Czech Republic: Fast Track quota nearly exhausted, other options available

The Czech Republic has nearly exhausted its Fast Track program quota of 100 applications per year. About 15 more applications will be accepted.

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What does the change mean? The quota is on pace to be reached much earlier than last year. Employers who are unable to use the Fast Track program should consider other options, including obtaining a short-term work permit for non-EU employees so they can begin work before obtaining an employee card.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employee cards (work and residence permits).
  • Who is affected: Employers who use the Fast Track program.
  • Impact on processing times: Fast Track applications are usually processed within 30 business days. The processing time for regular applications is about 60 business days.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust start dates and timelines if they have to file a standard application.

Background: The Fast Track program provides expedited employee card processing for employers who have been approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The program was expanded in 2013 to include visa-exempt nationals on local payroll, including local hires and intracompany transferees in management or specialist positions.

Each year, the Czech Republic limits the number of applications that can be processed through Fast Track to avoid overwhelming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. In 2015, the limit was reached in October. The limit on Fast Track applications does not affect employers applying through the regular process nor those applying for short-term work permits, which are valid for up to 90 days.

BAL Analysis: Employers who rely on the Fast Track program should contact their BAL attorney to discuss other options once the cap is reached.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Czech Republic. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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