As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we have to deal with many restrictions that have an impact on the very basics of our lives. One of the aspects of our lives that are greatly affected by these restrictions is, of course, work.
Not only does it make working more difficult but even getting a job in the first place is very toilsome, to say the least. There is, however, another problem most people currently don’t have to experience – travelling to the Czech Republic for work.
The Very First Step
It is crucial to mention that if you are a third-country citizen, then in order to be able to arrive in the Czech Republic for work, you first need to get a job. Sure, it may sound odd since searching for a job in a foreign country is much easier once you’re there, but without having a job you cannot get a visa. And without a visa, there is no chance you’ll be even able to enter the country. This, however, only applies to non-EU citizens, so if you are coming from an EU member state, you don’t have to be worried about this.
As for the visa itself, it is now, for example, possible to apply for a Schengen visa via the Key and Scientific Staff Programme and Qualified Staff Programme. Companies don’t have to take part in these programmes in order to apply for a visa for their employees. Now they only have to meet several specific conditions for the position instead (for example wages, it has to be a full-time job, produce a contract, etc.).
Expats (or their employers for them) can now also apply for a Blue Card without partaking in the aforementioned governmental programmes. This was made possible only recently because in the past it was necessary to apply for the Blue card via some of the government programmes for foreign employees. It should also be mentioned that Blue Card is a type of residential status designed for a long-term stay for the purpose of performance of a highly skilled job.
Concerning the Qualified Staff Programme, this programme doesn’t have quotas for Employee Cards for specific professions now. This is certainly good news for everyone participating or interested in participating in this programme.
However, if you are just thinking about getting a job in the Czech Republic and you’re interested in some type of visa, keep in mind that it is still not possible to apply for some types of visas at those embassies that have resumed operation only partially. One of the types this concerns is, for example, the entrepreneurship visa.
Before You Arrive in the Czech Republic
Perhaps none of the things mentioned in the previous paragraphs concerns you because all of these formalities have been already taken care of. Yet there are some things you have to take into account before arriving in the Czech Republic. For example, all people who are moving to the Czech Republic for work and stayed in one of the high-risk countries for over 12 hours in the last 14 days can only arrive in the Czech Republic with a negative PCR test (less than 72 old). Besides that, they are also obligated to fill in an online coronavirus form prior to their arrival in the Czech Republic. Unless both of these conditions are met, they won’t be allowed into the country.
Once in the Czech Republic
When it comes to immigration, new employees’ obligations, however, don’t stop with their arrival. Once in the country, the new employee has to submit the aforementioned form during border control. After that, it is necessary for the person to undergo a test for COVID-19 within 5 days from their arrival in the country and immediately send the result to the Hygiene Office. Wearing a face mask anywhere the person goes for 10 days from their arrival (even if the test for COVID-19 was negative) is mandatory. For those 10 days, the new employee’s freedom of movement will be limited to travelling from and to work, for medical care and to ensure basic living needs.
At the same time, you may need to register at a Ministry of the Interior office and submit your biometric data to receive your biometric card. If this is indeed the case, then remember you can only arrive in the office with a negative test for COVID-19. The negative test for COVID-19 is also needed for you to be able to enter your workplace. That means that until you produce the negative test you won’t be allowed to enter the workplace at all. Or that’s how it should be, at least.
Travelling to the Czech Republic (or essentially anywhere for that matter) during the COVID-19 pandemic is not easy but even this can be handled well if you have all the necessary information. If you need any help with your expat-related paperwork, feel free to get in touch with the Foreigners relocation agency via [email protected] and also follow them on Facebook where they stream free webinars for expats regularly once per month.