Getting familiar with all your responsibilities and paperwork when coming to a new country can be rather confusing sometimes. So we decided to make this write-up with tips that you should always keep in mind when you are an expat in the Czech Republic or planning to arrive here.
Arrival to the Czech Republic and registration
If you are a non-EU citizen with or without visa requirement (from non-EU countries, i.g. the US, Canada – 90 days stay) and especially if you are going to apply for a residence permit) you have to register at the foreign police within 3 days from your arrival.
In case you are staying in short-term accommodation, such as a hotel, guesthouse or Airbnb the registration should be done by the landlord. Still, we recommend you to check on it or visit the foreign police yourself in case the landlord hasn’t done so.
If you are a non-EU citizen coming with a D/VR visa – visa for the purpose of collecting a residence permit you have to arrive at the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) (not foreign police!) within 3 days from your arrival to the Czech Republic.
Also, always keep in mind that in the case of a long-term residence permit, there always has to be a reason why you want to come to the Czech Republic.
E.g. you always have to find yourself a job, at first. Only then you can apply for the employee card. Or that you have to be accepted for the university before you apply for a student visa.
Application for the residence permit
All applications (except the temporary residence permit of EU nationals) need to be hand in person. Otherwise, you have to visit the Ministry of Interior within 5 days of administration. If not, MOI won’t start the application process.
Another very important thing is that people have to be able to reach you at the place of your permanent address. Not only in person but also via the post office. Therefore, we recommend you to put your name not only on your doorbell but most importantly on your mailbox.
Our advice for you is to mark your mailbox and doorbell not only because of receiving all the important mails from MOI but especially in the case when you are applying for residence permit connected to relationship status. On account of this, you have proven that you share the household with your partner. MOI does examine shared households by visits of the immigration officers. Besides, also invitations for interviews are being sent separately.
If you have to leave CZ during the process, be sure to have a bridging visa, so you do not have problems when returning. The visa is not, however, granted to applicants for permanent residence permits. A good idea is also to notify the MOI about your departure.
If not, it often happens that the Ministry of the Interior requests to submit some documents or visit in person within 10 days but the expat is not able to fulfil this, since he is out of the country and the ministry does not know about it.
If you want to apply for a permanent residence you have to prove that you have lived in the Czech Republic for at least 5 years.
Nevertheless , keep in mind that having a temporary residence for 5 years is not really a proof of living here. In this case, this evidence of a temporary residence is not enough for applying for permanent residence.
The holder of any residence permit is obliged to report changes to the MOI.
- changes in address – within 30 days
- getting a new passport – EU citizens within 15 days, non-EU citizens within 3 days
- name changes – EU citizens within 15 days, non-EU citizens within 3 days
- theft/loss of a travel document or residence permit – within 3 days
Work in the Czech Republic
Not every visa or residence permit allows you to legally work in the Czech Republic. For instance, there is a difference between studying an accredited program and studying programs that are not accredited (some language or other courses).
If you study in an accredited field, the visa you access is a student visa, therefore you can legally work in the Czech Republic. If you study in a non-accredited field, you usually get a long-term visa for the purpose of others, not a student visa. Therefore you are not permitted to work legally in the Czech Republic.
If you are a foreign student who wants to study an accredited field in the Czech Republic, taking the entrance exam, interview and getting accepted is not enough. You also need to have your previous education acknowledged. Keep in mind that this process can take up to 2-3 months, in case of nostrification exams that can be ordered as a part of the nostrification process even longer. So we recommend you start this process in advance.
Visa or residence permit can be extended not earlier than 120 days before their expiration date. If you apply for a new visa/residence permit sooner your application will be denied.
You can lose your residence permit if you stop fulfilling the purpose for which your residence permit was bound to.
E.g. if your student visa is valid throughout the whole school year but you drop out of school sooner (before ending the whole period of school you) the residence permit loses it’s validation since you are no longer a student.
Are you a foreigner planning on coming to the Czech Republic? Or are you already our expat who needs help with visa, residence permit and other paper works? We can help and make this process a lot easier! Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org or check our services on the website.