Czech Schools Seek Online Solutions to Coronavirus Shutdown

Nearly all schools in the Czech Republic are closed following the March 10th declaration of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. All classes for students ages 6-18 have been cancelled, with very few exceptions. 

The indefinite closure has led most international schools to seek out online lesson delivery options in order to achieve academic goals and prepare students for exams.

Hill Castle International School, Central Europe’s only fully online international school is also the only international school that continues to teach normally; its students ages 5 – 18 continue their studies without interruption. 

“We are proud that our online school is in position to help both our new and existing students and their families in this very serious situation.” 

Vladka Moseley, Director of Academics

HCIS has seen a heavy increase in immediate transfers into its American curriculum school due to the virus’ affect on traditional schools. The directors assured us that they are prepared to help any families that need an alternative for the remainder of this school year and beyond.

Other international schools in Czechia are at varying stages of planning on how to handle the closure.

Prague British International School (PBIS) has plans to offer online coursework with supplemental interactive websites.

The Christian International School of Prague (CISP) has provided its students with Chromebooks to take home and work through Google Classroom.

The International School of Brno confidently declared,

“We have many tools and methods that we already use that will help make sure that this experience becomes an opportunity for them to discover new ways of learning.”

The management of this situation has both schools and families searching for safe ways to continue educating children. It is clear that the blending of technology and academics is the ideal solution until Covid-19 is brought under control.

Proof of accommodation for Czech visa


If you are applying for any type of Czech visa/residency, you need to present a proof of accommodation or rental contract. Since you will not be giving your original contract you will have to make a legalized copy of the rental contract which can be depending on the number of pages you have expensive ( 33 kč per page ) That is why we are recommending everyone to get a proof of accommodation.

Signatures and authorizations

Proof of accommodation should be signed by the legal owner of the property or it can be signed by the person representing them in which case you would have to provide the original Power of attorney or legal copy of the power of attorney. If you are a Non-EU citizen then the signature of the owner should be legalized.

If you are an EU-citizen, signature of the owner doesn’t need to be authorized unless you are applying for a Czech Permanent residency!

Duration of the proof of accomodation

If you are an EU-citizen duration of of the proof of accommodation doesn’t have a fixed period requirement.

Non-EU citizens’ duration of Czech residency/visa depends on the duration of the accommodation proof. For example, if your proof of accommodation is for 2 years, your long-term residency will be also for 2 years.

It is important to have proof of accommodation for a maximum period of time. According to Czech immigration, the first long-term visa is issued for a maximum of 12 months from the date of approval. If you are hoping to get your fist visa for the maximum period of time, your accommodation proof should be for at least for 16 months because your visa approval process can take up to 4 months

Here you can download the right proof of accommodation forms:

1- From private owner

2- From corporate owner

If you don’t want to rent appartement before your visa approval and need help with virtual address, please contact us.

Recently, many of our clients have been having trouble obtaining proper rental contracts for visa residency purposes. One of the main conditions of the Czech ministry of interior for visa or residency application is getting the required proof of accommodation confirmation as well as a proper rental contract from a legal owner, according to the land registry office. 

In each of the following rental arrangements, not having a proper rental contract can seriously impact your ability to obtain a proof of accommodation confirmation:

  1. The ‘middle man’

Renting out an apartment for a fair and reasonable price, as well as subletting it to other people, is a common practice and source of income for many people in Prague. If you are renting an apartment (or flat) from a subletter, make sure that the person subletting can provide a power of attorney from the legal owner, or a legal document that they have the legal right to re-rent it to third parties. 

Also, it is very important to check the specific dates for which they can sublet the flat. For example, if the ‘middle man’ has a rental contract with the legal owner and it expires in 3 months, but you need a proof of accommodation for 24 months, then this situation could present a significant problem for your residency renewal. 

PraguExpats suggests:

If you still want to rent a flat from a ‘middle man’ then make sure….

  1. …that the contract is for an unlimited period of time.
  2. …the contract between the subletter and the legal owner states that subleasing of the flat is permitted for third parties.
  3. …they have the authorised power of attorney from the landlord for an unlimited period of time or…
  4. …that they can arrange for the proof of accommodation directly from the legal owner when needed for your visa/residency renewal. 

Most residence permits for Non-EU citizens are renewed for 24 months, and if you choose the right flat from the right person, then you will avoid residency renewal problems. 

2. Corporate flats 

Owners of such flats are corporations (Bytové družstvo).  In this situation, the proof of accommodation form should, and can, be signed by the president of the corporation. Most flats are rented by individuals from the corporation for an unlimited period of time, and these individuals are considered as the defacto owners of the flat. 

If you intend to rent a corporate owned flat, then make sure…

 1. …to get the get proof of accommodation form signed by the corporate president for your future residency permit file.

2. …the individual who is subletting you the flat can legally provide a rental contract between them and the corporation.

3. …to verify that there will be no problems in providing you with a proof of  accommodation in 2 years time, if you need to renew your residency.

3. City of Prague owned flats

The owner of such flats is the City of Prague. You should never rent this type of flat as it is simply too problematic.

4. Company flats 

The owners of these flats are companies (s.r.o./Ltd) 

The legal rent contract or proof of accommodation should be signed by the CEO of the company. If somebody is representing the CEO, then they need to provide an authorized power of attorney from the CEO.

  1. Moving in with a flatmate

Please examine all 4 of the arrangements above to see which one fits best when moving in with a flatmate.  Make absolutely sure that your name is added to your flatmate’s current rental contract, before you move in.

As mentioned above, most residency permits for Non-EU nationalities are renewed for 2 years.  As such, you will need to arrange for a proper proof of accommodation form and a rent contract for those 2 years, for your future residency renewal.

We highly recommend to discuss all of these requirements with your landlord before you rent an apartment or flat. This will help you to avoid misunderstandings and future troubles with your residency renewal.

Finally, how to verify the flat ownership?

Mapy.cz has a great app and it works in English. Simply look for the address of the apartment, just like a Google address search, and click on the information from the land registry office. You will be redirected to a page with a list of the legal owners for that address.  Please check the photo below. 


Most powerful passports of 2019

The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens. According to the latest Henley passport index, Japan and Singapore have topped the list as the world’s most powerful passports as both offer access to 190 destinations without needing a visa in advance. The Czech Republic moved to the seventh position on the powerful passport index with access to 183 destinations.

The list of the 10 top-ranking passports of 2019

1. Japan, Singapore (190 destinations)

2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (188 destinations)

3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187 destinations)

4. France, Spain, Sweden (186 destinations)

5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185 destinations)

6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland (184 destinations)

7. Malta, Czech Republic (183 destinations)

8. New Zealand (182 destinations)

9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181 destinations)

10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180 destinations)

The list of the worst passports of 2019

  1. Afghanistan (25 destinations)
  2. Iraq (27 destinations)
  3. Syria (29 destinations)
  4. Somalia, Pakistan (31 destinations)
  5. Yemen (33 destinations)
  6. Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan (37 destinations)
  7. Nepal (38 destinations)
  8. Lebanon, North Korea (39 destinations)

Online appointment and visa status check for Czech visa

The Czech Ministry of internal has two online services for foreigners which you may not know about.

1. Online appointment system for immigration office services. 

Most of the foreigners already have experiences visiting the immigration office without an appointment and waiting almost all day until they call thier numbers. Staying at the MOI with many people may be so stressful and confusing. 

So, here the best way to make an appointment and arrange your application or bridging visa for less than 5 minutes.

You should register your personal account on the foreigners’ reservation system and make your appointment reservation and it is in English. 

The suggestions of PraguExpats. 

The appointment slots for next month are always available in current months. If you want to get a more available appointment slots, then you should make your appointment a month earlier. 

Appointments for bridge visa renewal.
According to immigration rule, there should not be a time gap more than 30 days between the expiration of your current bridge visa and start date of your new bridge visa. For Example, Your current bridge visa expires on September 30 and you can get a new bridge visa only after September 1. So, your appointment for bridge visa can be any day after September 1.

Information for US Citizens!
Your name should be the same as in your passport, Name+ Middle name

You can get your account registered here: https://frs.gov.cz/en/node/add/registrace

2. Check your visa status online


For checking your visa status, you don’t need to visit or call to MOI offices. You file status can be checked online. The day of your visa or residency application you receive confirmation from MOI officer. You can find your file number on the left bottom of the confirmation. It has a format OAM-XXXX/XX-2019. You can check your application status online here: https://frs.gov.cz/en/ioff/application-status

If you need complete assistance with Biometric card procedure, We are happy to help. Please check our Biometric card assistance package.


9 Prague Swimming Pools will help you stay cool this summer

Sports and recreation area Pražačka – Prague 3

With sports and sauna in the same place, this is a popular spot during the summer months. The swimming pool provides a newly separated children’s play area (paddling pool with a climbing frame, giant water mushroom). The straight swimmers have 4 lanes and are open for the morning swimming on weekdays from 600 to 800 h and every evening until 2130. Another pride is the elevated terrace overlooking Prague. 

Open: Mon-Fri 6: 00−8: 00 and 10: 00−21: 30, Weekend 10: 00−20: 00                     

Entrance 

Full Day:  CZK 140 (CZK 100 after 16:00) 

Family 2 + 1:  CZK 300 

Swimming pool Petynka – Prague 6

Heated swimming pool 50 x 21 m, sunbathing on the roof, paddling pool, water slide, aquapaddler, trampoline and football pool makes this a very exciting place to take a dip. You can buy tickets using the online form without queues. The only swimming pool in Prague with a view of Prague Castle. 

Open: daily 7: 00-21: 00

Entire day: 160 CZK (140 CZK after 16:00) 

Divoká Šárka Swimming Pool – Prague 6

The swimming pool is located in the Šárka valley called Divoká Šárka.The beautiful location creates the quietest swimming pool in Prague. The bottom of the valley is still 10-15 minutes on the way down, both from the bus stop and from the parking lot. The water into the concrete tanks (2 swimming pools for swimmers, children’s paddling pool) flows from the stream, safe, clean, but cold. Romance is plentiful, and there’s no lack of entertainment around (water slides, playground for children and sports, refreshments). 

Open: daily 9: 00-19: 00 for favorable weather 

Admission 

Basic all day: 120 CZK 70 CZK after 16:30) 

Free: for children under 5 years

Swimming Pool Ladvi – Prague 8

A housing estate with an outdoor swimming pool (with an ice rink in winter) and happy visitors. For straightforward swimmers fitness swimming 900-1300 with an inexpensive entry. They thought of the children when constructing this water wonderland (paddling pool, water mushroom, and water slide).  

Open: daily 9: 00-20: 00 

Entrance 

Full day: 150 CZK (80 CZK after 16:00) 

Free: for children under 3 years


Swimming pool Stírka  – Prague 8

Swimming pool Stírka  – Prague 8

Favorite place for several generations. The youngest here can swim in around the shallow pool with mushroom and slide. In the large swimming pool fitness swimming 900-1300. Sauna reopens again in winter. 

Open: daily 9: 00-20: 00       

Entrance 

Full day: 150 CZK (80 CZK after 16:00) 

Family 2 + 2: 390 CZK 

Free: for children under 3 years

Swimming Pool SK Slavia – Prague 10

50 × 21 m pool and two children’s pools: a paddling pool and a second one with a max depth of 0.8 m. For those who want to see what they’re up to, webcam HERE. 

Open: Mon-Fri 06: 00-20: 00, Weekend 09: 00-20: 00 

Entire 

Full Day: 160 CZK (120 CZK after 16:00) 

Family 2 + 2: 400 CZK 

Free: for children up to 1 year

Swimming and Sports Complex Hloubětín  – Prague 9

You will not miss the sea or the sun after you experience this gem in Prague. Indoor pools with salt water (25 x 15 m with a depth of 120-360 cm and 7.5 x 15 m shallow 60-80 cm) remain accessible to the outdoor pool.

Open: daily 11: 00-19: 00 (ticket sale ends 17:45)  

Admission 

Adults: 160 CZK / 90 min 

Children up to 15 years: 140 CZK / 90 min 

Children up to 6 years: 80 CZK / 90 min

Summer swimming pool Čakovice

The Čakovice swimming pool is an outdoor swimming pool. It offers a water slide and two 50 m long pools. Take public transport from Anděl and you’ll arrive in about one hour. A reward for relaxation under the trees, a grassy area for up to 3,000 visitors, a 50m pool with half for browsing tiny and bigger ones, a second swimming pool and a water slide. 

Open: daily 9: 00-19: 00 for favorable weather 

Admission 

Basic all day: 110 CZK (50 CZK after 16:00) 

Family 2 + 2: 280 CZK 

Free: for children under 3 years

Swimming pool Klánovice

Swimming pool Klánovice is located in Prague 9 Klánovice, is one of the most beautiful Prague. Anděl Public transport helps you arrive in just over an hour where you’ll be rewarded with affordably priced refreshments. A swimming pool 25 × 10 m. A second 15 × 10 m designed especially for children. Playgrounds, trampolines, rocking animals, table tennis, mini-golf, and beach volleyball. 

Open: Mon-Fri 10: 00-19: 00, Weekend 09: 00-19: 00        

Entire Full Day: 120 CZK (70 CZK after 16:00) 

Family 2 + 2: 290 CZK (150 CZK after 16:00) 

Free: for children up to 100 cm



Foreigners in the Czech Republic Statistics

Number of foreigners

Source: Český statistický úřad

Demographic events of foreigners

Source: Český statistický úřad

Acquisition of Czech citizenship

Source: Český statistický úřad

Employment

Source: Český statistický úřad

Criminality

Source: Český statistický úřad

Illegal migration

Source: Český statistický úřad

Education

Source: Český statistický úřad

Strawberry Season in CZ. Pick Your Own Strawberries

Most Czech know the secret to keeping their kitchens stocked with strawberries. A quick trip to Kunratice is enough to fill an entire kitchen, maybe even twice over. The season has already started, so it’s time to pack up the car, the kiddies, and your closest loved ones and head to the strawberry fields.

The season starts on the 14th of June 2020 every day from 7:00 am. The picking season usually ends at the end of June.

The town of Kunratice is famous for its strawberry fields, so if you’re a fan of the fruit or the song, it’s well worth the visit. Most of the plantations offer ‘pick yourself form’ for a small fee, about 100 kc,  that is refundable in some cases.

You will need to bring your own basket.

In approximately 2 hours you find yourself in the middle of the strawberry fields, picking your own and filling up your basket. If you don’t feel like being out in the sun, then enjoy the scenery and purchase a few kilos. With prices around 42 CZK/ 1kg, it’s a bargain.

If you don’t have your own transportation, don’t worry, local buses can get you there. From Budejovicka metro station, take bus no. 193 that goes in the direction of K Seberaku and get off there. It’s only a bit of a journey to reach the strawberry farms of Kunratice.

Along the way, there is plenty of smaller strawberry field. Depending on the ripeness, farmers will guide you to the sections that are ready to be harvested. If you’d like to try other pick-your-own farms that are not Kunratice (which is very close to Prague) try the following: Rataje nad Sázavou, Klatovy, Turnov (Tiberecký Region), Brno, or Bratčice “Jahodárna” in South Moravian Region.

Letter from Rejstrik Obchodu a Zivnosti is a scam letter which you may receive

Most of you should have experience with different invoices, fines and regular tax payments in the Czech Republic. If you recently registered your trade license, you may have received this letter. The sender of the letter is a company called Informatic s.r.o.

The title of the letter uses the term “Rejstrik Zivnosti” which makes the receiver feel confident that it is from Trade license office where one may have registered a trade license recently. 

And the context of the text on the letter with your business details says, The company Informatic registers you on Trade license holders register system and you should pay the fees for that registration 1785 CZK. And you will find payment slip with all the details.  

The registration office mentioned in the letter does not exist anywhere in any official public register of the Czech authorities. 
If you have already paid it or have intentions to pay it, you will face real problems!

The letter also states that the form is a partnership proposal and with your payment, you agree on all terms and conditions including automatically extended yearly services payments. So, they will keep sending you invoices each year for non existing services.

Our suggestion:

IGNORE THAT LETTER! All registration fees are already paid to Government authorities during your trade license registration and you are already registered at the public Business register.

The passport which traveled from Mauritius to Prague and back again

We have had many unusual proposals over the years, but the recent proposal from our client topped them all!

Last week, we received a phone call from Mauritius, with the proposal of arranging the Czech criminal clearance report as soon as possible.

The only way to arrange the criminal clearance report without his attendance in the Czech Republic is under the power of attorney and the original passport should be provided. There is no other option.

Therefore, our client notarized his signature by the Czech embassy in Port Louis. Then he sent us his passport by express postal service.

We received the mail in 48 hours and that same day we arranged his criminal clearance report, Apostille stamp, and legal translations, then we sent all the documents to Mauritius. The total process time, including both shipping times, took 96 hours!

The most surprising thing was, our team is not familiar with Mauritius itself. However, we did some research on the island and gathered some interesting information. The end result is that we highly recommend visiting Mauritius to the rest of the world! Let’s discover Mauritius this Year. 🙂

Czech driver’s license for foreigners

Czech driver’s license
photo:MDČR

Foreigners have two option to obtain a Czech driver’s license. Option one is changing your driver’s license from home country for a Czech one. Option two is going through the full process as a first-time driver at a driving school.

A) Eu Citizens and citizens of some countries who have the agreement with Czech authorities

EU citizens and citizens of some countries can exchange their driver’s license which was obtained from their home country. The most important condition to get a driver’s license exchanged is proof of a 6 months stay in the Czech Republic. Be advised, a temporary residency certificate is not proof of a 6-month stay! The proof of stay in the Czech Republic can be a lease agreement, bank statement, or work contract for the past 6 months. If you are a Trade license holder, you can provide your income tax report from the previous year or health insurance payment statements for the last 6 months.

B) Citizens of Third countries

Most citizens of third countries should go through the procedure as new drivers. According to the current law, you should have 26 hours of driving experience with an accredited driving school instructor, plus a study of theoretical tests. You should bring the general letter of health and eligibility of the driver from GP to the school. The form can be downloaded here. Both these services are provided by the driving school. The school will make an appointment for both the tests and the exam.  

You don’t speak Czech?

If you don’t speak Czech, you can hire the translator for the tests.  After you pass the tests, you will be able to continue with the second part of the exam which is the driving skills portion. After successfully passing the driving skills aspect, you will get an application form with the stamps from school and the examination results.

After successfully passing these steps, you can apply for your driver’s license. The procedure of registration and producing your driver license takes approximately 20 days.

Foreigners must prove of 6 months’ stay in the Czech Republic, therefore they have a biometric card that’s older than 6 months. Most third-country nationals have residency permits for 2 years and renew them for the next 2 years each time. If you have just collected your new biometric card and it is not older than 6 months, the only solution is getting a confirmation of your full legal stay history from the immigration office.

Confirmation of full legal stay in the Czech Republic for Third nationalities

You can download the confirmation from here and apply for it any immigration office. The service fee of immigration offices is 15 CZK that will be paid with stamps once collected! if You are visiting the MOI offices without an appointment, you should get number/ticket OTHERS.

Exchanging drivers license for Non-EU citizens

If your driver’s license is written in Latin alphabet and the numbers ( for exemple number 3- date of birth ) are same as in Czech driver’s licence you can exchange your drivers license for a Czech one without the obligation to pass the driver’s test one again. The exchange of your driver’s license for Czech driver’s license will be free of charge if you change it after 90 days of your legal stay, because when you have residency in Czech Republic, it is mandatory to exchange the drivers license for a Czech one after 3 months.