The decision about immigration to Czech Republic, will mean you may need to sort out some documents. In most cases even before you move to Prague, or any other Czech city. Some important factors that determine what kind of documents you’ll need are your and your spouse’s current citizenship (only yours if you aren’t married), and the type of access you have to the Czech job market. Once you have a solid plan for legal employment in Czech Republic (see the previous article), now you can think about other documents you may need to live here. Below is a basic overview of possible scenarios.
What if I already have free access to the Czech job market?
As an EU citizen or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland you don’t need any special document to live here. Immigration to Czech Republic is fully open for you. However, you are expected to report your intention to live here to the Ministry of the Interior. We generally recommend doing it, and it’s easy, as they outline on their website.
You belong to the second group of foreigners with free access to the Czech job market we wrote about in this article. In such case, most likely you already made your move to Prague or other Czech city some time ago. Therefore, you probably have a residence permit already, for example for the purpose of studies or family unification. Nevertheless, you can apply for an Employee Card in so called ‘non-dual mode’. That means it only serves the purpose of allowing you to live in this country. You can read more about this in English on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.
Especially relevant for those who went into immigration to Czech Republic as students
For example, I recommend applying for an Employee Card in ‘non-dual mode’ to students in the last year of studies. Living in a bigger city such as Prague or Brno, you will likely find a good job after graduation. Even as a foreigner! Well, that assuming you have a solid CV that showcases all your talents (check that link out to make sure you do). Also, you might consider taking a move to Prague, or to another major city, to find a job. If you already have a job, or if you are looking to start working, you can apply for a non-dual Employee Card before your student residence permit expires. That way you won’t need to worry about your rights to live in this country after University.
Even if you don’t get your non-dual Employee Card by the time your residence permit expires, it’s ok. You can still live and work in Czech Republic because you had submitted your card application at the time when you had free access to the Czech job market (as a student).
Since 31.07.2019 you also have a different alternative for this case. You can apply for a long term residence permit for the purpose of seeking employment or starting a business. You should apply for it after you finish your studies (including scientific research). However, you should also make sure you apply before your ongoing residence permit for the purpose of studies (or research) expires. Such new permit is valid for 9 months, that gives you enough time to find a job or start a business. MOI’s website has a clear overview of the documents you need to apply for this kind of permit.
How about immigration to Czech Republic with a Blue/Employee Card?
If you obtain a Blue Card or an Employee Card you don’t need any document that allows you to live in Czech Republic. You have your card – that’s it. Moreover, you can start working as soon as you get a document confirming that your application for the card has been approved. You don’t need to wait till the moment when you actually receive the physical card. Just move to Prague, if you want a real cosmopolitan experience. Join the club of other expats who are in love with this city. Your documents are sorted at this point.
If you decide to go for a work permit, you will need a document that allows you to live in Czech Republic. Usually, it’s an Employee Card in ‘non-dual mode’. The process of obtaining a work permit first and then applying for a non-dual Employee Card takes much longer than simply obtaining an Employee Card. Therefore, this is rarely a viable option if you are thinking of legal immigration to Czech Republic.
If you are looking for a job in Prague, consider joining our group on Facebook where other professional expats like yourself post jobs regularly and network with each other.
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Check out other articles about work in Prague
- Czech Employee Card. How to change your employer without losing your card?
- How to get a Czech Republic work visa?
- Blue Card, Employee Card or work permit in Czech Republic – what’s the difference?
- Immigration to Czech Republic. Make sure you have the right documents to live here legally.
- Foreigners who can work in Czech Republic without work permit?