There is no doubt that obtaining Czech citizenship is a complicated process. However, if several conditions are met, it is a manageable process. Acquiring Czech citizenship is the last thing that can separate you from the status of a Czech citizen, with the rights and obligations that this entails. You can apply for Czech citizenship both as a citizen of the European Union and as a foreigner from non-European countries. Let us take a look at a list of the conditions that need to be met.
1. Basic condition – you have permanent residence (more HERE, in our article on permanent residence)
- You are a citizen of any Member State of the European Union:
- with at least 3 years of permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
- You are a citizen of a country outside the European Union:
- with at least 5 years of permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
- An exemption from the condition of permanent residence may be granted, if:
- you were born on the Czech territory,
- at least one of your parents is a citizen of the Czech Republic,
- your spouse or registered partner with whom you live in the same household is a citizen of the Czech Republic,
- you are under the age of 18 on the date of application.
2. The basic condition – really! you are staying in the Czech Republic.
- You must prove that you are actually staying in the Czech Republic. And at least to the extent of one half of the period of permanent residence.
- What does not count as a stay?
- absence for more than 2 consecutive months,
- absence for more than 6 consecutive months in the event of pregnancy and the birth of a child, a serious illness, or a business trip.
3. Basic condition – you are part of the society.
You are part of the Czech society, especially in terms of:
- social life.
You do not violate the security of the state, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, democratic foundations, lives, health, or property values of the state.
4. Basic condition – you have clean criminal record
- You have been in the Czech Republic for more than 10 years,
- you have not been convicted in the Czech Republic of an intentional criminal offence.
- you have not been convicted in the Czech Republic of a criminal offence due to negligence,
- You have been in the Czech Republic for less than 10 years,
- you have not been convicted in the Czech Republic – see above,
- furthermore, you have not been convicted in the last 10 years or in your home country.
5. Basic condition – demonstrable knowledge of the Czech language and Czech life and institutions.
- You must prove your knowledge of the Czech language by an exam (more information is provided HERE).
- the exam will be performed by the Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University,
- the exam can be replaced by a school certificate – at least 3 years of study of the Czech language.
- The test equivalent is:
- School Leaving Exam in the Czech language,
- State Language Exam,
- Exam in Czech as a Foreign Language at the B1 or higher levels.
- You must demonstrate your knowledge of the constitutional system and basic orientation in the culture, social institutions, geography, and history of the Czech Republic.
- The exam will be performed by the Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University.
- The exam can be replaced by a school certificate – that is, if you have studied in the Czech language for at least 3 years.
6. Basic condition – you must prove the amount of your income.
- for the last 3 years preceding the date of your application. Document:
- the amount and sources of your income,
- income tax actually paid,
- or cashless transfer of income from abroad.
7. Basic condition – you do not burden the state social security system.
- You will prove that during the last 3 years preceding the date of application, you have not burdened the state social security system or the system of assistance in material need without serious reasons (in short, that you are not financially dependent on financial benefits from the state).
- However, this does not apply if:
- you study in the Czech Republic,
- you are not able to work for health reasons,
- you are taking maternity or parental leave,
- you take care of another person.
Where and whom to contact?
- The application can be submitted only in person at the regional office.
- In Prague at the offices of the Prague 1 to 22 city districts.
- The Ministry of the Interior will decide on the processing of the application,
- you may be called for an interview.
What do you have to submit?
- Application for citizenship of the Czech Republic (for what reason are you applying).
- curriculum vitae in the Czech language – this must include:
- information on residence in the Czech Republic, including the length of stays abroad during this period,
- information on work or other gainful activity,
- information on family and social life,
- possibly also data on your studies in the Czech Republic.
- A filled-out Questionnaire on the Application for Citizenship of the Czech Republic (filled out directly at the office).
- Your Birth Certificate, possibly also your marriage certificate, divorce judgement or your spouse’s death certificate.
- Your identity card (residence permit + valid travel document).
- A proof of passing the Czech language test – more HERE, or school certificate or other documents proving the study (the condition is 3 years of study at a primary or secondary school or at university, where the subjects were taught in Czech).
- Documents proving your stay in the Czech Republic (decision of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic) and possible stay abroad.
- The following documents for the last 3 years, not older than 30 days:
- confirmation from the Tax Office of the Czech Republic,
- confirmation from the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic,
- confirmation from the health insurance company (VZP) or another insurance entity with which you are registered,
- confirmation from the District Social Security Administration (OSSZ),
- alternatively, a certificate of maintenance obligations towards a child who has a permanent residence in the Czech Republic (birth certificate of the child).
- If you work: confirmation of current employment, including information on the amount of income (issued by your employer).
- If you do not work: confirmation that you are a recipient of an invalidity or old-age pension or that you have income from abroad.
Fees and deadlines
- Keep in mind that you pay the fee only AFTER a positive processing of the application; the actual submission of the application is free of charge.
- Adults pay a fee of CZK 2,000
- Minors pay a fee of CZK 500
- Your application will be sent to the Ministry of the Interior within 30 days, which will decide on it within 180 days.
The last step – the citizenship oath
- In the case of a positive settlement of the application, you will receive the “Charter on the Granting of Citizenship of the Czech Republic”.
- You will also gain citizenship by taking the citizenship oath:
- the citizenship oath is made in a public and solemn manner before the director of the regional office,
- in Prague before the secretary of the district office,
- abroad in front of the head of the embassy of the Czech Republic.
- Attention! – You must take the citizenship oath no later than 12 months from the day when the invitation to take it was delivered to you.
- If this does not occur, the Ministry of the Interior will revoke the decision to grant citizenship.