Foreigners who can work in Czech Republic without work permit?

All foreigners who can work in Czech Republic without restrictions under current laws can be divided into two groups. In this article you will learn who these people are. Also, you will understand the kinds of formalities such foreigners need to handle to live and work in Prague or elsewhere in Czech Republic.

Who can work in Czech Republic without work permit?

What categories of foreigners can work in Czech Republic without restrictions?

The two groups of foreigners who can work in Czech republic without a work permit can be broken down into two categories:

Citizens of… EU citizens + EFTA citizens (see details below) Non-EU (EFTA) citizens who have free access to the Czech job market in accordance with Section 98 of the Employment Act No. 435/2004 Coll.,
Additional paperwork required? No Only announcement
Waiting time None None
Employment changes need to be reported? No Yes (but be reasonable)

EU citizens and citizens of EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) belong to the primary category of foreigners who have free access to the Czech job market. Such foreigners are welcome to come here any time and start working in Czech Republic immediately. Without any extra paperwork. Well, that assuming they have a strong CV that convinced their future employer to hire them. 😉

Citizens of other countries (other than EU/EFTA members) who legally enjoy free access to the Czech job market don’t have to have any special documents that would allow them to work in Czech Republic. They only need to have a residence permit (read more about types of documents allowing you to live in Czech Republic) and a document that qualifies them as a foreigner who can work in Czech Republic without any kind of work permit. The list of possible scenarios is quite long (switch to English in the top right corner if it happens to open in Czech, otherwise see the summary below), below is just a summary of most common cases.

Non-EU foreigners who can work in Czech Republic without work permit

  • Holders of Czech permanent residence permit (you usually get it after 5 years spent in Czech Republic) or long-term EU residents as per the Directive 2003/109/EC.
  • Holders of Czech long-term residence permit (not a visa) for the purpose of family reunion with…
    • or a family member who has a Czech long-term or permanent residence permit (not a visa).
  • Full-time students at Czech Institutions of Higher Education. For example, students of Universities, provided that the Ministry of Education has given a proper accreditation to such University. The public ones are definitely safe. However, to be fair, many private Universities also have a solid accreditation. Foreign students of accredited high-schools, professional colleges, conservatories, language schools with state accreditation for language examination and others can also work in Czech Republic without restrictions. For more details see the definition under section 5d of the Employment Act linked at the beginning of this article. You can also check if a certain educational institution (e.g. a language school) is accredited or not here.
  • Foreigners who successfully completed their secondary or tertiary education within the Czech education system. For example, those who have a Czech high-school diploma, or a Bc. degree from an accredited Czech University.
  • Citizens of countries with which the Czech government has special contracts about “work and travel” programs. For example, foreigners coming from New Zealand, Canada, Israel and others. But they must, of course, actively participate in such program and have the appropriate paperwork from their home-country.

Employer’s steps towards hiring a such foreigner

When employing a foreigner who qualifies for one of these groups, the employer must register them with all the necessary authorities. For example, Social Security Administration, Mandatory Health insurance etc. In that regard, this process is not different from when they want to employ locals.

In addition to that, the employer also must inform the local Labour Office about hiring a foreigner for a job on the territory of Czech republic. The employer can do that by filling in and delivering this form to the Labour Office. They must choose the Labour Office based on the address where the employer’s legal registration is. The employer should do this before (or on the day when) such foreigner commences working for them inside Czech Republic.

In case of termination of employment, the employer must fill in and deliver this form to their local Labour Office. The employer must do so within 10 days after termination of employment. That’s it. No other formalities!

Steps for foreigners who want to work in Czech Republic without a work permit

If you are an EU/EFTA citizen, there are no extra steps for you to work in Czech Republic. However, you might still need to handle some formalities not related to your employment. Think things like registering your address at MOI, for example. It is recommended, but they rarely impose penalties, if you don’t comply.

Non-EU citizens who work in Czech Republic with free access to the job market must remember to announce changes. You must notify the Labour Office about any change in your employment, particularly location, job title etc. But honestly, this is rarely followed, unless you change your employer. Use common sense, the Labour Office has more important work to do than to chase you down for missing updates. On the other hand, it’s a matter of filling in one form and sending it to the Labour Office.

If you are a foreigner and you are looking for a job in Prague, consider joining our group on Facebook where other professional expats like yourself post jobs regularly and network with each other.

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