The Czech Republic – Amendment to the Act on Employment mitigating the risk of illegal employment for foreign employees in delayed extension process
An important amendment to the Act on Employment in the Czech Republic came into legal force on the 17th of August 2015. Among other changes, it sets grounds for a "Fiction of a Work Permit" for employed non-EU nationals who are extending their Employee Cards in the Czech Republic.
On the 24th of June 2014 an amendment to the Act on Stay of Foreigners in the Czech Republic has become effective and implemented the EU Single Permit Directive by introducing the Employee Card - joint work and residency permit.
At that time, the promises of easier administration from the side of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic were outweighed by concerns of delayed application processing times which, in numerous cases, has been delayed on the side of the Ministry by many months.
Besides a discomfort on the side of the applicant, the delay would not necessarily impede an applicant's regular life in the Czech Republic - the immigration law was inclusive of a provision setting out the term of "fiction of stay".
Fiction of stay means, that if the decision on the application for residency permit extension is not issued by the Ministry prior to the expiry date of the current residency permit and the application for extension has been submitted to the Ministry on time, the stay of the applicant in the Czech Republic is considered legal, until such decision is made.
However, the Ministry has taken over the Work Permit agenda in order to implement the Single Permit provision, and has started to issue both work and residency permits for non-EU nationals employed in the Czech Republic.
As the Fiction of Work Permit did not exist, there was a real risk of an illegal employment in case the Employee Card extension process was delayed beyond validity of the current residency permit, as the applicant loses the right to work as soon as the current permit expires. According to the Czech Labor code, an employment agreement ceases it's validity in case the foreign employee has lost the right to work in the Czech Republic. As a result, the employee would need to stop working for the employer and wait until the extended Employee Card would be issued.
The Ministry, knowing the above, has reinforced the resources in order to avoid such situations caused by delays on the side of the Ministry, however, the approval process, in some situations, can still get delayed beyond validity of the current permit, which would have negative implications on the side of the employee and the employer.The Amendment to the Act on Employment mitigates the risk of illegal employment and brings certainty for foreign employees and their employers in the Czech Republic.Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or follow us on LinkedIn to stay current with immigration related topics.