Entering the Czech Republic, duties, length of stay
- Rules for the entry and residence of citizens from non-EU countries
- Bilateral agreements on visa-free relations
Crossing state borders
- The state borders of the Czech Republic, which are internal borders within the Schengen area, can be crossed at any point without a border check on persons, irrespective of their nationality. Border checks are performed only at external Schengen borders, i.e., at international airports in the Czech Republic on flights originating in or ending in countries outside the Schengen area.
- The obligation to submit a travel document does not apply to persons younger than 15 years of age if their data is recorded in the travel document of an accompanying person.
- At the time that Schengen external borders are crossed, i.e. at the time of entry to and exit from the Schengen area, travel documents of third-country nationals are stamped. It shall be in the interest of third-country nationals to ascertain this fact.
The rules for crossing external borders, border checks and entry conditions for the Schengen area are specified in detail by the Schengen Borders Code (pdf, 1.86 MB). This codex was amended on 26 June 2013 by EU Regulation No. 610/2013.
Duties after arrival
- Nationals of third countries are obliged to report their presence in the Czech Republic with the appropriate Foreign Police Department that holds jurisdiction over the location of the place of their stay in the Czech Republic, within a timeframe of 3 working days of their entry to the Czech Republic. If you are arriving to receive a long-term or permanent residence permit, you may also take care of this duty at the relevant MOI office, where you are bound to fulfil your duties related to biometric data.
- When fulfilling the reporting duty, the foreigner presents a valid travel document and a completed registration card (available at office). The Foreign Police is also entitled to request to see proof of travel medical insurance. For more information click here.
- The obligation to report arrival does not apply if the person providing accommodation submits the registration forms on behalf of the foreign national. The reporting duty also does not apply to persons younger than 15 years of age, consular staff of a foreign state or the personnel of an international governmental organisation accredited in the Czech Republic and their family members who are registered with the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or to foreign nationals whose accommodation is secured through the Ministry of the Interior. If arriving to receive a long-term or permanent residence permit, it is still necessary to appear within 3 days from arrival at the relevant MOI office to provide biometric data.
Short-term stay (not exceeding 90 days)
Non-EU citizens not subject to a visa requirement
- The list of states whose citizens are exempt from a visa requirement is set by Annex II of Council Regulation No. 539/2001, as amended.
- These third-country nationals can stay in the territory of the Czech Republic and other Schengen States for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. 180 days is a referential rolling period, which is defined by the relevant date (the date of entry or exit control) and the day, which immediately precedes this date by 180 days. The length of individual stays in different Schengen States, including the Czech Republic, is accumulated.
- Third-country nationals are obligated to leave the Schengen area by no later than the last day, on which they meet the conditions of stay as defined by the above rule. It is only possible to remain in the territory of the Czech Republic or another Schengen State past this date if the third-country national acquires a long-term visa or a long-term or permanent residence permit issued by a Schengen State.
- Remaining exclusively in the territory of the Czech Republic without a visa beyond the period of authorized stay in the Schengen area as defined by the above rule is also possible if so allowed by a bilateral agreement on visa-free relations concluded between the Czech Republic and the applicable third country prior to the Czech Republic’s accession to the Schengen area.
- In exceptional cases it is possible to exceed the authorized period of stay as defined by the above rule by obtaining a short-term visa with limited territorial validity for the territory of the CR (V/LTV).
- Exemption from the visa obligation does not apply to stays for the purposes of performing gainful activities. In these cases (e.g. for employment or business purposes), foreign nationals must apply for a short-term visa prior to their arrival to the Czech Republic, or they may do so at a Czech Embassy in the EU after having arrived. The length of a visa-free stay and a stay on a short-term C visa are accumulated and together must not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period.
Non-EU citizens subject to a visa requirement
- The list of states whose citizens are required to have a visa is set by Annex I of Council Regulation No. 539/2001, as amended.
- These third-country nationals can stay in the Czech Republic without a visa for a period not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period under the condition that they are in possession of a valid travel document and a residence permit (long-term or permanent) issued by another Schengen state, or a type-D long-term visa issued by another Schengen state.
- In all other cases, these nationals of non-EU countries can stay in the territory of the Czech Republic solely on the basis of a short-term C visa, which authorises the holder to stay in the Schengen territory for the period of time specified in the visa, however not for more than 90 days in any-180 day period starting on the date of first entry to the Schengen area.
- In exceptional cases it is possible to exceed the three months spent in the Schengen area during the applicable 6-month period by obtaining a short-term visa with limited territorial validity for the territory of the CR (V/LTV).
- An airport transit visa is an exception to the general right to visa-free transit through the transit area of an international airport. A list of countries whose nationals can stay in the transit area of an international airport in the territory of the Czech Republic solely on the basis of being granted an airport visa is specified in Decree No. 428/2010 Coll. (only in Czech), as amended.
- Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) establishes a new legal framework for the application of the common visa policy as regards short-term Schengen visas in the countries that are part of the Schengen area. These visas are practically an agenda of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and additional information is available at its website.