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Brexit Information For British Citizens Living In The Czech Republic

by Graham Needham 20th February 2019

Last updated on 1st March 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

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

10 days (~271 hours) to Brexit - currently that means crashing out with no deal + this is how long you have left to get your current paperwork and residency status in order in the Czech Republic.

653 days (~15703 hours) to the end of the Czech Republic transition period for British citizens living in the Czech Republic with a no deal Brexit.

Withdrawal Agreement (WA) Brexit

If the withdrawal agreement gets UK parliamentary approval there will be an agreed transition period from 30th March 2019 to 31st December 2020 - specifically, citizens rights' information can be found from page 17 onwards of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, as endorsed by leaders at a special meeting of the European Council on 25 November 2018 PDF document. Basically, you will have until the 31st December 2020 to apply for/obtain resident "settled status" in the EU country where you live. In addition the UK government will remove 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 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 and expense that entails.

Costa Amendment

On the 27th February 2019 the Costa Amendment was passed in UK parliament as amendment (b) to the Brexit Next Steps motion without a division. This requires the Prime Minister to seek a joint UK-EU commitment to adopt part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement on citizens' rights (see above) whatever the outcome of negotiations on other parts of the deal. Time will tell (and there's not much left of that) if Theresa May (the UK Prime Minister) will actually act on this and get something sorted quickly. There isn't a legal barrier for the EU Council but they do have to change/update their negotiating guidelines - until they do that the EU Commission can't do/agree anything. One hopes that the EU Council and Commission, plus Theresa May will act quickly to agree this as this is a very important moment for British citizens living in the EU!

Unfortunately, on the 28th February 2019 the EU Commission rejected the Costa Amendment on the basis that it will "not negotiate mini-deals". This is a severe blow for this amendment and British citizens living in the EU :-(

Steve Barclay (UK Secretary Of State) wrote an official UK government letter to Michael Barnier on the 5th march 2019 to get the views of the EU institutions on ring-fencing the citizens' rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

No Deal Brexit

If there is no deal, which is the default outcome on 30th March 2019 unless before then…

  1. a withdrawal agreement is approved by UK parliament
  2. or an extension to article 50 is agreed by the UK and all member states of the EU
  3. or article 50 is revoked/cancelled by the UK
…the UK will crash out of the EU at 23:00 GMT (24:00 CET) on 29th March 2019 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. Just the President to sign it now and then it becomes actual law…

The Lex Brexit draft law creates a transition period specifically for British citizens living in the Czech Republic from 30th March 2019 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 30th March 2019. See below for more details. The Czech's have stated that as long as you have started the application process prior to 30th March 2019 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 :-)

Czech Lex Brexit Law - 30th March 2019 to 31st December 2020

During the Czech transition period from 30th March 2019 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 long term residency biometric card:
  • It will be a declaratory exchange process - you won't need to "apply" for it
  • There is an administrative fee of 2500 CZK (~£86)
  • 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 long term residency 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 biometric card for a different 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 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 and prove proficiency in the Czech language!

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 30th march 2019 you will be classed as a third country national!

British Citizens' Status From 1st January 2021

From 1st January 2021 British citizens without a long term residency 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 30th march 2019 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

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

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

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

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

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

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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