Rights and Rules of EU Citizens Living in Czechia

#LifeInCzechia Are you a citizen of the European Union living in the Czech Republic? Or perhaps you’re only just considering moving here? Although it may seem like you don’t need to worry about too much, there are some rights and rules you should know about if you want to live in Czechia. From employment to elections, we’ve summed it all up for you below.

Zaměstnávání Evropanů (včetně Slováků) s sebou nese určité povinnosti.

Even Slovaks have to adhere to certain rules in Czechia.


Arrival to Czechia and reporting changes

Once you’ve arrived in the Czech Republic, you are obligated to register within 30 working days, unless your landlord has done it for you already. You have to do this by going to the Foreign Police, whose address you can find on the Czech Police website.

Don’t forget to bring a confirmation of accommodation (i.e. lease agreement in an original or verified copy), confirmation of health insurance and your ID or your passport where you’ll be given a stamp.

Moved to a different address while living in Czechia? Make sure to report this change. You can do this by bringing a new lease agreement to the Foreign Police. You have to do this within 15 working days.


Rights and rules while living in Czechia


As an EU citizen, you have free access to the job market. All your employer has to do is report you to the Labour Office and then report any subsequent changes.


If you own an EU version of a driving licence, you can freely drive around with it. If you want, you can exchange it for a Czech one. You can do so after you’ve lived here for 6 months minimum, preferably with a residence permit. With your application, you’ll also have to submit some evidence  (e.g. internet or phone bill, waste fee bills, tram card, insurance bills, etc.). More information about driving licences can be found in another article.


Make sure to find out if your city/village requires you to pay waste collection fees. This is different in every municipality. For example, in Brno, Hradec Králové and Olomouc, all foreigners have to pay these fees (including Slovaks). And you have to register with the municipality first. Whereas in Prague and Pilsen, for example, waste collection fees are covered by the property owner


Do you watch public TV or listen to the public radio? If you have permanent residency, you have to pay concessionary fees. You can find the details in our recent article about this. 


Many EU citizens don’t realise this, but you can participate in municipal elections in your city or village. This way, you can directly influence what goes on in your municipality. This right applies to EU citizens with permanent residency or registration certificates who have turned 18 on the second day of the election latest. You can learn all about voter registration on the MOI website.


Citizens of EU nations and their family members have the same working rights as Czech citizens. Therefore, they can apply for unemployment support under certain circumstances. You can find details on the website of Labour Office.


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Getting a residence permit

Are you planning on staying in Czechia for a longer time (for example several years)? We strongly suggest that you apply for a registration certificate (originally known as temporary residency). To apply, you’ll need 1 photo, confirmation of health insurance (unless you’re employed or self-employed), confirmation of accommodation (lease agreement) and a fee of 200 CZK. You can read all about this on the MOI website.

Furthermore, once you’ve been here for 5 continuous years and longer, you can apply for permanent residency. But watch out, student years count as 6 months!


What to do if you’re leaving Czechia permanently

Have you decided to leave Czechia? If you have a registration certificate or permanent residency, don’t forget to hand your card over to the MOI! You have to do this at least 3 working days before your departure

If you have a reason for keeping your card longer, you can also mail it to the MOI from abroad.

Are you interested in applying for a  registration certificate or permanent residency? We can help you with the paperwork! Simply contact your local Foreigners office and one of our Expat & Immigration consultants will take care of your case.

Photo source: Son Tung Tran, pexels.com

Tereza Walsbergerová

Hello! I'm Tereza and I'm a wordsmith and literature nerd from Brno. Although I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, I know all too well from my time living in Texas what it's like to be a "stranger in a strange land." I am excited to share all kinds of information with y'all!

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