Czechia removes the need for work permit for 9 countries

As of 1 July 2024, citizens of these 9 countries are granted free access to the Czech labour market:

Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Singapore and South Korea. 

If you’re a citizen of these countries, read how this change affects you. Keep in mind: you still must have a visa or residence permit to live and work here legally! 

(If you’re planning to move to the Czech Republic, scroll down to the last bit of the article)

Free access to the labour market

What does it mean? 

Free access to the labour market means that in order to be employed in the Czech Republic, you do not need any work permit from the Labour office. You can be employed in the same way Czechs or EU citizens are. The same applies to family members of EU citizens, plus some other categories of foreign nationals: full-time students (on condition that they keep studying throughout), graduates from Czech universities, holders of permanent residence permits and long-term residence permits (not visas!) for the purpose of family reunification. 

And as of July 2024, the nationals of the above-mentioned 9 countries are added to this list.

Read more about free access to the labour market at the Ministry of Interior website. Find the up-to-date list of countries with free access here

What does it allow me to do?

If you are an Australian, British, American, Japanese, Israeli, etc; you’ll now get free access to the labour market based on your nationality, not your current place of residence. For example: a US national living in Thailand has free access to the labour market in the CR. But, a citizen of India living in the USA does not have free access to the labour market.

What does it not allow me to do?

The fact that you have free access to the labour market does not mean that you can legally reside here. You can be employed in the same way as Czech citizens only on the condition that you have a valid residence permit or visa. Without it, you can’t legally do any economic activity in the Czech Republic.

How does this affect me in practice? 

If you are legally residing in the Czech Republic, and have a long-term visa or residence permit that required an additional work permit, it is required no longer.  Other changes depend on what kind of residence permit/visa you have:

a) Blue card: There are no changes for blue card holders. If you want to keep your blue card, it still has to be connected with a position that requires high qualification and you have to receive at least 150% of the average gross salary in the Czech Republic (as of May 2024, that equals 65 012 CZK). 

b) Employee Card:

1] Your change of employer no longer needs to be authorised by the Ministry of Interior. You can change employers freely, or take additional jobs. Your only duty is to notify the Ministry of Interior about the change, within 3 working days. Use this specific form for “free access to the labour market”. 

2] Your Employee Card will not be revoked if you stay unemployed for 60 days.

3] Your current card is still valid = you don’t have to have it reissued. The change will be done automatically by the authorities, just based on your citizenship. They’ll change it from the so-called dual employee card (without free access to the labour market) to the so-called non-dual employee card (with free access to the labour market).

c) Long-term residence permit with the purpose of doing business: You don’t need an additional work permit if you’d like to be employed, but with the condition that you still fulfil your original purpose of residence = doing business. 

d) Students: you need to study throughout, to keep your residence permit, but it no longer needs to be a full-time study programme. Part-time studies are enough.

e) Spouses with family visa: (=family members with long-term visa) You can now work with your visa, and also during the time your application for residence permit is being processed.


I’m planning to work and live in the Czech Republic

For less than 90 days

If you’re a national of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korean Republic, Singapore or Israel, and you plan a short-term working stay in the CR, you will have to apply for a short-term visa with the purpose of employment. It is still not possible to work in the Czech Republic without a valid visa or residence permit.

You can visit and stay in the Czech Republic for up to 90 days without a visa. However, to work, you need a visa even for these short days. You have free access to the labour market only as long as you have a valid visa or residence permit. Visa-free stay entitles you to non-profit stay only.

For more than 90 days

Possible long-term visa/residence permits:

1] Blue Card is connected with a job that requires high qualifications and a minimum gross salary 150% of the average gross salary in the Czech Republic. It might be more convenient to apply for a blue card as it gives advantages such as easier mobility within the EU or family reunification.

2] Employee Card. The process of getting an employee card is now made easier. As of July 2024, your employer doesn’t need to register the vacancy with the Czech Labour office. You don’t need a vacancy number. You don’t need to have your diploma or any other proof of education legalized and officially translated into Czech (unless your position requires it by other laws).

3] Visa/residence permit for another purpose of stay (family reunion, studies, business etc.): this will act as your permit to stay. In addition to your primary purpose, you can now start employment without a work permit.

Where can I get more information?


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