On June 28 the American Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion roundtable on quotas for work permits for foreigners with the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior. The discussion covered decision of the cabinet on the number of work permits for foreigners to simplify the application process.
The task in front of all ministries regarding visa procedures, including quotas, is to be in sync with the demand of business. The ministries already introduced certain projects and regimes, e.g. Fast Track regime for the US citizens, regimes for the employees from Ukraine, Mongolia and Philippines, welcome package for the investors, specific regimes for students etc.
Quotas are a new concept to the economic migration policy and it will be transparent, informing employers of the exact numbers for each country. As the Ministry of Interior stressed that there is a need for quotas as the embassies (e.g. India) are overwhelmed with the applicants. “If we don´t have tool to give priority to the high-skilled workers, then we cannot take their applications sooner than we do from other workers. Quota should somehow solve this problem and the quota should help set the numbers in advance, so that most employers and the embassies/ministries know what amount of applications we will need to process at certain period of time.” said Ondřej Brychta from the Ministry of Interior. Preliminary discussions have taken place and the ministries are in the process of working on the decree over the summer, taking into account feedback from the employers, Chambers of Commerce and other associations of employers.
For now, the representatives of the ministries noted that the quotas should somehow reflect the demand, therefore they will be implemented only for selected countries. To be precise, the government decree will be for all countries but the regulations will apply only for some countries, nevertheless, the list of these countries (with limits) is not available yet. Quotas will be applied primarily on un-qualified labour force from countries that have been already a subject to the regimes, as Ukraine, Philippines, Mongolia, Serbia. Quotas should not in any way touch qualified foreign employees in the Czech Republic.
The issue of facilitating the immigration process, including facilitating rather complicated process of verifications and apostilles is very complex, because the Czech Republic acceded to the Hague convention and therefore certain types of documents require apostille, this could not be ignored. During the debate there was a mutual agreement on a need for digitalization of application process. The representatives of the ministries confirmed that the digitalization is under discussion, however, at the same time they stressed that it is a long-term process.
For more information the employers could visit the website of the Ministry of Industry to check the overview for economic migration and the information that indicates where there is any project and capacity issue, as well as the Chapter on Entry & Residence on the MFA website.