April 18, 2012

The Labor Office of the Czech Republic has confirmed that stricter rules will be in effect for non-EU nationals to present educational qualifications that are clearly appropriate for the proposed job. Additionally, some regional Labor Offices may grant waivers for “nostrifying” foreign degrees for work authorizations granted for less than six consecutive months.

Whats Changed?

As a follow up to our prior alert, as of July 1, 2012,the Czech Labor Office will require non-EU national work permit applicants to present at least a secondary school certificate if requesting authorization valid for more than six consecutivemonths.

Non-EU nationals with lower or no academicqualifications will only be granted work permits in exceptional cases. In addition, in cases where non-EU nationals are determined to be “overqualified” for the proposed position, a work permit will be withheld.

In instances where existing work permit holders do not have at least a secondary school certificate from secondary schools, or for those who have higher educational qualifications than than the job requires, while a work permit renewal application will not be automatically revoked, extension of these work permits will be limited to a period of six months at a time.

No changes are in effect for foreign nationals who are applying for jobs matching their education. Work permits for such individuals will continue to be issued for a period of up to two years with the possibility of an extension.

As reported in our January 2012 alert, non-EU national applicants must submit their foreign diplomas for nostrification* prior to applying for a work permit. Diplomas issued at educational institutes outside of the Czech Republic must be submitted to a specific Czech educational institution (as identified by the Ministry of Education), which must certify that the degree has a Czech equivalent.

In exceptional cases, a Czech company can submit a written request with a work permit application requesting the authorities waive the diploma nostrification requirement for certain university diploma holders. These requests are highly discretionary and are more likely to be granted if the company can evidence that the applicant is requesting work authorization for less than six consecutive months and the proposed position is critical to the Czech company’s operations. In such cases, diploma nostrification should only be required if the company applies to extend the six-month work permit.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Companies considering assignment to the Czech Republic must account for the time required to assemble a finalized work permit application.

Depending on the type of academic certifications and the volume of degrees processed by the Ministry of Education, the “nostrification” process could take up to 12 weeks.

With new requirements requiring clearer position descriptions describing the specific academic qualifications, it is recommended that companies work closely with their global immigration supplier to determine if an applicant could be considered as “under” or “over” qualified for the proposed position. For instance, it is expected that an “overqualified” candidate is an applicant having a university diploma assuming a job that can be conducted with lower academic qualification.

For assignees that are urgently required in the Czech Republic, companies should work with their global immigration supplier to determine if the local Labor Office having jurisdiction over the place of work will accept a “nostrification” waiver in order to obtain an initial six-month work permit. As this is a highly discretionary application, companies should be prepared to proceed with obtaining the appropriate nostrification at the outset of filing the initial work permit application.

In addition, if the assignee is expected to remain in the Czech Republic for longer than six months, a degree nostrification will be required in order to extend the initial six-month work permit.

*A process to certify the equivalency of a foreign academic degree.

Glenn Faulk, Global Knowledge Manager, has written this alert in coordination with our Czech KGNM-Move One.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.