The Czech Republic is part of the EU so people with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely here.
Here are some of the ways to live in the Czech Republic if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:
Visa to work as a Self-Employed person
The Czech Republic also offers a visa for self-employed people. It happens in 3 stages:
- Apply for a long-stay visa for the purpose of business (i.e. self-employment). As you need to have a local address, you probably want to move to the CR on a tourist visa and then apply at a Czech embassy. This visa lasts 12 months.
- Long-term resident visa (renewable up to 2 years at a time, depending on your insurance)
- Permanent resident (after a minimum 5 cumulative years of being a long-term resident, you can apply. There are of course other requirements).
This is a great advantage of the Czech scheme, not all the other visa classes offer a clear pathway to permanent residency.
For the Long Stay visa, you need to prove that you have available funds to cover you for the duration of your stay, although the rules do change this is currently around €4,300 (Kč110,000). You’ll need a medical, police clearance and proof of your professional skills as well as health insurance. You will hear people talking about a Zivno – what is this? It is the official registration of your trade on the Živnostenský list, such as “Software developer”, and is a requirement of the Long Stay Visa.
The process does change, and language can be a barrier so we would advise finding good, local assistance after checking out the official website here.
- If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an "EU Blue Card". The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit. This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you. If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities. This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
- If you are not eligible under the EU Blue Card Programme, you need to apply for an employee card, which allows the holder to work and live in Czech legally. Employee cards are valid for up to two years but can be extended and they are issued for a specific position.
Through your Family
- If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of the Czech Republic, you are probably eligible for residency. If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being resident in the Czech Republic for a period of 2 years. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
- See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.
Youth Mobility Visa
- If you are an Canadian, Chilean, Taiwanese, New Zealand or South Korean citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday programme.