Requirements for Working as Employee in Czech Republic.

Before being allowed to work as employee in Czech Republic a 3rd-Country National will need a
Work Permit + Visa for work purposes, or a Work Permit + Residence Permit.
Since getting the work permit can be a hassle, we recommend to register as self-employed (on a trade license) instead and apply for a Business Visa. It is much easier, cheaper and faster than applying for a work permit.

EU Citizens and their family members do not need a Visa or Work Permit, although family members that do not have an EU passport must have a special EU residence permit on the basis of marriage / family, otherwise the rules for 3rd-Country Nationals apply.

Work Permit for Employees that are 3rd-Country Nationals

A 3rd-Country National without a Permanent Residence Permit must have a Work Permit in order to get a job as a regular employee. This is not an easy process. Since mid-2012 it has become virtually impossible for most jobs due to an extra step in the process called 'nostrification'. Many papers need to be provided (such as diplomas and certificates) - all officially translated with apostille stamp.

Note that there is a substantial risk nowadays that the labor office refuses the application for a Work Permit, especially now there are so many unemployed already in Czech Republic (and therefore it becomes easier for the Labor office to find a suitable person in Czech Republic).

In order to apply for a Work Permit, the employer needs to initiate the process, then the position is posted for 30 days, and if no suitable person is found by the Labor office, the Work Permit is granted if the Ministry of Labor approves it in the 'nostrification' process. This may take several months. With that, the 3rd-Country National can then apply for a Visa for work purposes. The total process may take easily 5 months.

If a 3rd-Country National loses his job, then immediately the Work Permit expires and he has 3 days to announce this to the Foreign Police, because inevetably also the Visa for work purposes expires.

Therefore it is essential to first get a new Work Permit for the next job before leaving the old job,
else you have an exit-Visa before you know it (provided you do not have a visa-free entry passport)!

Get a Trade License instead
Because of the hassle with the work permit we recommend getting a trade license and work externally for the company. It saves the trouble of the work permit, it is much faster to get (a couple of days) and when changing 'jobs' the trade license and business visa do not expire immediately.

A common mistake is that 3rd-Country Nationals that are also directors (jednatel) of their own SRO do not need a Work Permit. This is only true if they work in their own company and send an invoice to their customer.

The moment such a director wants to work as normal employee in a company that is not his own,
he does need a Work Permit.

Employee Registration at Labor Office, Tax Office and Social Office and Health Insurance

An employee must be registered by the company at the labor office, the taxoffice and social- / health authorites.
Also, although an EU-citizen does not need a Work Permit, the company must register him at the labor office (!)

Although this doesn't seem to be too complicated, the reality is different, and many foreigners are not registered properly or in time at the czech authorities by their employer, and usually this becomes apparent when income taxes need to be filed or for 'no reason' the Work Permit or Visa expires.

Filing an Income Tax Return

An estimated 80% of foreign employees is not registred at the tax office properly or at all and because of that they are paying too much income tax. In order to claim part of the income tax back in the form of tax benefits and tax deductions, it is necessary to fill in a Personal Income Tax Return, which needs to be filed latest 31.03.2012. Alexio is even able to retrieve missed benefits from previous years in most cases. See also

Freelancers and other forms of employment

A substantial percentage of people working for czech companies never sign an official contract as employee or any contract at all, but instead receive payment per hour, per assigment or per month.

Should this be the case, then it is almost certain none of the above paperwork has been arranged for you, leaving you uninsured and unregistered.

This applies especially to freelance and one-time jobs.

Sign at least a "prácovní dohoda", but it probably would be a better idea to get a živnostenský list (trade license), so that you have a legal basis for working, pay taxes and social charges and have health insurance.

It is better to be in control of your official paperwork then being dependent on your employer's goodwill.