Saturday, May 30, 2009

I's Legal Now!

Woo-Hoo!!! I received my green card (povolení k dlouhodobému pobytu) from the Czech Embassy. I can now legally enter the EU and stay more than 90 days without getting deported. And the cool thing is that I got my visa about 8 weeks ahead of schedule.

As I said in an earlier post, you can apply for your green card before you receive your work permit, as long as, you can prove that you have applied for a work permit (povolení k zaměstnání). The relocation company in Prague wanted me to wait for my work permit before even applying for my visa. In other words, they were going to have me apply for my visa this week and wait 3-4 months for it to process. Instead I applied about 5 weeks ago. IBS delivered my work permit to the foreign police on Wednesday, they approved my pending application on Thursday and I received my visa from the Washington Embassy on Friday. YEAH!!!!!

I can actually book flights now. I hope to leave Atlanta in about 3 weeks which will allow me to visit my family in California for about a week. I can then fly from L.A. the first week in July, register with the foreign police once I get to Brno and start working July 6th. Good grief! Move to Europe in 3 weeks!?! I have to get busy with packing up my stuff and figure out where I'm going to stay.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Work Permit Was Approved I'm one step closer to Brno. IBS e-mailed to let me know they received my approved work permit and that it was delivered to the Czech foreign police today. Now I just have to wait on the foreign police to approve my 1-year long-term residency permit (green card) so I can get my passport back from the embassy in DC. Hopefully, I'll get my green card within the next 8 weeks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Waiting on Bureaucracy

In order for an American citizen to live and work in the ČR, one has to have both a work permit and a long-term residency permit (green card). IBM has hired a relocation company in Prague, International Business Support (IBS), to help facilitate my paperwork.

It takes 60 days for the Employment Administration Office (EAO) to issue a work permit (Povolení k zaměstnání). IBS e-mailed me today that I should have my work permit next week. Yeah! One step closer to moving.

To get a green card you have to provide a work permit or provide confirmation from the EAO that your employer has applied for a work permit. It takes 90 day (up to 120 days) to get a work permit. So apply for a green card as soon as you've applied for a work permit so you don't lose two months.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


When I tell people that I'm moving to the ČR everyone automatically thinks I'm moving to Prague. Nope. I'm actually moving to Brno which is the second largest city. It is the country's judicial capital, the regional capital of Moravia, and home to six universities plus a medical school. The city only has about 370,000 people living there so that will be a shock. Especially considering Atlanta has over 5 million. Then again there are only 10 million people in the entire country and it is about the size of South Carolina.

But the location rocks!!! Brno is within 200 km of three European capitals - Prague, Vienna & Bratislava. Plus there are cheap, direct flights from Brno to Prague, London, Moscow, Rome, and Amsterdam.

Of course according to my seven year old niece, the best thing is that there's a castle where Uncle Chris is moving to. I think my niece Emme is already having princess dreams about the castle in Brno.

Here's a link to information about Brno in English.

This Blog

So I've decided to take a new project management position with IBM and relocate from Atlanta to Brno, Czech Republic. I'm joining an organization representing about 70 different nationalities, and about two dozen languages, at the Integrated Delivery Center (IDC). IDC Brno is one of IBM's biggest and most diverse delivery centers providing strategic outsourcing services to more than 600 clients worldwide.

However, I can't actually start this adventure until bureaucracy has run its course. Since the Česká republika (ČR) is a member of the EU there seems to be a lot of hurdles to jump through and all I can do is be patient. I should have my work permit in a few more weeks which, obviously, will allow me to work in the ČR. The kicker is that an American isn't allowed to stay there for more than 90 days in a six month period. So I'm also waiting on my green card which will let me live in the country where I'll be working. Go figure!

The Czech Embassy in Washington has my passport until the authorities in Prague authorize my long-term residency permit. So I'm in limbo. I can't even make flight arrangements because I don't have a date when I can leave the U.S. and enter the ČR. I can't even go there as a tourist to sort things out before I start working because I don't have my passport. Right now it looks like I will be able to leave late July. So until then all I can do is keep sorting things out here. Not to mention trying to pick up as much Czech as I can before I leave. And of course Czech is one of the few languages not offered by Rosetta Stone.