Visas for Czech Republic
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Whether planning a short visit or a permanent stay in the Czech Republic, expats should be aware that visa laws differ according to whether one is an EU or non-EU national. This will determine the processes they need to follow and which visas they are eligible for in the Czech Republic.
Short-term visas for Czech Republic
The Czech Republic falls within the Schengen area, so nationals of countries that are part of the Schengen scheme, as well as select other nationalities, do not need to apply for a tourist visa or visit visa for a stay of 90 days or less. This includes citizens of the EU and the EEA as well as Switzerland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others.
Expats not eligible for visa-free entry will need to apply for a Schengen visa prior to arrival at their nearest Czech embassy or consulate in order to be granted entry to the Czech Republic.
Schengen visas entitle their holders to 90 days of travel within a six-month period to any Schengen-area country, including the Czech Republic. If travelling to multiple destinations, expats should be sure to submit the Schengen visa application to the consulate of the country in which they will spend the largest amount of time.
Long-term residence permits for Czech Republic
Non-EU nationals staying in the Republic for longer than 90 days will need to obtain a long-term residence permit. There are various types of long-term residence permits.
Expats whose primary purpose of stay is for work will have to apply for an Employee Card or a Blue Card. These are primarily work permits but serve a dual purpose as residence permits. A Blue Card is issued for positions requiring a high qualification, while an Employee Card is issued for positions that do not require a high qualification.
There are also long-term residence permits granted for the purpose of study, research, and family unification.
A long-term residence permit is granted for a maximum of two years and can be renewed.
However, expats intending to stay for longer than 90 days but less than a year should apply for a long-term visa instead of a long-term residence permit.
Certificate of temporary residence in Czech Republic
To stay for more than 90 days in the Czech Republic, EU citizens must report their intentions to the Foreign Police Department. In addition to this, they are entitled to apply for a certificate of permanent residence if they wish but it is not a precondition of their stay.
Permanent residence permit for Czech Republic
Permanent residency can be applied for by EU and non-EU nationals alike after five years of stay in the country under a long-term visa or long-term residence permit.
*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.