Czech Republic

In 2020, 49 000 new immigrants obtained a residence permit for longer than 12 months in the Czech Republic (excluding EU citizens), - 49.4% compared to 2019. This figure comprises 57.1% labour migrants, 24.7% family members (including accompanying family), 11.3% who came for education reasons and 6.9% other migrants. Around 2 100 short-term permits were issued to international students and 1 500 to temporary and seasonal labour migrants (excluding intra-EU migration). In addition, 60 000 intra-EU postings were recorded in 2020, a decrease of -40% compared to 2019. These posted workers are generally on short-term contracts.

Ukraine, the Slovak Republic and Russia were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2020. Among the top 15 countries of origin, the Slovak Republic registered the strongest increase (1 400) and Ukraine the largest decrease (-1 700) in flows to the Czech Republic compared to the previous year.

In 2021, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 33.3% to reach around 1 100. The majority of applicants came from Ukraine (300), Georgia (200) and Afghanistan (200). The largest increase since 2020 concerned nationals of Afghanistan (170) and the largest decrease nationals of Azerbaijan (-30). Of the 940 decisions taken in 2021, 28% were positive.

In 2021, the Czech Republic was tackling persisting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration flows. Restrictions on all non-essential travel to the Czech territory that had been introduced in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and that followed the recommendation of the European Commission remained applicable but they were gradually eased during 2021. The requirement to complete an electronic Public Health Passenger Locator Form when travelling from countries with a medium or high risk of COVID-19 transmission was introduced in February 2021. In August 2021, entry conditions were eased for fully vaccinated third-country nationals. The Czech Republic finally lifted all remaining border epidemiological measures related to COVID-19 in April 2022.

Despite the pandemic, the Czech Republic granted 199 000 short-term visas and 58 500 long-term visas and residence permits to third-country nationals, mainly labour migrants. 14 500 citizens of the EU/EEA Member States and 4 000 of their family members moved to the Czech Republic in 2021.

The salary threshold for admission of labour migrants from third countries increased in 2021. The basic threshold for an Employee Card – a single permit for long-term labour migrants – and the short-term work permit corresponds with the national minimum wage. In January 2022, the national monthly minimum wage was raised from CZK 15 200 to CZK 16 200 (approx. EUR 650). The new minimum wage is around 41.7% of average national wage.

A new amendment to the Act on Residence of Foreign Nationals, approved in August 2021, introduced new requirements concerning identification and health insurance of migrants in the country. Following the EU regulation the security of identity cards was strengthened. Residence permits issued by the Czech Republic to all third-country nationals including family members of EU citizens must now contain biometric data. If already residing in the Czech Republic, migrants are required to exchange their current permit for a biometric permit. According to the new health insurance requirements, all third-country nationals must be insured in the scope of comprehensive health care (from Pojišťovna VZP, a subsidiary of the General Health Insurance Company of the Czech Republic). This requirement does not apply to migrants covered by the Czech public health insurance or insurance paid for on the basis of international agreement.

In April 2022, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in co-operation with Mendel University launched “Smart Migration”, a mobile application that provides information to migrants on living in the Czech Republic and navigating government services, including health, education, housing, and migration matters. Users can thereafter generate tasks and the application will remind them what needs to be done. It also provides contacts of relevant authorities and organisations in the Czech Republic and allows migrants to talk directly to personal virtual assistant (Chatbot).

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