Registration, Visa

Fun with registering in the Foreign Police office in Prague

Well, registering with the Foreign Police office in Prague is one of the funniest parts of the whole visa process. We´ll explain why later on, let me just mention the fact that Foreign Police officers in Prague mostly do not speak English 🙂 But no worries, we´ll provide you with some tips to survive the experience.

First of all, when do you need to go to the Foreign Police office?

Outside EU citizens

No matter if you are planning to stay long term or just visiting for a few days, citizens from outside the EU need to register at the Foreign Police office in Prague within 3 days after their arrival in Prague. This rule does not apply in the case you are staying in a hotel, hostel, AirBnb etc. – accommodation facilities like these have to register you on your behalf (that is why they ask you to fill in the paper when checking in). Big hotels and hostels really do that, BUT be aware if you are staying in an AirBnB or similar apartments. They should register you too, but they usually don’t even know about this duty, and it can cause you trouble in the future.

You might also need to register at the Foreign Police office in Prague if you are applying for a long term business visa. The Trade license office needs to see the red stamp with your address before issuing your trade license. (Read more about the business visa process in this post and more about the trade license in this post).

EU citizens

EU citizens have to register at the Foreign Police office in Prague within 30 days after their arrival – every arrival. This means that even if you already live here, are renting an apartment etc., you should always go to the Foreign Police if you leave the Czech Republic and come back (even if it was just for a weekend). This only changes if you get the Registration Certificate (former Temporary Residence Certificate).

The rest is similar to (Non-EU citizens) citizens from outside the EU with the difference that no one really cares about EU citizens. EU citizens do not need a visa or residence card if they do not want to apply for one. So, the chance of getting into trouble for not registering is very small.

Documents required for registering in the Foreign Police office

It used to be much easier to register at the Foreign Police office in Prague. However, for some reason, the government decided to make it harder for everyone. It used to be enough to just bring your passport, fill in one document and wait in a queue. Therefore, If you waited long enough you got registered.

Now, all following documents are needed:

–        Passport
–        Proof of accommodation (either the proof itself or the rental contract or at least some form of confirmation from landlord).
–        Czech health insurance (either travel or public)
–        Registration form – will be provided in the Foreign Police office
–        50 CZK stamp (only in case you need a confirmation that you were registered – i.e. for the trade license office).

It is easy to see why the documents are necessary from the government’s perspective. You should have a place to stay if you want to spend some time in Prague, you should also be covered by some health insurance, on the other hand, if you are only staying for 5 days the bureaucracy isn’t worth it – just stay in a hotel for one night and everything is solved.

Well, now you know WHEN you need to register at the Foreign Police and WHAT documents you need but what about the registration process itself? The fun begins.

Registration at the Foreign Police office in Prague

There is only one Foreign Police office responsible for the whole Prague and that is at the following address:

Olšanská 2176/2, 130 00 Praha, which is easily reachable by trams (Olšanská stop) or by walking from both Flora and Želivského metro stations (green line).

Opening hours in the April 2024 are as follows:

Monday                      8:00 – 18:00
Tuesday                      closed
Wednesday                8:00 – 18:00
Thursday                    8:00 – 15:00
Friday +weekend      closed

The first thing you need to do after arriving at the address. Find the queue – if you go during peak hours, you’ll have no problem finding it because the queue will stretch out the doors around the block and be full of people who look as confused as you are. Once you get inside, find a ticket machine and get a ticket. In peak hours, again, you’ll have enough time to go for a lunch before they call your number – really, one of our clients finished a few levels of Grand Theft Auto while waiting in the Foreign Police office in Olšanská 🙂

The Foreign Police officer does not speak English? Welcome to Prague!

After some time, the much anticipated moment you’ve been waiting for arrives! Your number is called! Pick up all your documents and go to the specified room. There you will meet a Foreign Police officer who does not speak any English and that makes him really angry. He’ll let you know about it from the very first moment you step in. No one has confirmed it officially, but based on our many many visits to the Foreign Police office in Prague, Police officers are sent there as a form of punishment. Well, not exactly as a punishment, but every single Foreign Police officer needs to have a shift in the registration office every once in awhile, whether they speak English and know something about the process or not. It is the same among Foreign Police officers as it is among the rest of the Czech population, if they are above 50, their knowledge of English is very poor and if they have to deal with foreigners, it must be frustrating.

To stay objective, not all of the officers are the same. Occasionally, you will meet one who speaks English pretty well, and who knows what they are doing, but do not go with that expectation.

The result of your visit to the Foreign Police office in Prague is a note in the Foreign Police internal system saying you have been registered. They used to stamp your passport with a big red stamp with your address in it but they do not do it anymore. The most you can get (and should if want to activate your trade license) is a confirmation that you got registered. This is a fancy looking piece of paper with the 50 CZK revenue stamp attached to it 🙂

Once you get this, you can breathe easy knowing you are part of an exclusive club of people who also hate that place.

Useful tips

Based on our three years experience, we have put together several recommendations to make your visit to the Foreign Police office in Prague as painless as possible.

–        Do not go to the Foreign Police office at Olsanska the first day after the weekend or a public holiday – everyone else will do that and the queue is always way too long.

–        Do not go there in the morning unless it is before they open. If you arrive about half an hour before they open, you will get a very low number, if you arrive about an hour after their opening time, your ticket number (and waiting time) will already be much higher – everyone tries to go there before work, but not everyone is willing to wait outside before they open.

–        Arrive about an hour before they close – this is a bit risky because they sometimes stop giving tickets about an hour before they close to make sure they close on time, on the other hand, if you get the ticket, you will be seen and you won’t wait much longer than an hour.

–        Have all the documents ready – you do not want to go there again.

–        Learn at least some basic Czech words such as „Dobrý den (Do-bree dehn)“ – Hello or „Děkuji (Dyekooyee) – Thank you“

To sum it up, if you are only visiting and want to do everything the legal way, make sure you stay at least one night in a hotel – you’ll be registered automatically. If you do not care about the legal way, just make sure you do not get fined for anything. Honestly, if you are an American, Canadian, Australian, Mexican or Korean and you are just visiting, no one really cares if you got registered or not unless you get caught by Police for doing something illegal. In that case, not being registered by the Foreign Police would make things worse. If you do not get caught no one will ever find out that you have not registered.

However, if you plan to stay longer doing everything the legal way is recommended to prevent any future problems with your visa.

If you are brave and want to register yourself at the Foreign Police office in Prague on your own, we hope this article will help you do it with as little pain as possible.

If you need some advice or assistance, fill in the form in right sidebar, contact us anytime (really, we work 24/7), go to our services page or read more about some specific part of the visa process in some of our other blog posts.

Jan&Daria on behalf of the whole team


  • Hi, why would you need the Czech health insurance. If you are travelling non-EU abroad, you just buy the travel insurance for the Czech Republic abroad, right?
    Also do you think if I show up on Monday (even though it is the 1st day of the week) and let’s say I’m there at 6am – is it a good idea? When do you think I’ll be able to get out?

    • Dear Jana,

      thank you very much for your comment.

      You are right, officially is any travel insurance valid on the territory of the Czech Republic enough for the Foreign Police. On the other hand, the Foreign Police office in Prague 3 is a very strange place. Most of the officers do not speak (do not want to speak) English and each of them also applies a bit different rules. We have gone through everything from not needing any documents at all with one officer to being sent from hell to hell to get the correct Czech health insurance and proof of accommodation with verified signature by another officer with our clients. So what we say by the blog post is that it is better to have the Czech Health insurance (which you can easily buy online – for example here ) and verified prof of accommodation and be 100% safe than to just go there “to try” and have to go back again and again.

      As for going there at 6 in the morning, it is not needed. If you just get there at 7:30 on Monday (30 mins before they open), you should be fine. There might be already some people waiting (like up to 10) but the visit should not take you longer than one hour. If you went there at 9:30 (30 mins after they open) you could spend much more time waiting.

  • Hello, how are you? Is the identity card not enough if you are an EU-Citizen? My passport has expired and I do not really want to spend 100euros for a renewal. There is actually more data about me in my identity card than in my passport. Thank you!

    • Hi Alexandru 🙂 Thank you very much for you comment 🙂 Your national ID is acceptable if you are an EU citizen 🙂 Passport is always the safest option since it is a document valid all around the world, but being an EU citizen, you do not need to renew the passport to get registered here 🙂

  • Hello. Thanks for the very helpful article. Will the police accept my proof of accommodation if it does not cover the entire length of my issued residence card? I have a 4.5-month long-term residence card and my accommodation proof only cover about 3.5 months of my stay. Will the police have any objections to this?

    • Hi Brent, thank you very much for your comment 🙂 Could you please get it touch with us to clarify why you need to go to the Foreign Police when you already have a residence card? 🙂 In general, the Police does not really care for how long the accommodation is as long as you show them some proof of that. You can move anytime anyway so it is just for them to have be able to base the registration on something. Different story is with the Minstry of the Interior and their proofs of accommodation. They are much more precise. Please get in touch for further guidance if you wish 🙂 Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  • I wanna know what would happen if i go home one day after my visa ends .i had a 12 days visa for visiting prague from 27th december 2016 to 02 january 2017 nd my flight home is on 3th of january .i wanna know if i’ll get in trouble in the airport for that nd if it can effects any demand of visa schengen to any other european country in the future .if so what should i do to not get in trouble ?

    • Hi Marah, thank you for the comment. Well, if your visa is expired and you stay here anyway, you are breaking law and can be fined/punished for that. On the other hand, many people overstay for weeks or even months and they have no problem with leaving Schengen afterwards (you are already leaving so Police do not really care much), much worse would be for example entering Schengen one day before your visa starts. So it very much depends on how dutiful will be the Police officer checking your passport at the airport (if there is one at all). I would not be too afraid, you can always say something like that you had such a bad stomach ache on the 2nd so you could not even leave toilet and had to rebook your ticket 🙂 Or something like that.

  • When you leave the Czech Republic do you also have to go back there to tell them that you’re leaving the country?

    • Hi Graham!
      You don’t need to go to the Foreign Police where you registered, but if you have a biometric card or any other residence permit, you have to give it back to the MOI office and receive a leaving order or a short term visa instead. Daria

  • Ahoj, good evening.
    Thanks a lot for the usefull article.
    I have a question that might sound a bit similar to the last one posted. Im polish and when I arrived to Czech Republic I registered myself on the Foreign Police on Olsanska and I came to the main MOI office where I said Im staying and working, I received a green paper that says the address where Im living “Potvrzeni o prechodnem pobytuna uzemi”. On few days I will move to France for living and working and Im wondering if I need to go on czech republic to MOI office and Foreign Police to say Im leaving.
    On the MOI web the information about departures or registered EU citizens is not clear and I want to have all in order for when I will register my info on the Interior Ministry in France. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Annie,

      thank you very much for your question.

      If all our client were as responsible as you, our job would be soooo easy 🙂

      You officially need to give the Certificate of Residence back to the Ministry latest 3 days before you leave. Good thing is that you can even send it via registered mail with a short explanation letter saying you are leaving.

      Good luck and let us know if we can help 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Move To Prague team 🙂

      • Hi, good afternoon. Thanks a lot for the update information. Really nice from your team to be so kind and helpful. I will go tomorrow to MOI and then to foreign police. I will post a feedback here about my experience ?. I think that this blog rocks and it’s really nice and useful. Thanks a lot. Good vibes!!!

  • Hello, please I need help. I am italian, working as intern here in Prague. Do I really need to register? I didn’t know this thing until I found a flat to rent. I was asked to register at the migration police. But I’m here for more than 30days! what will happen? how much will it cost to register??

    • Hi Claire,

      thank you very much for your comment.

      Well, you have to register yourself within 30 days if you plan on staying longer than 30 days. The only exception is if your accommodation provider registered you (hotels do that on your behalf; AirBnb landlords should do that too but they usually don´t).

      If you do not register or register late, you can be asked to pay up to 3000 CZK fine.

      Honestly speaking, if you are here for two or three months internship and you do not regiister yourself at all, you will very likely not get into trouble for that. It is illegal to not register yourself, I w´must point that out once again, but since there are no border controls, the Foreign Police does not even know that you are here. Problems might only arrise if you are getting paid for the intership, etc.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      If not, please feel free to call us or stop by in our office to discuss further. We also have a great coffee and nice wine 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Your first friend in Prague! 🙂

  • If I stay over night in a hotel how long does my identify stay registered with the Foreign Police office? Do I still have to register if I come back on an extended stay visa?

    • Hi Arthur,

      thank you very much for your comment.

      Well, the record of your staying here will stay in the system of the Foreig Police forever very likely. We do not know this for sure but from our experience ten years it is for sure. We´ve seen such records.

      If your question was how long stay they will register if you only stay for one day, they will register the stay for one day.

      As for going there again, it is pretty complex question. You should always have your address updated so you should theoretically go to the Foreign Police anytime you move. This is very important especially when you already have a visa or residence permit. At that point though, you do not go to the Foreign Police but to the Ministry of the Interior.

      Please let us know if you need any more information, we´ll be happy to help!

      Have a great day!

      Jan on behalf of Move To Prague team

  • So the scenario is this, I am mexican working here legally. What happens if I invite some member of my family to visit me (I mean they will stay at my apartment)? Do they have to register at the foreign policy? What about the proof of accomodation? Do they need my leasing contract? Thanks a lot in advance.

  • I’m in Prague visiting my sister who has a permanent residency card. I may be in and out of CZ during the 90 days I’m in Schengen. My total accumulated stay in CZ will probably exceed 30 days. I’m a US citizen. Do I need to register?

    • Hey Blake,

      thank you for the comment.

      Yes, you should anyway register yourself with the Foreign Police. The only exception is when you are staying at a hotel/hostel since they have to register you on your behalf.

      Honestly speaking, it is illegal to not register, on the other hand, if there is no stamp from Prague airport in your passport, no one will ever find out.

      Please get in touch if you need any more info or help 🙂

      Have a safe trip!

      Move To Prague relocation experts

    • Hi Fiona,

      Thanks for the questions.

      Well, it depends on you nationality and the officer you meet there.

      In general, the FP do not care much about EU citizens so if you are an EU citizen, an e-mail might be ok. If you are not an EU citizen, I would not risk it in your shoes. But it also depends on the concrete officer you meet there – some will not care at all, some will tell you that anyone could have sent the e-mail and that you should come back with a proper proof.

      In the worst case though, you´ll have to go there again so maybe try and you´ll see 🙂

      We´ll be happy if you share your experience here as well 🙂

      Good luck!

      Jan on behalf of the whole team!

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