If you come from outside of the EU/EEA and choose to study abroad in the Czech Republic, you’ll need to apply for a student visa and possibly a residence permit.
If your program lasts fewer than three months, you’ll only need a short-term visa (Visa C). However, you’ll need to apply for both a long-term visa (Visa D) and a long-term residence permit if you’ll be spending more than 90 days in the country.
EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are free to live and study in the Czech Republic without a student visa or residence permit. You’ll just need to report to the foreign police department within three days if you’re planning on staying for longer than 30 days.
Applying for visas and residence permits can take between 60 and 120 days because many of the documents need to be translated into Czech. You’ll be charged an administration fee of 250 CZK (€100/ $110) for each application.
Applying for a long-term student visa
Before you can enjoy the benefits of studying abroad in the Czech Republic, you need to gain your visa. Here are the steps you must follow if you’re a non-EU/EAA citizen:
- Accept a place at a Czech university: Receive a formal admissions letter from your chosen institution and pay any enrollment fees to secure your place.
- Arrange a visa appointment at a local Czech embassy or consulate: Appointments get booked up quickly, so scheduling one far in advance is a priority.
- Complete the visa application form: Ensure all sections are filled in and you’ve signed the document.
- Gather the required documents: You’ll need to submit several documents alongside your application form. A full list is provided in the section below.
- Attend your appointment: Make sure you bring all of the requested information along with you so that your application can be submitted.
- Pay the administrative fee: You must pay this before your application is sent off.
- Wait for a decision: Visa processing time varies depending on the complexity of the application, but you shouldn’t have to wait longer than 120 days.
- Apply for a residence permit: Once your visa has been approved, you can begin the residence permit application process. You’ll need to schedule another appointment with your nearest Czech embassy or consulate.
Staff at the embassy or consulate will request evidence of the following documents:
- Completed visa application form
- Enrollment letter from your university
- A letter outlining the purpose of your stay in the Czech Republic
- A valid passport with an expiry date beyond 12 months
- Two passport-style photos
- Proof of sufficient financial resources
- Accommodation details
- Details of your international health insurance policy (minimum coverage of €30,000)
- Criminal record report
Family travel conditions
If you’d like your family to join you in the Czech Republic, they can apply for a family reunification long-term visa and residence permit. Each family member must complete an individual application and submit it through the Czech embassy in your home country.
Although your family members can apply for the visa and residence permit at the same time as you, it’s usually best to wait until your travel documents have been approved.
Working while on a student visa
You’re allowed to work alongside your studies if you’re granted a Czech student visa, but your hours will be capped at 20 per week. This is to ensure that you spend enough time concentrating on your studies.
This right to work is automatically granted as part of your visa permissions, so you won’t need to apply for a separate work permit. Your employer will get in touch with the public employment service to notify them of your job.
What to do if your application is rejected
If your visa application is refused, you’ll receive a rejection letter from the consular office outlining the reasons behind the decision and process and deadline for appeals.
If you think your application was unfairly or incorrectly refused, you can submit an appeal letter. This should include your personal details, the initial reasons for rejection, and strong reasons for reconsideration.
If your first application was refused because you didn’t meet the visa application standards or failed to submit the necessary documentation, you can reapply. You must have amended the issues in your previous application otherwise a second rejection is inevitable.