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Non-EU Citizens: Visa & Right to Reside in Prague

March 24th, 2011 | Posted by Karolinad in Government | Guiri Guest | Police | Visas | Work and Employment

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!

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