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Czechs enact stricter rules for foreigners

ČTK |
14 July 2017

Prague, July 13 (CTK) - President Milos Zeman signed an amendment introducing stricter rules for foreigners' stay and curbing economic migration on Thursday, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has told journalists.

The legislation was opposed by the Senate and human rights activists who primarily resented the cancellation of the supervision of detention facilities for foreigners by state attorneys, proposed by the government.

Senators may challenge some of the new measures at the Constitutional Court.

Following the asylum law model, the amendment enables to stop the residence permit proceeding if the foreigners fail to turn up without any serious reason, if they lie or submit forged documents.

A foreign applicant's conviction of a deliberate crime will also influence the proceedings, according to the amendment adopted in reaction to recent problems foreign workers caused in some Czech industrial zones.

Critics say the measures are in conflict with the Czech Republic's international commitments and its constitutional order.

Human rights organisations which work with migrants say the amendment is a shift towards a repressive approach to legal migration.

The criticism was dismissed by Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats. CSSD). He said the changes were right and argued with the need to provide security and regulation of migration.

He said the stricter rules would only affect the foreigners who did not behave in accordance with the law in the Czech Republic.

To curb undesired economic migration, the bill punishes the practice of latent agency employment without the Employment Office's work permit.

It introduces the unreliable employer label for the entities that are indebted, fail to pay insurance for employees and employ people illegally. Such firms would be banned from employing foreigners.

This provision was opposed by employers' associations, arguing that the legislation could be abused.

The amendment reckons with working foreigners being able to stay in the Czech Republic for at least six months without having to ask for the prolongation of their visas after three months.

Foreign businesspeople may stay here up to two years if their activities relate to some major investment.

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