On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) left the European Union under the terms of the so-called Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020. It states that UK citizens currently residing in the Czech Republic will retain, under meeting certain conditions, their rights in the field of residence, access to the labour market and social security until the end of their lives.
If a UK citizen…
- … had legally resided or was employed in the Czech Republic before 31 December 2020, they may continue to work, change jobs, start studying or establish a business there, and the same applies to their family members. In this case, we recommend applying to the Ministry of the Interior for a certificate of temporary residence: without it, it is the foreign national who has the burden of proof and who has to prove that they have resided/worked in the country (e.g. employment contract, lease agreement, etc.).
- … was posted to the Czech Republic before 31 December 2020 and the posting still continues, they must obtain a work permit, which will be issued by the relevant labour office at the request of the foreign national.
- … commutes to the Czech Republic for work (so-called cross-border worker), it is possible to apply for a certificate at the relevant labour office. If the foreign national decides to settle in the Czech Republic, they can request a certificate of temporary residence.
- … already has a temporary or permanent residence in the Czech Republic, it will be necessary for them to exchange their residence card for a biometric one in the period from August 2021 to August 2022.
- … plans to permanently reside, work or study in the Czech Republic in the period after 31 December 2020, they will be considered a third-country national, i.e. they need to obtain relevant residence or work permits at the relevant Czech Embassy abroad.
- As of 1 January 2021, UK citizens have visa-free access to the Czech Republic according to the 90/180 rule; however, in connection with the pandemic, we recommend monitoring the current protective measures regulating the conditions for the entry of (not only) foreign nationals to the Czech Republic;
- During short-term business visits, foreign nationals can engage in various activities (e.g. meetings, consultations, trade fairs, exhibitions). In this case, we recommend assessing the nature of the planned activity in advance, as there are cases where it will be necessary to obtain a work permit.
Given the current protective measures, we recommend starting the paperwork concerning the application for the Czech visa in due time, especially with regard to the limited capacity of the Czech consulate in London and the length of the Czech immigration process.
Business trips and studying in the UK
Czech and EU citizens can stay in the UK for a period of up to 6 months. Until 30 September 2021, they can prove their identity with a valid ID card when entering the country; afterwards, it will be necessary to carry a passport. However, the purpose of the trip must only include tourism or family visits.
Regarding short-term business visits, it is necessary to assess the planned activity, as it will be obligatory to apply for relevant work and residence permits in certain cases.
If you are planning a language course in the duration of up to 6 months, you can attend it without the need to apply for a visa. If you are considering a longer stay, such as those involving university studies or one-year exchange programmes, it is necessary to apply for a student visa.
As of 1 January 2021, the UK’s points-based immigration system (PBS – points-based immigration system) is now valid for EU citizens applying for a long-term visa in the UK.