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Brexit Information For British Citizens Living In The Czech Republic

by Graham Needham 20th February 2019

Last updated on 1st February 2020


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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 Timings

23rd June 2016 - UK Brexit referendrum was held
24th June 2016 - UK Brexit referendrum result was declared
29th January 2019 - Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was ratifed by the European Union
31st 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 99 days (~2411 hours) to obtain either Temporary Residence or Permanent Residence paperwork.

1st January 2021 - the date British citizens become third country nationals
30th 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): 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 :-)

Passport

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.

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 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.

Driving Licence

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:

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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