In our previous article, we wrote about all Czech Republic visa types available. We are taking this a level higher in this article as we describe all Czech residence permit types available in details. You’ll learn everything from what types of residence permit there are in the Czech Republic, to what are the requirements and average approval times. Read on!
What is a Czech Residence Permit
As we described in the above mentioned article, Czech long-term visa is basically just a sticker in your passport with maximum validity of one year (365 days). The residence permit is, on the other hand, a separate piece of ID containing your biometric data such as your photo, fingerprints and signature.
The maximum validity of Czech residence permit cards can be from 2 to 5 years depending on the purpose of your intended stay (see below).
Where to apply for a Czech Residence Permit
Applying for Czech residence permit can be a pretty complex process depending on what type of residence permit you want to apply for – what is your intended purpose of stay. How it works generally though is that you first get a long-term visa and then, before the visa expires, you apply for a residence permit under the same purpose of stay.
So say, you first get a long-term visa with the purpose of business (i.e. an English teacher) through a Czech Embassy and before this visa expires, you apply for a long-term residence permit with the business purpose of stay (through the Ministry of the Interior – MOI). You can not apply for a business residence permit through an Embassy, you always have to go through the long-term visa first.
In some cases though, it is possible to apply for a Czech residence permit without the need of having a long-term visa first. That for example applies to an employee card or a blue card which means you can apply for these directly through a Czech Embassy. We go a bit deeper into this topic below.
Types of Czech Residence Permit available by purpose of stay
There are many potential purposes of stay in the Czech Republic and hence there are also many types of Czech residence permits. We go through them all below to give you an idea of what all is available for you.
We can generally divide Czech residence permits into two categories – first is for family members of EU citizens (i.e. you are an American, Indian or Nigerian and your spouse is Czech, French or German living in the Czech Republic), second is for non-EU citizens not related to any EU citizens (i.e. you are an American, Indian or Nigerian and you move here alone, or you move here with your spouse who is also a non-EU citizen).
Czech Residence Permit types for family members of EU citizens
There are generally three types of residence permits that can a non-EU citizen get if they are related to an EU citizen.
Temporary Residence Permit for distant family members – aka “Partnership Visa”
This residence permit is primarily meant for mixed (a non-EU citizen with an EU citizen) couples who are not married but who are in a long-term serious relationship similar to a marriage. So let’s say you are an American citizen, your girlfriend/boyfriend is a Polish citizen, you have been dating for two years, living in the US and now you want to move to the Czech Republic together.
Or you might be an Indian citizen already living here for a few years as a student or an employee card holder and you have been dating a Czech citizen for a year.
In these cases, you can apply for this type of residence permit and if you meet the conditions, get it for three years along with bunch of benefit (i.e. free access to the Czech labour market).
Read more about the partnership visa in this article or get in touch with us using the form below – we’ll be happy to speak with you and explain everything 🙂 The article continues below the contact form.
Temporary Residence Permit for Close family members
While “partnership visa” is primarily meant for so called distant family members (basically just people dating), this one is meant for direct close relatives. What it means in Czech immigration is your spouse or children. Technically also parents but there are a few limiting conditions that might make it pretty complicated to actually bring your parent to the Czech Republic.
This Czech Residence Permit can have a validity of up to 5 years and brings it’s holder several benefits. Please read more about it in this article: Temporary Residence Permit for Close (Immediate) Family Members of EU Citizens.
Permanent Residence Permit
Both EU citizens and family members of EU citizens can apply for the Permanent Residence Permit. Distant family members can generally do so after 5 years of living in the Czech Republic, close family member after 2 years if they meet certain conditions.
Permanent Residence Permit basically means that no one will ever kick you our of the Czech Republic and you gain some benefits such as free access to Czech labour market (meaning you can work freely) and access to public health care even without being employed.
We write more about the Permanent Residence Permit here.
Czech Residence Permit types for “standard” non-EU citizens
We have described the Czech residence permit types for family members of EU citizens above. What if you are not a family member of an EU citizen? You still have plenty of options! There are many of Czech residence permit types for non-EU citizens. We’re taking you through all of them one by one below.
Czech Employee Card
We start with an employee card since it is the most common type of a residence permit in the Czech Republic. Employee card is an employment based residence permit which allows you to stay in the Czech Republic for up to two years (renewable) and work at one position for one specific employer. The employee card is meant for any type of position, any salary and education level and any nationality. The main thing though is, that you must first find a job which might be pretty difficult for some people.
Czech Blue Card
Blue card is generally similar to an employee card – it also allows you to live and work in the Czech Republic at one specific position for one specific employer. There are some major differences making the blue card more favorable though.
The main difference is that the validity of a blue card can be up to three years (thanks to the Immigration Act changes from July 2023). A few more advantages of the blue card include easier moving within the EU or more flexible moving with family members.
The advantages come with some limitations though – the blue card is only meant for position with a salary above 1,5 of Czech national average (around 61 000 CZK a month in 2023) and for at least Bachelor’s holders.
Read more about the blue card here: Blue Card Czech Republic – rules and updates.
Do you have any questions? Please fill in the form below and we’ll be happy to speak with you to answer all of them 🙂 The article continues below the form.
Family Reunification Residence Permit
Family Reunification Residence Permit Family reunification residence permit is a special type of residence permit for family members (generally spouses and/or kids, in very limited way also parents) of non-EU citizens already living here. For example, if you are from the Philippines and holding a Czech employee card, you can bring your spouse and/or children under this types of residence permit.
Generally, the family reunification residence permit comes after the family reunification visa (see the previous article about all visa types) but in some cases, your family members can apply for it directly through a Czech Embassy. This is mainly limited by the time the main applicant has already been living in the Czech Republic.
See more details in our Family Reunification Residence Permit article.
Student Residence Permit Czech Republic
Student residence permit can also be applied either directly through a Czech Embassy (or at the MOI if changing your purpose of stay) or as a second step after the student visa.
It is primarily meant for students of accredited programs of Czech universities, even though there are other possibilities as well.
Czech Business Residence Permit
The business residence permit is arguably the most complex residence permit you can apply for. It follows the long-term visa under same purpose, in very specific cases (i.e. after 5 years of being here), it can also be switched to from some other residence permit types.
The reason why it is so difficult to get is that there are many pieces of the puzzle you need to keep in mind if you want to get this type of residence permit approved. For example – your taxes must be done certain way to ensure you meet the income requirements (which changes regularly anyway), your trade license might need to get extended couple times during the process, some documents take up to 30 days to get but are only valid 30 days from when you ask for them etc.).
If you are in a situation where you want to apply for the business residence permit, we certainly recommend getting in touch with us using the form below since this is the residence type where many people get denied when trying to deal with it on their own. You can also check our article about the business residence permit to get deeper look into the complexity. The article continues below the form.
“Other” Residence Permit
As explained in our article about all the long-term visa types available in the Czech Republic, the “other” type of visa is only used in specific cases when you do not fall under any other purpose of stay. Most used it is for students of non-accredited courses. This means that you can generally only apply for the “other” residence permit if you have already been under the “other” type of visa.
Residence Permit with the Purpose of Investment
Czech Republic generally does not make it too easy for foreigners from non-EU countries to move here. This means that this investment residence permit is nothing like in some other countries where you just buy a property above some value and you are automatically granted a residence permit.
In the Czech Republic, the investment residence permit means that you have to make a “significant investment”. There is no specific definition of what “significant” means but it is certainly not investment in thousands or tens of thousands of EUR/USD. We are talking more about millions or tens of millions of EUR/USD.
Intracompany Transfer in Czech Republic
Intracompany transfer is a type of Czech residence permit meant for Manager, Specialists and/or paid interns of companies that have a Czech subsidiary. It is a very specific type of residence permit with very specific conditions which we do not deal with too often.
If you want to apply for this residence permit, you must meet the requirements, you must prove that you have been employed by the “mother company” for at least six months, that the “mother company” and the Czech subsidiary are really connected and way more. Simply said, very specific residence permit for very specific situations.
How long does it takes to get Czech Residence Permit
Well, it might have been better to answer this question separately for each of the types of residence permit in the Czech Republic. For most of the residence permit types, we provide a link to a more detailed article which answers this question. So, we’ll mention one important general truth here.
There are some deadlines given by the Immigration Act in the Czech Republic but that does not necessarily meant that you will get the result within that given deadline. There might be various reasons for that from the Ministry of the Interior not really caring about the deadlines, to seasons (when many people apply, the decisions tend to take longer) to how well your application has been prepared, if the MOI requested some additional documents from (where the deadlines stop counting) .
We generally recommend letting the MOI work on their on pace as much as possible but it you have been waiting really long and/or you want to speed up your Czech residence permit application, there are a few steps you can take which we describe in this article about checking the Czech visa status.
We hope this article about different types of Czech residence permits have been useful to you and we’ll be happy to hear from you if you have any questions or comments!
Move To Prague relocation experts