Visas for Czech Republic

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Whether planning a short visit or a permanent stay in the Czech Republic, expats should be aware that the rules that apply to EU nationals and those that apply to non-EU nationals are vastly different. A person's status as either an EU or non-EU national will determine which processes they need to follow and which visas they are eligible for in the Czech Republic.

Short-term visas for the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic falls within the Schengen area, so nationals of countries that are part of the Schengen scheme do not need to apply for a tourist visa or visit visa prior to arrival if only planning to stay for 90 days or less. This includes citizens of the EU and the EEA as well as Switzerland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many others. 

Nationals of other countries will need to apply for a Schengen visa prior to arrival at their nearest Czech embassy or consulate in order to be granted entry to the Czech Republic.
Schengen visas entitle their holders to 90 days of travel within a six-month period to any country, including the Czech Republic, within the Schengen area. If travelling to multiple destinations, expats should be sure to submit the Schengen visa application to the consulate of the country in which they will spend the largest amount of time.

Long-term residence permits for the Czech Republic

Non-EU nationals staying in the Republic for longer than 90 days will need to obtain a long-term residence permit. There are various types of long-term residence permits.

Expats whose primary purpose of stay is for work will have to apply for an Employee Card or a Blue Card. These are primarily work permits but serve a dual purpose as residence permits. A Blue Card is issued for positions requiring a high qualification, while an Employee Card is issued for positions that do not require a high qualification.

There are also long-term residence permits granted for the purpose of long-term study, long-term research, and family unification. 

A long-term residence permit is granted for a maximum of two years and can be repeatedly renewed.

However, any expats intending to stay for longer than 90 days but less than a year should apply for a long-term visa instead of a long-term residence permit.

Certificate of temporary residence for an EU citizen in the Czech Republic

EU nationals staying for longer than 90 days for any purpose may apply for this certificate if they wish but it is not a precondition of their stay. To stay for more than 90 days, EU citizens must simply report their intentions to the Foreign Police Department.

Permanent residence permit for the Czech Republic

Permanent residency can be applied for by EU and non-EU nationals alike after five years of temporary stay in the country under a long-term visa or long-term residence permit.

*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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