In this article, we describe how the visa approvals work in the Czech Republic, how to check your Czech visa status and what steps you can take if your application has been taking too long to get approved. Read on, a lot might be pretty surprising for you!
Official Czech visa approval times
Before we get to further details, let us mention that this article mainly talks about long-term visas and long-term residence permits of the Czech Republic. We have plenty of experience with these (over 10 000 people we worked with) so we think we can share some insight and advice. We do not talk much about short-term (Schengen) visas since we do not have that much experience with those.
The official approval times depend on the exact type of visa or residence permit you apply for. For example student visa has 60 days deadline, family reunification visa 60-90 days, the same goes for an employee card or a blue card, business visa should be approved within 90-120 days, family reunification residence permit can officially take up to 270 days to get approved.
When to check your Czech visa status
There are a few things you should understand if you are thinking about checking the status of your Czech visa application. We are listing the most important parts below.
- If you applied for your visa or residence permit through some Czech Embassy, the Embassy does not make the decision. That means that there is always some delay between when you submit your application and when someone actually starts checking your documents. If you applied say in Dresden, the delay might be days, if you applied in India, Australia, USA etc., the delay can be several weeks. Even if you applied at the MOI, the branch where you applied does not make the decisions, they usually send the file to another branch or even a completely different city.
- There are different ways of checking the status of your Czech visa or residence permit application. The easiest one is just to put your application number into online system (we describe the procedure below) but that basically only tells you if the application is approved, denied or in process. A bit more detailed check can be done via going to the MOI in person or visa sending them an official letter (see below as well). If you send a letter to the MOI or try to contact them before they have exceeded their legal deadlines, they could see it as a way to influence the proces or even as harassment and that could potentially even be bad for your application.
- Every case is different. Even when two people apply for the same visa type at the same Embassy on the same day, they can be approved in completely different times (even weeks of difference). That is generally nothing to worry about. Of course, delays might mean that there might be some problem with your documents, on the other hand, it often just means that your case is being decided by a slower/less experienced/on-sick-leave decision maker so it simply takes longer.
We understand it might be stressful to just wait not knowing what is going on with your application but checking your visa status every days will not help, it might stress you even more and in extreme cases could even cause problems with your application.
How to check your Czech visa status
If you decide to check your Czech visa or residence permit status, there are a few way to do that and a few information you will need for that.
What do you need to check your Czech visa status
The main information you need is your application number. This should be provided to you by the Embassy or the MOI branch where you applied for your visa or residence permit. It generally looks like this:
EMBASSY APPLICATION NUMBER – LOSA202301010001 – the letters identify the Embassy where you applied (in this case Los Angeles), the numbers then identify the day you applied and your order in the queue that day (i.e. this person applied on 1.1.2023 and was the first applicant that day.
MOI APPLICATION NUMBER – OAM-12345/DP-2023 – OAM is always there, the first set of numbers are your actual application number, the two letters after the “/” identify the type of your application (in this case DP = long-term residence permit) and the number after the “-” is the year when you submitted your application.
If you do not know your application number, ask the MOI or the Embassy to provide it, otherwise you will not be able to check your Czech visa status online, only in person.
How to check your Czech visa status online
Checking your Czech visa application status online is the easiest way to check. It also tells you the least amount of information. You can check you status on the governmental website here: https://frs.gov.cz/en/status-of-your-application/ by including one of the application numbers described above.
There are four possible outcomes of the search:
“Not found” – this usually happens if you try to check your status too soon. As mentioned above, it can sometimes take several week before someone even starts checking your documents.
“Being processed” – this is the most common outcome. This simply means the application is still in process. That gives you zero information about if the application is going well, not well or when you could expect the result.
“Granted” – means your application has been approved and you can proceed with further steps.
“Declined” – means that your application was denied and you should wait for the official denial letter.
How to check your Czech visa status in person or via mail
As explained above, the online system generally gives you almost no information. If you want to get more information (not that we would recommend doing that before the MOI exceeds the legal deadlines though), you can either go to the MOI in person and ask or you can send them an official letter asking about the status of your application.
If you go ask in person to the MOI branch, you can generally get a bit more information (i.e. when the application was deliver to the MOI, when someone started processing it) but usually nothing too helpful either. The person you will speak with at the MOI is not the person making the decision so they can only tell you what they see in the system. If the decision maker does not make any notes into the system (which they general do not do) you can not get much detailed info about the status anyway.
What to do if your visa has been in process for too long
If the MOI has exceeded their legal deadline to make the decision (which by the way is pretty common), the game changes since you can already start taking some steps to speed up the process. There are generally two options you have and we will be happy to help you with.
1. Send a polite letter – what is often the case when your application takes too long to get approved is that someone simply stopped working on that and it just lays somewhere on a shelf waiting. If you sent this polite letters asking about the status of your application, the decision maker must put it into your file so they sometimes start working on your case again. It sometimes work, sometimes it does not.
2. Send a complaint against inactivity – this helps every time since it is a strong legal thing to do. You basically send a complaint to a special committee which is above the Asylum and Migration Policy Department and they force them to do something. This letter has to be written in Czech and in a specific way A) to be accepted by the committee and B) not to piss-off the decision maker much (since you basically tell the committee that your decision maker is incompetent and some do not take it well).
If you are in this phase and want to send either of these letter to the MOI, get in touch using one of the forms on this page and we’ll be happy to prepare the letter for you. We do not really recommend writing it on your own (certainly not the complaint letter) since it must be done in a certain way to bring the expected result which is speeding up your application decision.
We hope this article gave you a better idea about your Czech visa status check and wish you a wonderful day!
Move To Prague relocation experts