Guidance

Living in the Czech Republic

Information for British citizens moving to or living in the Czech Republic, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in the Czech Republic. Read about how our embassy in Prague can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Czech authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in the Czech Republic since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Coronavirus

Follow the advice of the Czech Government and your local authority. You should also read the Czech Republic travel advice.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in the Czech Republic, read coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for the Czech Republic and read the Czech government’s guidance on visas.

Visas and residency if you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

If you have lived in the Czech Republic since before 1 January 2021 you and your family members have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You should request a biometric residence card which will show that you have the rights defined in the Withdrawal Agreement. It will also show your right to enter the Czech Republic, and exempt you from the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and visa requirements.

You can apply for a biometric card at your local office of the Ministry of Interior. You also need to phone the Ministry of Interior (odbor azylové a migracni politiky) on +420 974 801 801 to make an appointment so you can provide your biometric data. Read the Czech government guidance on the application process.

If you already have a Czech residence permit (Potvrzení o přechodném/trvalém pobytu) you must exchange it for the new biometric card before 31 August 2022.

You can apply for the biometric card without having a residency permit. You will need to prove you have been living in the Czech Republic since before 1 January 2021 and continue to do so. You must apply before 31 August 2022.

Your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be affected if you do not meet the deadline. However, we recommend that you obtain your new biometric card as soon as possible. If you do not have a biometric card to prove your rights, you may experience delays in, or be refused, government services. Travel within the Schengen area will also be more difficult.

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in the Czech Republic at any time in the future. Read more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance.

They must travel to the Czech Republic and then apply as your family member. Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Czech authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Read the Czech government’s guidance on residency.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from the Czech Republic.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from the Czech Republic.

Check the Czech Republic travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave the Czech Republic using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in the Czech Republic with a Czech residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside the Czech Republic, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your biometric residence document, or a temporary or permanent residency card or frontier worker permit, issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. Other evidence may be your tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your biometric residence document, show your certificate of registration (usually called a ‘proof of application’).

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in the Czech Republic, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence (e.g. biometric card).

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit the Czech Republic with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare

Read our guidance on healthcare in the Czech Republic and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

You should also read guidance on:

Working in the Czech Republic

If you are planning to move to the Czech Republic and work, you may need a visa.

Read the Czech government’s guidance on working in the Czech Republic as a foreign national and how to get a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide:

Read:

If you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you have a biometric card, or a temporary or permanent residency card, or have applied for one.

If you live in the Czech Republic and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the Czech Republic.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in the Czech Republic officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in the Czech Republic

If you plan to study in the Czech Republic, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel. Contact the relevant higher education provider in the Czech Republic to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021.

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with the Czech Republic so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in the Czech Republic. Find an English-speaking lawyer in the Czech Republic.

Read guidance on:

Declaring your assets

If you live in the Czech Republic for more than six months in the current year, you will need to pay tax on your worldwide income there. This may include income from securities, insurance, annuities, and property. We recommend that you check with your local Czech tax office.

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in the Czech Republic. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in the Czech Republic.

You can request proof from HMRC of the time you’ve worked in the UK and your UK National Insurance record.

Read guidance on:

Benefits

UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in the Czech Republic.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Czech Republic benefits

You may be entitled to receive benefits in the Czech Republic. To find out if you are entitled to Czech benefits and how to claim, read the European Union’s guidance on claiming benefits in an EU country.

Pensions

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in the Czech Republic.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in the Czech Republic, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and Banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy a property abroad.

Driving in the Czech Republic

UK, Gibraltar, Jersey and Guernsey photocard driving licences are valid in the Czech Republic for short visits.

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in the Czech Republic. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in the Czech Republic:

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, or Guernsey licence

If you live in the Czech Republic you must exchange your licence for a Czech one within 3 months of being granted residency. Find out how to exchange your licence (Czech Transport Ministry website), including which documents are required.

You can exchange your licence at any municipality which provides this service (not all municipalities do). Use the map to find the nearest municipality where you can exchange your licence (in Czech). These municipalities, the ‘úřad obce s rozšířenou působností’, are shown in blue on the map, or listed in a document below the map.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

You do not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence.

Exchanging your Isle of Man licence

If you have a licence from the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Exchanging your licence if you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021

If you were living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021, you can continue to drive using your UK licence. You also have the option to exchange your UK licence for a Czech one.

You can exchange your licence at any municipality which provides this service (not all municipalities do). Use the map to find the nearest municipality where you can exchange your licence (in Czech). These municipalities, the ‘úřad obce s rozšířenou působností’, are shown in blue on the map, or listed in a document below the map.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in the Czech Republic, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Czech disabled parking card at your nearest municipality which provides this service (not all municipalities do). Use the map to find the nearest municipality where you can apply for a disabled parking card (in Czech). These municipalities, the ‘úřad obce s rozšířenou působností’, are shown in blue on the map, or listed in a document below the map.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to the Czech Republic

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

If you spend more than 185 days in the Czech Republic with your UK-registered vehicle, you must register the vehicle with the Czech authorities (in Czech).

Driving outside the Czech Republic with a Czech licence

You can use your Czech licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Czech licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Czech licence, you may need to apply for an IDP (in Czech).

Read the EU guidance on:

Voting

You cannot vote in the Czech Republic.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in the Czech Republic, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in the Czech Republic, read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You will need to make a declaration in the Register of Vital Records (matrika) in the municipality where you plan to get married or get a civil partnership. Contact your local authority or council office to arrange this.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for British nationals in the Czech Republic.

You may also need:

Pets

If you’re moving to the Czech Republic with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in the Czech Republic for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial:

  • 158 for the police
  • 156 for local police force
  • 155 for health emergencies
  • 150 for firefighters

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Prague.

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

Tell the Czech and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

You must de-register with the Czech authorities.

If you get healthcare in the Czech Republic through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 form is cancelled at the right time.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 15 November 2013
Last updated 16 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Guide reviewed and updated with new information, including in the sections on passports, national insurance and social security contributions.

  2. Driving section updated with latest guidance on how to exchange your driving licence.

  3. Guidance reviewed and updated including money, tax and banking and benefits sections

  4. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in the Czech Republic, Studying in the Czech Republic, Emergencies, and Returning to the UK sections.

  5. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to the Czech Republic after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  6. Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working in the Czech Republic section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services and education section updated with link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  7. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines.

  8. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, pet travel and moving to the Czech Republic

  9. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  10. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers.

  11. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021.

  12. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  13. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  14. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  15. EU Exit update: information in the "Passports and travel after the UK leaves the EU" section updated

  16. Births, deaths and marriages: We added information on the the EU Regulation on Public Documents (Regulation 2016/1191) which simplifies the circulation of certain public documents.

  17. EU Exit update: updated EU Exit information in visas and residency, healthcare and driving sections

  18. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  19. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  20. EU Exit update: added information on an outreach event in Brno on 19 February

  21. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  22. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  23. Added information about an outreach event planned for January 2019 in the "EU exit: what you need to know" section.

  24. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  25. Brexit update: added in official recommendation from the Czech Ministry of the Interior

  26. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  27. Updated information on Brexit.

  28. Added Brits in the Czech Republic Facebook page to the information on expat communities in the Czech Republic.

  29. First published.