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Are you thinking of visiting the Czech Republic or possibly moving here? Whether you’re planning to stay for a month, study for a semester, explore employment opportunities, or experience a new culture, before you do so, you’ll need some info about the legal requirements and steps involved. This article discusses how to apply for a short and long-term visa for a stay of up to one year.

Before we get into the gritty details of how to apply for a long or short-term visa in the Czech Republic, let us start by saying that applying for a visa is pretty tricky to arrange on your own. Along with the long list of documents you need to prepare, appointments you require to schedule at various offices, Czech authorities and employees of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) seldom speak fluent English and tend to give you conflicting information about the process. So, if you’ve got your heart set on visiting or living in the land of great beer and breathtaking architecture, be prepared; it’s no simple endeavour. 

To help you start on the right foot in applying for a visa in the Czech Republic, we have compiled some of the most relevant and helpful knowledge regarding essential steps and requirements. However, we highly recommend getting a complete and thorough understanding of the most efficient way of applying for a visa by seeking professional legal advice from Law Offices like Legans to ensure that you do not overlook any critical steps. 

Alright, so let’s begin.

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Czech Republic visa for up to 90 days

EU Citizens

Citizens of EU countries do not need a visa to visit the Czech Republic for shorter than 90 days. They only need to register their stay at the Foreign Police office within 30 days after their arrival.

Citizens of countries from outside the EU

Generally speaking, if you are from outside of the Czech Republic, you will need a visa to visit the country. However, there are, of course, some exceptions. Citizens of countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, UAE, USA, to name a few, are not required to have a visa if the intended duration of stay for not exceed 90 days. 

If you’re not fortunate enough to be from one of the countries not required to have a visa for a 90-day stay, you must apply for a short-term Czech Republic visa or so-called Schengen visa. This visa allows you to stay up to 90 days either in the Czech Republic or in the Schengen area. If the Czech Republic is your primary destination, you must apply for a short-term Czech Republic visa at the Czech Embassy or Consulate in the country you reside.

Additionally, if you plan to visit the Czech Republic, you will be required to state your reasoning for staying on your visa application. 

The primary purposes are as follows:

  • Tourism, Health & Spa Tourism, Medical Treatment
  • Business, Conference, Cultural or Sport Event
  • Invitation
  • Study or Scientific Research
  • Employment or Other Profit-Generating Activity
  • Training

If you are from a Non-EU country and you want to stay in The Czech Republic longer than three months, a long-term visa is, in most cases, the first step in the process. 

Alright, let’s move on to how to apply for your long-term visa. 

Long-term visa for 90 days to 1 year

EU Citizens

Citizens of EU countries are not required to have a visa for the Czech Republic for stays longer than 90 days, but they are advised to apply for a temporary residence certificate. Obtaining this Certificate can help avoid any problems in their country of origin, such as social insurance payments, outstanding loans, etc. Additionally, this Certificate could possibly lead to more privileges in the Czech Republic (i.e., it is not possible to register your car in the Czech Republic without having a valid residence permit).

Non-EU Citizens 

If you’re from a Non-EU country, theoretically speaking, the process of applying for your visa isn’t overly challenging, and there aren’t too many documents you need to collect.  Still, it can get rather complicated sometimes, which is why we highly recommend that you have someone on your side like Legans Law Office to help you bridge the language gap and make sure you haven’t missed any of the minute details involved. 

The basics first documents required for all the long-term visas for the Czech Republic are as follows:

  • Visa application
  • Passport (not older than ten years, at least two blank pages, valid for at least one more year)
  • Two passport photos
  • Proof of accommodation (see more about this document in this blog)
  • Proof of funds (see more about this document in this blog)
  • Documents on the purpose of your stay (university admission letter, trade license, work contract, etc.

The immigration authority might additionally ask you for the following documents: 

  • Police clearance certificate/Background check
  • Medical report

NOTE: All the documents submitted for your long-term visa application must be originals or notarized copies. Each document must be in the Czech language or be officially translated into Czech. All of them (other than your passport) must be not older than 180 days. 

In addition, all documents issued outside of the territory of the Czech Republic must be super legalized or have an apostle first.

After you’ve collected all the required documents, you will take them to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) in your district and wait for processing and approval for about a month. Once your residency is approved, congratulations; you can now book an appointment and go back to the MOI to collect the Certificate.

Sound simple? Don’t be fooled. A slight mistake on any of the forms can sometimes mean MONTHS of setbacks and several additional hours spent making corrections and attending appointments. So be thorough. Or even better, and less time-consuming, seek out professional legal assistance. 

So after reading this article,  I guess you can imagine why having someone who a) speaks the local language and b) understands Czech law and bureaucracy is highly recommended if you want to complete this extensive process with the least amount of hassle possible. Lucky for you, Legans Law Office does just that. 

If you’re interested in having Legans help you apply for a short or long-term visa, or if you simply have any questions about visas for the Czech Republic, you can contact Legans anytime. They would be more than happy to hear from you!

Article by Chantelle Switzer Tuma