Hiring foreign workers in the Czech Republic is a complex and constantly evolving process.
The Czech-based employer has various options for attracting, engaging, and recruiting foreign individuals, depending on factors such as their professional background, nationality, and the intended duration of their stay.
Before taking the plunge with your first international hire in the Czech Republic, dive into our comprehensive guide.
It covers essential information regarding the employment of non-EU nationals in the country as well as frequently asked questions on how to apply for a Czechia work visa and permit.
Steps for Hiring Foreign Workers in the Czech Republic
The rules governing the employment of foreigners in the Czech Republic are stipulated in the Employment Law. This law is mainly regulated by Act No. 262/2006 Coll. – The Labor Code.
The Employment Law permits the employment of 3rd-country nationals or stateless individuals within Czechia, contingent upon their acquisition of an employment permit and residence authorization.
You can find below all the steps required to effectively hire foreign workers for your Czech company.
Step 1: Check If You Meet the Requirements
In the Czech Republic, the recruitment of foreign labor can occur through either a conventional employment contract or a temporary agreement (prácovni dohoda).
Irrespective of your selection, you must complete the following registrations in order to qualify for international hiring:
- Registration with the tax office for income-related taxation
- Registration with one or more public health care providers
- Registration with the social office
- Enrollment in cooperative health insurance to cover company liability
Finally, you must not be engaged in any recent infractions.
For instance, you must not have been penalized for unlawfully employing foreign workers within the past four months.
Likewise, you should not have incurred fines exceeding 50,000 CZK from the Labor Inspection Office due to violations of industrial regulations.
Step 2: Conduct a Labor Market Test
Current labor laws and regulations in the Czech Republic allow employers to hire foreign workers only when they cannot find suitable Czech citizens for specific job openings.
These openings can be either new positions or existing ones that are now vacant.
As an employer, the first step you must take in order to get started with international hiring is to inform the competent Labor Authority about these vacancies.
According to the provisions of the Employment Act, the recruitment of a third-country national for a job vacancy is permissible only after the vacancy has been formally reported to the Labor Authority. Additionally, the vacancy must remain open for a minimum of 30 days from the date of reporting.
Once the Labor Authority determines that no Czech Republic national or citizen from other EU countries is eligible for the role, you may proceed with international recruitment.
Step 3: Learn about the Different Types of Czech Work Permits for Employees
In the Czech Republic, there are three main types of work permits:
- Employee Card: Allows foreign citizens to live and work in the country for up to two years, tied to a specific job and employer. It can be extended.
- EU Blue Card: Issued to non-EU citizens with advanced qualifications and a job offer from a Czech employer, valid for two years and renewable.
- Intra-Company Transferee Card: Enables foreign nationals to work in higher positions (manager or specialist) for three years or as an employed intern for one year.
However, in most cases, non-EU workers enter the country under an employee card. This is the most common type of work permit in the Czech Republic for foreign nationals.
As an employer, you are responsible for initiating the work permit application process for your potential hires.
Step 4: Apply for an Employee Card
Czech employers must file a request for authorization to recruit foreign workers with the Labor Authority located in the region where the prospective employee’s job will be based.
As part of the application process, you must provide the Labor Authority with the following documents:
- Authenticated copy of business index excerpt
- Authenticated copy of the business permit (alternatively, you may submit other certifications confirming the legal status of the organization, such as the foundational document of a social organization)
- Evidence of the steps taken to address the shortage of labor force (e.g., job advertising)
- A complete job description
- A description of the housing or accommodation arrangements, allowing for an evaluation of whether the provided lodging adheres to sanitary regulations
- A draft labor contract. The contract must include information such as type of work, place of work, start date, expected term of employment, gross salary, etc.
When the labor authority grants you permission to hire foreign workers in the Czech Republic, every foreign employee, before starting their work, must secure a work visa.
Step 5: Your Future Employee Applies for a Czechia Work Visa
The application for a Czechia work visa must be submitted by your future employee at the competent Embassy or Consulate of the Czech Republic.
Together with the application, your future worker must submit the following documents:
- Duly completed and signed application form
- Passport-size picture
- Education diplomas
- Professional certifications relevant to the field they intend to work in within the Czech Republic. These documents must be translated into Czech and legalized
- Proof of accommodation
- Employment contract
- Proof of a clean criminal record
- For certain professions such as those falling under the medical, restaurant, or food industry, a health certificate is mandatory
The fee for a Czechia work visa is CZK 5000 (around € 205).
In most cases, the processing time for a Czech Republic work visa is 30 to 60 days.
Upon approval, the employee will receive a temporary visa allowing them to enter the Czech Republic.
After Entering the Czech Republic
After entering the country, your employees must submit their biometric information to the Ministry of the Interior.
Following this, the competent authorities will issue a certificate confirming compliance with the conditions for issuing an Employee Card.
This certificate will enable your employee to secure employment and commence work while waiting for their employee card to be issued.
The employment permit is issued by the labor authority with jurisdiction over the workplace location.
An employee card is valid for a specific duration, with the maximum period not exceeding one year.
A foreign national can apply multiple times for an employment permit.
Hiring Foreign Workers in the Czech Republic under Trade License (Živnostenský List)
While some Czech businesses prefer to hire non-EU workers as full-time employees, others prefer to hire them under a trade license (Živnostenský list).
Under the Živnostenský list, employee registration is not necessary, and there are no social or health charges to be paid.
You can opt for this type of employment if the nature of the work is not permanent. This arrangement is commonly referred to as the “Svarc system”.
Foreigners hired under the Živnostenský list can obtain a trade license freelance or contractor visa commonly known as the Zivno visa.
The Zivno visa is valid for 12 months with the possibility of extension.
Hiring Foreign Workers in the Czech Republic: Final Considerations
Hiring foreign workers in the Czech Republic may seem challenging, with its fair share of red tape and bureaucratic hurdles.
However, it’s crucial to remember that with the right guidance and a well-thought-out strategy, you can successfully navigate through these challenges.
The Czech Republic’s growing reputation as a global business hub makes it an attractive destination for both employers and employees alike.
So, don’t let the paperwork deter you. Instead, embrace the opportunity to bring fresh perspectives and expertise to your team. This will contribute to the growth and success of your business in the country’s dynamic labor market.
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