NON-EU citizens

Expats who are not EU/EEA citizens or EU/EEA family members are considered “third-country nationals” and must first apply for a long-term visa if they intend to stay in the territory of the Czech Republic for more than 90 days. There are different types of purpose of stay, e.g. study, business, sports, culture, family reunification, etc. 

Is your residency period running out and you need a “TOP-up?” Top Visa is here to save the day! 

You can apply for your initial long-term residence permit, or extend it, directly in the Czech Republic so long as you have been residing here on a previous long-term visa or long-term residence permit. 

If you have been legally residing in the Czech Republic for at least 5 years without interruption (i.e. there have been no gaps in your residence and you have always renewed your residence permit on time), then you are eligible to apply for permanent resident status. 

A trade license (known as a ŽIVNO) entitles you to be self-employed or work as freelancer in the trades listed in the Trade Licensing Act. A trade license is also referred to as an “IČO business” or “OSVČ” (or in other words, a “sole proprietorship”, “sole tradership”, or “entrepreneurship”).

If you have already been residing in the territory on a long-stay visa or long-term residence permit and found a job in the Czech Republic and plan on working on an employment contract, you will need to apply for an employee card at the Ministry of Interior (MOI). 


A Blue Card is a long-term residence permit for highly skilled employment. A high qualification is defined as a university degree or higher education that has been properly completed and lasted for at least 3 years. The Blue Card entitles a foreign national to stay and work in the Czech Republic simultaneously, i.e. the applicant does not need a separate work permit.

If you have a trade license, are self-employed, are a sole proprietor (OSVČ), or are running a business in the Czech Republic, then you must file a Czech tax return every year and pay taxes.

Upon arrival in the Czech Republic, every foreign national is obliged to report to the Foreign Police. Third-country nationals have a time limit to report to them within 3 business days upon their arrival in the country. After registration, your passport will be stamped with your current Czech address. 

It is possible to change employers during your employee card’s validity, but no earlier than 6 months after collecting your first employee card (i.e. after the first 6 months of your initial employment). A change of employer must be announced 30 days before it occurs. 

Foreign nationals residing in the Czech Republic after a certain period of time who currently hold a permanent residence permit may be eligible to apply for naturalization. The period of required residence varies depending on your circumstances and the granting of citizenship is not a legal right.

Based on Czech Ancestry: If you are foreign national with Czech ancestry and one of your parents or grandparents was once a Czechoslovak or Czech citizen and you can prove they lost their Czechoslovak or Czech citizenship before the year 2014, then you are entitled to apply for Czech citizenship by declaration, which gives you the legal right to become a Czech citizen without discretion from the authorities. 

If your application is approved, the MOI will (eventually) contact you and ask you to provide your biometric data and later collect your residence permit certificate or residence permit card. If you don’t want to wait for the MOI to contact you (which can take forever), you can check the status of your application yourself online. If it says it’s approved, let us know and we can book you in for biometrics ourselves.