Guidance

Living in the Czech Republic

Official information for UK nationals moving to and living in the Czech Republic, including guidance on residency, healthcare, driving and the Withdrawal Agreement.

What you should do

You should:

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Czech Government and your local authority. You can also read our Czech Republic travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British Embassy regularly holds events across Czech Republic for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in the Czech Republic.

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in the Czech Republic at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in the Czech Republic.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in the Czech Republic. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for the Czech Republic.

Residency

If you are resident in the Czech Republic before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.

You need to secure a Czech residence permit if you want to guarantee your stay in the Czech Republic.

You must register your stay with the Czech Foreign Police (in Czech) first. You will need this confirmation of your registration with the Foreign Police when you apply for Czech residency status.

Read our guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

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

Check your passport is valid for travel. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Healthcare

If you are living in the Czech Republic or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in the Czech Republic as you do now, provided you remain resident.

For more information, read the Czech Health Insurance Bureau’s website for guidance on access to the Czech healthcare system.

Read our guidance on healthcare in the Czech Republic.

State healthcare: S1

If you live in the Czech Republic and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You must apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in the Czech Republic, you must not use your EHIC from the UK for healthcare in the Czech Republic.

When you travel from the Czech Republic for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

You should also read guidance on:

Working and studying in the Czech Republic

If you are registered as a resident in the Czech Republic, you have the right to work in the Czech Republic. Read our guidance on working in an EU country.

You may need to apply for one or both of the following:

If you are resident in the Czech Republic on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will not change, as long as you remain resident in the Czech Republic.

Professional qualifications

If you have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications, this will remain valid after 31 January 2020.

If you have not had your professional qualifications recognised, you can submit an application under the current rules until 31 December 2020.

Studying in the Czech Republic

You can continue in, or enrol into, study programmes taught in Czech free of charge after 31 January 2020. Fees for programmes taught in English will also not change.

Read the guidance on continuing your studies in the European Union.

Money and tax

If you work in the Czech Republic, you have the same tax rights and duties as Czech citizens.

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

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in the Czech Republic have not changed.

Read guidance about:

You should obtain professional advice on paying tax in the Czech Republic.

Declaration of overseas 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 here. This may include income from securities, insurance, annuities, and property. We recommend that you check with your local Czech tax office.

National Insurance

Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

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

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

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 don’t.

Pensions after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in the Czech Republic by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in the Czech Republic, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Czech pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Benefits

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

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in the Czech Republic.

Many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Czech benefits

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

You can request proof of the time you have worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Benefits after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in the Czech Republic, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Czech contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Driving in the Czech Republic

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are resident in the Czech Republic, exchange your UK licence for a Czech one (in Czech). You can do this at any municipality with extended competence (in Czech). You will need to provide at least two documents proving you are resident in the Czech Republic for more than 185 days in a calendar year. This can be your permanent residency permit, temporary residency permit, lease agreement, property ownership listing, employment contract, etc.

You can still use your Czech licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

For information on driving in the Czech Republic, read our guidance on:

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle into 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 car, you must register your vehicle with Czech authorities.

Voting

You cannot vote in local or national parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections.

Births, deaths and marriages

If your child is born in the Czech Republic, you will need to register the birth with local authorities and register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in the Czech Republic:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

You will need to make a declaration in the Register of Vital Records (matrika) in the municipality where you plan to get married.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for British nationals in the Czech Republic. As of February 2019, you may no longer need to provide Czech translation of your document to Czech authorities. Find out about a new EU regulation which simplifies the authentication process.

You may also need:

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy a property abroad.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet to the UK.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number on 112 or:

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

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

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Czech authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently. To help prove you are now living in the UK, you must deregister with Czech authorities.

If you receive UK State Pension or benefits payments, you must tell the International Pension Centre.

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.

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

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Czech authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 15 November 2013
Last updated 24 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

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

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

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

  5. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  13. 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.

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

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

  16. Updated information on Brexit.

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

  18. First published.