A land of great contrast where you can find old and new, modern and traditional. The country, almost entirely surrounded by mountains, is home to over 2000 castles and offers you plenty of opportunities to explore the country’s rich history.
Yet at the same time, the Czech Republic is incredibly progressive. The country counts more hospital beds per inhabitant than any other EU country and the standard of education is very high. More than 90% of the Czechs have completed at least secondary education; the highest number in Europe.
According to Reporters without Borders, the Czech Republic is the fifth best country in the world and looking at some other facts, this is not a strange conclusion. Prague’s GDP is the 7th highest in Europe (2018) and it’s the second richest Eastern European country. The average wage and employment rate are increasing and poverty is low.
Expats are often well paid and it is common for the company you work for to pay for your accommodation. Locals are friendly and at work, Czech employees take the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with foreign workers and are often welcoming of a different set of experiences.
Those with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in the Czech Republic.
Here are some of the ways to live in the Czech Republic if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:
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.
If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of the Czech Republic, you are probably eligible for residency. 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.
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.
If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
Citizenship by Naturalisation
You can apply for citizenship by naturalisation if you have held a permanent residency permit for at least 5 years and have been resident in the Czech republic for most of that time. You need to pass a Czech language test unless you are a Slovak citizen.
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.
The passport for the Czech Republic allows you to travel to 157 countries without a visa.
Its global rank is 24.