By Pavel Jakab
Peterka & Partners
Under the amendment to the Employment Act and certain other laws which took effect on 1 January 2009, the Czech Republic started issuing green cards to foreigners at the beginning of this year. The law also permits a green card holder to apply for permanent residence after one year of residence in the Czech Republic.
The green card is essentially a long-term residence permit and an employment license authorizing the holder to work at a specific position for the duration of the green card. Foreigners are able to solicit job vacancies in which Czech Republic and other EU citizens and their family members have shown no interest in for 30 days (this does not include vacancies for state and municipal positions).
Types of Green Cards
The Czech Republic issues three types of green cards to foreigners: type A for qualified university graduates and key personnel - valid for a maximum of three years; type B for workers who have graduated from high or trade schools - valid for two years (or a maximum of three years); type C for ‘other’ workers - valid also for two years (type C cards cannot be extended however).
If a foreigner loses their job through no fault of their own, they must find another job within 60 days in order to remain “in-status.” If they fail to do so they must leave the country after the expiration of the 60 day grace period. Vacancies are offered to foreigners through a special central register maintained by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in order to help them gain new employment.
Family members of card A and B holders are allowed to join them after half a year and one year of the cardholder being resident in the Czech Republic, respectively; family members of card C holders are not allowed to do so.
Application A foreigner may apply for a green card at the Czech embassy in the relevant state or directly at the Ministry of the Interior in the Czech Republic. The Ministry issues the green card within 30 days of receiving the application; however, the Ministry retains the right to grant or deny an application for a green card. A green card application may be denied for various reasons including (but not limited to) national security concerns.
 It should be noted that only citizens of states included in the list drafted by the Ministry of the Interior are allowed to seek jobs in the Czech Republic.