Prague - the heart of Europe with a great deal of attractiveness to stay and work
Founded 12 centuries ago, Prague is a very old city and its historical architecture provides an interesting insight into the history. Wandering through the Old Town with its narrow streets of cobblestone seems to take you right back in time. The charming historical center and the castle area expanding across both banks of the Vltava River, connected by the renowned Charles Bridge, is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Prague. Both the castle and the bridge have earned the city the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The further you go away from the old city center, you enter Prague’s newer districts, all of which are numbered according to an old administrative law. Among the most popular residential areas for foreigners in Prague rank Prague 2 and Prague 6, due to various factors including multinational employers and embassies largely residing in these areas. Many foreigners live in Prague for a long period already and they have virtually nothing to complain about. Modest living costs, great international education system, and a modern infrastructure — there’s a lot that makes living there desirable.
Despite Prague is no longer so inexpensive as it once was, it is still a lot cheaper to live than many other sought-after destinations in Central and Eastern Europe; the Mercer 2015 Cost of Living rankings even ranked living in Prague cheaper than in Moscow, Istanbul, Riga, and Bratislava. Various surveys suggest that the average rent in the town is about 28 % lower than in Berlin, 45 % lower as compared to Brussels, and an incredible 58 % lower than in Amsterdam.
If you travel to Prague for the first time, countless sightseeing opportunities will keep you occupied during your leisure time. In addition to the rich architectural heritage, there is a vast number of museums, theaters, and galleries available to discover. Among popular relaxing sites belong Petřín Hill and Letná Hill on the bank of the Vltava River. A quantity of foreign cultural institutes such as the British Council or the German Goethe-Institut contribute to the all-round cultural life in the town.
Working in Prague
Thanks to the city's strategic central location within Europe, it is a very attractive destination both for tourists coming from abroad and foreign investors as well. Therefore, it's no surprise that Prague has become a permanent place of business for most multinational companies operating in the Czech Republic, as do many of the largest Czech companies. Another benefit for those planning to stay and work in Prague is the low unemployment rate. In recent years, it has been moving around 6-7 percent of the total workforce which is pretty low compared to the EU member state average of 9.6 %.
Prosperous economic conditions of the city have not remained unnoticed by the community around the world and, thereupon, the number of foreign workers arriving in Prague is still growing. Today, the service sector forms the city's principal business which employs around 80 % of the labor force there. The financial sector along with trade-related services rank among the most uppermost segments. Another increasingly important industry in Prague seems to be that of tourism which remains a lucrative and growing business with many ties to the UK and is a good choice for job seekers who don’t speak Czech.
People coming from any EU member state don’t need a work permit. They have free hands to start working immediately, only their employers have to send an info card to the Labor office. For non-EU citizens, a work permit (“povolení k zaměstnání”) or a long-term residence permit ("povolení k dlouhodobému pobytu") is required along with a visa issued for work purposes. The official authority to file an application for the work permit is the Labor Office of the Czech Republic ("Úřad práce České republiky") with the main Prague office in street Roháčova 133/13. The application has to include the potential employer, the job position, the place of work, and the length of time the job will last. The website of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs offers detailed instructions on how to fill in and submit the application for the work permit.
Article is written by Lukáš Beňa
Lukas works as an independent PR specialist, copywriter, translator and technical writer. He is a very good ping-pong player, philosopher and lover of cats. More about Lukas