The Czech language exams for permanent residency applicants

Czech language exams and the awarded Certificate for a successful pass are the main requirements for obtaining permanent residency in the Czech Republic for citizens from outside the EU. The level of the examination is A1 and it is the most basic level using phrases and conversations in our everyday life in the Czech Republic.

The total duration of the examination is 90 minutes and it is divided into 2 parts.

Part 1

Reading                                            25 minutes
Listening                                          35-40 minutes
Writing                                             15 minutes

Each section is worth a maximum of 20 points. An applicant should earn at least 12 points in each section. The applicant who does not earn at least 60% of each part (reading, listening, writing) will not be allowed to participate in the second part.

Part 2

Oral examination                                   10 minutes.

During the oral examination, you will have a conversation according to a photo or describe a situation in the photo.

A certificate proving the required knowledge of the Czech language is not required

who is under 15 years old,

studied at least one academic year in the elementary school or high school, or had studied university in the Czech language,

has a physical or mental handicap affecting his/her ability to communicate

who is over 60 years old

citizens of the EU

temporary residency holders as EU family member.

The First Examination is paid by the government and is for free. You will only need to obtain a VOUCHER from MIO immigration offices. In case you could not pass the exam the first time, you will have to pay 1500 CZK for another attempt.

The Czech language is one of the hardest European languages. We highly recommend finding good private Czech teachers, schools which are focused on these tests or communicating and practicing it with local people. Locals like teaching foreigners to their languages.

Useful links

 Free interactive-model exam of the year 2018 can be tried here

Schools that are authorized examination centers here

Addresses of Czech MIO immigration offices where you can collect your voucher here.

Author’s own experience: 

I relocated to Prague in 2007 as a student of the international university. As my studies were in English and most people spoke basic English in Prague, I didn’t find the Czech language so important. After 3 years of living and studying in Prague, I understood that I would definitely live the next ten years 10 in Prague. I decided to learn Czech in order to understand the locals and to apply for Permanent residency in the future. I took 3 months of Czech classes but it did not improve my Czech that much. Perhaps, the school was focusing more on Czech grammar.

So I tried to learn it by myself. I was watching the evening news on TV every day, listening to the Czech radio even if I did not understand at the beginning. I was learning two new words every day and repeated them every morning from my notes. In one year, I had come to learn more than 700 words!

With my vocabulary improved, I then decided to learn Grammar. I was inspired to read my favorite author, Vlastimil Styblík, author of many elementary schools textbooks. Later, I passed the exam for Permanent residency and 5 years later the exam for Czech citizenship

What is your experience with learning Czech or exams for Permanent residency?

Christmas and New Year closures for Czech MOI visa immigration offices

Dear Prague Expats,

Every December, the MOI Immigration Offices shorten their hours during the holiday season. If you need to renew your Czech Visa, Bridge Visa or any other services offered by the Immigration Office; you have until December 20.

We highly recommend planning your visit between November and the first two weeks of December in order to avoid any misunderstandings with your legal status in the Czech Republic. Thursday, December 20th is the last working day of the week and Christmas Day falls in the middle of the week.
Hours of operation for Immigration offices from December 20 – January 2 in Prague:

MOI office Praha I (Delta)
Responsibility for districts, Prague 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9
Žukovského 888/2

Office hours:
Thu: 20. 12. – 8.00 – 15.00
Fri: 21. 12. – 8.00 – 14.00 (only for clients with an appointment)
Mon: 24. 12. – public holiday (closed)
Tue: 25. 12. – public holiday (closed)
Wed: 26. 12. – public holiday (closed)
Thu: 27. 12. – 8.00 – 14.00 (only for clients with an appointment)
Fri: 28. 12. – closed
Mon: 31. 12. – 8.00 – 14.00 (only for clients with an appointment)
Tue: 1. 1. – public holiday (closed)

MOI office Praha II (Chodov)
Responsibility for districts; Prague 2, 4, 5 and 10
Cigánkova 1861/2

Office hours:
Thu: 20. 12. – 8.00 – 15.00
Fri: 21. 12. – 8.00- 14.00 (only for clients with an appointment)
Mon: 24. 12. – public holiday (closed)
Tue: 25. 12. – public holiday (closed)
Wed: 26. 12. – public holiday (closed)
Thu: 27. 12. – closed
Fri: 28. 12. – closed
Mon: 31. 12. – closed
Tue: 1. 1. – public holiday (closed)

MOI office Praha III
Responsibility for foreign students with the residence address in Prague.
Hládkov 682/9

This office is closed from December 20th, 2018 – January 1st, 2019!

From Prague to up north, then back to Prague again

By Gracie Roberts

Prague is a city that I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with since the autumn of 2014. My experience moving to, away from, and back to Prague during these past few years has been a wild personal journey – one filled with surprises, disappointments and a great number of achievements along the way. Now that I’ve managed to come out of it in one piece, I’d like to share some details about that journey with you, whether you’re a fellow expat living in Prague or someone interested in knowing more about life in the Czech capital.

After living and working in Prague for nearly two years, I made the decision to move up to Helsinki, Finland. It been a long-term goal of mine to live in the Nordics, and when I found a job in Helsinki, I jumped on the chance to move my life up north. Upon my departure from Prague, I wrote a bittersweet ode to the city and my experience living in it. As with any city or country that one chooses to live in, there are obvious ups and downs that come with day-to-day living. This can be especially true when one becomes an expat and decides to put down roots in a place that’s nowhere near where they grew up.

The following year spent in Finland came and went. Life in Helsinki offered several significant perks, including beautiful nature in and around the city, a private sauna in my own flat (!) and a highly-organized bureaucratic system that actually functioned as it should. Yes, the winter was as cold and dark as one might expect, but I managed to make my way through it and find beauty in the frigid landscape. However, there was a big problem that I could no longer ignore after having lived in Helsinki for about five months: I was bored.

I found myself asking, “Is this it?” in regards to many different aspects of Finnish life. What’s more, the quality of living that I was able to attain in Helsinki wasn’t measuring up to that which I had in Prague. It was then that the choice to move back to the Czech Republic became clear. My time in Helsinki was an adventure that I don’t regret in the least, but I’m fully relieved that living in the north is no longer my reality.

So, what is it about Prague that makes living here so great?

This list could go on, but I’ve chosen a few aspects of life in Prague that continue to impress me.
High life quality. In this year’s Inclusive Development Index released by the World Economic Forum, the Czech Republic ranked as the 15th most developed country in the world, topping France, the UK and Japan (more info here). Looking at life quality from an individual perspective, I have things such as work-life balance and living costs in mind. Living in the Czech Republic, going out to eat or drink several times a week is an easily attainable lifestyle for most steady jobholders. Obviously, spending habits are a very personal matter, but when I speak for myself, I can confidently say that my earnings, spendings and savings have never been more proportional than while living in Prague. If you’d like to get a better idea of what living in Prague will cost you and/or compare this to other cities, check out this comprehensive list.

It’s Europe’s “sweet spot”. My boyfriend refers to life in Prague as the best of both worlds when it comes to living in Europe. In other words, Prague has the organized infrastructure and many beneficial social amenities that the northern European countries are known for, yet it retains the personal freedom and laidback lifestyle that are often connected with countries in southern Europe.

The resources and support systems available to expats never cease to amaze me. Living in Prague, one quickly comes to recognize the substantial, diverse community of expats who have chosen to make a life for themselves in the Czech Republic. While it’s immensely important to make an effort to acclimate to Czech culture (no matter what anyone says, learning to speak Czech is always a good idea), the amount of communities, services and amenities made available to foreigners living in Prague is truly amazing.

To name a few examples, this could be anything as small as companies having (functioning) English versions of their websites and support channels. On a bigger scale, you can find English-language media outlets that keep readers up to date on relevant news throughout the Czech Republic. There are also agencies who provide immigration services to those moving to the Czech Republic. PraguExpats is a great example of this type of agency – they assisted me in setting up my first trade license (Živnostenský list) upon moving to Prague in 2014 and continue to help me with immigration or visa-related questions that occasionally pop up.

I’m always happy to come back. Whether I’ve landed at Vaclav Havel Airport after an exhausting, jetlag-filled journey back from the U.S. or have pulled up at Florenc bus station after a weekend trip outside the city, I’m always filled with a sense of comfort and relief upon returning to Prague.

Now that I’ve settled back into the city, I feel thankful for a second chance to dive deeper into the things I care about in a place that has truly begun to feel like home. I’m also grateful for my circle of friends in Prague who have accepted me back with open arms and am happy to be making new friends, too.

When all is said and done, there’s nowhere else that I’d rather be living.


Gracie Roberts is a native of Portland, Oregon who moved to Europe in 2013. In addition to being a communications professional, Gracie is a pianist, linguistic enthusiast and lover of anything with claws.


Speaking the local language

Whether you were posted to Prague by an employer or just find yourself lingering here after a period of study the first obstacle you will have noticed will be the language.

Anyone proficient in English will probably recognise words in Spanish, Italian and French that share Latin roots. But isn’t Czech, Slavic in origin, a different beast entirely?

Those of us not making any effort to learn Czech is doomed to a life of mixing mainly with other expats, without fully participating in the wider experience of this culturally rich Central European country.

There are those for whom learning a new language is easy. I am not one of them. My school French is still, after many years, good enough to get me into trouble, but progress in Czech is slow.

I’ve been here in Prague for just over five months now. My original idea was to study how to teach English, though I quickly abandoned that ambition when I noticed my tutors wore tattered clothes (not a good earner, then!).

Indeed, nearly a quarter of people in the Czech Republic speak are able to speak English and a majority of them probably live in Prague.

So I find that my new city is quite easy to navigate without much Czech. Apart from the expat community, workers in shops and restaurants have enough English to know what I want or need.

But I make an effort nonetheless. To date I have about a dozen useful words (and perhaps another half-dozen I’ve had absolutely no cause to use).

The handy ones include: please, yes, no, sorry, thank you, hello, goodbye, bag (good for supermarkets and potrivny corner shops), beer and tobacco. Yes, a jumble – but they help get me through each day.

As I said earlier, I’m not a natural with new languages. Yet I feel ready to dedicate time learning Czech now that my survival instinct has forced me to acquire useful words.

I will be well on my way when I can use Czech’s shortened grammar (especially verbs and diminutives), get my tongue around long vowels and soft consonants and stress my pronunciation.

Ultimately, I look forward to the day when I am able to activate the language well enough to be able both to speak and think in Czech.

So I’m making an effort to attend free classes in Czech kindly offered at The Spot Cafe ( . I know it’ll be worth it and that doing so will open up Prague and the Czech Republic for me in ways I cannot imagine right now.



Bez práce nejsou koláče!




guest post by Russell Cavanagh of

Another Workshop at The Spot

Dear Pexpats,


together with EXPALEGAL and we are running another workshop for you.

You can come to our office/center The Spot and be part of the  event November 12th at 10 am. You can register at

This time we will talk about how to start the business in the Czech republic and tell you more details about how to obtain a long term visa with the business purpose. EXPATLEGAL will provide you a general overview of the Czech Business law and more details how to run a business in the Czech republic.

More about the venue find here:


Looking forward to see you soon!


Your Team of PraguExpats

Meet us at The Spot

The idea behind The Spot isn’t radical, but it is unique. Nestled in the neighborhood of Vinohrady, The Spot aims to provide a comfortable and relaxed place for friends to meet up and enjoy some coffee or even a bite to eat. But what sets us apart is that we aren’t here just to serve you delicious food and drinks. We are also a community center geared towards providing expats with the resources they need to adjust to life in their new home.

Our mission is to do everything we can to make expats feel comfortable while living abroad. We brought together and PraguExpats to do exactly that. Our café, run by, provides our visitors with a cozy atmosphere to do work or catch up with friends. Our menu offers more than just coffee. We also serve breakfast and lunch all day long. There are even vegetarian options, something of a rarity it seems around Prague.

Being an expat in Prague is an exciting and rewarding experience. The more you explore the city, the more beauty you will find. It may seem like one big holiday at first, but eventually the immigration process has to be taken care of. This is the tedious part of being an expat that includes lots of visas, permits, other confusing paperwork. Luckily, PraguExpats is located in The Spot, and they help expats navigate through this difficult process. The friendly staff provides visa services in a personal and detail orientated manner. Their goal is to make your life easier so you can continue to enjoy your new home.

Bringing people together is an important aspect of what we do here at The Spot. Not only do we want to bring expats together, but we also want to help integrate the expats with the local community of Prague. This can be intimidating for expats when they don’t know how to speak Czech. To help them overcome this obstacle, we offer free Czech lessons twice a week for beginners. Though it may be difficult at first, learning Czech is the best way for expats to feel more comfortable in Prague, and this is a great way to start learning the language.

Our services for expats don’t stop with our language lessons. Free workshops for expats and locals alike often take place at The Spot. On June 25th, there will be a workshop discussing how to find a job in Prague. Breaking into a new job market can be difficult, and this workshop will clear up any questions that expats may have about the job search, taxes, contracts, and other work related topics.

Sometimes, you need to just relax and watch a movie or read a book. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered here at The Spot. Czech movie nights will return soon to provide expats with the chance to learn a bit about Czech culture and cinema. We also have a small library of books where customers are encouraged to take books and leave books as they please. For those who are really feeling stressed out, perhaps it’s time to escape the city for a weekend. The Czech Republic is full of spa towns and beautiful hiking trails. We have a collection of brochures and tourist information to help you plan your weekend getaway.

During the 1920’s, Prague had a thriving café culture. People would gather at cafes to discuss art, music, writing, and more. Inspired by this, we would like to create a similar setting where art, music, and culture are commonplace. Coming up in the months of June and July, we will feature artists and musicians at the café. The Spot will host art exhibitions for local artists to display their work. Live music will also be coming to the café in the next month. An open piano will also be added to The Spot. Anyone who would like to play and share their music will be able to. Through art and music, The Spot looks to become a place that brings people, expats and locals alike, together to enjoy an evening of culture.

Nowhere else in Prague will you find a place like The Spot. It’s a community center where expats can get the resources needed to feel at home in Prague, but it is also a cozy café where anyone can hang out with friends and enjoy themselves.  We are always looking for ways to make expats’ lives easier as they enjoy their new lives in Prague. We are confident that you will find that The Spot is the right one for you.

Please feel free to visit our webpage or simply come for a coffee or two!

Team of The Spot

logo the spot letsmeet

Velikonoce (Easter in the Czech Republic)



It doesn’t matter where you go in the world. Different countries celebrate holidays in different ways. There will be different customs, traditions, and a lot of the time different names for the holiday that is approaching. The world is becoming more globalized so a lot of different countries usually recognize the same core holidays wherever you happen to be. The next holiday that is coming around the corner is Easter, or as it is called in Czech, Velikonoce.

    Easter is one of those days that I feel indifferent about. I know the story behind how and why people celebrate Easter, but it is so closely tied to religion that it’s never been a holiday I really do anything for. Luckily, I am in the Czech Republic! I have read up on how the Czech people celebrate Easter and the first thing I saw while researching was, ‘not a serious religious holiday, it’s fun’. Yes!! I knew I liked this country. The more I read, the more I liked what I saw.

The traditions of Easter mostly relate to Spring. There are similarities to how I’ve always seen Easter being celebrated. Girls and women still decorate eggs, and they have some really great designs on them. Now, here is where it gets good. There are these sticks called pomlazka. Men and boys braid pussywillow twigs and decorate them. On Easter Monday the boys and men go around town whipping girls and women on the legs with these sticks. The whipping is supposed to chase away illness and bad spirits and bring health and youth to anyone who is whipped.

After the whipping, the girls and women give the boys and men a decorated egg, money, or a shot of Slivovice (plum wine). I haven’t actually been here to see or experience this tradition, but I have read that some women cringe at the thought of Easter from some of the lashings they have received.

    As far as food goes, a real lamb was a traditional meal for Easter, but some people choose to serve chocolate or sugar covered cake in the shape of a lamb instead. I’ve seen them sitting on the shelves in the store and they look delicious. If you are going to be in Prague for Easter this year Old Town Square has some festivities going on. There will be places to decorate eggs in the city center and/or plait your own pomlazka. These items will also be available to buy along with Easter bread. If you celebrate the religious side of Easter, St. Vitus Cathedral over in Mala Strana will have a mass on Easter day.

    I am looking forward to see how the day will pan out. I have always been a rule breaker, so instead of being one of the women who takes the whipping and hands out eggs, money, and shots to the man whipping me, I will be buying my own pomlazka and whipping him right back.

However you choose to celebrate this year, take care and happy whipping!


Ahhhhhh, the Adjustment Period

Moving to Prague, meeting people, making friends. These all sound easy enough, right? I arrived in Prague in November to get my Tefl certification over at Tefl Worldwide Prague. My intention was to come here for a month, backpack for a week, and then head back to the States before embarking on Asia. About three weeks into the course the prospect of going back to the States did not sit right with me. A month in Prague didn’t seem like it was going to be enough, so I cancelled my flight home, and decided to give life here a shot.

    So far it has been good. Really good. The culture is different, but not too different. I spent five years in Germany growing up, a town about five hours to the West of Prague, and I notice a lot of similarities between the two places providing me with that feeling of home. There are also plenty of opportunities for work here. There’s almost so many choices that it’s hard to make a choice, but that is a bit of a personal dilemma that I won’t dive into on here.

    Our Tefl class had about fifteen of us starting out, and as the weeks and months have gone on we’ve dwindled down to about seven. Moving is a part of life and it’s something that people do, especially in the expat community. Those of us that remain are still very good at keeping in contact with each other. We meet up about once a week for a quiz night in an underground tavern (one of the many amazing things about Prague). There is also a quiz night held at the Globe every Wednesday that packs out, you must make a reservation in advance. In our wanderings of the city we have found some great things to do to keep ourselves entertained. There’s a great little board game bar called Paluba. It’s tucked away in the basement of a building full of apartments. They have over 100 board games to choose from and serve beer while you play. Some groups meet up there regularly and you can join them, or you can show up with a group and get your own game going. There is also an amazing pool hall over by Muzeum with more than twenty pool tables, ping pong tables, chess, darts, and of course, beer. (They are closed until June though.) This is another great place to meet and interact with people. If you’re not a big drinker, or if you just need a day off from it, there is a new coffee shop in Vinohrady called The Spot. They serve up delicious cappuccinos, assorted salads, sandwiches, a great breakfast menu, and one of the most amazing truffle cakes I’ve ever had. The Spot is also offering up one of the most helpful things this city could offer – Czech lessons.

    I attended the Czech lesson last Tuesday and am going to be there in regular attendance. The teacher is a native speaker so to hear the proper pronunciation with someone in the room is incredibly helpful as well as the activities she prepares for us to facilitate our learning. The best part of this class are the people in attendance. They are other expats that have relocated here. It’s a good setting to get to know more people here in the city. There were people there, like myself, that have only been here about three months, and people who have been here for two to five years. Friendships don’t just fall out of the sky, and most of them don’t happen overnight, so it’s nice to have a place to go each week that could lead to some developing. What are some of the things you like to do? Do you have any suggestions? Favorite hang outs that others should know about?

See you around!


Injuries are a part of life

Whether you enjoy hiking in the fall, hockey in the winter, or just happen to have had an unfortunate slip or fall, chances are, every one of us, no matter how healthy or what kind of shape we are in, will need a doctor sooner rather than later. Even worse, even if you do not compete actively in athletics, our day to day lives in front of computers and sitting in bad office chairs can cause imbalances in our muscles and problems with our spines and joints that contribute to physical pain and mobility issues. And the sad truth of the matter is, the older we are, the tougher it can be to recover from these injuries.

The good news, however, is that even the toughest of these injuries can be treated with the proper care. And perhaps no place in Prague can provide the level of care as Canadian Medical Care, a private clinic with two locations in the Prague metro area who has been winning awards for the quality of their treatment.

CMC offers a wide variety of top-notch, cutting edge medical treatment, ranging from preventative medicine and OB-GYN care to physical therapy and therapeutic massage, which helps align joints and find weak muscle groups that need to be rehabilitated. The good people at CMC were gracious enough to invite me in for one of these massages so that I could write about it.

Now, a quick bit of background is in order here: I am a very physically fit person. I grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, worked in factories while I was in high school and university, and was also highly-ranked amateur judo competitor during my time in Chicago. As a result, I’m no stranger to getting injured or living with pain. My x-rays look like jigsaw puzzles and I’ve been nagged by aches and pains stemming from these mishaps for years.

When I arrived at CMC’s state-of-the-art complex in Chodov, I stepped into a clean and cheerful foyer— a nice change of pace from the dreary fluorescent lights and dirty vinyl of my local polikinka— the receptionist cheerfully greeted me in Czech and English (all the doctors and the staff at CMC speak excellent English) and helped me begin my intake paperwork. The waiting room was comfortable and bright, and within minutes of turning in my forms, I was ushered into an examination room for my massage.

My therapist turned out to be a very well-educated young woman who spoke both Czech and English fluently. She sat me down and asked me the normal range of questions— “where does it hurt?”, “how much does it hurt?”, “when do your symptoms appear?”— before asking me to stand up to analyze my posture and body. After a thorough and very professional examination, my massage therapist had an idea of where my pains and aches were coming from—for example, injuries to my left shoulder meant I needed to rehabilitate the supporting muscles around the joint. And with that, she ordered me on the table for my massage.

A sports or therapeutic massage is different than the normal, relaxing massage you get at a spa or resort. Your massage therapist will not only massage your muscles, but also discover if you hold your shoulders too far back (like I do) or have overly tight hamstrings which pull your kneecaps out of place (like I have). It’s also not entirely painless, though my massage therapist was quick to check with me to make sure I was not experiencing too much pain or discomfort. My therapist also used some new techniques to draw blood to my injured areas via vacuum to increase the healing processes. It felt, quite frankly, amazing.

After the massage finished, my therapist then had me go over some “homework” with her— exercises to strengthen and stabilize my injured joints. She explained in great detail how these exercises are designed to help each of my problem areas, which made the recovery process clearer and easier to follow. Following that, we went through a few sets of each exercise so that I had the proper form and technique. Even though I was only there for a one time visit, my knees and shoulder felt better almost the very next day, though often times 3 or more visits are needed to show significant progress
While you might not have to deal with the after-effects of thousands of high-impact falls or lifting an opponent one-handed, the Canadian Medical Care’s care can most certainly help you deal with the tough aches and pains of our daily lives. Whether your knees ache when going up Prague’s steep city streets, your shoulder twinges every time you play with your kid, or you just had a nasty fall from your bike and need some rehabilitation, CMC’s staff of top-notch professionals can help you get back to feeling like you used to feel— pain-free and fully mobile.

Who The Hell Are YOU? …and what are you doing here…?

Ever been asked this question? Of course you have. It pretty much lends itself to the expat life. Whether you’re travelling through Kuala Lumpur or getting settled in Budapest, at some point people are going to want to know. Unfortunately, it’s not always the easiest question to answer. Some people plan everything to the letter and others prefer to simply drift and see where the tides take them. So which are you?

I drifted here.

I’m from the Boston area of Massachusetts, thankfully sans accent, and have relocated to beautiful Prague as of November. I’ve never done the expat thing in Europe before but, up until August of 2014, I had been living in southern Japan for a couple years. I mainly bartended and did some event promotion out there while getting my degree. In what you might ask? Asia Pacific Studies… something I, unsurprisingly, found there to be a lack of demand for on the East Coast…

But we’re in Prague, right?

I’ve been here a couple times – just about every summer I ever had growing up. Both parents escaped the communist occupation in 1986 and, after about a year’s worth of Austrian refugee camp life, made their way to Boston. Once things died down after the Velvet Revolution, families reconnected and we started coming here… a lot.

I’ll be honest though, I haven’t been back in quite a while. Luckily, some things never change – like that endearing Czech customer service. You know, the one that leaves you feeling like they just kicked your dog. This is quickly forgotten though, as Prague’s little charming streets and thousands of spires make it seem like you’re in a Ghibli movie set in Europe. And let’s face it; it’s hard for the country with the most castles per square mile and most beer consumed per capita to really get you down. Perhaps I’m still in that honeymoon phase of being back but, I’ve never found Prague to be lacking in atmosphere.

Of course, atmosphere doesn’t make up for a lack of friends. *cue sad violin*

Now I’m not saying it’s hard to go out and strike up a conversation with someone. There are PLENTY of places for that. And a handful of recently made friends have remained in Prague after our TEFL course. But for the first time, I find myself puzzled by the absence of a core group and the method by which to acquire it. Even when I initially got to Japan, the framework of university life facilitated this process very quickly. I realize it’s most likely just a question of time but, I’d be curious to hear from some of you as to what worked when you got here. What environments were most conducive to building those lasting friendships?