The types of visas & purposes of visas
This course focuses on how to get a visa, based on the purpose of having a Trade License, or a "Živno" so you can work as an independent contractor in the Czech Republic. It is the easiest way for foreigners to obtain a visa.
The next video will layout the timeline for getting your visa and Živno.
Q: If I'm only staying in Prague to take a TEFL course, do I need a visa?
A: No. If you only want to stay for 90 days (or fewer), you do not need to do get a visa. If you are from the US, you automatically have the 90-day tourist visa and you do not need to do anything special when flying to Europe.
Q: When flying into Europe, if border control asks what I'm doing, should I say I'll be living and working in the Czech Republic?
A: Since you do not yet have a visa yet, it's best NOT to say you will be working in the Czech Republic. Instead, just say you are coming to take a TEFL program (or coming to travel). Then you won't be asked to prove anything about a longer stay.
Q: What if I'm coming to Prague and I'm not sure yet if I want to stay and get a visa?
A: That's fine! As long as you have enough days left out of your 90 Schengen days, you can decide once you arrive and see how you like it. There is one important thing you need to bring from back home, which is a special letter from your bank. It's a good idea to bring that just in case. Please watch our video later in this module for all of the details on that.
Q: What if I want to stay even longer than a few years?
A: Your first visa (long-term visa) lasts for up to one year. Then, you can apply for long-term residence, which is for up to two years. If you'd like to stay longer than that, you can get more long-term residence permits, for two years. Once you get to five years of living in the Czech Republic, you can apply for permanent residency. After ten years, you can take a test for citizenship.
Q: Should I buy a one-way ticket of a round-trip ticket to Prague?
A: Whether or not to buy a one-way or a roundtrip ticket is up for some debate. Some people booked a one-way ticket to Prague and had no problems boarding the flight. Some were rejected by the airline at check-in because they attempted to fly to the Schengen Zone without return ticket.
"I'll add my own anecdote to the mix: I'm American and I've lived in Prague for 7 years with a visa/residency permit. On a holiday trip back to the states, the airline refused to let me board the return flight to Prague because I didn't have a return ticket back to the states. Even though I had booked my Prague >> S.F., —S.F. >> Prague ticket with THE SAME AIRLINE. I hadn't received any warning from the airline when I booked the flight. And what recourse would I have if they didn't let me on the plane? The airline representative at Check-in almost made me buy a new return ticket back to the U.S. from Prague at the airport and it could have been expensive. Only when I produced my Czech Permanent Residency card did they let me on the plane. That had never happened to me before in all my international travel to and from Europe."
Sometimes airlines let you fly on a one-way ticket to the Schengen Zone. Sometimes they do not. Just beware of the potential difficulties with booking a one-way ticket.
Here are your options:
- Buy a roundtrip ticket with a return date within 90 days (the length of your tourist visa) and inquire about the fee to change the return flight. Sometimes the fee is only $100, and that gives you the peace of mind that you won't be turned away when you depart for Prague.
- Buy a one-way ticket and arrive early at the airport, explaining that you are going to Prague for a TEFL course and plan to apply for a visa once you get there.