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Ministry mulls end of visa suspension

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There is still no work for foreigners in the Czech Republic. At least according to the statistics at the labour offices. Nevertheless, the Interior Ministry proposes to loosen up the visa regime, in which it suspended visa issuing in April.

It has been five months since the Czech embassies in Ukraine, Moldavia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Thailand closed their doors to those who want a working or business visa. Embassies stopped accepting visa applications due to the crisis and growing unemployment.

The Czech state started to pay EUR 500 and a plane ticket home to the forlorn guest workers. Not much changed on the labour market, nonetheless, it is possible the closed door will open again soon.

Seasonal demand
Recent analysis of the impact of the visa restrictions put together by the Interior Ministry might bring some hope to the foreigners. In it, experts recommend the government abolishes the suspension and the embassies began to issue long-term visa again.

“Even though the impact of the economic crisis are still there, the current situation where all kinds of long-term visa are blocked is unsustainable from the long-term perspective,” analysts write.

“It is desirable to enable arrival of a limited number of new workers from abroad in the time when there is increased demand for foreign workers for seasonal jobs.”

The Interior Ministry’s argument is in contradiction with the data available at the Labour Ministry. According to their statistics the outlook of foreigners looking for work are no better than half a year ago.

“Last year in July there were 153,549 free jobs registered, out of which 41,628 were open to foreigners. This year there are only 2,666 out of 44,611 available jobs,” says Štěpánka Filipová from the PR department of the ministry. “Not even the season suggests improvement on the labour market,” she adds.

Recruitment agencies agree. “We have not noted increased demand for foreign workers at the moment,” says Luboš Rejchrt from Grafton Recruitment. Chairman of the Czech-Vietnamese association Marcel Winter says he receives emails almost every day from representatives of Czech companies looking to hire Vietnamese. “They are looking for cooks and IT workers, for example,” Winter says.

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