Czechs to get new visa regime for migrants: EU
Czechs are to get a new visa scheme for migrant workers that will allow them to enter the country without a visa.
The Migration Council of the Czech Republic (MCC), a member of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone, announced that it would be issuing a “national identity card” to migrants.
The card will be issued by the ministry of justice.
Under the scheme, migrants will have to apply for a temporary visa which expires after three months and the applicant will be sent to a labour office to prove that they have the necessary qualifications.
The scheme will also allow migrant workers to apply to the country’s immigration authority to register as self-employed.
According to the MCC, the card will cover those aged 18 to 60 and those who have a job offer from the Czech labour market.
Under Schengener agreements with the EU, EU citizens living in the EU are eligible for a one-off, short-stay residence permit for two years.
This is a welcome change as many migrants have been waiting months or even years for this, according to Maria Krol, a member from the MSC.
“It’s a welcome development and a good step forward for the country,” she told RTE.
The MCC’s proposal comes as the Czech government struggles to deal with a record number of migrants arriving in the country.
According in recent months to statistics from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of asylum applications received in the Czech border region has more than doubled compared to last year.
Migration and integration Minister Aleksandra Fysanek told RTV that the country has more applicants per head of population than any other EU country.
“We are trying to deal as quickly as possible with the influx of refugees and migrants and make sure that we have a stable and humane society for all citizens,” she said.