Czech government seeks to ease residency for foreign investors

Illustrative photo: European Commission

The Czech government is readying to debate a proposed amendment which should make it easier for foreign investors, planning significant investment in the Czech Republic, easier to gain long-term residency permits. Under the proposal, applicants would be allowed to stay for two years before their project came under review by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. Under the current system, investors must first apply for long-term visas.

Magda Faltová,  photo: Czech Television
Earlier, Jan Velinger discussed the bill with Magda Faltová, director of the NGO Association for Integration and Migration.

“The amendment proposed defines the investments as needing to be substantial, although that still has to be defined. I imagine that it will be defined either by the amount invested, in the millions of crowns, or the number of people the company will employ. It won’t be small investments but bigger ones in order to apply for the new long-term residence permit for the purpose of investment, called the investment card.”

Yes, that is what I wanted to ask about: I can’t imagine that it was all that difficult for foreigners investing heavily in the Czech Republic until now to get permits to be here long-term…

“The difference will be that there will be no need to apply for a long-term visa but that they will apply from the start for the long-term residency. At the moment, they first have to apply for the visa. With the new investment card they will also have more rights, concerning family reunification, overall stability, and so. So there are advantages. First, though, we have to see if it is approved by the government and passed in Parliament and then we’ll see how it works. In terms of interest, I think we are talking about applicants in the dozens, not in the hundreds or thousands.”

Illustrative photo: European Commission
What is the time limit set by the new permit?

“It is two years and then it will be reviewed to see how well the business is doing. One other difference from the moment is that under the plan, the projects will be overseen or evaluated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade rather than the Interior and Foreign Ministries. I think that will be an advantage as well.”