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Second citizenship

Citizenship of the Czech Republic

With a Czech passport, you do not need a visa to enter 185 countries. To travel to the US or Canada, citizens only need to obtain an eTA. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, and therefore its citizens enjoy benefits and privileges in other countries of this association.

We tell you how to get a Czech passport, what benefits applicants receive if approved, and whether they can retain citizenship of other countries.

How to get a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship of the Czech Republic

How to get Czech citizenship 

Czech citizenship is obtained by birth, naturalization and declaration. You can not get a Czech passport by investment. The rules for obtaining citizenship are enshrined in the citizenship law of the Czech Republic.

Citizenship by naturalization is obtained by foreigners who:

  1. Have lived for 10 years in the Czech Republic on the basis of a residence permit and permanent residence.
  2. Able to support themself and family without benefits.
  3. Have no debts on taxes or fines.
  4. Own real estate or rent a house.
  5. Know Czech language at level B1.
  6. Studied Czech culture, history, legal and social structure of the Czech Republic.
  7. Share democratic values, observe Czech laws and have integrated into society.

Citizenship by descent is inherited from parents and grandparents, regardless of the child's place of birth.

A child automatically acquires citizenship if at least one of the parents is a Czech citizen. If only the father, who is not married to the mother of the child, has Czech citizenship, proof of paternity must be provided, for example, the consent of the father or the result of a genetic examination.

As in most EU countries, a child does not automatically acquire citizenship if born in the Czech Republic to foreign parents.

If the applicant's children, brothers, sisters, mate al or pate al grandparents are citizens of the Czech Republic, citizenship can be obtained by naturalization on the basis of family reunification. To do this, you will need to confirm the Czech ancestry with official documents.

Citizenship for special merit is given to scientists, artists, doctors, athletes and businessmen for their outstanding contribution to the development of the country. The applicant provides references from well-known individuals or organizations. 

Citizenship by declaration can be obtained by former citizens of the Czech Republic who lost citizenship before January 1st, 2014, as well as children and grandchildren of former citizens of the Czech Republic.

Most often, Czech citizenship is obtained by naturalization.

How to obtain Czech citizenship by naturalization

To get Czech passport by naturalization, you must first live in the country for up to a year on a national D visa, then from four to five years with a residence permit status and five years with a permanent residence status. You can apply for citizenship after 10 years of permanent residence in the country.

The stay is considered continuous if the applicant was absent for no more than two consecutive months or in total no more than 310 days during the stay in the Czech Republic. Exceeding the period of absence due to extraordinary circumstances is allowed: for example, during pregnancy, training, business trip or illness.

Stages of obtaining Czech citizenship by naturalization

1. National D visa. This visa is obtained for trips to the Czech Republic that last more than 90 days. It is needed for a second visit to the country, long-term treatment, family reunification, work or study. The validity period of the visa is up to one year.

2. Residence permit in the Czech Republic. Foreigners receive a residence permit card for various purposes. The most common are study, work, marriage to a Czech citizen, family reunification, long-term treatment. A residence permit is most often issued for up to two years, after which the status can be extended.

3. Permanent residence in the Czech Republic. Residence permit is usually obtained after five years of legal residence in the country. Unlike a residence permit, permanent residence does not need to be renewed.

Adults change their permanent residence card every 10 years, children under 15 years old — once every 5 years. An application for a replacement of the permanent residence card is submitted to the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

4. Citizenship of the Czech Republic. To obtain citizenship of the Czech Republic, you need to:

  1. Have no criminal record or serious offenses over the past 10 years in countries where the applicant has lived for more than six months since the age of 15.
  2. Have your own or rented accommodation.
  3. Receive an income not lower than the established subsistence level.
  4. Pay taxes and fees. 
  5. Pass a test of knowledge of the Czech language at least level B1.
  6. Confirm basic knowledge of the constitutional system, culture and history of the Czech Republic.
  7. Fulfill the conditions for permanent residence in the Czech Republic: legally reside in the country for at least 10 years. 

Applicants under the age of 15 or over 65, graduates of Czech schools and universities, as well as people with physical disabilities who are unable to learnhe Czech language are exempted from taking the test in the Czech language.

Does the Czech Republic allow dual citizenship?

Since 2013, the Czech government has allowed dual citizenship. A person who has received a Czech passport does not need to renounce the citizenship of another country. Problems can arise if multiple citizenship is prohibited in another country.

Duration of a residence permit in the Czech Republic

A citizen of a country that is not part of the European Union needs to obtain a residence permit in order to stay in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days. EU citizens will need to register with the Interior Ministry office within 90 days of arrival.

The validity of a residence permit in the Czech Republic depends on the reason for stay and varies from nine months to two years. For example, a residence permit to look for a job or starting a business can be obtained for nine months, for study or scientific research — for up to a year, and for work — for no more than two years.

What documents are needed to obtain a residence permit in the Czech Republic

For any method of obtaining a residence permit in the Czech Republic, you will need: 

  1. A filled application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Original passport and a notarized and translated copy of the passport.
  4. Confirmation of financial viability. For example, a bank statement.
  5. Tenancy agreement or certificate of ownership.
  6. Police clearance certificates in the country of citizenship and in each country of residence in which the applicant has lived for more than six months in the last three years.
  7. Medical report on health.
  8. Health insurance policy with at least €60,000 indemnity.
  9. Receipt for payment of duty.

Documents are drawn up in Czech or Slovak or officially translated into Czech. Foreign public documents are confirmed by the highest verification: apostille or super legalization.

Documents are valid for 180 days, except for a passport, marriage and birth certificates.

An application for a residence permit in the Czech Republic is submitted within 120 days before the expiration of the valid visa, but no later than the day it ends. During the consideration, the applicant has the right to stay in the Czech Republic. The right is confirmed by a sticker on a long-term visa in the passport, which is called a “temporary visa”.

A residence permit in the Czech Republic is obtained for certain purposes. The most common are: 

  • business;
  • family reunification;
  • long-term treatment;
  • scientific research;
  • Job searches;
  • work;
  • studies.

The list of additional documents depends on the purpose.

Additional conditions for obtaining certain categories of residence permit in the Czech Republic

To work in the Czech Republic, you will need a signed contract with the employer, the employer's consent to hire an employee and the approval of the Ministry of Labor to hire a foreign employee. The permit will be approved if it is impossible to find workers required qualifications in the Czech Republic or the EU.

More information is on the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic website.

Job search. The state can issue a residence permit based on a job search for graduates of Czech universities or scientists who have completed scientific research in the Czech Republic.

To obtain a residence permit, you need to provide a university diploma or a study completion document issued by a research organization. It is also necessary to provide a document that confirms that the total monthly income is not lower than the amount of CZK 3,410 and the average cost of housing CZK 8,233 or the actual cost of housing.

Business. To obtain a residence permit for doing business, the following documents are required:

  • a document, which confirms that the total monthly income of the applicant and his family members is not lower than the subsistence minimum and the maximum amount of standard living expenses or the actual cost of housing;
  • an application to the tax office on the obligation to disclose secrets with a complete set of data to verify the total monthly income of the family;
  • a document confirming the entry of data on the registration of the company in the commercial register, list or record;
  • payment confirmation of all taxes and fees from the tax office and the social security administration of the Czech Republic;
  • on request: information on income tax.

Study. To obtain a residence permit to study in the Czech Republic, you should provide a letter of admission to study at a university or educational institution. Minor students provide parental consent.

Students also confirm an income of at least the subsistence minimum of CZK 3,860 and the maximum standard living expenses of CZK 8,577. For example, a bank statement or a letter confirming that the organization will cover all expenses for the period of study.

Scientific research. You can get a residence permit by invitation from a scientific organization in the Czech Republic. To do this, it is necessary to confirm the coverage of all expenses at the expense of the inviting party. For example, travel, accommodation, and obtaining a visa.

Family ties. Spouses, children and parents over 65 of citizens who have the status of a residence permit and permanent residence in the Czech Republic can obtain a residence permit in the country.

To do this, you should provide documents that confirm family ties — for example, a marriage, birth, and adoption certificate.

How to get a residence permit in the Czech Republic by investment

Wealthy people can obtain a residence permit in the Czech Republic for doing business or a residence permit for financially independent persons. It is not possible to obtain a residence permit in the Czech Republic for the purchase of real estate or securities.

Residence permit for doing business. In the Czech Republic, foreign entrepreneurs can open a branch of an existing company, register a new company, or contribute funds to the share capital of a Czech company.

An applicant for a residence permit in the Czech Republic by investment in a business submits a business plan that contains:

  1. A description of the objectives of the investment implementation plan.
  2. An assessment of the risks and benefits of implementing the plan.
  3. A motivation for investing: why investing is beneficial for the Czech Republic.
  4. A description of the individual stages of the investment implementation plan: schedule, amount of funding for each stage. 
  5. A description of the product to be produced or the service to be provided. 
  6. Target groups of customers and outlets.
  7. Technical and technological processes of production. 
  8. Labor supply methods.

Doing business in the Czech Republic requires a license. To get it, you need to apply on the Czech Point portal. Documents are considered up to five working days. 

For some industries, a license is not needed: it is enough to get permission. For example, for the production of clothing or agricultural work.

To obtain a business license, the applicant needs to prove their qualifications like a university diploma, professional training documents, and confirm at least six years of work experience in the future business.

After obtaining a license, the company is registered in the trade register in the court at the location, and then in the tax office — no later than 15 days from the date of registration in the commercial register.

The uniqueness of the company name is checked on the website of the Ministry of Justice. You will also need to:

  • notarize the company's charter and lease agreement;
  • open a bank account;
  • register with the Social Security Administration and obtain health insurance for all employees.

Doing business in the Czech Republic increases the prestige of the company and gives access to the services of European banks. Businesses are offered favorable credit conditions: a rate of up to 5% and a repayment delay of up to two years.

A residence permit for financially independent persons can be obtained by wealthy people with an income in another country that fully covers their needs. At the same time, applicants do not work in the Czech Republic and spend at least 183 days a year in the country.

The main condition for obtaining a residence permit is a regular income outside the Czech Republic. It can be confirmed by an employment contract, an author's agreement,an asset lease agreement, an extract from the register of shareholders on a share in a business, and the presence of profitable assets.

Income requirements for residence permit in the Czech Republic

An applicant for resident status confirms that he has enough money to live and rent housing in the Czech Republic. Government Decree No. 61/2020 Coll. regulates the amount of the minimum income for different categories of applicants, and Government Decree No. 580/2020 Coll. — standards for living expenses.

Living wage depends on the composition of the family. The amount is calculated in Czech crowns (CZK): in December 2021 it was approximately €0.04. The only applicant must have an income less than CZK 3,860. For a family, the amount is calculated based on the number and age of applicants:

  • CZK 3,550 for the main applicant;
  • CZK 3,220 for the second person over 15 years old, but not a dependent child;
  • CZK 2,770 for a child from 15 to 26 years old;
  • CZK 2,420 for a child from 6 to 15 years old;
  • CZK 1,970 for a child under 6 years old.

Standard housing costs in 2022:

  • CZK 8,775 per one person;
  • CZK 12,205 for two people;
  • CZK 16,337 for three people;
  • CZK 20,077 for four or more people in a family.

Housing costs include rent and utilities: gas, electricity, water, heating, if these costs are not included in the rent. 

If the actual housing costs differ from the standard, then the income required to obtain a residence permit is calculated as the sum of the minimum monthly income for living plus the sum of the actual housing costs. In this case, the applicant confirms housing expenses with documents: a lease agreement and utility bills. 

You can confirm the income with a bank statement, statements from the general meeting of the company, an employment contract, payroll, income tax, social and medical fees.

The tax office obligation submits to verify the total monthly income of the family.

Where to apply for a residence permit in the Czech Republic and how long to wait for a decision

An application for a residence permit in the Czech Republic can be submitted:

The applicant will need to come to the Ministry of the Interior office for an interview to be fingerprinted and photographed. Sometimes they ask to show the originals or notarized copies of documents: passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates. A document confirming the purpose of the stay is submitted only in the original.

The term for consideration of the application is up to 60 days.

How to get a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship of the Czech Republic. View of Tyn Church and Town Hall on Old Town Square in Prague
The Old Town Square in Prague: view of Tyn Church and Town Hall with astronomical clock

How to get permanent residence in the Czech Republic

Permanent residence Czech Republic entitles you to work, social benefits and a pension. Children of parents with permanent residence status during their studies enjoy free medical services under VZP. This is the most famous company in the Czech Republic, which provides public and contractual insurance services.

An application for permanent residence is submitted after five years of continuous residence in the Czech Republic with the status of a resident. If the applicant was absent from the country for less than six months, and in total the absence does not exceed 310 days before applying for permanent residence, the period of residence is considered continuous.

5 years
one needs to live in the Czech Republic to get permanent residence

Continuity of residence is maintained if the applicant has been absent for serious reasons for no more than 12 consecutive months. For example, pregnancy, the birth of a child, a serious illness or study.

To obtain permanent residence in the Czech Republic, you need to:

  • have a stable income and no state aid;
  • pay taxes and pension contributions for all five years with a residence permit;
  • live in your own or rented accommodation;
  • comply with the Czech citizenship law;
  • pass a test of knowledge of the Czech language of at least B1 level;
  • comply with the rule of uninterrupted stay in the Czech Republic;
  • pay a state duty.

An application for permanent residence in the Czech Republic is submitted only in person to the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, having previously made an appointment. The legal representative can only submit the application and required documents on behalf of an applicant under 15 years of age.

The term for consideration of an application for permanent residence in the Czech Republic is 60 days.

The status of permanent residence is canceled in case of prosecution, non-payment of taxes and fines, and if you are absent from the Czech Republic for more than six years and in the EU countries for more than a year.

Benefits of Czech citizenship

Travel freedom. With the status of a residence permit or permanent residence in the Czech Republic, residents travel without visas to the countries of the Schengen zone. With Czech citizenship, you can visit 185 countries without a visa and choose any EU country for living.

Life in comfortable conditions. Foreigners are attracted by a stable standard of living and security, low unemployment, quality medicine and education. The preserved historical heritage of medieval castles, buildings, charming villages and towns for a unique atmosphere to live in.

Education in Czech public schools and universities free of charge for citizens and residents of the country. Programs that take place in English are paid. Their cost depends on the university and the chosen specialty.

The education system in the Czech Republic meets European standards. Graduates of Czech universities have good prospects for getting a job and participating in exchange programs: about 100 countries recognize their diplomas.

Quality medicine in the Czech Republic is carried out through health insurance. Access to free state insurance is received only by residents with permanent residence status, citizens or refugees.

The most popular insurance company in the Czech Republic is VZP (Všeobecná Zdravotní Pojišťovna České Republiky). As in other Czech insurance companies, two types of insurance can be obtained here: state and contractual.

Every insurance company has partner medical centers where you can get free services: appointments with highly specialized doctors, therapeutic dentistry, physiotherapy, vaccinations, clinical examination and surgical operations.

Convenient transport links throughout Europe. The Czech Republic is located in the very center of Europe. From the country quickly and inexpensively get to any European country by train, car, plane or bus. For example, a train ticket from Prague to Dresden costs €15, and a plane ticket to Paris costs €60.

Sights. The Czech Republic has many medieval cathedrals, castles, ancient bridges and squares. In addition, the country is famous for its brewing traditions: beer is brewed with mineral water from environmentally friendly hops and aged in oak barrels.

The Czech Republic is famous for its mineral springs. In Karlovy Vary, medical spas have been built around 13 thermal springs. There are mud volcanoes and a forest complex in the Smradekh nature reserve, in which springs with mineral waters and natural gasses form a lake.

The Konepruska caves are located in the center of the country. They grow stalactites and stalagmites for two kilometers. The height between the tiers in the caves reaches 70 m. Almost one hundred percent air humidity and an average temperature of about +10 °C are always preserved in the caves.

Climate is mild, continental-oceanic. Summers in the Czech Republic are warm, winters are mild and rainy. Snow rarely falls and stays only in the mountains. The temperature in July rises to +27…30 °С, and in January it rarely drops to -5…10 °С.

Czech passport: Pravcicka Brana in Hřensko (Pravcicka Gate) - the most beautiful natural formation in Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland

Pravcicka Brana in Grzensko (Pravcicka Gate) is a symbol of the region and the most beautiful natural formation in Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland

Citizenship of the Czech Republic: view of the Small Town with a bridge tower and the Church of St. Nicholas in Prague

A view of the Small Town with the bridge tower and St. Nicholas Church in Prague

Citizenship of the Czech Republic: the historical building of the Law Faculty of Charles University on the Dvorak Embankment on the Vltava River

The historic building of the Faculty of Law of Charles University on the Dvorak Embankment on the Vltava River

Czech Citizenship: Town Square and Samson Fountain in České Budějovice

The Central square and Samson’s fountain in České Budějovice

Immigration to the Czech Republic: Loket Castle

People come to Loket Castle to look at medieval artifacts, a porcelain collection, prison cells, a torture room, a wedding and ceremonial hall, an armory and an archaeological hall

Czech citizenship: mineral springs in the city of Karlovy Vary

Medical spas around the mineral springs in the city of Karlovy Vary

The reserve in the Slavkovský Forest is rich in mineral springs, natural gases, peat bogs and rocks. Nearby is the spa town of Marianske Lazne

The reserve in the Slavkovský Forest is rich in mineral springs, natural gases, peat bogs and rocks. Nearby is the spa town of Marianske Lazne

Moving to the Czech Republic: the nature reserve of karst caves Moravsky Kras

Reserve of karst caves Moravian Karst near the city of B o. Of the 1,100 caves, only five can be visited by tourists

For whom the Czech citizenship is not suitable?

For those who do not plan to permanently live, work, do business and pay taxes in the country, Czech citizenship is not suitable. A Czech passport is rarely obtained for the sake of freedom of travel or tax optimization.

Citizenship of Malta and Portugal is suitable for visa-free travel and change of tax residence. Passports of these countries provide the same benefits as Czech citizenship, but investors can get them faster.

How to get a residence permit card or citizenship in other European countries

Some EU countries grant a residence permit or permanent residence card faster and easier than the Czech Republic. In such cases, applicants participate in residence permits by investment programs. And in Malta, investors can obtain citizenship for exceptional services by naturalization after one or three years. 

Conditions for obtaining a residence permit, permanent residence or citizenship for investors in Europe

Residence permit in Portugal
2 to 6 months
The Portuguese government offers eight options to choose from. The most popular options are:
• €350,000+ as a purchase of real estate for restoration;
• €500,000+ as a purchase of any property;
• €500,000+ as investment in funds;
• €1,500,000+ as a transfer of capital
Residence permit in Greece
3 months
• €250,000+ for buying a property or renting a hotel;

• €400,000+ — buying shares of local companies or opening a deposit in a Greek bank
Permanent residence in Malta
6+ months
€150,000 is the minimum investment sum.

The investor fulfills several conditions:
1. Buys or rents a home in the country.
2. Pays a government fee and an administrative fee.
3. Makes a charitable contribution to a Maltese non-governmental organization.
4. Confirms the existence of assets in the amount of €500,000+ 
Maltese citizenship
for exceptional services
1 to 3 years
€690,000 is the minimum investment sum.

The investor fulfills several conditions:
1. Buys or rents a home.
2. Makes a contribution to the National Development Fund.
3. Makes a charitable donation.

Applicants first receive a residence permit, and after a year or three years apply for citizenship
Residence permit in Austria
for financially independent people
3 to 4 months
The investor confirms the availability of capital sufficient to live in the country. Usually, to obtain the status, you need a capital of at least €100,000.

A residence permit is issued without the right to work in the country
Residence permit in Switzerland
for financially independent people
6 months
The investor signs a tax agreement with the administration of the canton and pays a lump-sum tax of ₣450,000+ per year.

A residence permit is issued without the right to work in the country

After a few years in resident status, participants of the investment programs can apply for citizenship by naturalization. Five years after obtaining a residence permit, you can apply for citizenship in Portugal; in Greece — after seven years. In Malta, citizenship for exceptional services is obtained after one or three years of residency.

Frequently asked questions

How to get Czech citizenship?

Czech citizenship is obtained by origin, naturalization and declaration. You can not get a Czech passport by investment. Most often, Czech citizenship is obtained by naturalization. An application for it can be submitted after 10 years of legal residence in the country with a residence permit and permanent residence.

How to get Czech citizenship by naturalization?

To obtain a Czech passport by naturalization, you need to obtain a national D visa, then live in the country for four years with a residence permit status and five years with a permanent residence status. Citizenship can be applied for after ten years of permanent residence in the country.

Is it possible to obtain Czech citizenship by investment?

It is impossible to obtain Czech citizenship by investment, purchase of real estate or securities. Wealthy people can get a residence permit in the Czech Republic for doing business or a residence permit for financially independent persons.

How to get a residence permit in the Czech Republic?

A residence permit in the Czech Republic is obtained for different purposes. The most common are studies, work, marriage to a Czech citizen, family reunification and long-term treatment. A residence permit is most often issued for up to two years, after which the status can be extended. For any method of obtaining a residence permit in the Czech Republic, you will need:

  1. A filled application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Original passport and a notarized and translated copy of the passport.
  4. Confirmation of financial viability. For example, a bank statement.
  5. Tenancy agreement or certificate of ownership.
  6. Police clearance certificates in the country of citizenship and in each country of residence in which the applicant has lived for more than six months in the last three years.
  7. Medical report on health.
  8. Health insurance policy with at least €60,000 indemnity.
  9. Receipt for payment of duty.
How to get permanent residence in the Czech Republic?

An application for permanent residence is submitted after five years of continuous residence in the Czech Republic in the status of a resident. The period of residence is considered continuous if the applicant was absent from the country for no more than 12 months before applying for permanent residence. To obtain permanent residence you need to:

  1. Have a stable income and no state aid.
  2. Pay taxes and pension contributions for all five years.
  3. Live in your own or rented accommodation.
  4. Comply with Czech laws.
  5. Pass a test of knowledge of the Czech language at least level B1.
  6. Comply with the rule of uninterrupted stay in the Czech Republic.
  7. Pay state duty.  
Does the Czech Republic allow second citizenship?

Yes, Czech law allows multiple citizenship. If a Czech citizen has more than one citizenship, the Czech authorities recognize him as a Czech citizen both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

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Citizenship of the Czech Republic