The Czech Republic at a Glance
Moving to the Czech RepublicFotolia
Moving to the Czech Republic has become ever more popular with expats since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
A move to the Czech Republic takes most expats to Prague, the nation’s political, cultural and economic center. However, the Czech Republic has a lot more to offer. In this article, you’ll read about the country’s top expat destinations and find out more about visa requirements for the Czech Republic.
Visa Requirements for the Czech Republic
Since the EU accession of the Czech Republic in 2004, citizens of all other member states enjoy the freedom to move to the Czech Republic without a visa. Citizens of most other countries must apply for a visa before moving to the Czech Republic. There are, however, roughly 40 states which are exempt from visa requirements through EU regulations. You can find a list of these countries in the Entry & Residence section on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Please note, however, that a visa is always required to enter the Czech Republic for employment purposes, except for prospective Green or Blue Card holders (see below) and citizens of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you should find out what sort of visa you require before your move. There are only two main categories: long-term visas and short-term (Schengen) visas. Both can be issued for employment purposes, but they do not replace a work permit. In order to take up employment in the Czech Republic, you must apply for a work permit at a Czech Labor Office before applying for a visa. (Please see our article on working in the Czech Republic for more information.)
You must apply for your visa at a Czech mission abroad well in advance of your move. In order to locate the Czech embassy or consulate with local competency over your place of residence, please consult the pages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Schengen Visa for Employment Purposes
A Schengen visa entitles its holder to stay within the Schengen area for 90 days within 180 days. Assuming the Czech Republic is your main destination within the Schengen area (or at least the first point of entry into the Schengen area), you should apply for your visa at a Czech diplomatic mission abroad at least two weeks before moving to the Czech Republic.
Your Schengen visa application should include:
- A completed application form
- Your passport
- A photograph
- Document detailing the purpose of your stay in the Czech Republic (e.g. work permit or work contract)
- Proof of sufficient financial means to sustain yourself during your stay in the Czech Republic (e.g. bank statement or work contract)
- Proof of your intention to leave the Czech Republic once your visa expires (e.g. plane ticket)
In most cases, applications for a Schengen visa are reviewed within seven to 15 days. However, to be on the safe side you should apply two months in advance of moving to the Czech Republic.
Long-term Visa for Employment Purposes in the Czech Republic
If you plan on staying in the Czech Republic for a period exceeding 90 days, you need a long-term visa (type D). In addition to the requirements for a Schengen visa, you must supply the following with your application:
- A second photograph
- A document confirming the availability of accommodation for the duration of your stay
- An excerpt from the penal register of the country where you have your citizenship, plus from any country where you’ve spent more than six months in the past three years
- A medical report (if requested by the diplomatic mission)
- Proof of medical insurance covering you for up to €60,000 from the day you enter the Czech Republic until you commence employment there
- Proof of payment of your visa application fee
If in a foreign language, all documentation you provide must be translated into Czech by a certified translator. Please note that you may be required to attend an interview at the Czech diplomatic mission where you submitted your visa application.
If you are moving to the Czech Republic for business rather than employment purposes, make sure you can furnish proof that you are authorized to carry out your business in the Czech Republic.
Decisions on long-term visas are usually made within 90 to 120 days, so make sure to apply well in advance of your planned move.