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Migration Policy of the Czech Republic, Legal and Illegal Migration in the Czech Republic and in the European Union, Visa and Readmission Policy, Analytical Centre for Protection of State Borders and Migration 

Green Cards

The Green Cards project is a project by the Czech Republic focussing on supporting legal migration.

The existing system of recruiting workers from abroad based on issuing work permits and residence visas for over 90 days for the purpose of work has its shortcomings, particularly as concerns the demands on time and administration of the stages preceding the workers entry into employment. For employers and for some categories of workers, it is not flexible enough to meet the immediate needs of employers in a legal manner.

With regard to the above-mentioned facts, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and other sectors, developed the project “Green Cards – Proposal for the Parametric Model for the Czech Republic”. The project was approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 1174 of 22 October 2007 on simplifying the conditions for employment of qualified foreign workers. This was subsequently legislatively amended by Act No. 382/2008 Coll., on Employment as amended, Act No. 326/1999 Coll., on the Residence of Aliens in the Territory of the Czech Republic and Amendments to Certain Acts, as amended by later regulations and other associated acts.

The model of Green Cards is based on the maximum possible openness towards foreign applicants for jobs, whilst maintaining elements of protection of security, public order and strict punishment of violations of current law and efforts to avoid or abuse set rules. This model should enable employers to quickly acquire labour from third countries.

Characteristics of the Green Cards Project

  • The Green Cards Project is primarily aimed at highly qualified labourers – university or college graduates or persons with lower qualifications. Depending on the situation on the market it also enables the acquisition of unqualified workers, if they are needed, however, such workers may be granted a Green Card only for two years without any possibility to extend it.

  • The Green Card is issued in types “A”, “B” and “C”, where card “A” is for qualified workers with university education and for key personnel, type “B” is for workers in jobs that require at least training and type “C” is for other workers.

  • The aim is the flexible recruitment of professionals from abroad and a decrease in the administrative burden both for employers and foreign nationals.

  • The project is primarily based on the needs of business undertakings; the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will maintain central records (a register) of vacancies that could be held by Green Card holders. Records are kept on job vacancies, announced by employers, that the employment office has not been able to fill with a citizen of the Czech Republic or the European Union within 30 days of them being announced to the employment office and the employer has agreed to having a foreigner take the vacancy.A vacancy available to a Green Card holder is a vacancy marked by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the register as a job suitable for key personnel. The database will be accessible on the websites of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and of some other ministries. Third-country nationals will apply for a Green Card at an embassy or a consulate of the Czech Republic abroad and will directly apply for vacancies marked in the register.

  • The main tool of the project is the Green Card, which will be equivalent to a long-term residence permit and will have two functions: it will prove that its holder is authorised to work in the Czech Republic and that the holder is permitted to reside in the Czech Republic. 

  • The project maintains elements for protecting security and public order.

  • The Ministry of the Interior issues Green Cards in close cooperation (consultations) with other ministries. Green Cards are valid for a maximum of three years (for highly qualified staff) with an option of further extension. An exemption applies only to unqualified labourers, who receive the Green Card for two years only without any possibility to extend it. 

The amendment to the Act on Employment and the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals or some other related acts regulating conditions for issuing Green Cards and other related issues requiring new legal provisions came into effect on 1st January 2009. 

Department of Asylum and Migration Policy, 9th March, 2010

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