Czech police last year detained 4,992 foreigners in the country illegally,
254 more than in 2017. As in previous years, Ukrainians comprised the
largest group, according to a Ministry of the Interior report.
Nearly 1,500 Ukrainians were detained by the police in 2018. Large numbers of Moldovans, Vietnamese, Russians and Georgians illegally in the country were also detained.
Most had entered the country legally but exceeded their permitted stays or had expired visas, the Interior Ministry said. Some have done so repeatedly.
An estimated 3,800 foreigners worked illegally in the Czech Republic last
year, almost twice as many as in 2017.
According to a Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs report on combating illegal employment, four-fifths of them were Ukrainians. Many were Slovaks, Romanians or Bulgarians.
The overall numbers have risen because it is more costly for employers to lose out fulfilling orders than are the fines imposed for hiring illegal workers, the Ministry report says.
Its inspectors have focused mainly on construction worksites, warehouses and logistics centres, where hundreds of people are employed.
The government in January agreed to double the number of Ukrainians it would allow in as fast-track migrant workers to nearly 20,000 per year, in a bid to help address the chronic labour shortage, which has companies in the export-driven economy struggling to fill orders. According to Czech Chamber of Commerce, the fast-track scheme is a drop in the proverbial bucket – but still paying dividends.
In response to numerous complaints with regard to abuse of the Czech visa system in Ukraine, the Czech consulate in Lvov has moved to simplify and speed up the process. Steps have been taken to root out corruption by local middlemen who blocked the registration system, making it virtually impossible for anyone else to sign up for months. Applicants will now be able to book by phone, eliminating the long waiting lines outside the consulate and the waiting time for a visa should be reduced from 130 days to 75.
The Czech Republic has the lowest jobless rate in the European Union with vacancies now outstripping the registered unemployed. But moves to attract workers from Ukraine are being hampered by red tape. That sparked a lightning visit last week by the Czech labour minister and a raft of reforms are now promised.
The Czech Republic will seek to bring around 2,000 Ukrainian care-givers to
the Czech Republic under a special project, the Minister of Labour and
Social Affairs Jaroslava Němcová told journalists on Monday.
Social services in the Czech Republic have been struggling to deal with a lack of caregivers in old-age homes and institutions for disabled people. Němcová said other areas of the economy would also benefit from facilitating the process of issuing work permits for Ukrainians willing to fill the growing number of vacancies on the job market.
There are currently over 374,000 foreigners working in the country, of those 70,000 are Ukrainian nationals.
War veteran Colonel Josef Holy has died at the age of 99. Holy fought in
the Eastern front in WWII and was later taken into German captivity.
After being released he joined a resistance group composed of Volhynian Czechs and volunteered for the newly formed 1st Czechoslovak army corps. He fought in the battle for the Dukla pass, where he was hit in the head by a shrapnel.
After the war he was a member of the anti-communist resistance for which he was sentenced to 18 months in jail and later only allowed to do menial labour. Holy was rehabilitated after 1989 and received the Memory of the Nation Award.