Work Conditions for Foreigners in the CR

 

Work Conditions for Foreigners in the CR

A foreigner’s right to work in the Czech Republic is related to the type of their residence permit and their country of origin. The first thing to know is whether you are a foreigner entitled to free or conditional access to the labour market.

With free access to the labour market, you don’t need any further permits to be able to work.

With conditional access to the labour market, you need to arrange a work permit. The most frequent types of work permit are: Employee Card, Blue Card, and Special Work Visa.

 

Free access to the labour market

Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland and their family members do not need an employment permit. Family members of citizens of the Czech Republic who are not EU citizens may enter the labour market without an employment permit, an Employee Card, a Blue Card, or an Intra-Company Employee Transfer Card, if that they have obtained a temporary residence permit in form of a residence card for family members of EU citizens issued by the Ministry of the Interior, or if they can prove (by a record in the travel document or an official confirmation) that they have applied for temporary residence permit for family members of EU citizens.

Free access to the labour market also applies to you in the following situations:

  • You reside in the CR based on a permanent residence permit.
  • You are a student (provided that you are studying a full-time programme, which you have not suspended).
  • You reside in the CR based on a long-term residence permit for the purpose of family reunification with a spouse who has a long-term or permanent residence permit.
  • You are a graduate of studies in the CR. However, if the purpose of your stay is employment, you need an Employee Card, which will serve only as a residence permit.
  • You are a holder of international protection.

An exhaustive list of situations giving rise to free access to the labour market is available on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

 

Conditional access of foreigners to the labour market 

The following groups of foreigners need to obtain a work permit to be able to perform work in the CR:

  • Students under 26 on exchange study programmes.
  • Employees posted to the CR by an international employer (outside the EU).
  • Interns.
  • Holders of the long-term residence permit for the purpose of conducting business.
  • Short-term and long-term visa holders.

 

Types of work permits for foreigners

The work permit most often applied for by foreigners is an Employee Card.

It is also possible to apply for a Blue Card. You apply for a blue card if you want to do a job which requires a higher level of qualification (higher vocational education or university education).

There are exceptions to the rule: sometimes foreigners still have to apply for a work permit at the labour office to be able to submit it later when applying for the Employee Card.

 Further information about the specific groups of foreign nationals and permits is available in the Safe Work manual.

 

Employee Card

The employee card is basically a dual permit as the card entitles foreign nationals to legally reside in the CR and at the same time it functions as permission for employment. The card has been issued since spring 2014 by the Ministry of the Interior of the CR, the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy,and it replaces the long-term visa and residence permit for the purpose of employment and the Green Card.

The employee card is a plastic card with biometric elements, which is issued for a maximum period of 2 years. It depends on the duration of your employment contract. You may apply for an extension of the card 120 days before the expiration of the existing card  at the earliest and on the last day of its validity at the latest. If you are planning to come to work in the Czech Republic, you have to apply for the card at the Czech diplomatic mision in your country of origin.

The card is always issued for a particular job position which does not require a high level of qualification (that is qualification corresponding with higher vocational education or university education).

The job position has to be published on the Integrated Portal of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

To be able to get an employee card, you need to have an employment contract or an agreement to perform work!
If you are a highly skilled worker (with qualification on the level of higher vocational education or university education), apply for the Blue Card!

For more information about the employee card including conditions of its issuance, see the Useful Information for Foreigners section on the website of the Association for Integration and Migration.

 

Which Office to Contact?

  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs provides information on work in the CR and employment agencies on their website. The ministry also administers a database of vacancies available for foreigners. The web design changed in 2019, you will now find all necessary information in the Zahraniční zaměstnanost (Foreign Employment) section. The information is available in English, Russian and Ukrainian.

 

Labour Inspectorate

The main task of the labour inspectorate is to monitor compliance with obligations arising from labour regulations, including regulations on occupational health and safety. It deals with both Czech citizens and foreign nationals. In legitimate cases, the labour inspectorate authorities may impose fines for administrative transgressions and other administrative wrongdoings.

If you think that your employer does not fulfill their obligations or otherwise violates your employment contract (e.g. does not pay you your wage), seek free legal counselling or contact the Labour Inspectorate and they will look into your situation. Contacts for individual labor inspectorates can be found here.