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Entering the Czech Republic, duties, length of stay

  • Conditions of entry and basic requirements after entry to the Czech Republic
  • Bilateral visa exemption agreements concluded before joining the Schengen Area

Conditions of entry and basic requirements after entry to the Czech Republic

 Česky

Conditions of entry and basic requirements after entry to the Czech Republic

The fundamental principle for the functioning of the Schengen Area is being able to cross internal borders at any place without conduction of a border check, regardless of citizenship. Border checks are conducted only on the external Schengen borders. Given the location of the Czech Republic, whose neighbouring states are all Schengen states, its external borders exist only at international airports (airports with flights arriving from countries lying outside the Schengen Area). 

Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016, on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) lays down the following conditions to third country nationals for entry to the Schengen Area (crossing external borders). Such persons must:

  • have a valid travel document authorising the holder to cross borders which meets these criteria:

    • is valid for at least three months after the anticipated date of departure from the territory of member states, and

    • was issued at some time during the preceding ten years;

  • have a valid short-term visa, if required, or a valid long-term or permanent residence card or a valid long-term visa;

  • declare the purpose and conditions of their intended stay;

  • have guaranteed sufficient funds for living expenses both for the duration of their intended stay, and for their return to their country of origin or for passage to a third country  which guarantees to accept them, or else they are capable of legally acquiring such funds;

  • not be persons appearing in the Schengen information system (SIS II) as persons to be denied entry;

  • not be considered a threat to public order, internal security, public health or international relations of any of member state; especially not persons who, according to the internal member state database, should be denied entry for the same grounds;

You can find detailed information concerning the conditions for entry to and short-term stay in the territory of the Schengen Area in the Schengen Borders Code.

 

Further information relating to border checks

The obligation of possessing of a travel document does not apply to a third country national under the age of 15 whose name appears in the travel document of another person with whom he is travelling.

The travel document of third country nationals, apart from exceptional cases, must be stamped with an entry / exit stamp upon entering and leaving the Schengen Area. It is a good idea to check if your travel document has been stamped.

What constitute sufficient funds is stipulated in Section 13 of Act No. 326/1999 Coll. and varies according to length of stay. Third country nationals are obliged to prove funds totalling:

  • 0.5 times the existential minimum per 1 day of stay (the existential minimum is currently CZK 2,200) as stipulated in Section 5(1) of Act No. 110/2006 Coll., on the living and existential minimum, if the intended length of stay does not exceed 30 days,

  • 15 times the existential minimum, if the intended length of stay exceeds 30 days, and this amount shall increase by twice the existential minimum for each whole month of intended stay,

  • 50 times the existential minimum  if the purpose of your stay is business and your intended stay exceeds 90 days, or

  • present a document confirming payment of services connected with the third country national’s stay, or a document confirming that such services shall be provided free of charge.

 

Third country nationals’ obligations after entering the territory of the Czech Republic

Third country nationals are obliged to register their accommodation address in the Czech Republic with the nearest foreign police department within 3 working days of entering the Czech Republic (see below for exceptions). If you have arrived in the Czech Republic to pick up a long-term or permanent residence card, you may also perform your obligation of registration at an MoI office, where you may also perform your obligation to provide biometric data. When performing his/her obligations, the third country national must present a valid travel document and a completed registration form (available at the office). In the course of performance of registration obligations, the police is entitled to demand presentation of a travel insurance certificate. More information here.

The obligation to register their accommodation address with the police does not apply to a third country national who has already satisfied this obligation via his / her accommodator. The obligation of registration also does not apply to persons under the age of 15, to the personnel of the embassy or consulate of a foreign state or of an international government organisation accredited in the Czech Republic, to their family members as registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or to a third country national for whom the Ministry of the Interior is providing accommodation. If he/she has arrived in this country to pick up a long-term residence card, even in the aforementioned situations a third country national shall be obliged to report to an MoI office within 3 days to provide biometric data.

Third country nationals are also obliged to report any change of surname, marital status, change of data in their travel document and change of data in the document permitting their stay in the Czech Republic (e.g. in their residence card). Third country nationals not required to have a visa or on a short-term visa must report any change in data to the Alien Police or, if staying on a long-term visa or on a long-term or permanent residence card, to an MoI office.

At the request of the police, third country nationals are obliged to prove their identity with a valid travel document or residence card (biometric card). This biometric residence card is the only valid document that a third country national will be accepted instead of travel document. However, this biometric residence card cannot be used instead of a travel document for travel outside the territory of the Czech Republic and it is essential that third country nationals have both - a valid travel document and a valid biometric residence card.

 

Types of stay - basic categories

Types of stay in the territory of the Czech Republic / Schengen Area, are divided as follows:

 

Bilateral visa exemption agreements concluded before joining the Schengen Area

 Česky

Bilateral visa exemption agreements concluded before joining the Schengen Area

The rules for short-term stays (entry, stay, visa requirements, exemption from visa requirements and also procedures and conditions relating to the granting of short-term visas) are, with certain exceptions, stipulated by European legislation. A short-term stay is a stay of a max. duration of 90 days in any 180-day period, which means the period of 180 days immediately preceding each day of stay (note: the length of stay is calculated according to the entry and departure stamps entered into the relevant travel document at the border-crossing point).    European legislation also composed a list of those countries whose nationals are not required to hold a visa for a short-term stay in the territory of the member states of the Schengen Area.

You will find more detailed information concerning short-term stays within the Schengen Area here.

Another provision for short-term, visa-free stay in the territory of the Czech Republic is a stay permitted under a bilateral visa exemption agreement. The Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement leaves member states the option to continue to apply bilateral visa exemption agreements concluded by member states before becoming part of the Schengen Area; in the case of the Czech Republic this concerns agreements concluded before 21 December 2007 (these exemptions are sustained only for those third countries that are exempt from holding a visa for short-term stays). Bilateral agreements were concluded between the Czech Republic and a specific third country and application of such agreements therefore applies only for the territory of the Czech Republic.

In practice, the application of such agreements concerns mainly the possibility of remaining in the territory of the Czech Republic even after expiry of the max. length of stay inside the Schengen Area (90/180). The length of this “extra” permission to stay depends on the particular wording of the agreements, as follows (A, B, C):

  1. Maximum 3-month visa-free stay in the territory of the Czech Republic
    A short stay within the Schengen Area is limited to a max. length of 90 days in any 180-day period. Nationals of the third countries listed below may stay in the Czech Republic without a visa for a max. of 3 months in excess of the 90/180 rule. Because this concerns a stay exceeding the max. length of stay permitted in the Schengen Area, the restrictions on the options for coming to or leaving the Czech Republic must be taken into account. Once the max. permitted stay of 90/180 has expired, such third country national must take a direct flight to a destination or transfer airport outside the Schengen Area, or else travel through the territory of a member state which has a valid bilateral visa exemption agreement and still applies this agreement over and above Schengen rules.
    The following third countries fall into this category:

    • Argentina
    • Chile
    • Israel
    • Korea
    • Costa Rica
    • Malaysia
    • Uruguay

      Example:
      A citizen of the Republic of Korea is in the course of a stay inside the Schengen Area (including the Czech Republic) of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Before expiry of this period, he/she crosses into the Czech Republic in whose territory he/she may remain for a further 3 months without a visa under the existing bilateral visa exemption agreement. However, in the course of those 3 months he/she cannot travel to another Schengen state (because he/she has used up the max. 90/180 period), with the exception of those member states that have a similar bilateral visa exemption agreement and continue to apply it over and above Schengen rules.
  2. Maximum 30-day visa-free stay in the territory of the Czech Republic
    Similar to the situations described in section A), but with a different max. length of stay. Under a bilateral visa exemption agreement between the Czech Republic and Singapore, citizens of Singapore may stay for a max. of 30 days in the territory of the Czech Republic, over and above the Schengen 90/180 rule.

  3. Maximum of 3 months’ stay in a 6-month period in the Schengen Area
    As for a period of stay in the territory of the Czech Republic over and above the Schengen 90/180 rule, the nationals of the third countries below enjoy no advantage under existing bilateral agreements. According to the provisions of these bilateral agreements, the length of time spent in the territories of other member states counts towards the length of spent in the territory of the Czech Republic (the so-called Schengen Clause).
    This category comprises the following third countries:

  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay

 

Note on the variously stipulated maximum lengths of stay

The above overview describes several differing maximum lengths of stay (in months or days). The maximum length of stay depends on the text of the agreement which depends on legislation applicable when such agreement was concluded.

 

Bilateral visa exemption agreements for holders of diplomatic, service and special passports

The above overview of bilateral visa exemption agreements between the Czech Republic and third countries describes only agreements concerning holders of ordinary passports. Visa-free entry may apply directly to a certain type of travel document, specifically a diplomatic, service or special passport. The maximum length of stay is stipulated by bilateral agreement. Here you will find an overview of exemptions from visa requirements for short-term stays applying to such special types of travel document (xls, 48 kB).

 

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