Some foreigners living in the Czech Republic for five consecutive years may apply for a permanent residence card. If you are a third-country citizen, however, you’ll need to pass a Czech language exam to be able to obtain it. The level of this exam will go up from A1 to A2 by the end of 2021. In fact, selected schools will increase the level to A2 as soon as this November. To take the easier level, you will need to apply for your permanent residence permit by the end of August 2021.
Do you like living in Czechia and are planning on staying here permanently? If you’ve been here for 5 years or longer, you may apply for a permanent residence permit. There are many advantages to this type of permit. They include open access to the job market, being able to apply for a loan or mortgage, starting a business, and becoming a part of the social system. Ultimately, getting a permanent residence permit also eases your journey towards Czech citizenship.
The Czech language requirement will go up to A2 before the end of 2021.
Are you still trying to decide whether you want to obtain a permanent residence permit or not? The government’s plan may convince you that the time to make that decision is indeed now. Especially if you’re afraid of the Czech language exam.
Increasing the level to A2
The Czech language exam certificate is one of the mandatory parts of the permanent residence application. As we already reported in January, the Ministry of Education is planning on increasing the level of these exams by the end of 2021. While the current level is A1, the new rule will require you to pass the A2 level. The reason why the Ministry of Education wants to increase the level is to become equal with the other EU countries who require their expats to pass higher levels of language exams.
While it is still uncertain when exactly this amendment will be passed, it has been reported that the level will go up to A2 in selected schools from 1 November 2021. The only way you can still take the A1 level exam in November and December is if you apply for your permanent residence permit before the end of August. So, If you want to make sure you can take the easier level exam (A1), make sure to apply on time!
Again: if you apply for the permanent residence card by the end of August 2021, you will be able to take the A1 level exam until the end of the year. However, if you apply on 1 September 2021 or later, you will be taking the A2 level exam.
About the exam
You can’t take the Czech language exam just anywhere. There are certified schools in Czechia where they’re allowed to give these exams. You can find the list here.
To be able to sign up for the exam, you’ll need a valid passport (or other travel document) and a Voucher for a free Examination in the Czech Language for the purposes of a permanent residence permit on the territory of the Czech Republic – issued by the Ministry of the Interior.
According to Cestina-pro-cizince.cz, the written part consists of reading (25 minutes), listening (35 minutes) and writing (15 minutes). You’ll need to get a minimum 12/20 points from each section to pass the exam.
The oral part takes 10 minutes in total. During this part, you will answer questions and speak about pictures. You need to get at a minimum 12/20 points in order to pass this part as well.
Taking the exam in Brno
As far as Brno, all slots are fully booked until the end of June at the language school on Pionýrská. That being said, we have been told that the school is planning on releasing new slots for July and August by the end of April. Therefore, you should keep your eyes peeled for them on their website and snatch them as soon as possible through the central application system.
You can also apply in person by visiting the school during office hours on:
- Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m
The school is situated on Pionýrská 254/23, 602 00, Brno. If you’re planning on coming in person, do not forget to bring your documentation (passport), so they can help you sign up for the exam without a hitch.
Feeling anxious and lost in the system? Use our services to apply for your permanent residence permit and we will help you.
Important: the necessity to CONFIRM
Once you’ve signed up for the exams (either in person or through the central application system), keep your eyes peeled on your email inbox for an email from the school. You will receive an email (in Czech) asking you to confirm your participation in the exam.
It is absolutely VITAL that you double-check your application in this confirmation email to make sure all personal data are correct. If you discovered a typo in your personal data at the exam, you might not be allowed to take it!
If you don’t reply to this email to confirm that everything is correct, you will be disqualified from taking the exam.
Taking the exam in Prague
When it comes to Prague, there are two options to choose from when you want to take the exam:
The Language School of the Capital City of Prague with Accreditation for State Language Examinations
Just like in the case of Brno, you can sign up for the exam through the central system. However, as the school informs on their website, to complete the application, you have to come to the school in person. When going there, bring your Voucher for a free Examination in the Czech Language or money in cash (currently CZK 1 500), and your passport.
You’ll find the school on Školská 15, 116 72, Praha 1, 1st floor. Make sure to come during office hours:
- on Tuesday, from 12:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- or on Thursday, from 12:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Charles University: the Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies
Charles University also offers the opportunity to take the exam in Prague.
Same as in previous schools, you can sign up for the exam through the central system. You can also come in person to the study department of the Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies.
The office is located on Voršilská 1 110 00, Praha 1. The office hours are as follows:
- Tuesday, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
If you come in person, make sure to make an appointment first by calling the office at (+420) 224 090 210 during office hours. You’ll need to bring your Voucher for a free Examination in the Czech Language or money in cash (currently CZK 1 500), and your passport.
No way around the 5-year rule
Keep in mind that if you haven’t lived in Czechia for 5 years yet, there’s no way for you to apply early and take the easier exam. If you did so, your Czech language certificate won’t be accepted by the Ministry of the Interior since you’ll only be a valid candidate for the permit by the time the level’s been increased. You’d have to take the exam again and this time pass the A2 level.
Who doesn’t have to take the exam?
Most third-country citizens will have to take the exam to be able to obtain their permanent residence permit. However, as is confirmed on the cestina-pro-cizince.cz website, the following groups are exempt from this obligation:
- Children below 15 years of age and senior citizens above 60 years of age
- Those who prove that in the course of the 20 years preceding the application they
- Attended a Czech primary school (at least 1 year)
- Attended a Czech secondary school (at least 1 year)
- Attended a higher education institute accredited (taught) in the Czech language or a study programme focused on the Czech language at a university (at least 1 year)
- Those who submit a confirmation that they have passed one of the examinations stipulated by Government Decree No. 31/2016
- Those with a physical or mental handicap that would influence their ability to communicate (has to be proven)
Apply for your permanent residence permit as soon as possible
Ultimately, it’s high time to apply for a permanent residency permit if you want to make sure you take the easier Czech language exam. Not sure what to do? Lost in the Czech system? Don’t hesitate and contact us, because we can help you with that!