In the last decade, the population of Ukrainians in the Czech Republic has grown extremely, making them the largest minority. That means that they outnumbered Slovaks and also a great minority of Vietnamese.
The Ukrainians - labor immigrants
As “our dear” (he's mine only by current address and he isn't popular among Czechs) prime minister Andrej Babiš likes to state: “The Ukrainians are not political refugees, but labor immigrants.”
They're escaping from bad work conditions and extremely low paychecks in Ukraine to seek a job in similar conditions (since they're used to it), but with the much bigger paycheck in the Czech Republic.
Women mostly work as housekeepers and cleaning ladies (what's stereotyped Hispanic cleaning lady in the USA, the same thing is Ukrainian cleaning lady in the Czech Republic), while men work in construction or heavy manual labor.
The Czech Republic accepted them at the beginning as a cheap labor force. The paycheck that for us is unacceptable, for them was a lot more than they would get in Ukraine (for example, 24€/day is the minimum wage that nobody would work for, comparing to the Ukrainian 4€/day).
The second thing is that, as we all know, the Czech Republic is one of the countries with the lowest unemployment rate in the EU. There are more open job positions than there are people looking for one.
The Czechs have become more and more ambitious and their homeland can offer them neither the positions nor the paychecks that they think they deserve. So they move to Germany, New Zealand, Australia, the USA for better opportunities, thus leaving the less desirable positions (cleaners, constructors, drivers, waiters, shop attendants, etc.) to immigrants, mostly of Ukrainian origin.
Getting a work permission in Czech Republic
In 2016, a Czech government initiated a program for more Ukrainians to come and get work permissions to fulfill the missing spots. They offered 19 600 work permissions for Ukrainian citizens (in comparison to 2 000 Serbians and 1 000 Moldovans or Filipinos) just because they are near and they are willing to work impossible hours to get a paycheck.
However, there is a big problem in the process of getting those work permits in Ukraine. Every day the bureaus in Ukraine get more than 400 requests for the permits and the citizens are forced to wait for two months or more for the outcome.
Once they apply and pay for the work visa, nobody guarantees them they will get one. Most of the people don't get this opportunity, so they came up with a simpler way to work abroad – with a three-months short-term visa.
I've met and worked with many Ukrainians. They told me their stories. They told me how they have to pay 200€ for the short-term visa and wait, usually a month or two. When their visa period is finished, they come back home and apply immediately for the next three-months visa.
There are whole networks of Ukrainians who mediate between the ones wanting a visa and the bureaus, trying to speed up the procedure. It's a very profitable business for the mediators, who are well paid by desperate workers.
Other problems that Ukrainians are facing in the Czech Republic
When they finally get a visa and decide to go to the Czech Republic, they're faced with long lines on the Ukrainian borders. If they're traveling by bus, they have to be prepared to wait patiently, sometimes even 12 or 24h. They usually pack more food and other necessities to kill the boredom and maybe even to spend a night.
As I've heard from different stories, the Ukrainians are old-fashion and they marry early, right after they reach full age (18 years old). It's not rare that they also get pregnant.
Afterward, in their 20s, they realize that they've made a mistake because they have a husband who drinks and beats them (I've heard the same story more than once). They get divorced and they run to the Czech Republic in search of a job to secure a better future for their child and themselves.
So, we have a Ukrainian who cleans in peoples' houses during the day and in museums during the night in the Czech Republic, saving every crown (kč) that she earns to treat herself, buy a new visa and to help her family in Ukraine.
She's rarely at home, in a small studio apartment that she rents. She's not able to take care of a small child, so he leaves him in Ukraine with his grandparents. She is only hoping that one day she'll manage to get a visa for her son/daughter, as well, and bring him/her to the Czech Republic.
The easiest and fastest way to do it would be to marry someone with a European passport. This is why young Ukrainians always wear make-up at their jobs, they spend money on different beauty treatments. They are trying to catch a Czech guy, get a passport and find a new home for their kid.
Those are all the problems that Ukrainians are faced with if they want to pursue their dream to move to the Czech Republic and reach economic stability.