5 Years in Czechia? Apply for Permanent Residence Now and Make Sure You Take the Easier Czech Language Exam

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.

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.

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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!

Article sources: MOI, cestina-pro-cizince.cz, sjs-brno.cz, sjs.cz, ujop.cuni.cz
Photo source: 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!

12 thoughts on “5 Years in Czechia? Apply for Permanent Residence Now and Make Sure You Take the Easier Czech Language Exam

  1. Hello, I have lived in Czech Republic almost 5 years up. Last September, it became 5 years. Now This is my 6 years running. So I am planning to apply for my Permanent Residence permit this year as soon as early when my documents ready. So my question is Exam should be A1 or A2 for me? Kindly let me know.

    1. Hi Ratul! If you apply for the permit before 31 August, it should still be A1! Make sure to contact us (for instance at info@foreigners.cz) and we will help you with the whole process.


  2. Hello! In september 13, I will have 5 years in Czechia. What will be in my case A1 or A2? I passed A1 exam 2 weeks ago. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Aarjana,
      Unfortunately, the lower level of the Czech exam would only apply to you if you applied for your permanent residence permit by the end of August, which you can’t do, because you won’t have been here for 5 years by then.

      Take care,

  3. Hello Tereza,

    I came to Czech Republic for studying in October 2015. I have finished my study in March 2018. Regarding job, I have done my part time job as a Design Engineer from February 2018 to August 2018. From August 2018, I have been working as a permanent employee in the same company. So could you please tell me when exactly I will be able to apply for PR in Czech Republic? What I know is, one should always divide his study years by two. But I still want to confirm for this and when exactly will I be able to apply for PR, if you can tell me.

    Have a nice day,

    1. Hi Devang! These things can become really tricky so I don’t want to tell you something that wouldn’t be true, but based on my calculations you should be at about 4 years and 4 months right now? Because your studies took 2 years and 6 months, divided by two is 1 year and 3 months, plus 3 years and 1 month of continually staying here after that equals 4y4m. So that would mean you could apply in January 2022. But I would strongly encourage you to consult this with our immigration specialists, because it depends on if you’ve really been here continually and whether you can prove it. Please email us at info@foreigners.cz to get further assistance.


  4. Hello,

    Thank you for such a detailed summary!

    A quick question to confirm – you have stated in the description that as long as applicant applies by August 31st, they can take the A1 exam in the following months as well (September/October)? So it’s possible to file the Permanent Residence application without having the Czech language exam done in advance? The MoI will not reject application if it’s missing Czech exam certificate, they will be fine to wait several months to add this document?

    I’ve been trying to confirm this question, because all the exam dates on the official website are copmletely booked for next few months in all cities in CZ, the earliest available is in September.

    Thank you, would really appreciate your feedback on this!

    1. Hi Sally!
      Yes, from what I understand from all the information from MOI, you can apply now (if you’ve been here for 5 years already) and then give them the certificate as soon as you take the exam. In fact, they should give you a voucher for the exam at the Ministry if you’re applying for the first time, so it makes sense that you will have not been done with it yet when you apply.

      Make sure to check with your local authorities as these procedures can sometimes differ within Czechia, based on people.

      If you need any help with your permanent residence, please contact us at info@foreigners.cz.

      Many thanks,

  5. Hello, I’m a Filipina working here in Czech Republic 10years by October 15,2021.but sorry to say I don’t know the language bec . It’s difficult. My question is, can I file and take exam for PR without any knowledge about the language? I want to do it because I read that if if I take the exam before the end of August 2021 it could be easier the exam ( A1) is that true?All I know is common CZwords that I used everyday at work. Please help me I really wantto stay here permanent. I want to learn also the language if I have a chance. Thank you and have a good day..

    1. Hi Necitas!
      You can find all information about the Czech exam at https://cestina-pro-cizince.cz/trvaly-pobyt/a1/en/, including what’s going to be the subject of the exam. There’s no way you can pass this exam without having ANY knowledge of the language at all – but it shouldn’t be hard to study for the A1 level.

      If you need help with your application, please contact us at info@foreigners.cz – include the city of your residence in the subject, please.

      All the best,

  6. Hello, i have been staying in the CZ for more than 5 years now, but the first 1 year and 10 months I was studying. I know that the period which I was studying will be counted as half, but how do I know for sure exactly how long I’ve stayed continuously in the CZ? How do I prove to the ministry staff that I lived here for more than 5 years? How does the ministry check this information?

    1. Hi Merdene,
      The easiest way to prove that you’ve been here for 5 years is to go to VZP/your insurance company and ask them for a confirmation of your insurance history. They should also be able to distinguish between your time as a student and en employee, if I’m correct. Definitely go there first.

      Other documents you can use include energy bills (water, electricity, gas – in your name for the past 5 years), bank account confirmation… etc.

      The lease agreement is often not enough, so you don’t have to bother bringing it.

      Hope this helps! Let us know if you need us to help you with the whole process at info@foreigners.cz.


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