Stricter conditions for foreign workers relocations

During the past year, the coordination body for state border control and migration management repeatedly changed the conditions for using governmental economic migration programmes. The last changes entered into effect in December last year.

Currently, the relocation of foreign workers is one of the few options for employers trying to meet their need for skilled labour. However, the process is time-consuming and entails a considerable administrative burden for both potential employees and their employers. Government programmes for economic migration can greatly simplify and in some cases shorten this process. However, to qualify for any of the government programmes, certain repeatedly changing conditions must be met. We previously informed you about past changes in the Update.

Currently there are three government-approved economic migration programmes that may be used to relocate foreign employees. The first one is the Key and Scientific Personnel (KVP) programme, intended for highly qualified staff and scientists. Under the new rules, workers may be included in the KVP programme only if the posting and the receiving company are related through capital, or if the receiving company in the Czech Republic is a branch of the foreign company and the employee has been employed abroad for at least six months. Entities that are not related may use the Highly Qualified Employee (VKZ) programme instead.

Another change that affects both the KVP and the VKZ programme is a restriction concerning the family members of foreign workers. Previously, it was possible to include the closest family members, i.e. spouse and dependent children, even at a later date. Under the new rules, the inclusion in the programme and the filing of applications for the whole family must take place at the same time.

The last major novelty again concerning both the KVP and the VKZ programme is a wider range of barriers that that can prevent an employer from being included in either programme. These barriers include an employer’s penalisation for the concealed mediation of employment. Concealed mediation of employment, carrying a fine of CZK 50,000 to CZK 10 million, is the renting of labour while not complying with the conditions for mediation of employment under the Employment Act.  Since last August, this fine can be imposed on entities that carry out concealed employment mediation as well as on those allowing the performance of disguised employment mediation. Until now, this barrier only applied to the Qualified Employee (KZ) programme. Please note that a provision has been explicitly added to all programmes stating that that the barriers shall also apply when assessing an employer's application for the further inclusion of additional foreign worker or workers in the programme.

The conditions for the inclusion of foreigners in the programmes and their successful relocation are becoming increasingly stringent. We thus strongly recommend keeping a close eye on any changes in the programmes in 2022. What’s more, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

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