By Moustafa Daly
The Czech Republic just became the latest European Union (EU) country to introduce a digital nomad visa.
The visa option aims to solidify the Czech Republic’s position as a technology hub. “Over the past decade, the Czech Republic became a technology hub as many technology companies built their operations (R&D centers, IT hubs, etc.) in the Czech Republic as well as many technology start-ups have arisen here,” says Mirek Mejtský, partner at Petyovský & Partners.
“Talent is, of course, one of the main issues as the Czech educational system is unable to produce enough STEM graduates given the influx in demand. Therefore, it is imperative to work with foreign talent, and digital nomads could be a good addition to the regular employee-employer scheme,” he elaborates.
The digital nomad visa is available to applicants with at least three years of experience in IT or with high academic qualifications in a STEM field, which includes tech and engineering.
What are other requirements for a Czech digital nomad visa?
As of July 2023, the visa is only available to citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Nationals of other countries won’t be able to pursue this visa, but this may soon change.
“The Ministry of the Interior (the Immigration Authority) wanted to first open the program for nationals of countries which they classify as no/low risk,” explains Mejtský.
“Depending on the experience with the program as implemented, they will be willing to consider extending the program to other countries,” he adds.
Also, the visa will only be available to those earning at least 1.5 times the average salary in the country, which in the first quarter of 2023 was set to equate to around $1,850 as per government data. However, for STEM and tech careers, it’s presumably higher – however, no official data on this is available.
Expected benefits of the new Czech visa
The digital nomad program is anticipated to bring digital know-how to the country, expects Mejtský, asserting that such knowledge transfer is crucial to the sustained development of the country’s industrial sectors and improves employment figures.
Another benefit he anticipates is higher tax revenue.
“Tertiary effect is the indirect tax collected as the digital nomads are above-average earning individuals and a significant part of their earnings will result in their spending for services while in the country,” he explains.
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