Visa support provided to foreign investors

Relocating a company to a foreign destination is always a demanding administrative process. The Investment and Business Development Agency CzechInvest assists foreign companies with overcoming the challenges inherent in that process, including relocation of management and key employees. Visa support starts with tailored consultancy and continues with the administration of government visa programmes the accelerate visa processes.

The Czech Republic offers several government visa programmes for investors and employers that have a significant impact on the Czech economy. Compared to standard visa processes, these programmes offer employers the benefit of faster and less administratively burdensome visa application and assessment processes. New in 2023 was the Digital Nomad Programme, which aims to respond to the changing trends in the field of international mobility of freelancers, especially for the IT sector, and to facilitate the settlement of such workers in the Czech Republic.


Programme for Key and Scientific Personnel

This programme designs the visa process for members of statutory bodies, legal representatives and employees of newly established companies in the period of up to two years from the date of incorporation in a commercial register. It substantially eases the process of arranging residence permits for key employees of companies coming to the Czech Republic. Those eligible to register in the programmeinclude newly established Czech business entities of foreign investors, start-ups, technology companies, research institutes and Czech entities of foreign investors with at least 50 employees in the country and 250 employees worldwide. The programme is intended for statutory representatives, managers and key specialists who need to reside in the Czech Republic for longer than 90 days. The benefit of this programme consists in accelerated issuance of a residence permit within 30 days following submission of the application, which is a significant reduction in comparison with the standard time periods of up to 90 days for issuance of an employee card and up to 120 days for issuance of a blue card or long-term business visa.

This programme also supports the relocation of employees’ family members who apply for a visa for the purpose of cohabitation of a family. Individual applications of members of the same family are thus processed jointly.

Within the Programme for Key and Scientific Personnel, companies can use two means of relocating their employees and statutory representatives. These are internal transfer, whereby a foreigner is transferred on the basis of a contract to work at a Czech branch while remaining in an employment relationship with the foreign investor, and localisation, whereby the transferred employee enters into an employment relationship directly with the established Czech business entity. 

Where to apply for registration in the programme

The programme is administrated by CzechInvest for newly established companies, startups, research institutes and technology companies. If the application is submitted by an investor that was incorporated more than a year prior, has at least 50 employees in the Czech Republic and 250 employees globally, the application is administrated directly by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

How companies use the Programme for Key and Scientific Personnel

In 2023, more than 1,300 specialists, managers, statutory representatives and their family members enjoyed the benefits of the Programme for Key and Scientific Personnel. CzechInvest processed applications of 25 newly established firms and technology companies.


Programme for Highly Qualified Workers

The Programme for Highly Qualified Workers enables applicants and future employees from non-EU countries and their family members to arrange preferential appointments at Czech embassies and consulates, thus significantly accelerating the process. The number of available appointments for employee-card applicants granted within this programme is set by a government regulation. Employers apply for inclusion in the programme at the Ministry of Industry and Trade.


Programme for Qualified Workers

The Programme for Qualified Workers enables applicants from designated countries to arrange preferential appointments at Czech embassies and consulates, thus accelerating the process. The annual quota for each of the designated countries is set by a government regulation.

This programme is aimed at employers with at least a two-year history and at least six employees in the Czech Republic in the area of manufacturing, services or the public sector that are recruiting citizens of Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Mongolia, the Philippines, India, Moldova, Belarus,Kazakhstan, Georgia, North Macedonia or Armenia to perform skilled labour. The programme is mainly used by well-established large manufacturing and shared-services companies such as Daikin Device, Foxconn Technology and ATT.

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Digital Nomad Program

A new government programme targeting a group of highly skilled IT workers is aimed at citizens of the following countries: Australia, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, or Taiwan. A digital nomad can be an employee of a foreign company who will work for the company remotely on a long-term basis in the country using telecommunications resources. In this case, the foreigner will remain in an employment relationship with his/her foreign company for the whole time and will not enter into an employment relationship in the Czech Republic, or he/she may become a freelancer – a foreigner who will hold a Czech trade license. Immediate family members of digital nomads may also be included in the Programme. The processing of an application for a residence permit usually takes 45 days from the date of submission.

Zuzana Habartová  
Senior Project Manager