Immigration to Czech republic

Introducing the Czech Republic: The Czech republic can be described as an average size European country with rich and varied cultural heritage, with influences from the many countries and states that have surrounded and occupied this area. Statistics tell us that the population of the Czech Republic can be currently estimated at around 10.5 million people. The biggest ethnic group is Czech (64%). The official language is Czech, however, there are 14 minority languages (including Russian), which are officially recognized.

Czech nominal GDP per capita is estimated at around 18 579 USD. The Official currency is the Czech Koruna (CZK). The Czech Republic is a proud member state of the European Union and of the Schengen area, which provides many benefits to its residents.

Immigration legislation states that if you are a non-citizen of the European Union and you intend to stay in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days consecutively or if you want to conduct business activities or work, then you must apply for a long-term visa.

Immigration services

Immigration services in the Czech Republic are not as well developed as in many other European countries, and also compare poorly with other eastern European states, such as Latvia. However, the Ministry of the Interior (http://www.mvcr.cz), which is responsible for immigration related issues, does offer residence permits for qualifying company formation. Still, it may be quite difficult to obtain a residence permit in the Czech Republic. However, it is still possible to acquire a long term visa if you want to live, work or study there.

When dealing with immigration authorities while already within the Czech Republic it is essential to have the support of a Czech speaking individual, since the 'Foreign Police', assigned locally by the Ministry of the interior, rarely speak any language except Czech – you might be 'lucky' but you should not rely on finding an official that will understand you.

Here are three companies, offering immigration services in the Czech Republic:

Lawful Immigration

In order for immigration to be lawful, an immigrant needs to adhere to all the requirements set out in Czech law. The main law, which regulates immigration of non-citizens of the EU in the Czech Republic, is the Law on Residence of Aliens in the Czech Republic. There are several possible options, depending on the purpose of your visit. You may need a work permit, visa or Schengen visa in order to visit the country. If you plan to reside there for a long period of time – you need to acquire a residence permit or a long term visa.

Immigration law

The main immigration law for immigrants from non-EU states in the Czech Republic is the Law on Residence of Aliens in the Czech Republic.
Law on Residence of Aliens in the Czech Republic - http://www.czechlegislation.com
Ministry of the Interior (Department for Asylum and Migration Policy - http://www.mvcr.cz
The first article of the Law on Residence of Aliens in the Czech Republic defines such a foreigner as follows:
(2) The foreigner shall mean the natural person who is not a citizen of the Czech Republic, 1a), including a European Union citizen.

Immigration Statistics

The statistics of immigration in the Czech Republic are quite controversial among Czech citizens. According to the 2011 census, there are almost 543 000 permanent legal immigrants living in the Czech Republic, which is 5% of the total population. Immigrants from the Ukraine form the largest group, and account, it is estimated, for around 118 000 permanent residents.

Most popular cities by population

The most popular city for immigrants is Prague. It is also the biggest city in the Czech Republic. The other two big cities by population are Brno and Ostrava. However, Prague is more than two times bigger than Brno and Ostrava combined.

Tourists mostly visit Prague with its fine Hapsberg dynasty austro-hungarian architecture, bridges and museums. Brno is also quite famous, mostly for its cathedral and Zoo, as well as being a home to local offices of many international technology companies and sitting in the scenic hilly wine-growing region of south Moravia.

Migration in and out of Schengen area

The Czech Republic is a member state of the Schengen area. Countries of the Schengen Agreement have abolished passport and immigration control at their common borders and for travel between their member states. Member countries also recognize Schengen visas issued by other Schengen states. On the outer border, or upon first entry to the Schengen area, normal immigration control procedures apply, however admission to any Schengen country is considered admission to the whole Schengen area (all member countries), with no further immigration checks needed.

Third-country nationals holding long term visas may stay in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days. Due to the strict immigration policies, sometimes it may be quite hard to acquire a Schengen visa directly from the Czech republic. A list of documents and grounds for requesting a visa can be found on the web site of the Ministry of the Interior.

Residence permit

Currently, with the exception of the qualifying business formation already mentioned, there are only three ways to obtain a residence permit in the Czech Republic for non-EU citizens:
family reunification, study and scientific research.

As you can see, there are very few grounds for submitting an application for a residence permit in the Czech Republic.
If you want to know more about residence permits in the Czech Republic, you can read guidance from the ministry of the interior here:
http://www.mzv.cz/

History

One of the most noticeable moments in the history of immigration in the Czech Republic occurred during the Soviet period, during which time the governments of Vietnam and Czechoslovakia had a deal concerning the education of Vietnamese people in Czechoslovakia. Vietnamese people started immigrating to Czechoslovakia in year 1956 and then the number of new immigrants grew until the fall of communism. Currently the population of the Czech Republic includes, it is estimated, around 83 000 Vietnamese – who are most immediately noticeable by the many non-stop food establishments that they own and run.