September 17, 2012

The Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (“MLSA”) has issued further new regulations by abolishing that all Czech work permit applications on behalf of non-European Union (non-EU) nationals must be support by a “nostrified” diploma. In addition, the Ministry of Labor has also issued clarification on initial validity of various work authorization and places conditions on when non-EU dependents can obtain Czech work authorization.

What’s Changed? 

As a follow up to our earlier alert regarding nostrification requirements, the MLSA’s revised requirements have not yet been officially published by the Czech authorities. However, the MLSA has confirmed that these new regulations are now in force and are implemented into practice.

Requirement for documents confirming respective qualifications in the work permit process for non-EU nationals are as follows:

WORK PERMITS

Applications for Work Permits

Work permit applications submitted under a Czech Statistical Office (CZ ISCO) Qualification of Level 1 (Executives and Senior Managers) must be supported by:

  1. A diploma affixed with an Apostille or Czech legalization, nostrification of a diplomais not required.
  2. In lieu of a nostrified diploma, the Czech host company must submit aletterof support confirming the assignee’s educational qualification meet the minimal job requirements of the proposed position.

Positions with a CZ ISCO qualification, Level 2 (lower-skill) must be supported by:

  1. A diploma nostrified by the appropriate Czech university or by NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Center).

Work Permit Extensions 

  1. Nostrification of diploma is not required for most work permit extension applications, except in cases involving extension of work permits for regulated professions (e.g., law, medical).
  2. Work permit extension applications filed between 25 May – 17 August, 2012 will be reviewed with the requirement an applicant must present a nostrified diploma.

Validity of Work Permits

The MLSA has clarified the initial validity periods of work permits issued in the following categories:

  1. Applicants having educational qualifications less than that of a traditional secondary (i.e., high school) education will receive a work permit with an initial validity of up to six months.
  2. Applicants with a secondary education only will receive a work permit with an initial validity of up to 12 months.
  3. Applicants having the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree and higher may receive a work permit with an initial validity of up to 24 months. Please note the granting of extended duration work permits are granted by the Czech authorities on a case-by-case basis.

Extension of work permit status will be determined by the MLSA on a case-by-case basis. The most any work permit application can be extended is a maximum of two years.

NON-EU DEPENDENTS OF EU NATIONALS 

Under EU freedom of movement regulations, non-EU national dependents of EU nationals are able to obtain automatic work authorization if accompanying the EU-national spouse desiring to reside in another EU-member country.

Given the overarching EU regulation, the MLSA has advised that while non-EU national dependents of a resident EU national may also obtain unrestricted authorization to work in the Czech Republic, authorization to work will only be granted once the non-EU dependent receives his or her Residence Permit.

Current processing times by the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy is estimated at 60 days.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

As nostrification requirements appear to be under continuing scrutiny by the MLSA, and as the MLSA may change the requirements with little to advance notice, those work permit applicants and renewal applicants currently undergoing the lengthy Czech academic certification process are recommended to continue the process to conclusion.

Non-EU national dependents accompanying expecting ability to immediately work in the Czech Republic must wait until after their Residence Permit is issued in order to present the permit to potential Czech employers as confirmation of employment authorization.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.