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Relocating your employees to Czech Republic
What most people do not know is that the Czech Republic is one of the most popular countries for expats in Europe. In fact, over half a million foreigners live in the Czech Republic. This is due to the central location that the country has within Europe and the affordable costs for companies. This has made the Czech Republic one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. Are you relocating (one of your) employees to the Czech Republic? We give you the most important points to consider.
In most cases, you will have to obtain a work permit if you want to work in the Czech Republic. Only citizens of other EU or EEA countries are free to visit, work and live in the Czech Republic without a specific work permit. All other foreigners must apply for a permit. There are several options:
- Intra-company relocation
The Intra-Company Card allows employees to work for a branch or affiliated country in the Czech Republic for a period longer than 3 months. It concerns employees with positions within management, specialist jobs or interns, posted to the Czech branch by a multinational company in a non-EU state. This is the most suitable permit for companies relocating their employees.
This Card can be issued or extended for a maximum of 3 years in case of managers or specialists and a maximum of 1 year in the case of interns.
- Blue Card
This Card is for highly skilled employees with a university education wanting to work, for at least one years, in the position the card was issued for. The position must be found in a specific database for these cards and the employee must earn at least 1.5 times the national average (2021: $2.415 per month). The card is only granted for jobs where no suitable candidates could be found in the Czech Republic or the EU. Since these employees are desired in Czech, application processes are found to be the fastest of all programs.
- Employee Card
This Card allows employees to work is a job specified by the card and is intended for all third country employees regardless of the level of education. Similar to the Blue Card, the position must be found in a specific database of jobs that could not by filled by local citizens.
What about spouse and children?
Spouse and children of employees with a work permit can come to Czech as well. Non-EU citizens do have to apply for their own residence visa in some cases. This differs between situations and permit types.
The Czech Republic has a high rate of foreigners and have scored in the top 3 of best countries for expats for some years in the recent past. This all has to do with the amazing facilities and services for expats.
Most expats choose renting over buying when searching for houses in the Czech Republic. This is mainly because non-EU citizens are not allowed to buy a property in the country and the flexibility that comes with renting. The capital Prague is the most popular city by expats and also houses most of the companies and businesses. That also makes this city the most expensive one to rent a house.
There are some restrictions for foreigners when renting an apartment. Czech locals have the option to rent from municipalities which offer controlled rents. Expats only have the option to rent private owned flats. Since these prices are not controlled, they can vary much according to their locations.
State education is free for everyone. However, consider that classes are mainly taught in the Czech language. This language is really difficult to learn for non-Slavic speakers. Therefore, many expats choose to send their children to international schools where the main language is English. These international schools charge admission and tuition fees. Most international schools are located in and around Prague.
Foreigners that want to send their children to state schools, can request free Czech language tutoring. This might enable them to take part in Czech primary education.
Other points of attention
Learning a slight bit of Czech language is recommended given the limits on English signage and speakers. Having a basic knowledge of Czech helps with for example shopping or paying bills.
The number of (rent) properties around the international schools is limited. Therefore, the prices are also quite high. Properties farther away from the schools are lower in price or offer more for the same costs.
The Czech workplaces can appear to be a little formal compared to other Western countries.
It is not always possible to adopt a foreign driver’s license to a Czech one. In some cases, the employee has to take some additional tests in order to obtain a Czech driver’s license and start driving a car in the new country. For the first months, an English translated driver’s license is approved so that the employee has the time to pass these tests.
Healthcare in the Czech Republic has really high standards compared to other European countries. There is a good infrastructure of public and private hospitals. Everybody that is employed in the country automatically becomes of member of the general health insurance system. Some big international companies also offer additional private health insurance.
Costs of relocating employees to the Czech Republic
The price of the residence and work permit application differs per program. EU and EEA citizens are free of charge since they do not require any permits to start living and working in the Czech Republic.
The price of Blue and Employee card and the Inter-Company Card is around $226. However, most companies will get support of an immigration expert or lawyer which will drive up the costs for this process. On the bright side, this will in most cases speed up the process so that the employee can be relocated and start working in Czech earlier.
Czech Republic is a landlocked country, meaning that it has no direct connection to the sea or a harbor. Shipment of household goods of effects therefore arrives by road or plane. This will rise the costs in most cases. The actual costs of the moving itself are dependent from:
- Country of origin
- The amount of goods or amount of big furniture
- Whether insurance is desired
- If packing of unpacking must be an additional service
- The time that the goods can be on the road
- And more…
Prague has the main international airport. Flight tickets from other countries and cities in Europe are surprisingly cheap when flying with a budget airline. Given the central location in Europe, arriving by car from other countries also makes sense. When arriving from another continent, flights are a must. In some cases, there will be no direct flights so a stopover in another city in Europe is necessary which will also rise the costs of a ticket.
Costs of living in Czech Republic
The average cost of living in the Czech Republic is cheap in comparison with other Western countries. That also makes that the Czech Republic is such a popular destination among expats. They can live a more luxury life than what they are used to in their home country. Healthcare and public schooling is even free of charge, going out for dinner is very cheap and rents very affordable. However, the latest years the popularity of the country (especially Prague) has also led to a rise of the rental costs.
Find your company a professional relocator
A relocation manager is a must for every company that relocates employees abroad. Voerman International has experienced the success and popularity of the Czech Republic among international companies and their employees and therefore decided to open a dedicated office in Prague. From this place, we can help the company and the employee and their families with everything that has to do with move management and relocation management.Back to overview