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I have this situation that I would appreciate some guidance/help with.

I (non-EU) have been offered a job for working with a Czech company. The problem is that I won’t be living in the Czech Republic, as the company wants me to work as a fixed IT consultant for a German company. So even though I’d be working at the German company office (and residing in Germany as well), I would have a contract in Prague and they will be the ones who pay me.

The company is currently evaluating possible options for my work permit. As they are only CZ based, they said it wasn’t possible for them to sponsor me a DE visa. While they search, I’d like to proactively look for all possible options so that we can choose the most convenient one.

I’ve done a little research and I have so far only found somehow suitable the Czech Blue Card. I know can then transfer the Blue Card from CZ to DE, but from what I have read, I have to wait 18 months for that and even after that time has passed by, my employer would still be CZ based.

Another option I came acrosss is a self-employed visa in Germany, but I don’t really know if I’d be considered to be self employed. Any info or advice would be much appreciated.

  • I would also look at the EU provisions concerning the freedom of movement of services. It seems like it ought to be possible for a Czech company providing services in Germany to send its employees to Germany for that purpose. But I do not know how that would work with the different countries' differing labor laws. – phoog Feb 8 at 18:20
  • Thank you for your reply @phoog, we still continue to look out for ways to achieve this, looks like we will try to go for a self-employed visa. – Felipe Plazas Feb 15 at 1:14
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In theory, Czech companies are allowed to post their workers to other countries within the EU. However in practice this seems like a blatant attempt to dodge German immigration laws as the Czech company is only hiring you for the purpose of working in another country, rather than sending out you to Germany after a period of employment at their office.

I would therefore recommend asking the company to provide you with a proper German work permit or employ you within Czech Republic.

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Something like this can work, but only if several conditions are met.

As noted in the answer by JonathanReez, the ECJ has ruled that the member states can't impose further arbitrary restrictions on top of this, but it may already be hard enough to satisfy the basic ones.

First of all, any time you find yourself wondering about some aspect of cross-border work in the EU, you should take a look at the excellent Practical guide on the applicable legislation in the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland. It covers all you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about working across the borders of member states, and it's a much more pleasant read than the corresponding Regulation 883/2004. As usual, it's also available in all the official languages of the EU (just change the langId in the link above or go through this portal).

Your situation is covered by Part I: Posting of workers. This is defined as being sent by your employer to another Member State to temporarily perform work there for that employer, given that

  • the duration of that work doesn't exceed 24 months, and
  • there is a direct relationship between you and your employer during the whole period.

There are a few more conditions (eligibility of the employer etc.), but these are the key ones.

Now, depending on the specifics of your situation, you may already fail the first condition. Note that the 24 month limit is an upper bound, but it's up to the authorities of both states to decide if your posting is in fact "temporary". In practice, that usually means you'll work just on one particular project and leave as soon as it's finished (without anyone else being posted to replace you).

The second condition means that you have to prove that you're a real employee of the Czech company just providing some service to the German company, not someone working very much like a normal employee of the German company without following German rules.

Some (example) conditions that should be met to establish a direct relationship with your formal employer:

  • only your employer was responsible for recruiting you
  • only your employer can dismiss you (terminate your contract) or take disciplinary action
  • you're paid only by your employer
  • your employer determines the "nature" of the work you do ("not in terms of defining the details of the type of work to be performed and the way it is to be performed, but in the more general terms of determining the end product of that work or the basic service to be provided")

In other words, you have to convince the authorities that your real boss sits in Czechia, not in Germany. If they get the impression that you're somewhat like an employee of the German company, you're doomed.

Finally, you have to be "attached to the social security system" in Czechia before you're posted to Germany. This means that you can't be sent directly to Germany on day one, but need to spend at least a month in Czechia before that.

All of this will come under thorough scrutiny by both the Czech and the German authorities as soon as you apply for the A1 form (and you have to do that if you want to legally work in another member state).

Most of this applies in a very similar fashion if you're self-employed. You can only work temporarily in Germany if you're "normally self-employed" in Czechia (you worked there before and are going to return) and you're going to do "similar" work in Germany.

  • Thanks a lot for the highly detailed explanation, together with JonathanReez's answer this has been the only information I've gotten so far backed by actual EU legislature. Will discuss this with my employer. – Felipe Plazas Apr 25 at 1:19

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