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Prague suspends admission of work visa applications by Vietnamese

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Prague, July 19 (CTK) – The Czech Republic suspended the acceptance of work visa applications by Vietnamese on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday, citing the recent overburdening of the Czech embassy in Hanoi and also security risks.

The suspension applies to the visa applications for long-term residence with the aim of either employment or business activities.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD), who is also acting foreign minister, said “the measure has been taken as a result of the long-soaring number of these applications submitted to the Czech diplomatic mission in Hanoi, whose capacity has got overburdened, and also due to the risks that the National Security Council (BRS) discussed recently.”

At present, the priority of the Czech embassy in Vietnam is to accept residence applications for the purpose of family reuniting.

Security risks linked to visa for Vietnamese were mentioned by Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD), former foreign minister who currently heads the lower house foreign committee, in the Chamber of Deputies in June.

He described the situation as unfavourable and said the BRS dealt with it recently. Vietnam has become a top security risk, he said.

“Vietnam simply means organised crime. When I visited Hanoi and Saigon, the Vietnamese apologised to me – normal Vietnamese – for sending so big a portion of crime to us to the Czech Republic,” Zaoralek said at the foreign committee meeting.

He said the main problem between Czechia and Germany is the unlawful production of pervitin (methamphetamine) and the Chinese or Vietnamese gangs which produce it.

“The damage caused to the Czech Republic is huge, amounting to dozens of billions of crowns,” Zaoralek said.

The Vietnamese embassy protested against Zaoralek’s statements in early July. Reacting to it, the Czech Foreign Ministry assured the Vietnamese diplomats that Zaoralek’s words did not express the official position of the Czech Republic.

In connection with the suspension of the Vietnamese applications for work visa, the Foreign ministry said on Thursday that Czech employers’ demands for labour have been covered through the programme of special employee cards for the citizens of Ukraine, Mongolia, the Philippines and Serbia, which enables to grant a total of 24,000 such cards this year.

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