Due to the current events on the territory of Ukraine, the number of refugees from Ukraine has been increasing in the Czech Republic in recent days and may continue to increase. As it is expected that Ukrainian citizens will be interested in employment during their stay in the Czech Republic, this article provides you with an overview on how to get employed for Ukrainian citizens.
LEGAL SITUATION AS OF 16. 3. 2022
Arrival of Ukrainian citizens in the Czech Republic
In general, citizens of Ukraine can cross the state border of the Czech Republic without the need for a visa (visa-free entry) on the basis of their biometric passports. Citizens of Ukraine arriving on the territory of the Czech Republic under the visa-free regime or whose short-term visa expires (within 14 days) have the possibility to apply for a special long-term visa.
Refugees from Ukraine can enter the Czech Republic on a visa-free basis, which allows them to stay in the Czech Republic for 90 days. It is important that Ukrainian citizens take out travel health insurance for the duration of their visa-free stay. They are also obliged to register with the Police of the Czech Republic within 30 days (prolonged) from the date of entry. If it is not private accommodation, the registration is handled by the accommodation provider.
Furthermore, Ukrainian citizens can come here on the basis of a short-term visa or citizens who have a long-term residence in the Czech Republic can return.
Should a situation arise where a short-term visa is about to expire without the possibility of extension and departure, Ukrainian citizens may present themselves at the Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic within 14 days before the expiry of the short-term visa, where a special long-term visa will be issued. Extension of long-term stay is dealt with in the standard way.
As of 25 February 2022, the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic has abolished the obligation for citizens of Ukraine coming to the Czech Republic from Ukraine to fill in an arrival form and to have a negative PCR or vaccination certificate.
More information, questions and answers, contacts and more on special website of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
Special stay visa
To work in the Czech Republic, Ukrainian citizens must obtain a new special stay visa. The special stay visa must be applied for in person at one of the offices of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic – see overview here.
In order for the application to be successful, the following must be submitted:
- a completed application form for a special stay visa, which is available here,
- valid passport,
- photo in size 45 x 35 mm.
If you are granted the visa, you will automatically be enrolled in public health insurance and and it is possible to apply to the Labor Office for extraordinary immediate assistance in material need.
Reporting a vacancy to the Labour Office of the Czech Republic and the employer’s procedure
Employers interested in employing foreign nationals must first report the vacancy to the regional branch of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic according to the place of work and at the same time express their interest in employing foreigners on the basis of a work permit.
Employers can apply for a vacancy using the form available here. They can then enter into an employment contract with the employee, which will be an attachment to the application for a work permit.
With regard to the employment of Ukrainian citizens with the special visa, the so called labour market test does not apply and vacancies can be filled immediately.
Finding a job and concluding an employment contract with your employer
Before applying for a work permit, you must have or find a job and conclude an employment contract with the employer (the contract is one of the annexes to the application for a work permit).
It is possible to find a vacancy by contacting the employer directly, through a recommendation or, for example, through the database of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic (https://www.uradprace.cz/web/cz/volna-mista-v-cr) or on the jobs.cz portal (https://www.jobs.cz/prace/?suitable-for=ukraine_refugees).
Once your application for a long-stay visa is successful, you can apply for a work permit. First, you need to find a specific job and conclude an employment contract with the employer, as the contract is one of the annexes to the employment permit application. The duration of the work permit can be up to two years with the possibility of extending it for a further two years, even repeatedly.
The employment permit is processed in writing at the regional branch of the Labour Office according to the place of work. It is necessary to apply at the workplace according to the place of work.
The submission must include the following:
- a completed application for a work permit, which is available here,
- an employment contract, an employment agreement or a future contract agreement in which the parties undertake to conclude an employment contract or an employment agreement within an agreed period of time,
- photocopy of the page of the travel document containing the foreigner’s basic identification data (to be returned subsequently),
- proof of professional competence in the field in which the foreigner will work in the Czech Republic,
- other documents, if necessary, if the nature of the job or the contract so requires.
Addresses of the relevant regional branches of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic, their contacts and opening hours: https://www.uradprace.cz/web/cz/krajske-pobocky.
The employer or his/her authorised representative may also issue the employment permit on the basis of a power of attorney.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic is considering opening the labour market to Ukrainian citizens, which would eliminate the need for a work permit – however, this is not yet valid and effective.
Employer’s procedure after acquiring an employee (information and registration)
According to the provisions of Section 87 of the Employment Act, the employer must inform the relevant regional branch of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic of this fact no later than on the day of commencement of employment in accordance with the existing rules – form here.
Every employer is obliged to keep a register of the foreigners they employ in accordance with the provisions of Section 102 of the Employment Act.
Rights and obligations of employers and employees
When employing Ukrainian citizens, employers must comply with the same rules of the Labour Code and the Employment Act as for other employees, including fair and equal treatment, safe working conditions, a written employment contract, a guaranteed minimum wage, payment of health and social insurance by the employer, paid holidays and sick leave.
The duties of employees include, again without special distinction, in particular (i) to work properly and carry out the instructions of supervisors, (ii) to comply with all work rules and (iii) not to act contrary to the interests of the employer.
Pursuant to Act No.325/1999 Coll., on Asylum, as amended, Ukrainian citizens may also apply for asylum or subsidiary protection on the grounds of a well-founded fear of serious harm if they return to their home country.
International protection proceedings can take up to 18 months. At the same time, if a foreigner duly applies for subsidiary or international protection, he/she cannot be legally employed for the first 6 months.
Ukrainian citizens have several options for entering the Czech Republic and subsequently working. In our opinion, the easiest and most used is likely to be entry through visa-free travel and subsequent application for a long-term visa and work permit.
However, the situation may be changed by further legislative developments that may, for example, open the labour market to Ukrainian citizens. We will keep you informed about any changes.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Mgr. Jakub Málek, managing partner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kateřina Roučková, legal assistant – email@example.com
04. 03. 2022
update 16. 03. 2022