Friday, September 14, 2012


Some labor laws changed in the Czech Republic which took effect this year.  I think that politicians are trying to be proactive about protecting Czech workers (and voters) in light of the current global financial situation.

The first change is that non-EU citizens, which includes Americans, Canadians, Australians, Russians, Ukrainians, etc., can no longer be employed by companies as a subcontractor.  You can only hire non-EU citizens as regular employees.  I think that this was meant to protect Czech jobs from foreign workers.  In my humble opinion this change will actually produce the opposite of the intended effect.  What this tells companies is that the work around is to give non-EU citizens the regular employment contracts and give the subcontractor contracts to EU citizens.  Fortunately, this one doesn't effect me at all.

The second change is that in order to issue a new, or renew an existing, work permit an applicant's educational history must be validated.  So even though I gave the Czech government a copy of my master's diploma three years ago I now need to go through nostrification.

Nostrification is the process of granting recognition to a degree from a foreign university.  Basically, I must find a public Czech university to certify that my degree is equivalent to a course of study offered by their university.  Here's where I get annoyed...

I have an MBA and public universities in ČR don't offer MBAs, only private institutions do.  Secondly, my degree is AACSB accredited which is the highest level of accreditation that can be achieved by a business school.  Less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have this.  No institution in the ČR has this level of accreditation but I need to have a Czech university authenticate that my degree is equivalent to what it offers.

I'm hoping that Masaryk University, here in Brno, will validate that my MBA is equivalent to their Master's program in Economics and Management.  Here's what I have to do to make all of this happen.

  1. I have to get notarized copies of my diploma and transcripts from Georgia State University.
  2. I need to get an apostille for each notarized copy.
  3. Most institutions required government approved Czech translations.  Fortunately, Masaryk allows for the documents to be in either Czech or English.
  4. Submit an application to the university for nostrification.  The whole evaluation process should last 30 to 60 days.
So what's an apostille?  I sure as hell had never heard of it before but it does make a lot of sense.  It is basically a "super notary" that is valid between countries that authenticates the validity of public documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses and educational records. 

The USA has delegated this responsibility to each state where the document was originally issued.  A public document issued in Georgia can only receive an apostille from the State of Georgia.  A document issued in California can only receive an apostille from the State of California.

I made a copy of my diploma and had a Georgia notary stamp and notarize it.  I took it to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority in Atlanta which is the only place authorized to grant an apostille.  They gave me the necessary validation within 10 minutes and it only cost $3.

However, the transcripts were a different story.  For some reason, they will only issue an apostille on student transcripts if the university issues the official notary.

So after multiple trips back and forth between the court office and GSU, I finally got what I needed.  Again, in and out in less than 10 minutes and only another $3 fee.

Dealing with all of this bureaucracy is not exactly what I wanted to do while on vacation.  My work permit is good until April 2013 so I'm ahead of the game in getting together what I need.  Thank goodness that I just happened to already have this trip home planned.  This would have been a royal pain in the arse if I had needed to try to coordinate this from Brno.  Once I get the nostrification completed then I won't have to ever deal with this again.


  1. Hahaha.
    You obviously dont know that subcontractors (OSVČ) jobs is taxed 20-30% + cars and computers without 20% DPH, and your and others employees job is taxed about 50%.

  2. The problem with subcontractor (OSVČ) positions is that most, if not all, banks won't issue a mortgage. I know several people that had to wait until they were on permanent contracts in order to qualify for a mortgage.