Recently, the President of the Czech Republic has adopted the amendments to the Law "On the Residence of foreign citizens" (hereinafter - the Law). The basis for such changes to the Law was the obligation of the implementation of the EU Directives on seasonal employment and permits for the employees transferred within the framework of international concern. However, the bill introduces various measures to combat illegal employment, the problem of which is acute in the Czech Republic. In addition, a number of measures are being introduced for the immigration support of the new investors. The specified changes are the largest since the times of introduction of the institution of the Labor Card in 2014 and they will come into force during August of this year.

In view of the fact that the amendments to the Law are directly related to the creation and promotion of business in the Czech Republic, then we will focus on the key points and try to understand them.

Some of the changes will affect the certain categories of the citizens who are not the EU citizens and have seasonal employment, as well as the managers, specialists and trainees of the international corporations who have been expanded to work in the Czech Republic for a certain period of time. There will be a special type of work and residence permits for this category of employees, which implies a special order of receipt. This kind of permits will not replace the existing labor, as well as blue cards, and can be used along with them.

As for the new investors, the changes do not imply any simplification in obtaining a permanent residence permit or in obtaining citizenship, since this kind of procedures in the Czech Republic, unlike some EU countries, is simply absent. However, the entrepreneurs and official representatives of the companies will be able to obtain an investor's card that will legitimize a long-term stay in the Czech Republic. This type of card can be obtained in an accelerated order within 30 days. In addition, the family members of such investors will be able to obtain the long-term residence permits for the purpose of family reunification, on the basis of which they will be able to live and work in the Czech Republic. It should be noted that such an investor must meet a number of requirements, namely: the minimum investment size should be at least 75 million crowns and at least 20 jobs should be created within the framework of this investment.

At the present time, the investors who meet the requirements of the Czech legislation can use the existing "Welcome Package" project and get a work card, also in an accelerated order.

Moreover, today the citizens of the countries that are not the members of the European Union and are official representatives of the Czech companies ("jednatel") can exercise their powers on the basis of an entrepreneurial visa or a work permit and a work card.

In accordance with the new rules, the official representatives will exercise their powers solely on the basis of entrepreneurial visas or an investor's card.

It is also worth noting that, according to the changes, a new concept of "unscrupulous employer" is being introduced. The employer who do not fulfill their tax obligations, the obligations with respect to the contributions to social and medical insurance, performs the activities that differ from the indicated in the register or also has a fictitious place of registration will be considered unscrupulous.

In addition to all of the above, the changes will affect labor and blue cards. So, the action of the work card will automatically expire 60 days after the termination of the employment contract if no application for a new card has been submitted for this period or after this application has been rejected. At the same time, a period of 60 days is provided during which it is possible to apply for a new card in the Czech Republic after termination of the employment contract. For this moment, in the event of the expiry of the employment contract, a new application can be submitted only from abroad.

In conclusion, it should be noted that until now the blue card has not had significant advantages over the work card. For example, the presence of the blue card issued by another member of the European Union did not give the right to work in the Czech Republic. However, in view of the approved changes, now it will be possible to start working on the basis of the card issued by another member state of the European Union, provided that the employee has applied for a blue card in the Czech Republic.