Getting Legal in the Czech Republic

One of the most frustrating aspects of trying to acquire legal stay in the Czech Republic is the complete lack of information you find. So, in an effort to lessen your frustration, I will be as concise as possible. As a non-EU citizen, you have 2 options for visa types as a TEFL teacher.

1. Work permit- živnostenský List (a.k.a: Zivno). This option gives you legal stay on the basis of being a contracted worker.

Pros: 1. You aren’t tied to any single employer. I.E. You have the option of only teaching private students, or working part-time for several language schools at the same time 2. You can acquire this visa before you have a job in place

Cons: 1. You have to pay your own social and healthcare. These bundles of fun get their own article- found here. 2. This visa will require you to have more $ in the bank upon arrival in the Czech Republic 3. Depending on your landlord, you may have a difficult time getting him/her to sign a document saying you can conduct business in your flat.

How to do it: Well, you have 2 options. You can do everything by yourself, or pay an agency to do all the hassle for you. Unless you have piles of money lying around, I’d suggest doing it yourself. Most agencies cost somewhere around $400-$500, and that doesn’t even cover travel to the embassy (which must be outside of the Czech Republic) etc.   Documents you need: 1. A notarized document from your landlord giving you permission to conduct business in your flat 2. 6 months – 1 year paid healthcare (Wondering what health insurance to buy? Read this) 3. A bank statement with proof of over 110.000 CZK (equivalent of approximately 7,000 USD) *Important- this cannot be a printout from your online account. You must call your bank to print it out, sign & stamp, and then send to you by post. This is getting fun, right?) 4. Affidavit from your country of residence that states you aren’t a convicted felon back home. You will need to get this notarized as well.

The process: 1.

2. As stated above, you must travel outside of the Czech Republic to apply for, and pick up your visa. Some close options are Berlin, Bratislava, Dresden, etc. and hey- it’s a good excuse for a fun weekend trip. Upon applying, you will be given a document stating that your visa is in progress. The embassy will then e-mail you anywhere from 2 weeks – 4 months later, telling you it’s ready for pick up. Yes, this means more travelling. This visa will then expire in 6 months, which means you need to reapply. When you reapply, it will be for a 1 year visa (long term visa). The application is similar, but a bit different.

So you decide against a Zivno and opt for theWork Permit. The good news is that your employer will take care of most of the work for you. The bad news, it can be pretty difficult to find an employer that will actually want to do this for you. Some language schools offer it, however, some won’t even look at your CV if you don’t already have legal stay (aside from your tourist visa) in the Czech Republic.

Pros: 1. Your employer will take care of your health insurance and social. (Huge plus, that is) 2. You don’t need to show any proof of money in the bank. This is a big advantage for people coming to live here without much saved up. 3. On the subject of money, you aren’t required to travel outside of the Czech Republic to apply/pick up your visa. Another advantage as these costs can really add up.

Cons: 1. You are tied to the employer who sponsors your visa. If you decide you don’t like your job, etc, you will need to either find a new employer to sponsor you, or get a Zivno.  

Oh the Joys of Czech Bureaucracy.