After six years of consideration, the Czech Ministry of Education has decided to make Czech language exams more difficult for expats interested in getting a permanent residence permit. This means that instead of passing a level A1 language exam expats will have to prove their knowledge of the Czech language at level A2.
From Level A1 to Level A2
Currently, applicants for a permanent residence permit have to pass a level A1 Czech language exam that consists of the four twenty-minute parts, of which three are written and one is conversational. This is, according to the Czech Ministry of the Interior, insufficient as it only requires expats to know the very basics of the language. In order to motivate them to learn to speak Czech better and integrate into the Czech society, the Minister of Education Robert Plaga will propose a tighter version of the Czech language exams.
According to the Ministry of the Interior’s spokeswoman Hana Malá, in the whole European Union, it is only the Czech Republic and France that require expats to know the official language only at a level A1. The rest of EU member states require expats to pass language exams on higher levels, which is another argument for making these exams more difficult. Up until now, foreigners were required to compose simple sentences or write a short text – for example a job application, etc. If the exams are indeed made more difficult, applicants for a permanent residence permit will be required to prove they understand the main idea of simple texts presented to them and write such text themselves.
The exams themselves would be similar to Czech graduation exams – participants won’t be allowed to use smartphones, dictionaries, copy answers of the other participants and questions will be drawn. After passing the exam, successful participants will receive a certificate. Those unsuccessful will have to repeat both parts of the exam regardless of which part they actually failed. However, it would be possible to undergo the exam only three times per year and only the first attempt will be free. Another news is that the system will be anonymized.
Special Language Courses
Making these exams more difficult, however, requires providing appropriate language courses. Such courses already take place in Integration Centres which are available in every Administrative Region (Kraj) and are financed by the state. According to the Minister of Education, it’s mainly the quality of the courses that matters in this case.
According to the Director of the Association for Integration (Sdružení pro integraci a migraci) Magda Faltová, more difficult language exams would cause problems particularly to foreigners from non-Slavic nations, whose national languages are completely different from Czech, for example people from Vietnam. She argues that if one lives in a foreign country and has to go to work for several days of the week and possibly also take care of children or do other duties, that person won’t have enough time to participate in special courses. According to Mrs. Faltová, there is also no sufficient analysis outlining the pros and cons of such courses.
Considering that these courses will be supposedly introduced within two years, a way of avoiding the obligation to undergo them is to apply for a permanent residence permit as soon as possible.
In case you are interested in Czech permanent residence permit, make sure to contact us soon so that you can get yours on time. Our skilled immigration consultants will gladly help you with the whole process.