- Hans Weber
- December 6, 2023
Significant Increase in Foreigners Residing in the Czech Republic, Driven by Ukrainian Refugee Wave
The Czech Republic has witnessed a substantial rise in the number of foreigners legally residing in the country for more than 90 days, surpassing one million individuals, according to a report presented to the government. This represents a significant year-on-year increase of 69 percent, primarily attributed to a refugee wave from Ukraine.
The report categorizes the foreigners into three groups: permanent residents, temporary residents, and those under temporary protection. Among the total number, 30 percent held permanent residency, 31 percent had temporary residency, and 39 percent were granted temporary protection. Notably, 80 percent of individuals with legal residency hailed from third countries, predominantly Ukraine, Vietnam, and Russia.
Within the foreign population, 227,348 were citizens of European Union (EU) member states. Among them, Slovaks constituted the largest group, establishing the second-largest foreign community in the Czech Republic after Ukrainians.
The influx of foreigners has raised concerns about social integration and the provision of necessary services to newcomers. While the country has been receptive to foreign residents, the surge has placed strain on public services, including healthcare and education.
To address these challenges, the government is actively developing policies and initiatives aimed at integrating foreigners into Czech society and facilitating their access to essential services. The report emphasizes the necessity of catering to the needs of third-country national residents, which includes offering language courses, employment opportunities, and access to social services.
Despite the associated difficulties, the growing presence of foreigners has also presented new business opportunities in the country. The increased demand for goods and services from foreign residents has fostered entrepreneurship and investment, contributing to the overall growth of the Czech economy.
As the number of foreigners residing in the Czech Republic continues to rise, it is imperative for the government to strike a balance between addressing integration challenges and harnessing the positive economic impact of this demographic shift. By implementing comprehensive strategies that promote inclusivity and support the needs of foreign residents, the Czech Republic can build a more diverse and thriving society while maximizing the benefits of this demographic transition.
Article by Prague Forum