Important to know
Do you know the validity of your Trade license ?
As a NON-EU citizen your Trade license is only valid for the period of the visa/residence permit issued!
Did you register with the Foreign Police ?
If you are a third country citizen, you have to register 3 days upon your arrival unless your hotel does it on your behalf!
Are you here on the Trade license ?
You have to be registered with social and tax (financial) authority! Some citizens also with public health insurance (USA, Turkey, Tunisia, Serbia, etc.)
The minimum of social security amount to be paid every month is 2.388 CZK !
If you pay less then your fine is being counted every day without you even knowing about that! Public health insurance fees for foreigners are monthly 2.208 CZK.
Do I need a permit to work in the Czech Republic?
Note: If you are an EU citizen’s family relative, then you don’t need a work permit. If you have a long term residence permit for the purpose of family reunification (visa code 95) with nonEU citizen, you don’t need the work permit either.
I already have a residence permit for a different purpose. Do I need a work permit to start working?
That depends on the type of your residence permit. If you have a long-term residence permit for the purpose of business, family (code 17) etc. and you want to start working, you and your employer have to apply for a work permit.
There are few exceptions where you are not required to obtain a work permit; for example when you are a student or graduate of a Czech high school or university or hold a long term residence permit for the purpose of family reunification (code 95).
See the full list of special cases when you are not required to obtain a work permit to start working.
How do I obtain a work permit?
The work permit is always just for a particular position with a particular employer. It is not a permit that would allow you to work wherever.
Most larger employers will see to the matter of obtaining a work permit for you themselves as part of the process of hiring you.
However, if you have to apply for a work permit yourself, the place to go to is the Labour Office of the Czech Republic (Úřad práce České Republiky). In Brno, the main office is at Polní 37. Your employer will have to announce the open position for a foreigner to the Labour office and you will have to wait 30 days for the position to become available.
Read the detailed instructions on the process at the official website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
What do I need to obtain a work permit?
Your application has to specify the potential employer, the job position, the place of work, and the length of time the job will last.
Part of the folder you have to submit is your diploma. The original secondary or university degree diploma has to have an apostille or superlegalization – a stamp from the local authority in the country where diploma was issued and it needs to be translated to Czech by certified language service. See our guide Authorization, translations and interpreting to find useful some useful tips.
One important detail: the job position stated in the application must have been reported to the Labour Office as being vacant for 30 days. This means that the Labour office will first have to try to fill the position by turning to job seekers who have already registered with it. Only when this is unsuccessful will they then issue a work permit to non-EU citizens. Obtaining the Work Permit is described in depth on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ website.
Find out more about obtaining an employee card in our guide Visa & residence.
What’s the 'employee card' or the 'blue card'?
An employee card is a type of work permit that includes a residence card. It means you don’t need to go through another administrative process to obtain a residence permit.
A blue card is another type of residence permit, similar to employee card, that’s combined with the work permit but this time, it is aimed at job seekers with more advanced qualifications. The blue cards are issued in connection with positions requiring university education or higher specialized education and higher income.
Both employee or blue cards are linked to a special registry of the Labour Office that is restricted to jobs open to applicants for these cards. The procedure for obtaining both Employee card and Blue card is described at the Ministry of Interior website.
Do I need a permit to enter and stay in the CR?
If you are planning to stay in the CR for over 90 days, you need to obtain a long-term visa or residence permit.
Applicants for the visa have to specify a purpose for their stay in the CR and apply for the appropriate visa at a Czech embassy. The purpose of stay might be employment, business, scientific research, studies, family reunification, culture or other.
The Czech Embassy is only authorized to receive an application for a long-term visa; the competent authority for processing it is the Ministry of Interior (MOI). During the procedure, the Czech Embassy communicates with you, invites you for a hearing and calls on you to pick up the visa.
How do I apply for the visa?
Once you were hired by your employer and you have signed the employment contract, you may apply for the so called Employee card.
The Employee card is a single permit to stay in the CR for the purpose of employment and to perform work in the job, for which the card was issued. The Employee card is for all types of employment regardless of the level of required professional qualification.
You must file the written application in person at your local embassy of the CR.
If you are already staying in the territory of the CR on a visa for a stay over 90 days or on a long term residence permit for some other purpose, you can file the application with the Czech Immigration office.
The folder for the application will need to contain the employment contract, proof of accommodation in Brno, professional qualification or diploma, criminal record, a photograph etc. For the complete list and requirements contact your local Czech embassy or visit the Immigration office website.
When your application is approved, the embassy will issue a visa for the purpose of collecting your employee card. Before the visa is issued, you will be asked to submit a travel health insurance valid for the period from the date of entry into the CR to the date on which you are to start working. You will automatically join the public health insurance system on the day you start working.
After the arrival to the CR, you have to visit the MOI office within 3 working days and pick up your employee card.
Can you help me with the visa application?
We can provide a general overview and explain how to apply for the long term residence permit for the purpose of employment – the Employee card. You can find out more about the process in the guide Residence Permits.
For a fee, we can arrange for a professional support from an attorney guiding you through the process and fetching all necessary documents.
How do I register?
Registering with the Foreign Police is easy. You can just visit the office and fill in a short form. Bring just your passport or ID card and make sure you know your exact address, the name of the property owner and the day of your arrival in the country. In exchange for the form, you will get a stamp in your passport with the address filled in or an extra sheet in case you came with your ID only.
Am I obliged to register at the Foreign Police?
You are obliged to register your place of residence with the Foreign Police or the Immigration office within 3 working days of your arrival in the country. This applies for visa holders as well as for visitors with no visa requirement.
What if I later change my address? Or name or passport number?
Any subsequent change must be reported to the Immigration office (Hněvkovského 65) within 3 days, in case of name, marital status and passport number; or 30 days in case of change of address. Read our guide for Residence permits to find out more.
Which insurance system do I belong to?
You belong to the public health insurance system.
All foreigners with an EU passport, whether economically active – employed or freelancing – or not, belong to the public health insurance system.
All non-EU foreigners who are employed with a Czech employer, have a permanent residencecard or are family members of an EU citizen belong to the public health insurance system.
What's the next step?
The Foreign Police are in charge of everything regarding a short-term Visa up to 90 days. Anything longer has to be sorted through the Immigration office.
For long term residence permits (following the visa) contact the Immigration office of the Ministry of the Interior (located at Hněvkovského 65). Arranging an appointment beforehand may save you a couple of hours of waiting time – use the server Foreign Registration System to arrange a meeting.
All visas to enter the country have to be applied for at a Czech embassy abroad. Visa requirements are listed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site.
More information about the residence permits can be found directly at the Immigration’s office website: immigrationportal.cz.
How do I enter the health insurance system?
It is an obligation of your employer to register you in the insurance system. To one of the public health insurance companies, to the employer’s preference.
You are legally registered from the first day when you start your job. It may take a month or two to the employer to deliver the insurance card to you, but you can use the insurance anytime before that.
What happens if I quit my job?
Your employer automatically informs the insurance company and you will be out of the public health insurance system the next day you are out of the job.
You need to prepay a commercial health insurance for foreigners to legally stay in the CR. You may prepay just a month or two or until you get employed again.
Who pays my insurance and how much is it?
The insurance premium is being sent to the insurance company by your employer.
If you have an employment contract or an employment agreement of work activity (“Dohoda o pracovní činnosti”) and your monthly income has reached a certain amount (at least 2.000,- CZK), your employer is obliged to pay your insurance premium.
Your employer takes 4,5% of your gross salary and pays 9% on top.
If you suspect your employer (company, agency) is not paying health insurance premium properly, you can obtain a receipt of what has been paid from your insurance company.
Can I interrupt or change or opt out of the insurance system?
You cannot switch the public insurance system to commercial insurance or vice versa. If you are resident in the CR, you have to participate in the public health insurance system.
You can take a break from the insurance payments only in case you would leave the country for over 6 months, you were medically insured abroad and you informed your health insurance company in writing.
You can leave the system only if you move out of the country ultimately.
Can I travel with my Czech health insurance card?
Your green insurance card is valid only for the Czech Republic. For abroad you have to buy additinal travel insurance.
Once you reach the permanent residence status, you have to inform the insurance company and get a blue card.
Once you have a blue card, it is the ‘EHIC’ – European Health Insurance Card. It is valid for emergency and urgent treatment in all EEA (EU+Norway+Iceland+Liechtenstein) countries and Switzerland.
The intention of the EHIC scheme is to allow people to continue their stay in a country without having to return home for medical care; as such, it does not cover people who have visited a country for the purpose of obtaining medical care, nor does it cover care, such as many types of dental treatment, which can be delayed until the individual returns to his or her home country.
It only covers healthcare which is normally covered by a statutory health care system in the visited country, so it does not render travel insurance obsolete.
What does my insurance card cover?
The public health insurance covers all services that are intended to improve or maintain the health of the insured, or to alleviate his or her suffering.
The insurance covers both ambulatory and institutional care, preventive care, the provision of medicines, drugs or medical devices, spa care and others.
This healthcare is provided free of charge to you in a healthcare facility that has a contract with your health insurance provider. However, in the case of acute need for medical treatment, you may not be refused in a medical facility that does not have a contract.
Only the basic material and treatment is paid in the case of dental treatment.
Only a small part of healthcare is excluded from the health insurance, for example cosmetic surgery without any health reason.
You always have to have the insurance card for every visit to a doctor or medical facility and, in case you have medicine from doctor’s prescription, for collecting your medicines at a pharmacy.
Can I choose a different health insurance provider?
Yes, you can.
There are seven public health insurance companies registered with the Ministry of Health.
All insurance companies provide the same coverage of health care by law; the only difference can be an offer of some benefits, discounts, and allowances.
Each insured person can change his/her health insurance company twice a year (to the 1st of January or 1st of June). You always pay the same insurance premium (set by law), no matter what company you choose.
What insurance companies are there?
There are seven public insurance companies.
All provide the same coverage of health care by law; the only difference can be an offer of some benefits, discounts, and allowances. You always pay the same insurance premium (set by law), no matter what company you choose.
Prepaid or a tariff?
Buying a prepaid card is usually a good short-term option. So, if you are not sure if you’ll stay in the CR for longer than a couple of months, we would recommend starting with a prepaid (‘pay as you go’) card.
If your stay stretches, paying a monthly tariff will probably end up cheaper. However, the standard length of a contract is two years. If you terminate earlier, you pay considerable fees (but not ridicilous enough to be marked unfair towards the customer).
Therefore, our reccomendation is to start with a prepaid card during your probation period and then switch your number to a tarrif once your stay has been confirmed. It’s an easy transition under the same provider. It is also possible to change providers and keep your number without any hussle – it just takes longer.
Another option at the start is to pay for a tarrif but without a contract – in that case, you don’t have any of the obligations from a contract; but you pay a higher amount every month (something around 15-30 per cent more)
Which provider should I choose?
The majority of customers in the Czech Republic have been more or less equally divided between three main providers for several decades. (Yes, there have been talks of anti-competitive agreements). As a result, their offers and coverage are pretty much the same, and the prices are on the higher scale when compared to some other European countries.
The main providers are Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2. All three are pretty safe options. You can check their offer and pricelist for your specific needs and pick accordingly. All of them have English websites and English customer care.
There are other options that do not belong to to the power trio (such as a Tesco mobile card, etc). They haven’t been as well tested as the other three. Their coverage is assured too, though. Feel free to do your research.
How to get a phone card?
You can walk into a store in the center and get it all settled in a matter of minutes. Every provider has several shops throughout the city. Check their offers online first and pick a provider that suits you the best.
Prepaid cards can be bought at a newspaper’s agent or supermarket as well.
Take your passport and another form of personal identification with you (your driving license or your identity card). Have your residence permit (if you are not an EU citizen) ready too. Your lease agreement might be required with some providers as well.
They usually have at least one assistant that speaks some English at every shop. Don’t be afraid to walk in on your own.
What to be aware of when signing a contract?
Check the duration of the contract (usually, it says 24 months), and the fine you’d have to pay if you were to terminate it early (in the contract, the fee is usually described with a complicated math formula. Ask for a specific example).
Some contracts will include ‘preferential conditions’ which are available to you for free only if you reach a ‘minimum monthly spending limit’. Make sure it is indeed your plan to be spending this amount every month to enjoy the free services.
Which bank should I choose?
Different banks cater to different customers. The Czech banking sector is quite developed and stable. There are large, international banks that offer a wide scale of products and have on their side experience and stability, but you may pay a bit extra on charges (Raiffeisenbank, Citibank, CSOB, etc). If you are looking for low fees and you don’t need any special services, consider one of the low-cost banks (Fio Bank, mBank, Air Bank, etc). Identify your needs, browse their websites and find out which of them suits you best.
Are the banks here English-friendly?
Most of them are, but to a different degree. Browse the English version of their website first. Make sure their internet banking services are in English, too.
When you settle on a bank, call their shop in Brno in advance to set up a meeting with an English-speaking banker.
How do I open an account?
Once you’ve pick a bank that suits you, walk into any of their offices in the city to open the account. Or better yet, call the closest office in advance to set up a meeting with an English-speaking clerk.
To open an account, you will need two personal identifications – passport and another form of identification (driving license or similar). Official residence permit, work contract or student card, might be required too, so take it with you. Many banks ask for a deposit when opening the current account (usually from 100 to 1000 Kc). As most of the banks send an authorization code to your mobile to confirm internet banking transactions, it is important to have a functional Czech phone card.
You can find more information about obtain one in our guide Phone card.
What should I be aware of when opening an account?
Check the list of fees the bank will be charging you for their services. Some of them might not be standard in your country, so avoid surprises in the future (for example, most banks charge you a monthly fee for simply having the account).
Some contracts will include ‘preferential conditions’ which frees you from some fees if you reach a ‘minimum monthly transfer limit’. Make sure it is indeed your plan to be transfering (into and from your account) this amount of money every month to enjoy the free services.
I need to make international money transfer. What should I do?
Use specialized providers for international money transfers, it is cheaper and with no hidden fees. A well-known international provider is transferwise.com. A Czech localised service is devizy.cz (run by Fortissimo co. Ltd). They offer very good exchange rates and depending on amounts transferred, low or none fees.
How do I extend my residence permit?
An extension of your residence permit is filed at the relevant MOI office on the territory of the Czech Republic (Hněvkovského 65 in Brno).
Application for extension of the residence permit can be filed as soon as 120 days before the expiration and no later than on the last day of validity of the card. A change in the purpose of stay is permitted in certain situations.
Read more at the Ministry’s website.
What type of long-term residence permit can I apply for?
There are two options:
- If you have arrived in the CR with a “visa for the purpose of collecting an employee card” issued by a Czech embassy, you have to go to the Immigration office within three business days and pick up your Employee card. Later you can extend the validity of the card or change the purpose of stay to a different residence permit.
- If you have arrived in the CR with a short term visa for up to 90 days for the purpose of employment, or you are staying in the CR as a visitor without a visa, and you wish to continue to stay and work in the CR, you have to fill out a new application for the long-term Employee card at a Czech embassy abroad (to learn more about this process, read the guide Visa and Residency that explains your obligations before arrival). Expect to allow over three months for the proceedings.
What is a blue card?
Similar to an Employee card, but different. It is a residential status and work permit designed for a long-term stay involving the performance of a highly skilled job.
An EU Blue card entitles a foreign national to stay and work in the CR the same way as the Employee card does. However, foreigners with the Blue card have some advantages – such as to switch a job, add up the periods of stay from all EU countries, have spouses with free access to a labor market from the day one etc.
On the other hand, there are some higher requirements for the application – a university degree recognized in the CR, salary higher than 150% of the Czech average (ie. over cca 50.000 CZK in 2019), longer processing time. And it is your first employer in the CR who has to agree and open a position available for a Blue card holder.
Find out more about the Blue card at the Immigration office website.
How do I cancel my residency when leaving the CR?
Before leaving Brno and the CR, you and your family members are obliged to hand the residence card to the Immigration Office.
Note: This obligation does not relate to foreigners with a visa or a travel identity card for the purpose of departing from the CR – “departure order”.
This obligation can also be met by sending the document to the relevant MOI office according to the place (residence) you are registered at in the Czech Republic. If this is the case, it is necessary to send the document by registered mail with a letter that foreigner ends his/her residence in the Czech Republic.
Don’t forget to cancel your waste collection fee registration with the municipality too.
How can I apply for a long-term residence permit?
Application for a long-term residence permit can be filed as soon as 120 days before the expiration and no later than on the last day of validity of a long-term visa. The application for a long-term residency can be filed at the local Immigration office.
You should always submit originals or notarized copies of the documents (copies can be done at any CzechPoint counter). Travel document, birth certificate, marriage certificate and a document proving the purpose of the stay must be submitted in original. All of the documents submitted must be in the Czech or Slovak language or officially translated into Czech. Moreover, foreign public documents must be supported by a higher verification (see our guide on Authorizations or read the Ministry’s official guidelines on apostille or superlegalisation).
The requirements presented in submitted documents for the application shall not be older than 180 days except for the travel document and the photograph of the foreign national if it corresponds to his/her actual appearance.
If the specified requirements have not been submitted with the application or it has other discrepancies, you will be asked in writing to remedy the discrepancies of your application in prescribed time. The time limit for the decision on your application is discontinued in such case. During the proceedings, the Immigration office can invite you for an interview, request that you complete the requirements, take your fingerprints or take a picture of you.
The time limit for the decision is usually 60 days.