Green cards - dual permit for foreigners working in the Czech Republic (CR)
By Martin Murad
Peterka & Partners
Green card (“GC”) represents a dual permit combining a Czech long-term residence permit with work permit.
GC also allows for free movement in the Schengen area for up to three months within a six months’ period (besides CR) starting from the first entry to a Schengen country. Only nationals of 12 countries (Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Japan, Korea, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, Ukraine and USA) are eligible to apply for a GC. There are three types of GC: “A” (college graduates and key personnel, valid for three years), “B” (skilled workers, valid for two years) and “C” (others, valid for two years).
Each GC is issued for a particular work position listed in online database of positions kept by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (portal.mpsv.cz). A position may be listed in this database if no Czech or EU national or their family members are hired within 30 days, or if this position is regarded as suitable for key personnel by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Generally, applicants can apply for GC at the Czech Embassy abroad. In some cases (e.g. persons already holding a GC for a certain period), it is also possible to apply in the CR. The Ministry of Interior shall decide on (non)issuance of the GC within maximum 30 days. If an employment of a GC holder was terminated i.e. for so-called “organizational reasons” (e.g. if the employment or part of it is cancelled or transferred), the person concerned may find another job in the central database within 60 days and apply for a new green card. If a foreigner’s employment has been terminated for other reasons, he or she must leave the CR without delay.
One of the discussed issues is that the employer’s consent is not necessary for a GC to be issued. The issuance of a GC does not guarantee that its holder will be selected for the job. The final decision lies with the employer. He or she will usually decide after an interview with the foreigner. This may lead to a situation in which the employer rejects the GC holder. The Government has made a proposal for amendment to this pertinent act in order to eliminate this insufficiency, and should the Parliament adopt it, the issuance of the GC will be subject to i.a. the employer’s prior consent.