How to Apply for a Czech Republic Schengen Visa from the UK
Once part of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic split from Slovakia in a “friendly divorce” following the end of Soviet rule in the 1990s. Since then, it has grown into a major tourist destination, with an array of picturesque historic cities, world-class architecture, romantic castles and charming natural wonders. Its cities brim with Gothic wonders, its towns burst with Baroque majesty and its backcountry boasts eye-watering forests, cave systems and mountains.
The Czech Republic has become a favourite tourist destination for many travellers who crave something off of the traditional European tour path. It is a favourite destination for those who like older architecture, partially because this small landlocked country went mostly untouched during the world wars, and partially because the area has been owned by many different nations with different architectural influences throughout the last millennium. Prices are lower for those who like to find the best deal, and the culture is more “authentic” or unspoiled by tourist demands. The result is a charming step back into a fairytale world of “Real Europe.”
Czech Republic Entry Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus
In early 2020, the Czech Republic joined the rest of its Schengen country neighbours in closing its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has since partially reopened its borders, with conditions.
The entry requirements below are accurate at the time of posting, but they may change at any time and you should check on the latest news regarding restrictions, quarantine or whether a test will be required either from reliable news sources, the Czech government website, or the UK government website one to two weeks before your trip to be aware of the latest requirements for travelling to the Czech Republic.
If you have been fully vaccinated under the UK government’s vaccination programme for at least 14 days before travelling to the Czech Republic, you can enter the country for any reason without being required to isolate or take a pre-departure PCR test. The Czech Republic accepts the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record. If you are travelling with a printout of proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. If you are using the NHS app, make sure you have updated it to the latest version.
Children below the age of 12 may enter the country without a pre-departure test or a passenger locator form and do not need to self-isolate if travelling with their fully vaccinated parents.
Children aged 12-18 will need to have proof of vaccination or take a pre-departure PCR test and complete the passenger locator form.
If you have not been fully vaccinated, you are only allowed to enter the Czech Republic for essential reasons, such as for medical treatment or to attend a funeral, or if you hold a residency permit issued by the Czech Republic or a permanent or long term residency permit issued by an EU or Schengen country.
Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated travellers will also be required to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours before departure. Residents of the Czech Republic can also present an antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before they travel. After you arrive in the country, you must take another RT-PCR test 5-7 after arrival and you are required to wear an FFP2 standard facemask or higher (which is available in Czech pharmacies and known in Czech as a “respirátor”) if you are outside your accommodation until you receive a negative test result, unless you fall under the exemptions.
All passengers must complete the passenger locator form.
Details of which countries are classified, and the regulations in place for travellers from those countries, can be found on the website of the Czech Ministry of Interior.
Who needs a visa to travel to the Czech Republic from the UK?
Travelling to the Czech Republic for EU/EEA Citizens
The Czech Republic is a Schengen country, which allows for free movement between the 26 EU and EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland). A uniform Schengen visa issued by one of the Schengen states is valid for travel within the whole Schengen area.
Travelling to the Czech Republic Post-Brexit for UK Citizens
The rules for travelling or working in Europe changed on 1 January 2021:
- You will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.
- Therefore, if you’re travelling to the Czech Republic, previous visits to the Schengen area within the 180 days before your date of travel would count against the 90-day limit.
- If you are travelling visa-free to the Czech Republic and to other countries in the Schengen area, make sure your whole visit is within the limit.
- To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the Czech Republic. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You should check with the Embassy of the Czech Republic what type of visa, if any, you will need.
- Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit.
At border control for the Czech Republic, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
You should check that your passport is stamped upon entering and exiting the Schengen area through the Czech Republic as a visitor. Border guards use passport stamps to check that you are complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.
If these entry or exit stamps are not present in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit. If this is the case, you can show proof of entering or exiting using boarding passes or tickets and ask the border guard to update this information onto your passport.
You should also check your passport is valid for travel to the Schengen Area before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave the Czech Republic, or any other Schengen country and less than 10 years old.
Travelling to the Czech Republic for Third Country Nationals
Many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to the Czech Republic.
Citizens of the following countries residing in the UK and planning to visit the Czech Republic are required to get a Czech Republican visa to be able to enter the Czech Republic.
|Cape Verde||Central African Republic||Chad|
|Dem. Rep. Of Congo||Djibouti||Dominican Republic|
|North Korea||Northern Mariana’s||Oman|
|Pakistan||Papua New Guinea||Philippines|
|Sao Tome And Principe||Saudi Arabia||Senegal|
|Sierra Leone||Somalia||South Africa|
The main requirement to apply from the UK is a UK residence permit valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Czech Republic or the Schengen Area.
Before starting a visa application, or getting a flight to the Czech Republic, make sure to check whether you need a visa to The Czech Republic or not.
If you have a 3-month UK visa you can extend it for three more months in order to be eligible to apply for a Czech Republican Schengen visa from within the UK. You must apply for an extension before your visa expires and while you’re still in the UK.
Note: You can stay in the UK until the decision about the extension is taken, but only if you have applied within the visa period.
You should apply for a Czech Republican visa at the appropriate Czech Republican Embassy/Consulate or Czech Republican visa application centre in the UK if:
- The Czech Republic is the only Schengen country you plan on visiting
- The Czech Republic is your main destination (the country you will be staying the longest in)
- The Czech Republic is the first Schengen country you are visiting (when spending an equal amount of days in The Czech Republic and another Schengen country)
In case you plan on staying in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit, not a Czech Republican Schengen visa.
Please, note that if you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Czech Republican Embassy/Consulate/VAC in your home country of residence.
Steps to Applying for a Czech Republic Schengen Visa from the UK
Step 1: Know your visa type and validity
To apply for a Schengen visa to the Czech Republic in the UK, you first need to know the type of visa you require and how long the visa will be valid. There are different Czech Republic Schengen visa types depending on your purpose of travelling from the UK to the Czech Republic.
- Short-stay (Schengen) Visa – valid for up to 90 days (in a 180-day period) for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family/friends, conference, EEA/EU national family member
- Residence and work permits (Long stays) – you should apply for this kind of visa if you want to live in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days for employment, family reunification, study, research etc.
You will then be issued either a single entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa for up to 5 years based on the information you provide in your visa application.
Find out more about the types of Schengen visas in our article: Schengen Visa Types – All You Should Know When Applying for a Schengen Visa
Step 2: Identify where to make application and book an appointment
To apply for a Czech Republic visa you must book an appointment with the Czech Embassy in London.
You can do this through the following:
- Book it yourself through VFS Global
- Use a service like IaM who will also make sure that your application will have the best chance of being approved
Step 3: Complete your application form
The Schengen visa application form contains questions about you including:
- Name and surname
- Date and place of birth
- Sex and marital status
- National Identity number
- Passport number
- Home address and email
- Purpose of trip
- Question regarding previous trips to Schengen, if any
- Intended date of arrival in Schengen area you are visiting, and the intended period of stay
- Cost of traveling and remaining in Schengen area you are visiting, who will cover them, etc.
If you intend to travel for business purposes, i.e. visiting a business/company for meetings, recruitments, training or any other work-related activities, then you need to indicate Business the purpose of your travels.
Make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the rest of the documents. Complete the form, print it twice, and sign both copies at the end.
Find out more about how to complete a Schengen visa application form in this blog post.
Step 4: Prepare your documents
The following list of documents are required in order to obtain a visa to the Czech Republic in the UK:
- A valid passport or travel document. Please make sure:
- Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
- Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
- Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
- A valid UK residence permit or other form of Identity Card.
- The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
- The UK residence permit must be valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Czech Republic.
- One Czech Republic Schengen visa application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.
- One recently taken passport format photo with a blank background and where all your facial features are clear, which must be glued to the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit to Czech Republic
- Biometric data (Applies only if you haven’t provided biometric data within the last 59 months):
- A copy of the passport bio page where the photo is included.
Note: Children under the age of 12 are exempted from providing fingerprints.
- Proof of travel arrangements:
- Round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport
- Complete itinerary of your visit to Czech Republic (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
- Travel Insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Czech Republic but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30,000).
- Holders of diplomatic passports and family members of EU/EEA citizens are exempted from providing proof of travel medical insurance
- Proof of accommodation in Czech Republic:
- Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement, or
- Invitation from your Czech Republic host (family member, friend) with a copy of their passport
- Proof of financial subsistence:
- Original recent bank statement (covering the last 3 calendar months. The last transaction must be no more than 1 month old) that shows you are able to support yourself during your stay:
- £60.00 per person per day if you are staying in a hotel.
- £40.00 per person per day if you are staying in a hostel or similar.
- £20.00 per person per day if you are staying with family or friends (even when your host has confirmed that they will be covering your expenses) plus funds for a return ticket to your country of residence.
- Traveller’s Cheques
Note: Cash is not considered proof of financial subsistence.
- Original recent bank statement (covering the last 3 calendar months. The last transaction must be no more than 1 month old) that shows you are able to support yourself during your stay:
- Certificate of criminal record of the home country– showing that candidate has no open crime case involvement
- Proof of paid Czech Republic visa fee.
Note: Photocopies of the original documents should also be submitted and documents should not be more than one month old.
The documents listed above are documents required in all cases, regardless of the purpose of your visit in Czech Republic.
Additional documents required for your visa application based on employment status
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
For the self-employed:
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
For foreign students in the UK:
- Proof of enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school or university
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:
- A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date,
- Spouse’s valid passport
- An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation must be in English or Czech Republic and must be certified as a true copy by the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in UK
Requirements for children under the age of 18:
Parents or an adult guardian are required to accompany their underage children to the application centre at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London. Also, minors who are granted a Czech Republic visa are not allowed to travel to the Czech Republic by themselves. They should be accompanied by an adult during their stay in the Czech Republic.
Apart from the general documentation required, accompanying should be other additional documents depending on the purpose of your Czech Republic Visa application.
List of additional documents required for the most frequent purposes of Czech Republic visa application
Czech Republic Tourist/Visitor Visa:
- Invitation letter from your family or friends in the Czech Republic with the address and phone number – if applicable
- Bank statement of the last 6 months
- Passport copies
Czech Republic Visa for Business Purposes:
- Invitation letter from the Czech Republic company you will be visiting and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit
- A certificate from your employer stating/allowing your business travel
- If there were previous trade relations between the two companies, proof of such events must be provided
- Business bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents
- Regarding the applicant’s expenses during stay in the Schengen zone, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
Czech Republic Visa for Medical Purposes:
- A local medical report
- A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in Czech Republic, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation
- Payment receipt of medical fees
Czech Republic Visa for Cultural, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purposes:
- Invitation letter from the above-mentioned authorities with details upon the nature of events or activities – purpose of visit, expense coverage
- Names of the applicants (crew members)
- Duration of stay
- Travel itinerary
Czech Republic Visa for Members of Official Delegations:
- The official invitation copy
- Identity of applicant
- Purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations)
- Duration of stay
- Place of accommodation
Czech Republic Visa for Study, Training, Research, or other types of Internship Purposes:
- An enrollment certificate allowing attendance of courses
- Certificate of completion or courses attended
- Financial sustenance
Czech Republic Airport Transit Visa:
- Visa or other type of entry permit in the transit country
- Copy of your valid visa for your final destination
Required documents for visa application for underage children
- Birth certificate
- Czech Republic Schengen Visa application form should be signed by both parents.
- Family court order, in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID / passport of both parents
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to Czech Republic, signed by both parents / guardians, if the minor will be travelling alone with another person.
All documents provided should be legalized and be in of the following languages:
Step 5: Attend your appointment
On the day of the interview, show up at the appointment centre on time (embassy or consulate). Remember that if you are late even for a few minutes, then they will probably cancel your appointment. Try wearing something a bit more official, but comfortable.
The Czech Republic visa interview takes around 10 minutes to complete. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer.
Find out more about how to ace your Schengen visa interview in our article: Schengen Visa Interview Questions and Answers and How to Prepare for it
After your application is verified, the information will be entered into the online system of the consulate or embassy and you will receive a printed copy of your application, which process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After you get the printed form, please make sure to verify all the details are correct and sign the form.
Underage applicants must be accompanied by their mother/father/legal guardian.
Czech Republic Visa Fees for UK Residents
Since the Czech Republic is a Schengen country, the visa fees are the same as any other Schengen visa.
The fee must be paid upon submitting the Czech visa application. After you complete this payment, you will receive a receipt, which shows that payment has been made, which must be offered amongst other documents of the application dossier. You will have to pay a Czech Republic visa fee in order for your application to be processed.
The fee must be paid upon submitting the Czech Republic visa application. After you complete this payment, you will receive a receipt, which shows that payment has been made, which must be offered amongst other documents of the application dossier. You will have to pay the Czech Republic visa fee in order for your application to be processed.
Find out about the Schengen visa fee in our blog post: Schengen Visa Fees – How Much Does a Schengen Visa Cost?
Czech Republic Schengen Visa Fee Exemptions
The following persons are exempted from Czech Republic Schengen visa fees:
- Children younger than 6 years of age
- Family members of an EU/EEA national
- Documents required for exemption:
- Original Marriage Certificate, or
- Civil Partnership Certificate
- Original full Birth Certificate
- EU/EAA national’s passport.
- Documents required for exemption:
- Persons travelling for the purpose of study or educational training
- School pupils.
- Undergraduates and postgraduates
- These persons must be accompanied by their teachers/professors
- Researchers from third countries
- NGO representatives younger than 25 years of age
Czech Republic Schengen Visa Fee Discounts
For nationals of countries that have a visa facilitation agreement with the EU visa applications cost only 35 € (30 £). Nationals of countries that are granted visa discounts for the Czech Republic are:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia*
Step 6: Receive your visa
Visa Application Processing Time in UK
You can apply for a Czech Republic Schengen visa 6 months before your planned trip. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, the processing time may take at least 15 days from the day of application. In some cases when required documents are missing from the application, this process may take longer.
Therefore, to avoid unwanted complications, the Czech Consulate General in London advises that you provide all required documents and submit your application at least 20 workdays (4 weeks) before the day you leave for the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic Schengen Visa Application Decision
- Approved – Once your visa is approved, it will be stamped in your passport. Make sure to carefully check the visa sticker to make sure everything is correct and exactly how you need it.
- Rejected – if your visa has been rejected, it would have been for a specific reason and you have the right to appeal.
Common Czech Republic Schengen visa rejection reasons
- Marriage certificate missing – if you are applying for a visa for family reasons, you may have to prove family ties. This is why you must provide a marriage certificate
- You applied for the wrong visa – it is your responsibility to apply for the correct visa depending on how long you are going to the Czech Republic for and your reason for travelling there
- It is not clear that you plan to return to the UK – it must be clear that you intend to return to the UK before the visa expires. If the visa staff have doubts about this, your visa will be rejected
- The purpose of your trip cannot be established – the reason why you are planning to go to the Czech Republic must be made clear. You can do this by providing specific documents like a full itinerary, work contract or invitation letter, etc.
What if my Czech Schengen visa is rejected?
If you receive a negative answer in your Czech Schengen visa application, this does not mean you cannot ever travel to the Czech Republic. You have two options.
- File an appeal for a Czech Republic Schengen visa rejection if you believe that the decision to deny you a visa is unjust. You should have a strong basis for your complaint. You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for a Czech Republic Schengen visa rejection.
- Reapply by correcting the mistakes you did in your previous application. Or improve your situation to comply with the eligibility criteria for a Czech Republic Schengen Visa.
Czech Republic Schengen Visa Extension
A person visiting the Czech Republic on a Schengen visa is allowed by law to extend their visa if they have legitimate reasons. This could be either personal, professional, medical, emergency, or any other. The decisions to approve a Schengen visa extension request are handled case by case.
The duration you are allowed to stay in the country is stated in your Schengen visa sticker. It is important not to overstay during your trip to the Czech Republic or the rest of the Schengen Zone or risk facing penalties like a fine, deportation, being banned from travelling back to the Schengen Zone, and having difficulties in your future Schengen applications. There are also cases when people do not get any penalties for overstaying, for example a child or a person that cannot travel without a caretaker because of an illness or disability or an unforeseen event that prevents you from leaving the country, like COVID-19.
Find out more about overstaying in the Schengen visa in our blog post.
Schengen Visa Extension Application Process
If you wish to extend your visa and stay longer in the Schengen Zone, then you need to start getting ready for your application. The overall process of extending your Czech Republic Schengen visa will involve:
- Determining whether you have a justified reason to request for an extension
- Submitting all the necessary documents. These include a valid passport that has the Schengen Visa used to get in the Schengen area stamped in it, one passport-sized photo, proof of financial subsistence, Schengen Visa Insurance that covers the extension duration, and all the documents that justify your reason for an extension
- Paying visa fees where applicable
- Attending a visa interview if necessary
- Waiting for the approval
Czech Republic Schengen Visa Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Czech Republic Schengen visa easy to get?
Yes, it’s easy to apply for a Czech Republic Schengen visa! You can apply for the visa online or use immigration services like IAM to make the process even simpler for you and have a higher chance of your application being accepted.
How long does a Czech Republic Schengen visa take to process?
You can apply for a Czech Republic Schengen visa up to 180 days before your planned trip. The Czech Republic visa application process takes a minimum of 5 working days but can take up to 2 weeks. We advise you to make your application 3 weeks before your trip to make up for any possible delays in processing.
How can I get a multiple entry visa to the Czech Republic?
If you want to get a multiple entry visa to the Czech Republic or any country in the Schengen area, you need to justify through your documents and your visa interview why you should be granted such a visa, which includes proving that you have sufficient resources to support your multiple trips.
How much is a Schengen visa for the Czech Republic?
The fee for a Czech Republic Schengen visa is 80€ for adults, 40€ for children between 6-12 years of age, and free for children younger than 6 years of age. Keep in mind that these fees may change depending on currency fluctuations and can be paid only in UK Pounds. Payments can be made in cash and by credit or debit card.
How can I get a Czech Republic Schengen visa fast?
You can get a premium Schengen visa to get your Czech Republic Schengen visa within 24 to 48 hours, which includes personalised advice from an expert immigration adviser.
How much money do I need to show in my bank account for a Czech Republic Schengen visa?
It will depend on your accommodation in the Czech Republic. You need £60.00 per person per day if you are staying in a hotel, £40.00 per person per day if you are staying in a hostel or similar, or £20.00 per person per day if you are staying with family or friends (even when your host has confirmed that they will be covering your expenses) plus funds for a return ticket to your country of residence.
Are Euros used in the Czech Republic?
The official currency of the Czech Republic is the koruna, or the Czech crown. Although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, the euro is not widely accepted in the country.
What other countries can I travel to on a Czech Republic Schengen visa?
What are your thoughts on the Czech Republic Schengen visa process? Is there anything we missed or anything you need clarification on? Comment below.
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If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.
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