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If you are planning to travel to the Czech Republic, regardless of the intended duration of stay, you are probably wondering whether you need a visa or not. Nationals of some countries.

In general, nationals of some countries, particularly those coming from the European Union, are exempt from the visa requirement for a short stay, that is a less than 3-month stay in the country. Others have to request for a visa at the Czech embassy in their home country. Make sure to inquire about all relating conditions and requirements beforehand.

EU nationals

Travellers having their official residence in the EU do not need a visa or any other permit to not only travel to the Czech Republic but also live and work here. All you will need to reside in the country is your passport or identity card — you will also need to notify the local Foreign Police Office about your presence in the country within 30 days of your arrival.

Note that if you stay in the country for over 3 months, you are also eligible to apply for a "Certificate of Temporary Residence for an EU citizen".

Temporary resident permit

European Union nationals, as well as those coming from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, can apply for a temporary resident permit if they are planning to make a more than 3-month stay in the country. The application has to be made at the Ministry of Interior by providing the following documents:

  • a duly filled and signed temporary resident permit application form
  • your identity documents
  • supporting documents relating to the purpose of your stay (work, business, studies)
  • a passport-size identity photo
  • proof of travel insurance coverage
  • proof of accommodation.

Family members and relatives of European Union nationals also have to prove their family ties with you when accompanying you.

Residence permit

If you plan to settle in the Czech Republic for a long period of time, you might consider applying for a residence permit. This is not the simplest procedure as there is quite a bit of paperwork involved — but it will allow you to live in the country for up to 10 years. In order to be eligible for a residence permit, you will either need to have lived in the country legally for over 8 years or be applying for residence on grounds of a family reunion.

You will typically be asked to produce the following documents:

  • a valid passport or ID
  • three passport-sized photos
  • proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in the country (salary slips, bank statement, etc.)
  • proof of accommodation
  • criminal history record for the time of your stay in the Czech Republic
  • criminal history record from your previous countries of residence as well as your home country
  • proof of relationship to a Czech resident (in case of a family reunion)

European nationals and their family members or relatives, on the other hand, can request for a permanent residence permit if they have stayed in the country for five continuous years. Application forms are available at the Czech Ministry of Interior. The following documents also have to be produced:

  • your original travel documents
  • supporting documents relating to your five years continuous stay in the country
  • two passport-size identity photos
  • proof of accommodation.

Note that all documents, except your identity card or passport, have to be translated into Czech by an accredited translator.

Non-EU nationals

Most travellers coming from outside of the EU will need to apply for a visa prior to their arrival in the country. The type of visa you should apply for depends on the length and purpose of your stay in the country. The types of visas for the Czech Republic republic are basically the same as with all other Schengen countries:

  • A visa: for airport transits
  • C visa: lets you stay in the entire Schengen zone for the maximum of 90 days
  • D visa: long-term visa for study, employment, etc.

Short stay visa

If you intend to stay in the Czech Republic for less than 90 days within a 180-day period, you can apply for a short stay visa, which will also allow you to travel to other countries within the Schengen area. Note that you are not allowed to take employment or study on a short-stay visa.

You are generally advised to apply for your visa at least 3 weeks and not more than 3 months prior to your scheduled travel date.

Visa application forms are available on Czech Embassy websites and in their offices. To apply for a visa, you will need the following:

  • a copy of your travel documents (your passport must be valid for at least 90 days following your return date)
  • a passport-size identity photo
  • proof of travel insurance (providing a coverage of 30,000 euros in case of disaster)
  • a copy of your return air tickets
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay (such as payslips or a bank statement)
  • proof of accommodation or hotel booking.

Note that additional documentation may be required depending on your country of residence and the specifics of your situation. It is, thus, recommended to get in touch with your local Czech Embassy or Consulate to confirm the documentation needed.

Long stay visa

If you are planning to make a more than 90-day stay in the Czech Republic, you will have to apply for a long stay visa at the nearest embassy to your place of residence in your home country. Documents to be produced are typically the following:

  • a duly filled and signed visa application form
  • your original travel documents
  • two passport-size identity photos
  • proof of accommodation
  • supporting documents as to the purpose of your stay (employment contract, an acceptance letter from a university, etc.)
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your stay in the country.

As in the case of the short stay visa, you may be required to submit additional documentation.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic – Immigration
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic – Information on visas

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