Brexit Information For British Citizens Living In The Czech Republic
by Graham Needham 20th February 2019
Last updated on 1st February 2020
If the information on this page saves you some time and/or money why not help me out and buy me a beer (or two) via PayPal?
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.
23rd June 2016
- UK Brexit referendrum was held24th June 2016
- UK Brexit referendrum result was declared29th January 2019
- Brexit Withdrawal Agreement
was ratifed by the European Union31st January 2020
- initial Brexit date - the Withdrawal Agreement
became law on this date and the UK left the EU institutions
If you are a British citizen living in the EU/Czech Republic your rights are now protected by the Withdrawal Agreement
(WA). It took 1316 days for the UK to leave the EU during which time it left British citizens living in the EU/Czech Republic in limbo!31st December 2020
- current date for the end of the Transition Period
There is now a "Brexit transition period" (which currently ends on 31st December 2020 but could be extended) - this is the period that, by the end of, you are highly recommended to be legally resident in another EU country to attain the rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement
. In the case of the Czech Republic this means you should get your Czech Republic paperwork and residency status in order by 31st December 2020.
You have 30 days (~740 hours) to obtain either Temporary Residence
or Permanent Residence
paperwork.1st January 2021
- the date British citizens become third country nationals30th June 2021
- British citizens must be registered as legally resident
Withdrawal Agreement (WA) Brexit
The withdrawal agreement puts in place certain legal rights of British Citizens living in the EU. This is completely separate to the current "negotiations" for a "trade deal and future relationship".
Regardless of what happens with this negotiation, including the possibility of "no (trade) deal", the withdrawal agreement and its associated rights cannot be changed. The withdrawal agreement
's citizens rights information can be found from page 22
onwards in the New Withdrawal Agreement PDF document
of 17th October 2019.
The best place for more information about the Withdrawal Agreement and what it means for British citizens living and working in the European Union please see the British In Europe web site
where they have specific information about it.:
PLEASE donate to British In Europe here
If you are a British citizen living in the Czech Republic I highly recommend that you get yourself legally resident by obtaining one of the following Czech Residence documents.
Current Czech Residence Options
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.
Permanent 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 that should not matter going forward.
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 :-)
UK.Gov guidance on passport rules for travel to Europe after the end of the transition period
(currently 31st December 2020).
If you have temporary/permanent residence document(s), from 1st January 2021 you are highly recommended to carry these with your passport when travelling outside of the Czech Republic.
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 certainly apply until the end of the transition period 31st December 2020 and possibly longer - this is to be determined. Here's the official press release
Even if you are travelling within the Schengen area, from 1st January 2021 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.
UK.Gov guidance on driving in the EU after the end of the transition period
(currently 31st December 2020).
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:
- It is possible to book an appointment online in advance - you
get a pin code that you enter at the terminal in the office +/- 10 minutes to your meeting time (otherwise your meeting becomes void) [this feature on the web site is only available in the Czech language though]
- Your UK Driving Licence must be the modern, photo card type issued from 1st May 2004 or later - you cannot exchange a paper based licence.
- You cannot download or pickup a form, fill it out at your leisure and return. The form is issued electronically at the counter and physically filled in during your meeting.
may be is an administration fee of 200 CZK (~£7) (the new licence will be issued within 20 working days). Or for 700 CZK (~£24) you can request the new licence to be issued within 5
working days - make sure you specify this before the form is completed if this is what you want. You must return to the office to pick up the new licence and physically hand over, in exchange, your old UK licence at that time - I'm not sure if you can get it posted (probably not, due
to the "exchange" requirement).
- I highly advise you to attend this meeting with someone that can speak excellent Czech - when I visited recently there was no one that spoke English and my rudimentary Czech was not good enough. I
was (rudely) told no one in the building could help me, you must be fluent in Czech or have a translator with you. I returned on the 28th February 2019 with a good Czech friend that spoke perfect
Czech and the application for exchange was completed - to be fair, the fluent Czech requirement is needed as there were a few technical questions around the UK driving licence "codes" which are,
apparently, not the same in the Czech Republic. Incidentally, the Czech counter assistant stated they were processing a lot of these "exchanges" but didn't know why. When we told her that the UK
Driving Licence would not be valid here in the event of a no deal, so this is the reason for all the exchanges, she said she did not know that -
so, another great job by the British Embassy working
with the Czech authorities it would seem (sic). at the British Embassy in Prague Open Evening for UK Nationals in the Czech Republic on the 9th April 2019, Lucy Hughes (Deputy Ambassador) stated that they were working with Czech authorities to make sure they are aware of the need for British citizens to exchange their licences and make the process smoother. However, judging by the comments from the audience this message was not getting across to the Czech authorities.
- You need to visit with the following:
- Your current UK Driving Licence
- Your current UK passport
- Document of habitual residence i.e. temporary or permanent residence - I'm not sure whether you can exchange a licence without one of these but as time is running out, perhaps tenancy
rental contract(s)/property deeds with your name on them might be acceptable
- A current, passport sized photo (35mm x 45mm) - although we took this, they could find our digital image
via the other Czech (residency) authorities but I would take at least one of these just in case (there are no photo booths at the Prague office but it looked like all the counters do have digital image taking
facilities but I wouldn't rely on this!)
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?