Fast Welcome to the Czech Republic. Great New Visa Procedure
03 September, 2013
As a landlocked country with a small economy but great geographical positioning, the Czech Republic continuously attempts to attract foreign investors. In order to speed up the process of the internal employees transfer of foreign company's branch located in the Czech Republic, the accelerated visa procedure named "Welcome Package" has been developed earlier this year and entered in force last month.
The legal frame for entry and residence of foreigners in the Czech Republic is anchored in Act No. 326/1999 (the "Aliens Act"). As a EU and Schengen area member, the Czech Republic honors and accepts the EU regulations regarding the cross border movement of persons.
Focusing on faster transfer of highly skilled and managerial staff (specialists and managers) from third countries who are temporarily posted to the Czech branch, subject to conditions, the work permits and long-term visa for 6 months can be no obtained within 10 resp. 30 days.
In order to qualify for the fast track procedure, the said newly established Czech branch of an international company has either submitted an application for investment incentives or fulfils these criteria:
1) Minimum number of employees: For IT companies, the plan is to employ 20 employees in the coming 3 years; for manufacturing and business support companies, the plan is to employ 50 employees in the coming 3 years.
2) Purchase of land or a contract on leasing of non-residential premises.
1. The company notifies the relevant regional branch of the Labour Office (LO) regarding vacant positions and negotiates with such branch a plan to hire a given number of foreign specialists/managers and submits an application for issuance of work permits.
2. The company subsequently announces its intention to participate in the Welcome Package project to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT), completes an application for inclusion of the company in the Welcome Package project and submits all mandatory appendices of the application.
3. The MIT evaluates the application and forwards the outcome to the company in writing.
4. In case of positive outcome (= the company may participate in the project), a statutory body, manager or key specialist of the given company shall submit a visa application to an embassy (and ensure in advance, at his/her own expense, the express application dispatch service). The embassy will send the visa application to the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
5. The LO will rule on the issuance of a work permit. Subsequently, the LO will send its ruling to the MoI for assessment.
6. The MoI will assess the submitted long-term visa application and, in the case of fulfillment of the statutory conditions, issue a long-term visa.
7. Based on the instruction of the MoI, the embassy will inform the foreigner and imprint a long-term visa in the foreigner's travel document.
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