Residence Permit Requirements for EU-Citizens (and IS, NO, CH, LI)

Before an EU citizen (and his Family Members) are able to live in Czech Republic he/she needs to know a couple of important things:

  • Temporary Residence Permit - for extended stays over 90 days recommended / obligatory,
  • a Visa - for 'Schengen' citizens is not needed,
  • a Work Permit - for 'Schengen' citizens is not needed,
  • report duty - within 30 days of arrival in Czech Republic recommended / obligatory.

No Visa or Residence Permit requirement for a stay up to 3 months

If you have a passport of one of the 'Schengen' countries then you are allowed to enter and stay up to 3 months in Czech Republic without any Visa or Residence Permit. This is a great benefit compared to 'before Schengen'.

In practise, many stay for years without ever bothering to apply for a temporary Residence Permit. Whether this is smart, depends on your situation.

Applying for a Temporary Residence Permit for an EU Citizen

For stays intended longer than 3 months or for employment / business purposes you must (ought to) apply for a Temporary Residence Permit.

If you are married, and your spouse is a 3rd-Country National, both of you need to apply for a special Temporary Residence Permit.

It is only possible to obtain a Temporary Residence Permit (přechodní pobyt) since a Permanent Residence Permit (trvalý pobyt) is never granted immediately (only after 5 years on a temporary residence permit or 2 years of marriage to a czech national). Marrying a czech citizen or becoming business owner (jednatel) does not get you a permanent residence permit right away (this used to be not the case).

Unlike 3rd-Country Nationals, EU Citizens can freely come to Czech Republic and apply for the Temporary Residence Permit at the Foreign Police in Czech Republic. There is no need to apply at the czech embassy back home.

If your aim is to become tax-resident in Czech Republic, it is not clever to postpone getting your temporary residence permit, because it functions as proof for determining your tax-residency for the date of registration.

One of the most important czech documents is the permission of the building owner to have your temporary residence address registered there. Without it you can not apply.

Link to Ministry of Interior: Temporary residence - EU Citizens and their Family members (external link).


A peculiarity of the 'Temporary Residence Permit' is that it has a starting-date but no end-date, so it is in fact a 'very long-term Residence Permit'. Brussels whistled the CZ back on the end-date, so now it is 'indefinite', so you can ask yourself if there is any benefit in a 'Permanent Residence Permit'.

Applying for a Temporary Residence Permit for 3rd-Country National Spouse

A 3rd-Country National married to an EU-Citizen / Czech enjoys the same rights as his / her partner.
However, both must apply for a special special temporary Residence Permit on the basis of marriage.
Also, the 3rd-Country National may still need a valid C-Visa to enter the Schengen area (in case they do not have a visa-free entry)

After receiving the special temporary Residence Permit the 3rd-Country National does not need (to renew) the long-term D Visa or Work Permit anymore, so it is highly beneficial to apply!

Applying for a Permanent Residence Permit for an EU Citizen

A Permanent Residence Permit may be applied for on the basis of:
  • Residing for 5 years on a Temporary Residence Permit,
  • Being married to a Czech person, 2 years after marriage,
  • Reaching pension-age, having lived here 3 years,
  • Being a former CZ citizen.

Nowadays the applicant also needs to pass a Czech language test (!)

The processing time for the application is up to 60 days if submitted in Czech Republic.

The validity of the 'permanent' Residence Permit is 10 years, and can be extended every time by 10 years, between 90 and 30 days before date of expiration.

Link to Ministry of Interior: Permanent residence - EU Citizens and their Family members (external link)


Getting Health Insurance

Health insurance from Czech Public Healthcare is a requirement, and if you are not registered at Public Health Care you must do so. This is easy for trade license holders and regular employees. However, also directors without salary, unemployed an otherwise non-working people can be registered in Public Health Care (contrairy to popular belief).

An employee will have automatic basic health insurance through the employer.

When self-employed with a tradelicence, you are obligatory to pay monthly health contributions, in return you get basic health insurance. There is no need to have a second commercial health insurance.

No Work Permit required for EU

Eu citizens and their Family Members do not need a Work Permit, because they have the same legal status as Czech citizens. But: the company must register an employee with an EU passport at the labor office (!)

EU Temporary Residence Permit for Family Members

A family member is defined as:
  • spouse,
  • parent - in case of an EU citizen under 21 years of age who is being taken care of by such family member and with whom he/she lives in a common household,
  • child under 21 years of age or such a child of an EU citizen's spouse,
  • dependent direct relative in the ascending or descending line or such relative of an EU citizen's spouse.
  • A person you have a 'durable' relationship with in a common houshold.
A family member enjoys the same rights as the EU citizen he/she belongs to.

Report Duty at the Foreign Police upon arrival to Czech Republic

If your stay is shorter than 30 days there is no need to report your presence. If your stay is longer then 30 days then you will have to report within the first 30 days of your stay your presence at the Foreign Police, unless the accomodation provider does this for your (which they rarely do).