All foreigners are obligated to register with the authorities when they enter the Czech Republic. This is true for both EU citizens and third-country citizens. Unfortunately, many people tend to forget about this rule. What are the deadlines for registering? Which authorities do you need to visit? And when will the owner of your apartment register for you and when do you need to do it yourself? Read our article to find out!
EU citizens and visa holders have to register within 30 days, permit holders within 3.
The obligation to register
In general, almost every foreigner who is planning on spending time in the Czech Republic needs to register with the authorities. According to the Czech Police website, the only exceptions are foreigners below 15 years of age, members of the staff of a foreign embassy or international organization (including their family members), and those employed by the Ministry of the Interior.
If you do not adhere to this obligation, you could be fined up to 3 000 CZK!
EU citizens and visa holders must register within 30 days, while third-country citizens with residence permits (biometric cards) should register within 3 days (if you’re in quarantine, you’ll be given an extension – go to the authorities once you’re out of isolation).
Where should I register?
The rule applies to both third-country citizens and EU citizens. Although as an EU citizen you benefit from your status (for example by having free access to the labour market), you need to register if you’re planning on living here for more than 30 days.
There are two institutions where foreigners need to register – the Foreign Police and the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy at the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
All EU citizens and citizens from third countries who are here on a visa (e.g. foreigners with short-term work visas or family members of working expats) need to register at the Foreign Police.
All third-country citizens who have come to the Czech Republic without any visa (but with the intention of picking up their residence permit card) or on D/VR visa need to finalize the immigration process at the MOI (known as OAMP in Czech). This option applies to you if you’re for example applying for an employee card, ICT card, or blue card or if you’re the family member of such a foreigner.
Make sure to choose your LOCAL MOI institution, based on the official place of your stay.
NOTE: According to the Czech Immigration law, all foreigners should register at the Foreign Police regardless of if they’ve gone to the MOI or not. However, from our experience, you have already fulfil your registration duty at the MOI. We have verified this information with both Foreign police and the MOI.
What happens at the MOI
It’s necessary to remember that the MOI is a different institution from the Foreign Police. Therefore, you need to go to a different address than EU citizens.
Third-country citizens need to visit the MOI within 3 days after their arrival to the Czech Republic (you may need to make an appointment first). If you’re in quarantine, you can go there after you’ve left isolation. Sometimes there are no free time-slots. In that case, the MOI will make an appointment for you for the earliest possible term.
When you get to MOI, they’ll register you and then make an appointment for you to do the biometrics (fingerprints, photos, etc.). Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the biometrics happen on the same day as the registration (for example in Brno), but it’s better to expect that it’ll take a couple days.
- If you came here on a D/VR visa, you are allowed to start officially working once you’ve had your biometrics done.
- If you’ve come here without a visa (= you DO NOT have a D/VR visa in your passport), you can only start working once you’ve been given your new card.
You should get the biometric card (= your residence permit – e.g. employee card, ICT card, blue card) after 2-3 weeks.
Who does the registering
Sometimes it can happen that you don’t have to register at the Foreign Police. This is because apartment owners and owners of accommodation facilities are obligated to register for you.
The thing is, property owners sometimes forget to do it. Sometimes they don’t even know about this regulation. Moreover, the rules can differ in different cities and also based on who you’re talking to at the Foreign Police.
From our experience it is better to go and ask rather than miss an important deadline.
What to bring
Whether you’re going to the Foreign Police or the MOI, you should bring your passport.
At the Foreign Police, they’ll also ask for proof of accommodation, so bring the original of your lease agreement in Czech language (or its certified copy). Don’t forget to fill out the registration form.
At the MOI, you’ll need declaration of accommodation with an officially certified signature of the true owner. You’ll also need proof of your health insurance – if you’re about to start working in CZ, travel insurance is sufficient, but the coverage must be valid up to the date of your first day at work.
We’ll do it for you
Do you still feel lost in all of these rules and obligations? Worry not, because we can help you! If you use our services, we can provide assistance and consultation from start to finish – we’ll make sure all of your documents are in order, we’ll go to the MOI or the Foreign Police with you, and we’ll take care of your extensions once your permit expires. In the meantime, keep following our blog for more tips.