In the globalized, fast paced world of today, there are a tons of reasons for which you may want to or have to leave your home country for a period of time to go and live abroad. If life takes you to Prague, see which rights the Czech Republic grants you and which requirements there are to fulfill by you.

AmazingPrague would like to help you find your way through the bureaucratic jungle – which is actually considerably manageable – and has therefore compiled a check list of what to do and what to think of upon arrival. Nonetheless, we cannot by any means guarantee that all information is valid at all time and in any case; please bear that in mind and do not rely exclusively on AmazingPrague’s information but refer to your embassy and the governmental links throughout the text.

Visas and Permits of Residence.

Depending on the duration of your stay in the Czech Republic and your citizenship, you may need a residency permit.

Temporary Permit of Residence.

European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein citizens.

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein citizens are treated equally to EU citizens.

EU citizens have the right to enter and reside in the Czech Republic (for that matter in any member state) without any special restrictions, that is, no residency permit is necessary. The only requirement, as mentioned, is a valid identification card.

Regardless of purpose and length of stay, EU citizens do not need visas.

If the EU citizens stays in the Czech Republic for longer than three months, for instance if he/ she is a student, employed, owns a business or for any other legal purpose, he/ she is entitled (NOT obliged) to apply for a residency permit for European citizens.

However, there are cases in which a residency permit is required even from a European citizen, for instance in order to enable a family member who is not an EU citizen to apply for his/ her own residency permit.

Under all circumstances, a foreigner is obligated to report his/ her intended place of stay to the foreign police within three days. If the foreigner is temporarily residing in the Czech Republic without the need of a visa, he/ she has to report his place of stay within 30 days, if the stay will exceed 30 days. This also includes reporting the beginning and intended length of temporary residence in the Czech Republic. Also, all changes in place of stay are to be reported.

Permanent Residency.   

If you have fallen in love with Bohemia’s capital and never want to leave, you will have to apply for a permanent residency permit.

European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein citizens.

The foreign police will issue EU citizens a permanent residency permit provided that he/she:
- Is employed in the Czech Republic and has been living there continuously for at least three years or is employed in another EU country and returns to the Czech Republic at least once a week, during which time he/she resided in the CR continuously and was employed here for a period of at least three years,
- Runs his/her own business or runs a business in another EU country or is a member of statutory organ of a legal entity and returns to the Czech Republic at least once a week, during which time he/she resided in the CR continuously and was employed here for a period of at least three years,
- Has been residing in the Czech Republic continuously for five years on a temporary residency permit for a reason other than employment, business, function in a statutory organ or study,
- Fulfils the conditions for the issuance of a permanent residency permit without the condition of a previous continuous residency, given by § 65 of the foreign law (e.g. former CR citizen).

For a complete list of reasons and further information, please see Link: Prague’s official website. 

Applying for permanent residency EU citizens must submit: A travel document, which can be an ID card, a document proving the fulfillment of some of the conditions for permanent residency, 2 photographs, and depending on the case a medical record proving that a person does not suffer a serious illness. All foreign-language documents must be officially translated into Czech. The issued document is then valid for ten years but its validity can be extended.

For the citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland the same procedure as for EU citizens and their family members is applied, with the only difference that their documents will look different.

Once a permanent residency permit was issued, the holder must report all changes of place of stay to the foreign police.

NON-EU Nationals.

As a non-EU citizen you are – there are exceptions depending where you are from – entitled to stay in the Czech Republic for 90 days. If you wish to stay longer than that and/ or want to exercise business activities or work, you have to apply for a long-term visa. For this a passport, 3 passport-sized photographs, a proof of purpose of stay, of sufficient financial means, of address of residence in the Czech Republic, of good character, of health insurance has to be presented. Once the visa was issued, a stamp on the visa needs to be received by the Foreign Police. The process of obtaining a visa might take as long as three months.

Work Permit.

Being a visitor or even a student in a foreign city is a new adventurous experience. Working perhaps even more so, because you are plunged right into a working environment probably at first largely unknown to you in terms of national particularities. You will be surprised at times but the legal formalities regarding your working experience in Prague are something that should not come as a surprise…

European Union employees.

For the purposes of the Act on Employment, citizens of EU member states, the European Economy Union and Switzerland, and their relatives, are not considered foreign nationals. As a result, they enjoy the same legal status as Czech citizens and are allowed to work in the Czech Republic without a work visa.

Non-EU employees.

Other employees may be employed in the Czech Republic, if they meet the following two conditions: they hold both a valid work permit and a residency permit. No matter which kind of working agreement is made between you and your employer, whether working full- or part-time, in a student job, ect. a work permit is mandatory. If more than one job shall be carried out, each occupation has to be registered individually.
In order to obtain the work permit applying at the local Labor Office is necessary; the fee is CZK 500. The Labor Office will then decide on your case according to the situation on the Czech labor market; if your permit has been issued, file for a residency visa in excess of 90 days for the purpose of employment. The valid Czech employment permit has to be attached to your visa application (please see this comprehensive website on application requirements and further information. A work visa is issued for a year but can be extended.

Link: Prague’s official website...

Link: Work Permit…