification residence permit sounds like the best option to start working in the Czech Republic. Now, when/how you can apply for the residence permit?
There are two main conditions, one related to your family visa and one related to the main applicant. Both conditions must be met at the same time.
A. First thing is that you can switch from a long-term visa to a long-term residence permit earliest 120 days before your current visa expires (meaning if you got the visa for a year, you will have to wait till you reach month 8 to be able to apply for the residence permit).
B. The main applicant must have their residence permit for certain amount of time
- in case of blue cards holders, this period is 0 days meaning you can apply for the family reunification residence permit anytime (as long as condition A is met),
- in case of employee card holders, the time period is 6 months from when the first employee card was issued,
- in all other cases (business visas, students etc.), the time limit is 15 months.
If the two conditions are met, you have to collect all required documents (see the link to our article about this type of residence permit above) and then submit them to the MOI responsible for the location where you live. The MOI officially has 270 days to make the decision (even though they mostly decide faster).
Once you have been approved, you have to book an appointment for the biometrics. After that, it takes another 2-3 weeks to get the actual family reunification residence permit.
If you did everything properly, the residence card will say “Volny pristup na trh prace – ANO” – Free access to the Labour market – YES which means you can work freely as described above.
We hope this article was helpful and helped you understand the ways to work in the Czech Republic under the family reunification visa.
If you have any questions or need help with any of the processes, fill in any of the forms on this page and get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer your questions 🙂
Yours, Move To Prague relocation experts