Friday, 25 April 2014

Labour market to open to foreigners from more states

4 February 2013

Prague, Feb 3 (CTK) - The Czech Republic's labour market will open more to foreigners as the number of countries whose citizens will be allowed to apply for the Czech green card, a permit for long-term residency and employment, will increase, Czech Television (CT) has reported.

Green cards could be obtained by foreigners from 12 countries until now. But the number of countries whose citizens can apply for the card will grow by further 52, including Asian states, in the future, CT said.

The extension of the list of countries eligible for green cards will probably start to take effect as of February 2013. Further changes will be discussed next year.

People from selected countries outside the European Union have a chance of obtaining a job in the Czech Republic if the vacancy is not filled by a worker from the EU within a month.

This offer has been used by around 400 foreigners since 2009 when the Czech Republic started to issue green cards.

It is difficult to anticipate whether interest in green cards will grow after the list of eligible countries increases, Stepanka Filipova, spokeswoman of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, said.

"In any case, we can say that the number of vacancies that can be used for green cards is gradually increasing," Filipova told CT.

Critics among employers say it is too complicated to get workers to the Czech Republic as part of the green card procedure and it does not work in practice very well, CT said.

"The way the system works Sunday is too lengthy, it is a big problem for companies in terms of time and administrative requirements," Confederation of Industry head Zdenek Liska told CT.

Interior Ministry spokesman Vladimir Repka said the problem lies in lack of interest among foreigners as well as employers, and in the current economic crisis.

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