#ImmiUpdatesCzechia You may be familiar with its name – the Blue Card – an exclusive residence permit for third-country nationals aspiring to engage in long-term employment in the Czech Republic. How to obtain one? What are the conditions? Does it have any advantages over the employee card? Discover that in this article!
Blue Card or Employee Card?
What Is the Blue Card?
The Blue Card serves as a distinctive long-term residence permit, enabling citizens from countries outside the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland to legally reside and work in the Czech Republic, particularly in professionally demanding roles requiring high qualifications. Professions such as software developers, programmers, project managers, and finance directors, typically requiring a university degree, fall under its purview.
To qualify for a Blue Card, you must:
- Possess a higher vocational or university education with a duration of at least 3 years, equivalent to high qualification.
- Intend to work in a position classified as 1, 2, or 3 (for CZ-ISCO positions starting with 133 and 25, education can be substituted with relevant work experience lasting a minimum of 3 years in the last 7 years.)
- Hold a contract of employment or a prospective employment contract lasting at least 6 months, adhering to weekly working hours stipulated by law. The wage should be at least 1.5 times the average gross wage in the Czech Republic, updated annually by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO).
At the moment, 1.5 times the average gross wage in the Czech Republic is set to 60 530 CZK. The salary limit must be met even upon the receipt of the Blue Card.
Don’t you have a residence permit in the Czech Republic? You can still apply if holding a Blue Card issued by another EU country. This application must be submitted within one month of entering the Czech Republic.
Specimen of a Blue Card
The Blue Card is issued for a duration of 3 months longer than the employment contract period, with a recent amendment (from July 2023) extending the maximum validity to 3 years (it used to be 2 years).
The validity of the Blue Card persists even if the holder temporarily, for up to 12 months, does not meet the conditions due to illness, disability, or parental leave.
Change of Employer
Notification of a change of employer or job position is required within 3 working days. The new employer must be debt-free.
Benefits of the Blue Card
- Faster approval due to high demand for such skilled workers in the Czech Republic.
- Exemption from embassy quotas, making it suitable for employers not eligible for government economic migration programs.
- No labor market test for Blue Card vacancies.
- Family members can immediately apply for long-term residence with the purpose of family cohabitation.
- The Blue Card period contributes to the total time spent in another EU country when applying for permanent residence.
- Simplified procedures for changing employers – you only need to notify the authorities.
- Possibility to be unemployed up to 6 months after 2 years of holding the Blue Card (3 months under 2 years)