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Brexit Information For British Citizens Living In The Czech Republic

by Graham Needham 20th February 2019

Last updated on 23rd December 2019


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Disclaimers

I am not an authority on all this - I only put this page together because, well, no one else has done it and the UK government has made virtually no effort at all to support its citizens living and working in the European Union. As far as I am aware, there's nothing like this page, even on the British Embassy in Prague's web site. I live in Prague with my wife and we are registered permanent residents. I am not a lawyer and the information presented here should not be used for legal purposes. I just wanted to post a collection of information for British citizens living in the Czech Republic. I will try and update this page as information becomes available but this is all being done in my own personal free time so please don't expect instant updates.

Sections

Current Timeframes

1311 days since the referendum vote - this is the length of time British citizens living in the Czech Republic have been in limbo!

6 days (~158 hours) to ratifying the Brexit "withdrawl agreement" + I personally recommend, just in case, getting your Czech Republic paperwork and residency status in order by 31st January 2020.

341 days (~8198 hours) to the end of the "transition period" for British citizens living in the Czech Republic with or without a Brexit deal + you must have your Czech Republic paperwork and residency status in order by 31st December 2020 at the very latest!

The EU has agreed to another extension of Brexit until 31st January 2020. On the 13th December 2019 Boris Johnson (the UK Prime Minister) and the Conservative party won a huge majority in the UK parliamentary general election. This means the Withdrawal Agreement is very highly likely to be passed in the UK parliament by 31st January 2020.

Withdrawal Agreement (WA) Brexit

If the withdrawal agreement gets UK parliamentary approval there will be an agreed transition period from 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020 - specifically, citizens rights' information can be found from page 22 onwards in the New Withdrawal Agreement PDF document of 17th October 2019. Basically, you will have until the 31st December 2020 to apply for/obtain resident "settled status" in the EU country where you live. In the Czech Republic this is either Permanent Residence or Temporary Residence. In addition, on the 1st January 2021, the UK government will have removed your automatic EU right to "live and work" in any EU country - you will only be able to do so in the country where you obtain "settled residency status". To live and work in any other EU country after 31st December 2020 you will be treated as a third country national and all the crap, visas, paperwork, rules and expense that that entails.

No Deal Brexit

If there is no deal, which is the default outcome on 31st January 2020 unless before then…

  1. a withdrawal agreement is approved by UK parliament
  2. or article 50 is revoked/cancelled by the UK
  3. or another extension to article 50 is agreed by the UK and all member states of the EU
…the UK will crash out of the EU at 23:00 BST (24:00 CEST) on 31st January 2020 and British citizens living in the Czech Republic would automatically become third country nationals. To help with this scenario the Czech Government approved a draft law (Lex Brexit) on 7th January 2019 and the Lower House of the Czech Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) approved the draft law on 23rd January 2019. The Czech Senate passed Lex Brexit on the 27th February 2019.

The Lex Brexit draft law creates a transition period specifically for British citizens living in the Czech Republic from brexit date to 31st December 2020. However, it is of utmost importance if you are a British citizen living in the Czech Republic now, that you get registered into the Czech residential system either with temporary residence or with permanent residence before 31st January 2020 - do not wait for this date, get your paperwork now! See below for more details. The Czech's have stated that as long as you have started the application process prior to Brexit you will still be allowed to stay in the country for the duration of the application.

Permanent Residence (5+ Years)


As an EU citizen you need to fill in a form, prove you have resided in the Czech Republic for 5 or more years (see below) and have some form of healthcare insurance. You will need to apply at the Ministry Of Interior in person. It is possible to book, via the telephone or online, a specific day and time for your meeting.

Note: if you are resident in Prague you must attend a specific building depending on the Prague district you live in (Prague 1-10 or Praha-Západ/Praha-Východ). I highly advise you to attend this meeting with all your paperwork prepared and with someone that can speak excellent Czech - do not just turn up expecting to be helped in English.

Residence Card Of A Family Member Of An EU Citizen

This is a pink booklet - I don't have a picture of one of these but it is similar to the Permanent Residence (5+ Years) booklet pictured above but it is pink/purple in colour instead of green.


If you are married to a resident Czech citizen or you are married to an EU citizen that has permanent residency in the Czech Republic you may be eligible for a Residence Card Of A Family Member Of An EU Citizen. You only need to prove 2 years of residence and be married to that person for more than 1 year. More information on marrying Czech nationals can be found here.

Note: If your marriage certificate is not Czech you will need an officially translated and notarised copy of it - see Useful Links for translation companies that can also get documents officially notarised.

Temporary Residence - EU Citizen


As an EU citizen you originally didn't need one of these but going forward, because of Brexit, unless you have permanent residence (see above) you will. You will need to register for one at the Ministry Of Interior. You need to fill in a form, prove your residence in the Czech Republic (see below) and have some form of healthcare insurance (your in-date and currently valid original UK EHIC European Health Insurance Card may suffice in this case). It is possible to apply for a temporary residence by post. Fill in this form (direct link to Microsoft Word Doc) and details for sending it in are here (direct link to Adobe PDF document). If you do post it make sure you make copies of everything before posting it.

Your temporary residence "registration date" in the system may be earlier than the issue date on your current document as documents are renewed for things like passport/name changes. EU citizen temporary residence documents may not have an expiry date on them but if you are a British citizen the temporary residence document will become invalid on the 1st January 2021!

Proof Of Residence

The onus is on you to prove your residence. Make sure you have all the paperwork ready and professionally translated into Czech if need be.

The following are the best ways of proving your residence:
  • Original registration in the Czech residential system e.g. temporary residence (document) - this may be earlier than the date on your current document as documents are renewed for things like passport/name changes
  • Tenancy rental contract(s) with your name on them
  • Property deeds with your name on it
The following may help prove your residence (as long as they have your name and Czech residential address on them):
  • Bank statements (also the original signed banking contract)
  • Utility bills - gas and/or electric
  • Internet/broadband bill
  • Mobile phone contract (not a Pay-As-You-Go/PAYG account)
  • Work contract(s)/permit(s)
The following will not work for proving your residence:
  • Registration with the office of the Foreign Police for staying in the Czech Republic
  • Hotel receipts
  • Flight/train tickets
  • Bar receipts as a štamgast/bar-fly in your local Czech pub :-)

NO DEAL - Czech Brexit Act No. 74 2019 - 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020

During the Czech transition period from 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020 British citizens will need to do one of the following:

If You Already Have Permanent Residence

You must exchange your permanent residency (booklet) to a new permanent residency permit biometric card:
  • It will be a declaratory exchange process - you won't need to "apply" for it
  • There will be an administrative fee of 1000 CZK (~£35) for adults and 300 CZK (~£11) for children
  • The card is valid for 10 years from the date of issue - your residency "right" is in law and it is only the card that expires and so you will be able to renew it as long as you are still resident in the Czech Republic

If You Already Have Temporary Residence

If you will reach 5 years of provable residence before the 31st December 2020 you should apply for the new permanent residency permit biometric card (see above) based on your 5 year residency history.

If you will not reach 5 years of provable residence before the 31st December 2020 you should apply for the new long-term residency permit biometric card for a specific type of purpose of stay e.g.
  • Study
  • Work
  • Family reunification
  • Business
  • Other
Note: Unlike other third country nationals, british citizens applying for the new long-term residency permit biometric card during the Czech transition period can apply for the card within the Czech Republic and you do not have to prove your knowledge of the Czech language. This is specifically different for British citizens as normally, third country nationals have to apply for it in their own country at the local Czech embassy and prove proficiency in the Czech language too!

If You Do Not Have Temporary/Permanent Residence

You will be treated as a third country national and all the crap and expense that entails. Specifically, if you do not, at least, start the process of geting your residency status/paperwork in order before the 31st January 2020 you will be classed as a third country national!

British Citizens' Status From 1st January 2021

From 1st January 2021 British citizens without either the new permanent residency permit biometric card or long-term residency permit biometric card will be treated as third country nationals and you will need to enter the Czech immigration scheme for third-country nationals (via the Foreigners Reservation System).

Passport

UK.Gov guidance on passport rules for travel to Europe after Brexit.

If you have temporary/permanent residence document(s), from 1st February 2020 you are highly recommended to carry these with your passport when travelling outside of the Czech Republic.

No additional information presently available - please bookmark this page and check back.

Travel

The European Commission announced on the 3rd April 2019 that they have offered visa-free travel to the EU for UK nationals and it would apply:
→ As of 31st January 2020 in case of a 'no-deal'
→ As of the end of the transition period in a 'deal scenario' (currently 31st December 2020)

It still needs formal approval from EU Parliament and the EU council and it is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal visa-free travel for all EU citizens.

Here's the official press release.

Even if you are travelling within the Schengen area, from 1st February 2020 you are highly recommended to carry your UK passport and any additional paperwork e.g. temporary/permanent residence document, when travelling outside of the Czech Republic.

Driving Licence

UK.Gov guidance on prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit.

For British citizens resident in or near Prague you need to visit the "Drivers Registration" office at Na Pankráci 1685/17,19 Praha 4 - budova Business Centrum Vyšehrad to "exchange" your licence (view this location on mapy.cz). Some notes:

Healthcare

From the official Czech Republic Brexit web site:

All persons employed by an employer with a registered office or permanent residence in the Czech Republic, irrespective of their nationality, will continue to have access to the Czech healthcare system after the Brexit date. Same goes for the persons with permanent stay in the Czech Republic who are obliged to have a health insurance with the Czech Republic. Access to healthcare for majority of UK citizens residing in the Czech Republic will not change after UK leaves the EU.

British citizens arriving to the Czech Republic after the Brexit date will be in a position of third country nationals, their access to the healthcare will be limited according to the given rules stipulated in Act No. 326/1999 Sb. Basically, they will be obliged to be covered by private (travel) health insurance as specified in Act No. 326/1999 Sb. regulating the residence of foreigners in the Czech Republic.

At the British Embassy in Prague Open Evening for UK Nationals in the Czech Republic on the 9th April 2019 more information and guidance was made available to British citizens including a useful chart - once this has been posted to the relevant Czech ministry web site I will make it available here.

Under a No Deal situation you may automatically lose the right to public healthcare in the Czech Republic on the 1st February 2020:
  • Permanent resident - your right to public healthcare is maintained
  • Temporary resident - your right to public healthcare is lost but see below
  • No residency paperwork - your right to public healthcare is lost
  • Employed by a company with a Czech office - your right to public healthcare is maintained but only while you are in the job i.e. lose the job, lose the public healthcare
  • Self Employed with a Živnostenský list (business/trade licence) - your right to public healthcare is maintained as long as you are paying into the system before 1st February 2020
  • Self Employed without a Živnostenský list (business/trade licence) - your right to public healthcare is lost
  • Pensioner - your right to public healthcare is lost
  • Student - your right to public healthcare is lost
Remember, this is specifically about access to the Czech Republic public healthcare system - in all cases you can get private medical care though, at cost, of course. If you want to maintain access to the Czech Republic public healthcare system you are recommended to get permanent residence and if you cannot get this, obtain a Živnostenský list (business/trade licence) and start paying into the system before 1st February 2020!

Pensions

No information presently available - please bookmark this page and check back.

Property and Land Rights

No information presently available - please bookmark this page and check back.

Family Rights

No information presently available - please bookmark this page and check back.

Labour Market Access

No information presently available - please bookmark this page and check back.

Recognition Of Qualifications

Professional Qualifications

From the official Czech Republic Brexit web site:

Generally, it is possible to state that professional qualifications gained in the UK before the withdrawal date will be counted as professional qualification gained in the EU. Professional qualifications gained in the UK after withdrawal date cannot be counted as qualifications gained in the EU and, therefore, it will be necessary to proceed on the basis of academic recognition regarding the recognition of these qualifications. The academic recognition procedure does not differentiate qualifications on the basis of the country of origin.

As to specified medical and non-medical professions, the Brexit Act states that qualifications gained during the transitional period in the UK will be recognised as qualifications gained in an EU member state.

Academic Qualifications

From the official Czech Republic Brexit web site:

Recognition procedures will not be affected by Brexit. Recognition of academic qualifications is not even a part of the Brexit Act. Recognition of Foreign Higher Education for academic purposes is not regulated by EU law. The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention) will remain the main international convention defining recognition procedures. UK higher education qualifications will thus be subject to standard recognition procedures known as academic recognition defined in Section 89, 90 and 90a of the Act No. 111/1998 Sb.

Questions And Answers

Q. Can I obtain Czech citizenship?
A. Yes - the rules are here.

Q. Does Czech law allow for "dual citizenship" so can I be British and Czech and legally hold both passports?
A. Yes.
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© Graham Needham
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