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Your guide to living in the Czech Republic. Czech Visas, residency and citizenship.
Why live in the Czech Republic?
Live in the Czech Republic to take advantage of all this great European Union country has to offer. The Czech Republic offers a range of options for work permits, residency, and citizenship. Expats looking to live and work in the Czech Republic are welcomed.
The Czech Republic is a land of great contrast. Here you can find old and new, modern and traditional. The country, almost entirely surrounded by mountains, is home to over 2000 castles. LIve in the Czech Republic and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the country’s rich history.
Yet at the same time, the Czech Republic is incredibly progressive. The country counts more hospital beds per inhabitant than any other EU country and the standard of education is very high. More than 90% of the Czechs have completed at least secondary education; the highest number in Europe.
According to Reporters without Borders, the Czech Republic is the fifth best country in the world and looking at some other facts, this is not a strange conclusion. Prague’s GDP is the 7th highest in Europe (2018) and it’s the second richest Eastern European country. The average wage and employment rate are increasing and poverty is low. Living in the Czech Republic offers many opportunities. The Czech Republic is also part of the SCHENGEN area with all the advantages and opportunities this brings.
Expats living in the Czech Republic are often well paid and it is common for the company you work for to pay for your accommodation. Locals are friendly and at work, Czech employees take the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with foreign workers and are often welcoming of a different set of experiences.
Czech Republic Short Term Tourist Visa
As a part of the SCHENGEN area, the Czech Republic offers a 90-day tourist visa. You can visit as many SCHENGEN area countries as you like during these 90 days. To see if you need a Czech Republic tourist visa please use the iVisa tool on the right.
Czech Republic Long Term Visas
Those with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in the Czech Republic.
For those outside the EEA, the Czech Republic offers a range of opportunities to live and work in the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic Family Visas
If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of the Czech Republic, you are probably eligible for residency. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.
Czech Republic Self-Employed Visa
The Czech Republic also offers a visa for self-employed people. It happens in 3 stages:
- Apply for a long-stay visa for the purpose of business (i.e. self-employment). As you need to have a local address, you probably want to move to the CR on a tourist visa and then apply at a Czech embassy. This visa lasts 12 months.
- Long-term resident visa (renewable up to 2 years at a time, depending on your insurance)
- Permanent resident (after a minimum 5 cumulative years of being a long-term resident, you can apply. There are of course other requirements).
This is a great advantage of the Czech scheme, not all the other visa classes offer a clear pathway to permanent residency.
For the Long Stay visa, you need to prove that you have available funds to cover you for the duration of your stay, although the rules do change this is currently around €4,300 (Kč110,000). You’ll need a medical, police clearance and proof of your professional skills as well as health insurance. You will hear people talking about a Zivno – what is this? It is the official registration of your trade on the Živnostenský list, such as “Software developer”, and is a requirement of the Long Stay Visa.
The process does change, and language can be a barrier so we would advise finding good, local assistance after checking out the official website here.
Czech Republic Work Visas
If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an “EU Blue Card”. The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit. This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you. If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities. This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
If you are not eligible under the EU Blue Card Programme, you need to apply for an employee card, which allows the holder to work and live in Czech legally. Employee cards are valid for up to two years but can be extended and they are issued for a specific position.
Czech Republic Youth Mobility Visa
If you are a Canadian, Chilean, Taiwanese, New Zealand or South Korean citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday programme.
Czech Republic Citizenship
As a member of the European Union and a SCHENGEN state, citizenship of the Czech Republic is a great advantage. The Czech Republic passport was recently ranked 9th most powerful in the world. It offers visa-free travel to 183 countries.
Czech citizenship is heritable. This means that if you have Czech Republic citizenship, your children will inherit Czech citizenship through you. You children will be able to live, work, and study in the Czech Republic and in any European Union country.
Citizenship by Descent
If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
Citizenship by Naturalisation
You can apply for citizenship by naturalisation if you have held a permanent residency permit for at least 5 years and have been resident in the Czech republic for most of that time. You need to pass a Czech language test unless you are a Slovak citizen.
If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being resident in the Czech Republic for a period of 2 years. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
Czech Republic Residency by Investment
The Czech Republic offers a Residency by Investment program. The program offers a pathway to Czech Republic permanent residency after 5 years, and full Czech Republic citizenship after 10 years.
To qualify you will need to invest CZK75,000,000 (about Euro 2,850,000) into a business based in the Czech Republic.
The investment must include a minimum of 40% cash, while the rest of the amount can be made up of tangible and intangible assets (this can include intellectual property, real estate, machinery, expertise, and other similar items)
The business must create at least 20 full-time jobs for EU citizens for a minimum of 5 years (the duration of the visa)
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