On 31 January 2020, the formal departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union took effect. Subsequently, on 1 February began a transition period to reach an agreement on trade, aviation rules and other issues related to Brexit which will go on until the end of 2020. During the withdrawal agreement, the rights of British citizens living in the Czech Republic are guaranteed. After the end of the transition period, all British citizens who have been residing and will continue to reside in the Czech Republic after 31 December 2020, will keep their existing rights, however, it will be necessary to prove a legal stay in the Czech Republic. Throughout this article, we will compile some measures and precautions that you need to take to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
In case you live in the Czech Republic and after 31 December 2020 you intend to stay for more than three months, you should apply for a Certificate of Temporary Residence. And if you have been living in the country for more than five years, you should apply for a Permanent Residence Permit. Besides that, you must register your stay with the Czech Foreign Police first, because you will need this confirmation of your registration when you apply for Czech residency status. If you decide to move to the Czech Republic after the withdrawal agreement (31 December) intending to stay more than three months, you will be treated as a Third Country National.
Passports and Travel
The rules on travel stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen Area with your UK passport. Before travelling, check if your passport is valid for travel – it should be valid for the whole duration of your stay.
Regarding healthcare, if you are living in the Czech Republic or moving permanently before 31 December, you will have access to life-long healthcare rights as you do now. For that, you will need to remain legally a resident in the country. If you decide to move to the Czech Republic in 2021, after the transition process, you must arrange comprehensive health care insurance to cover medical services.
In case you are registered as a resident in the Czech Republic before 31 December 2020, your right to work will not change, as long as you remain a resident in the country. However, you may need to apply for a UK criminal records certificate or for an extract from the Czech Criminal Register.
Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020. If you are a resident in the Czech Republic, you should exchange your UK licence for a Czech one. Besides that, you will need to provide at least two documents proving you are a resident in the Czech Republic, like your permanent or temporary residency permit, lease agreement, employment contract, etc. You can still use your Czech driving licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.
Is it still a bit confusing? In case you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to contact us and use our consultation service. For further information about Brexit see the official information for UK nationals living in the Czech Republic.