Changes in the Immigration Law
Changes were made to the law regarding residence permits (Act No. 326/1999 Coll., as amended). Although they’ve been in effect since the beginning of August, very few offices or experts actually know how precisely they’ll manifest in practice. Still, we’ve assembled this list of areas that have been affected the most and that you should pay attention to.
We are also organising a seminar on this topic. We’ve invited our reliable cooperating attorneys, Petyovský & Partners, to present the key changes. You can book a seat – the seminar will take place in the City Library, 14 November – after a few months experiencing the new legislation in practise.
1: A new residence permit for graduates and researchers
The new rules mainly intend to make life easier for foreign students and research workers. Under the amendment, after finishing their studies or research, foreign students and research workers who successfully completed their studies or research in the Czech Republic may apply for a new type of a residence permit for up to nine months to find employment or start a business in the CR. Apply for the Long-term residence permit for the purpose of seeking employment before the expiration of the student/research residence card.
Also, holders of residence permits for the purpose of research or study issued by another EU member state may stay in our country for up to one year without a visa.
2: Fees are raised and quotas set
The approved amendment includes the government’s authorization to set economic migration quotas and to activate extraordinary work visas. The visa fees are raised (e.g. 5,000 CZK for application for employee card filed at embassy) and fees for applications to the Immigration office are unified and to be fully paid at the moment of filing the application (2,500 CZK for new residence or renewal).
3: Residence address no longer written on the cards
Newly, there is no need to exchange a biometric card for a new address when you move. This way, you can save 1,000 CZK fee for an updated card. The residence permit cards issued to holders of long-term residence permits will no longer state the information on the holder’s registered address of residence. The current place of residence in the country can be entered into his/her travel document, or a written certificate can be issued.
So, there’s no need to report the change of residence with the new residence card in person, you can just send the original or the certified copy of your new accommodation contract along with the form for reporting changes to the Immigration office.
4: Employee cards
Provisions concerning employee cards were added to the wording by an amending proposal. In the future, when collecting their new residence permit, employees will have to submit their employer’s confirmation that they actually have started work.
Changes in employment, employers or positions will no longer require the consent of the Ministry of the Interior; instead, it will suffice to notify the ministry of the change of employer or position at least 30 days in advance. In reality, this change is merely cosmetic, as applicants will still have to wait up to 30 days for the ministry’s confirmation that the conditions for making the change have been met. The new Application form for change of employer followed by a form for Employer statement of professional competence for employment is available in Czech and English.
Foreigners with Employee card but with free access to the labour market (i.e. students and graduates of Czech universities or EU family members or foreigners with long term residence permit for family reunification) only need to give notice of such changes to the Ministry of the Interior – the same way it worked until now, that is, within 3 working days of the moment when the change occurred on the form: The application form for notifying the change of employer (designed for foreign nationals with free access to the labour market).
4.1: Change of an employer
The amendment limits the possibility of changing an employer – this will only be possible after six months from issuing the first employee card. This does not apply to all situations* . For cards issued under a special migration programme, changes are permitted only after the end of the card’s validity. The possibility to switch from an employer to an employment agency will also be limited.
The validity of an employee card will still end if a foreign national, after the end of the employment for which the employee card was issued, fails to give notice of a change of his/her employer within 60 days of the end of the employment, or if such a notice is regarded as a notice that has not been approved.
All forms for Employee card can be found here.
Book a seat at our upcoming seminar to learn more:
News in the Immigration Law, 14 November
*To change the job in the first six months is possible only if a) the employer has closed down, b) the employer relocates, c) the employee becomes redundant owing to the decision of the employer to reduce the number of employees, d) according to a medical certificate issued by a doctor, the employee is not allowed to perform his current work due to an injury or disease, e) the employee has resigned because the employer has not paid salary within 15 days of the due date, f) the employer has terminated the contract during the probation period.
The Parliament of the Czech Republic passed an amendment to the Act on Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Territory of the Czech Republic (Act No. 326/1999 Coll., as amended), effective from 1 August 2019.
The amendment introduced a number of important changes related to offices dealing with matters concerning stay of foreign nationals on the territory of the Czech Republic as well as conditions for the entry and stay on the Czech territory.
The Official List of changes made by the amendment is available at the Ministry of Interior website.