Working and living in Czechia? New laws for foreigners have gone into effect

Changes to blue card, employee cards, and health insurance for children of third-country nationals took effect from July 1, 2023. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.07.2023 12:05:00 (updated on 02.07.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Czech Republic's amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Territory of the Czech Republic went into effect on July 1, 2023. These changes aim to enhance legal labor migration and align with the European Union's directive on the blue card for highly qualified workers from third countries.

With the new law gives blue card holders more flexibility in changing employers and proving qualifications, stricter rules regarding unemployment have been implemented.

"The Asylum Act will facilitate the involvement of highly qualified foreigners in work and the inclusion of minor children with long-term residence in the health insurance system," said Interior Minister Vít Rakušan when the changes were introduced back in February.

We've summarized key amendments that'll impact expats, but you can read an in-depth overview of the changes on the Czech government's new web portal for foreigners, which notes that any proceedings that began prior to the changes will be conducted in accordance with the "previous wording of the law."

Amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals

Changes to who can apply for a blue card


Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 49m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 49m2

Ke Smíchovu, Praha 5 - Slivenec

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 66m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 66m2

Tomáškova, Praha 5 - Smíchov

Apartment for sale, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 49m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 49m2

Renneská třída, Brno - Štýřice

A blue card is a permit for long-term residence for employment purposes in the Czech Republic under special circumstances. A foreigner who has a blue card is entitled to live and work in the Czech Republic, meaning that the blue card effectively combines a residence and work permit.

According to the new amendment, a blue card application can now be submitted by a person who has been granted asylum, subsidiary protection, a visa for the purpose of seasonal employment in the Czech Republic, or a person who is a family member of an EU citizen.

Validity of blue cards extended

Another significant change to the foreigner's act relates to the length of stay associated with the blue card. In the past, the card was only valid for two years. Under the new law, blue cards will now have a validity of up to three years providing more stability for the workers, and at the same time, it benefits the country by attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals.

At a glance

  • The blue card, now valid for up to three years, offers greater flexibility for highly qualified workers.
  • Notable amendments include the acceptance of professional experience as proof of qualifications and simplified application requirements.
  • While blue card holders enjoy more flexibility in changing employers, there are stricter rules regarding unemployment.
  • The amendment also affects application jurisdiction and health insurance for minors: from 2024, the amendment will include minor children of foreigners with long-term residence in the public health insurance system.

Proof of experience qualifies you for a blue card

Previously, an employee's qualifications were primarily proven through completed university education or higher professional education lasting at least three years. The new amendment allows the fulfillment of this requirement with proof of professional experience.

Additionally, individuals who have worked as blue card holders in another EU member state for at least two years prior to applying for a blue card in the Czech Republic will no longer be required to submit this document to the Ministry of the Interior.

Simplification of application process

The amendment also simplifies the application process. Instead of requiring an employment contract of at least one year, applicants can now submit a contract for a future employment negotiated for at least six months.

Blue-card holders will also have the freedom to change employers or job classifications at any time, with a requirement to inform the Ministry of the Interior within three working days.

Unemployment rules to tighten

While the conditions for changing employers and job classifications are being eased, there are now stricter regulations regarding unemployment.

Blue-card holders may face card cancellation if they remain unemployed for more than three months during the first two years of residence. For blue-card holders residing in the Czech Republic for over two years, unemployment must not exceed six months.

The amendment to the law on foreign nationals can be seen as a positive. The longer validity of the permit provides more stability for professionals and at the same time, it could prove a benefit to the country by attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals.

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