Permission to work
Nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway do not need a Visa for their stay in the Czech Republic, irrespective of the length of their stay.
With the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU on May 1st 2004, EU nationals are allowed to enter the country using only their ID – no passport is needed anymore.
Visitors of the Czech Republic from the following countries do not need a visa for a stay up to 90 days either, due to bilateral agreements:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, El Salvador, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA, Vatican and Venezuela.
All other nationals need to acquire a visa before coming to the Czech Republic. Although Transit Visas are usually given out on the same day, the general application process may be very time-consuming.
Note: All foreigners visiting the Czech Republic need to provide proof of their health insurance!
Procedure for obtaining approval. Foreign nationals can apply for a short-term visa (up to 90 days) or a long-term visa (over 90 days) for the purpose of employment. The application for the residency visa must be filed at the Czech Embassy or Consulate. The application for the visa must include:
- A work permit issued by the Labour Office (or evidence of a filed application for work permit).
- A document confirming that accommodation has been secured (for example, a contract for accommodation, a lease or confirmation from the person providing the accommodation).
The application will then be processed by the Ministry of Interior in the Czech Republic.
After the procedure is completed, the Czech Embassy or Consulate will ask the foreign national to return to the Czech Embassy or Consulate to submit their passport so that the new visa can be added to it.
Cost. The costs are as follows:
- Short-term visa: EUR60
- Long-term visa: CZK2,500 (as at 1 January 2015, 1000 CZK was about 37 EUR).
Time frame. The time frames are as follows:
- Short-term visa for the purpose of employment: 15 days (it can be prolonged to between 30 to 60 days in complicated cases).
- Long-term visa for the purpose of employment: 90 days (it can be prolonged to 120 days in complicated cases).
Procedure for obtaining approval. Before a foreign national can be employed for a particular position, the employer is generally obliged to notify the competent Labour Office of the vacant work position and its characteristics. The foreign national or his representative applies for the work permit at a regional branch of the Labour Office. It is issued for a maximum period of two years. The work permit can be extended if the employment will continue with the same employer, up to a maximum period of a further two years.
- The cost is CZK500 (as at 1 January 2015, 1000 CZK was about 37 EUR).
Time frame. The time frame is 30 days (it can be prolonged to 60 days in complicated cases).
The Green Card and the Blue Card comprise both the work permit and residence visa. The Green Card is issued for a specific job position which is listed in the central register of job vacancies suitable for Green Card holders. It can only be applied for by those foreign nationals listed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (currently, foreign nationals from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Japan, Macedonia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United States of America). The Green Card is valid for two to three years (Green Cards issued to qualified employees can be extended under certain circumstances for up to three years). The Blue Card is issued to workers with higher professional or university education that have an employment contract for at least one year with a salary exceeding the statutory limit. A Blue Card is valid for the term of employment set out in the employment contract plus three months, up to a maximum of two years.
Procedure for obtaining approval. The application for a Green Card or Blue Card is submitted at a Czech Embassy or Consulate abroad and processed by the Ministry of Interior.
Cost. The costs are as follows:
- Green Card: CZK1,000 (as at 1 January 2015, 1000 CZK was about 37 EUR).
- Blue Card: CZK1,000 (as at 1 January 2015, 1000 CZK was about 37 EUR).
Time frame. Typically up to 30 days to process the application in for a Green Card, and 90 days for a Blue Card.
The prices for renting an apartment vary significantly between locations, but it is typically possible to find reasonable accommodation for CZK 9000 a month in Prague, if you look in the right places
Cost of living in Chezh Republic
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||105.00 CZK|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||500.00 CZK|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||120.00 CZK|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||30.00 CZK|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||35.00 CZK|
|Cappuccino (regular)||39.58 CZK|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)||27.95 CZK|
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)||21.21 CZK|
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||18.28 CZK|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||20.62 CZK|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||30.45 CZK|
|Eggs (12)||37.16 CZK|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||177.91 CZK|
|Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg)||140.13 CZK|
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||223.83 CZK|
|Apples (1kg)||28.43 CZK|
|Banana (1kg)||30.11 CZK|
|Oranges (1kg)||31.57 CZK|
|Tomato (1kg)||37.68 CZK|
|Potato (1kg)||14.04 CZK|
|Onion (1kg)||14.42 CZK|
|Lettuce (1 head)||20.02 CZK|
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||12.52 CZK|
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||100.00 CZK|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)||14.05 CZK|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||25.83 CZK|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||90.00 CZK|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||24.00 CZK|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||550.00 CZK|
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||40.00 CZK|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||25.00 CZK|
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||360.00 CZK|
|Gasoline (1 liter)||31.97 CZK|
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)||400,000.00 CZK|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||4,096.32 CZK|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)||3.49 CZK|
|Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||392.40 CZK|
|Sports And Leisure||Avg.|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||735.03 CZK|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)||220.39 CZK|
|Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat||160.00 CZK|
|Clothing And Shoes||Avg.|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||1,653.56 CZK|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)||825.24 CZK|
|1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||1,780.10 CZK|
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||2,057.78 CZK|
|Rent Per Month||Avg.|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||11,122.38 CZK|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||8,167.10 CZK|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre||18,213.00 CZK|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||13,477.99 CZK|
|Buy Apartment Price||Avg.|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre||55,297.39 CZK|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre||36,422.26 CZK|
|Salaries And Financing||Avg.|
|Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax)||22,199.43 CZK|
|Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly||2.43|
The job market
Since the Czech Republic is a relatively new member of the EU, many opportunities for international companies have recently arisen. The position of the Czech Republic, right in the centre of Europe, also boosts its attractiveness for many companies. Banking and management consultancy firms, especially, are choosing to base their European headquarters in Prague.
A strong growth in the electrical engineering sector, the automotive industry and in tourism can be witnessed around all the big cities in the country. Further, due to EU deregulation laws, IT and telecommunication services are booming, creating high demand for employees in these sectors.
Every Czech employer who wants to hire a foreigner has to prove that the position could not be filled by a Czech citizen. This process can be very hard and time-consuming. Many employers, especially in smaller companies, therefore avoid looking for foreigners in the first place. This is a great obstacle for expatriates.
Companies with a registered seat outside the Czech Republic are not affected by this regulation, even though a job offered by a non-Czech company might be exactly the same as a job offered by Czech company. It is therefore a lot easier for foreigners to get a job at an international company.
Where can you work?
- Major industries: automotive industry, the leisure and lifestyle sector, IT/telecommunications/electronics, financial services — major international players in all fields from banking to management consultancy, and machinery and equipment.
- Recent growth areas: the construction and engineering industries, and the tourist industry continues to expand.
- Shortage occupations: IT specialists, engineers, skilled manual workers including craftsmen, machine workers and assemblers.
The major cities of Czech Republic are Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen and Olomouc.