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Guiri Guest: Arian Alexander Danilovic

I moved to Prague four years ago after an exciting string of job assignments taking me to Russia, S. Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan and the USA. Having grown up in a number of cities across North America, I was looking forward to settling down in a city, getting to know it and become a part of it. It’s become clear that Prague was the right choice for me and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.

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Office in Koněvova street (Responsible for Prague 1,3,6,7,8,9)

If you have read my previous post about the Non-EU citizen process for obtaining a visa, you will know that it’s not a walk in the park. Luckily, for citizens of the 27 countries within the EU, the process is very straightforward and relatively painless.  As an EU citizen, you are allowed to reside and work in the Czech Republic on an indefinite basis, with or without employment. Quite simply, your primary responsibility is to go to the Foreigner’s Police Department (Newly the Ministry of Interior) and register yourself in the Czech Republic.  To do that, you will need an address in the Czech Republic (Signed and notarized by your landlord / owner of the flat) and proof of Health Insurance from your home country. 

As of January 2011, there were many changes concerning the legislation and overall organization. In general, it has become much harder for non-EU citizens to reside and live in the Czech Republic;  The process of issuing foreigners resident visas has been taken over by the Ministry of the Interior and the Police Department only has a supporting role; Offices / locations have been re-organized and assigned based on your residence in Prague.  However, the process itself and supporting documentation itself has not changed fundamentally.  

The location I visited is located at Koněvova 188/32 in Prague 3, Žižkov (Responsible for Prague 1,3,6,7,8,9).  The trick here is that there are two entrances, one for EU citizens and permanent residents and one for first time applicants from non-EU countries. As you approach the building, you will likely see an unimaginably long line of people outside who are waiting under the supervision of some police. Luckily, if you are an EU citizen or permanent resident, this line is not for you. Be very happy.

Interestingly, the entrance is titled ‘Služební Vchod’ which translates into English as ‘Official Entrance.’ Don’t worry about that, trust the little EU flags and follow the signs. Once you enter the main room there is a ticket dispensing machine that will provide you a number. Lines here are always reasonable and the staff is polite and helpful (so long as you are also polite). You should be able to complete your registration within one hour.

Please remember that anytime you have a status change – marriage, change of address, etc., be sure to let the ministry know ASAP.

The following two links are both official and very helpful in terms of getting the latest information:

Information for Non-EU citizens here.

Inline Skating in Prague: Get Rolling

March 29th, 2011 | Posted by Klaraz in Entertainment | Fitness | Klara | Lifestyle | Us | What's Happening Prague - (Comments Off)

Ladronka

Inline skating has become a very popular activity in the Czech Republic and is still growing.  I have skated maybe a few times in my life but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and bought my first pair of rollerblades last year. I must admit, it was a little awkward at first but after a few tries I became more comfortable and I even had FUN!  With spring here and the sun shining it is hard not to be doing something outside.  There are several places around Prague that are great for inline skating.

Ladronka (Prague 6) – It is the longest lit up in-line skating trail in Prague, it also has volleyball, football tennis or even petanque and you can rent all the equipment you need.

Stromovka (Prague 7) – Offers several roads for inline-skating or cycling. The surface on some places are not the best quality but a great large, sunny park with possible stops for refreshment. You can skate all the way to the Prague zoo, and then continue alongside Vltava river, where you can find a new asphalt path. There is both rental and second hand in-line shop near the entrance to the park, from Výstaviště (the exhibition ground).

Letná (Prague 7) – This is a park with great views of Prague. Not the best quality surface but it is well worth the visit for the view and beer garden!  This park is also great for other outdoor activities or just to relax. You can also rent skates at the park.

Modřanská trail (Prague 4) – This path starts near Vyšehrad (near tram stop Podolská vodárna) and follows the river south all the way to Zbraslav (Prague 16).  You can also cycle on this trail with some refreshments along the way.  This trail is nicely positioned at the outskirts of the city, surrounded by beautiful nature.

With so many great options, there is no reason why anyone shouldn’t go out and try it as well.  Last year I didn’t get out there as much as I wanted but this year I am ready to roll!

Free music festival: Febio fest

March 28th, 2011 | Posted by Klaraz in Entertainment | Guiri Guest | Lifestyle | Us | What's Happening Prague - (Comments Off)

Since graduating in July 2008, Guiri Guest Nikki, has not stayed still for more than 5 months; travelling to China, Gambia and South America. She decided that it was about time she ‘settled’ and took up a 10 month teaching post. Why Prague? Nikki needed to be close to home to help run a project from the UK but still wanted to experience a different culture. Czech culture isn’t that dissimilar from British culture but its bustling beautiful streets give her the sense of adventure she’s always trying to achieve from life. Nikki is a person that needs a constant change of scenery and even though you can see the main sights of Prague in a weekend, she’s still discovering hidden gems having lived in the city for 6 months.

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24.03.11 – 01.04.11
Many will know about Febio fest; the international film festival held in Anděl, however, less know of the music festival that occurs alongside this. It is held in the underground car park next to Anděl metro station. It’s free and (so I’d been told) hosts many great Czech bands. Follow this link to see the full line up: www.febiofest.cz/en/musicfest. How do you get there? Walk along the film fest’s red carpet, through the suave setting of the film fest and follow ‘music fest’ signs downstairs.

I personally hadn’t heard of any of the bands but coming from a small country town with a non-existant night life felt the need to try out this novel experience. Upon entering the car park it was apparent that the bands were only part of this week-long festival. It caters for everyone: near the entrance is a relaxation zone, there is also a WiFi zone and I even saw some people on dance mats. As we walked past the bar we saw various stalls selling locally made crafts including one of my favourite jewellery makers in Prague: www.mysquare.cz.  An artist who uses funky badges to make cool rings and earings.

I only went for a couple of hours but luckily saw a really fun Czech band called Basta Fidel. Having been living in Prague for 7 months I’d become used to having 2 choices of music: cheese or old-school rock. It was so refreshing to see a band with a completely different sound. They describe themselves as ska, rocksteady, reggae, ragga, punk and chanson. If you like this, particularly ska music, check them out on myspace. Their next gig is in the rock cafe on the 21st April 2011. They put on a great show; you won’t be disappointed!

As you can see from the line-up there is a diverse range of bands to reflect the audience the festival attracts. If you have a free night this week, potter down and educate yourself musically. If not, it is an annual event so keep your eyes open for next year.

Guiri Guest: Arian Alexander Danilovic

I moved to Prague four years ago after an exciting string of job assignments taking me to Russia, S. Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan and the USA. Having grown up in a number of cities across North America, I was looking forward to settling down in a city, getting to know it and become a part of it. It’s become clear that Prague was the right choice for me and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.

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Koněvova Office Building - Žižkov

Paperwork, bureaucracy, long-lines and early mornings… I’m obviously not writing about a day out with the family! However, this subject is of critical importance for all of you who wish to reside and work LEGALLY in the Czech Republic. I’ll take you briefly through my experiences from the 2007 – 2008 period but please note that the rules are complicated and do change often. Make sure to check out the sites provided below to ensure that you are working with the latest information.

Key recent changes I would highlight are:

(i) annual temporary resident visas are no longer issued. Looks like six months is the maximum.
(ii) most responsibilities have been transferred to the Interior Ministry and are no longer with the Foreign Police.
(iii) degreed professionals should have an easier time with the “blue card” system.
(iv) the requesting party must appear in person (no more Power of Attorneys via agencies)

For those of you (like me) who do not have an EU passport, the process is slow and confusing. Mentally prepare yourself for a lot of stamping, signing, queuing and general frustration. When applying for your first resident visa you will need to make the application outside of the Czech Republic. This will likely be at the Czech Embassy in your home country but there are some cases when you can make the application at the embassy in a neighbouring country. Before making your application, you will need at least the following documents:

(i) Work Permit (Your future employer must obtain in on your behalf. Plan on roughly six weeks.)
(ii) passport
(iii) completed application form (you can get it at the embassy)
(iv) clean criminal clearance from your home country and last country of residence. 

Koněvova Office Building: Entrance for Non-EU Citizens
In general, my experience at the Czech Embassy in Austria was very positive and far better than the subsequent visits to the (then) Foreign Police Department in Prague. After taking up residence in the Czech Republic your future contact centre will be the location of the Interior Ministry that corresponds to your address. For most Prague residents this will be Konevova 188/32 (Prague 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9). There are separate entrances here for EU & Permanent Residents or Non-EU temporary residents (refer to pics). The key note here is that you need to start the visa renewal process about 90 days before it expires otherwise you will run out of time.

As a general note, remember that any changes to your status (marital, children, new passport, address etc) while resident in the Czech Republic need to be duly reported to the authorities.

The following two links are both official and very helpful in terms of getting the latest information:

Information for EU Citizens and permanent residents here

Good Luck!

Every Saturday:  8:00 – 14:00

Vítězné náměstí, 160 00 Praha 6

After a long winter, Prague’s Farmers Marketsare open for business. Come get your locally grown vegetables, fruits, cheese, yogurts, meats, bread, pastries, wines, chocolates etc. etc. Support locally and minimize your dependence on grocery stores!

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