Czech govt. greenlights residence-permit program for digital nomads

The new program would allow IT specialists and other skilled people to live in Czechia with their families.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 11.07.2023 14:00:00 (updated on 11.07.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Czech government approved two new economic migration programs. One is aimed at digital nomads, who will get the opportunity to apply for a residence permit in the Czech Republic. The second will allow 300 students from selected Indonesian polytechnic schools to work in the Czech Republic for two years.

"None of the existing economic migration programs cover the group of so-called digital nomads, which are highly qualified workers who, within the international environment, often only work on certain projects, especially in the IT sector," Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said in a press release.

"Among other things, we want to create an interesting environment for the operation and development of foreign technology teams in the Czech Republic, which is why we are coming up with a new program that targets digital nomads in particular," he added.

Program limited to eight countries for now

It is common for an IT specialist to work on multiple projects in different parts of the world at the same time. Due to the nature of their work, digital nomads cannot be in a classic employment-legal relationship, both due to the one-time nature of the assigned tasks and from the point of view of possible conflicts of multiple employment relationships and the resulting responsibilities.

For now, the program will be limited to citizens of Australia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, the UK, the U.S., and Taiwan.

The program applies to employees of a foreign company doing long-term remote work in the Czech Republic using telecommunications means. In this case, the foreigner remains for the entire time in an employment relationship with his foreign business company and does not enter into an employment relationship in the Czech Republic.

It can also be used by freelancers who are or will be holders of a Czech business license (živnostenský list).

The program also welcomes the closest family members of digital nomads, such as the spouse, registered partner, and minor or adult dependent child of a foreigner or his or her spouse or partner, provided that they apply for a residence permit at the same time.

Participants in the program can submit an application for a residence permit for the purpose of doing business (self-employed) or "other" (employee of a foreign company with the possibility of remote work) at a Czech embassy abroad. The application will be processed within 45 days of submission. More details can be found on the Ministry of Industry and Trade website.

Pilot project for Indonesian workers

The aim of the labor migration pilot project from Indonesia is to support the industrial sector, which has been struggling with a shortage of workers in recent years. The Indonesian workers will work for two years in the Škoda Group as welders, locksmiths, operating mechanics, and repairmen, which are positions that are in short supply in the Czech industry.

"The pilot project was supported by the Indonesian government. Indonesian high school and college graduates will gain the necessary experience in the field, and at the same time the project will contribute to deepening economic cooperation between the two countries," Minister Síkela said.

"We are also testing Indonesia as another possible source country for economic migration, similar projects are being implemented by Indonesians elsewhere in Europe," he added.

At the end of May 2023, more than 787,000 foreign workers worked in the Czech Republic, including over 382,000 who came from countries outside the EU.

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