Permanent Residency in the Czech Republic
Who Qualifies for Permanent Residency in the Czech Republic?
What are the main differences between temporary residence and permanent residence in the Czech Republic? Learn the benefits of Czech permanent residence.
Conditions for Czech Permanent Residency
Are you considering a change from temporary to permanent residence in the Czech Republic? Do you know who can apply, what conditions they need to meet, and when to begin the application process?
Pexpats has you covered. Learn the differences between temporary and permanent Czech residency. We share the benefits & rights granted by Czech permanent residence, with official information from the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
Discover everything you need on how to file for Czech permanent residency, all in one place and in plain English.
Who can apply for Czech Permanent Residency?
After 5 years of continuous residence in the Czech Republic, a foreign national can file an application for permanent residence.
However, there are also some exceptions for when a foreign national can apply.
- If the foreign national has lived in another EU country holding a Blue Card prior to living 2 years in the Czech Republic; or
- If the foreign national qualifies for specific exceptions.
Other exceptions for Czech permanent residence application are as follows.
1. Humanity exceptions: It is a spouse of a refugee (if the marriage was registered before one of the spouses entered the Czech Republic).
- The application is for a refugee’s child under the age of 18 (and has not applied for refugee status).
- It is the application of a former Czech citizen.
2. Specific circumstances: For example, if it is an application for asylum.
3. Granting residence is in the interest of the Czech Republic.
4. It is a child minor of a Czech permanent residence holder.
5. There has been a cancellation of Czech permanent residence no older than 3 years. (Note: this is only in the case of cancellation due to being outside of the EU for 12 months, or outside the EU for 6 years.)
6. The applicant has held a temporary residency for 2 years as a family member of an EU citizen. The EU citizen must also hold permanent residence status in the Czech Republic.
How to count time towards Czech permanent residence
For the period of continuous residence, use one of the following requirements to count the years of stay in the Czech Republic.
A. Count the period of stay on a long-term visa and on a long-term residence unless exceptions are granted.
B. Apply the period of stay of a statute asylum seeker or a person under the subsidiary position under the Asylum act.
C. Measure the period of the previous residence based on a temporary residence permit, including time for application proceedings conducted if:
- There was a long-term residence permit granted to the foreigner based on request under paragraph 87f(5) after the termination of temporary residence of a family member of an EU citizen. Or, under the circumstance that:
- The foreigner applied for a residence permit during periods over the course of departure due to the processing of a temporary residence of a family member of an EU citizen.
D. Count time towards Czech residency by one half (1 year for 1 year with the purpose of staying (“ostatní” D/VC/99) if:
- The foreigner has held a long-term visa for the purpose of study (D/VC/24 or D/VC/23). Or, if:
- There has been a period of time the applicant was outside of the Czech Republic for more than 310 days. (Note: This does not apply to foreign nationals who were pregnant or were experiencing complications due to health issues.)
Counting time with a period of absence in the Czech Republic
If there was a period of absence in the territory, the following conditions apply.
E. Count time towards residency if there was a period of absence during residence that did not exceed 6 months consecutively, nor 310 days in summary. If the period of absence was not longer than 12 months consecutively, with the exception of serious reasons (pregnancy, childbirth, study or training), continuity of residence is maintained. However, in these cases, the period is not counted towards permanent residence.
F. Count time towards residency if there was a period of absence during residence that did not exceed 6 months consecutively, nor 310 days in summary. If the period of absence was not longer than 12 months consecutively, with the exception of serious reasons (pregnancy, childbirth, study or training), continuity of residence is maintained. However, in these cases, the period is not counted towards permanent residence.
What time is not counted towards continuous residence?
Time will not count towards applying for continuous residency in the Czech Republic under 3 circumstances.
- There has been a transfer of the foreigner in the territory by a foreign employer, foreign legal entity, or foreign individual.
- Residence of the foreigner in the territory has been granted for the purpose of seasonal work, or for meeting the needs of a Czech individual. This includes accommodation, spending, educational and social needs (such as au pairs).
- The foreigner has been imprisoned, interrupting their period of continuous stay in the territory. This time is interrupted until the foreigner’s release from prison.
If the foreign national meets requirements, they can apply for permanent residency even if currently living outside of the Czech Republic.
Should their long-term residency expire while not present in the territory, applicants must file within 6 months of the permit’s expiration. If applicants do not meet this deadline, they will need to file at a Czech Embassy.
How to file for Czech permanent residency
Applicants may file for permanent residency after 5 years of continuous stay in the Czech Republic. However, the foreign national must hold one of the following for staying in the territory.
- Long-term visa;
- A long-term residence permit, or
- Document-based on residence according to S.I.no 325 of 1999* or S.I. no 221 of 2003, or
- During the period for departure due to termination of temporary residence of a family member of an EU citizen. In this case, the EU citizen must have had 5 years continuous stay in the Czech Republic.
Requirements and what to submit with the application
An application for a permanent residence permit can be filed at the MOI offices where you are registered. Applicants must submit all documents in person and must have the following to apply.
- 1 x photograph for documents,
- Czech language exam certificate (find additional info on the official website Čeština pro cizince),
- Upon request, a criminal clearance document
All requirements for applications cannot be older than 180 days. This is with the exception of the travel document, birth certificate, Czech language acknowledgement, and the photograph if their appearance has changed.
Who does not need to pass the Czech language exam?
From 1 September 2021, the Czech language exam for permanent residency has been increased from the A1 to A2 level. Those who do not need to take the Czech language exam for permanent residency include the following exceptions.
- Children under 15 years of age;
- Permanent resident applicants who have continuously studied at a Czech institution in the last 20 years, or with a minimum 1 year of Czech language at Charles University or through a Czech Language School;
- Those who can prove Czech language A2 ability through an equivalent test at a Czech Language School;
- EU Citizens and non-EU family members;
- People with disabilities;
- Anybody over 60 years of age.
Czech temporary residence vs permanent residence
By obtaining Czech permanent residence, individuals get mostly the same rights and responsibilities as a citizen. However, there are some exceptions. For example, permanent residents still do not have the right to vote or to serve in the Czech Armed Forces.
The benefits for permanent residence include the following rights.
- Permanent residents can apply for a loan or mortgage through a Czech bank.
- They have free access to the labor market (no need for an employee card or a blue card).
- Individuals can start their own business.
- There is access to social support for certain life situations (unemployment), and access to a pension from retirement.
Reasons for rejection of application
There are a number of reasons the MOI can reject an application for permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
- State Security reasons;
- Falsified documents;
- Disruption of Public Order;
- Falsified or incorrect information during the interview process;
- The applicant doesn’t meet conditions for long-term stays;
- Active deportation to another country;
Also note. If the individual has married once and based their permanent residency application on this status, they cannot divorce and marry another individual.
Reasons for cancellation of permanent residency
A permanent residence can be cancelled if:
- Obtaining Czech Citizenship;
- Getting deported;
- Conviction of a crime for more than 3 years, or;
- The foreigner has been imprisoned for 3 years continuously.
Have questions or need help applying for permanent residency?
Pexpats can help you through the entire process. We answer all your questions, prepare the paperwork, and submit everything on your behalf through Power of Attorney. You skip the bureaucratic hassles, and in 45 days complete the process. Check out our Czech permanent residency package to get started.
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