New digital nomad program launched by Czech government aims to attract highly skilled workers

A new program being launched by the Ministry of Industry is hoping to attract more highly skilled workers to Czechia, but they don’t necessarily need an employment contract from a Czech company to lock down a visa. We spoke to Lucia Legáthová from the Expat Centre in Prague about what this move means for Czechia and foreigners wishing to relocate to the country.

Could you explain the digital nomad program being launched by the Czech government?

Lucia Legáthová | Photo: Amelia  Mola-Schmidt,  Radio Prague International

“The new digital nomad program has been launched by the Ministry of Industry, and it’s a program aimed at highly qualified workers, especially in the IT sector. The program is intended for citizens from just a few countries: Australia, Japan, the US, Canada, the UK, and Taiwan. There are two types of nomads who can join the program, it’s either for people who are already working for a foreign company and want to relocate to the Czech Republic, or people who want to work in the Czech Republic but as a self-employed person – so they would possess a trade license in the Czech Republic. The good news about the program is that it’s intended for close family members as well – so spouses and registered partners can join these nomads in the Czech Republic.”

It’s interesting that, for example, one could keep working for a Canadian company remotely but relocate to Czechia, is this a new and unique step for the country?

“Yes, it’s a very new thing for Czechia, but I think it’s very useful for everybody. Nomads can keep their jobs and come to live in the Czech Republic where the cost of living is lower than, for example, Canada, but they will still have their Canadian salaries and be able to enjoy a very easy life here in the Czech Republic. But at the same time, the Czech Republic will gain this highly skilled individual, and we can use their knowledge, skills, and networks to enhance the business and knowledge environment in the Czech Republic. That’s the good thing about digital nomads, they can bring their knowledge and skills to the country to which they go.”

What is the desired outcome for Czechia, what does the country gain by a nomad relocating to the country if they are not employed by a Czech company?

“There are many things the country can gain. The first thing is that the nomads are usually highly skilled workers. There is research that indicates among 90% of them have university degrees, and they typically work in the knowledge economy or creative industries, and these are the areas that the Czech Republic wants to promote and support. Getting the talent and the professionals that work within these sectors will help develop the sector within the country as well.

“The second thing is that the nomads are very highly paid, if they are coming from richer countries, they are coming with higher wages that they can spend in the Czech Republic. That will go into the state budget and will help the Czech economy prosper. Another thing is that they can help to stimulate job creation, because they will showcase their skills and knowledge, which can help with job creation and create an opportunity for new businesses that can either be created on behalf of their skills and knowledge, or businesses that will be created for digital nomads.”

Photo: Peggy_Marco,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

In terms of interest, is there any estimate of how many people are interested in applying for the program, or is it too soon to have those numbers?

“It’s too soon to have these numbers, but there is no limit on how many people can apply to the program. I should also mention one other thing, and that is the application has a much shorter processing period compared to other programs from the Ministry of Industry, it’s only 45 days.”

The rules for taxation state that if a foreigner is spending more than 183 days in Czechia, they must pay taxes in the country, regardless of the location of their employment.
The long term visa lasts one year, and can be renewed after.
Visit the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s website for more details.