If you have been following me, you know I already had a visa and residence permit once and am back to do it all again. If you are new here and stumbled upon my blog while looking for Živnostenský list or Czech immigration information, I recommend you start at the beginning. Even though I had a visa before, because I let my residence permit expire I need to start from scratch.
This post will cover from the start of the process to waiting for the visa appointment and I will post more once things move ahead. This process is for someone here on a trade license (Živnostenský list). I’ve included actual dates so you can see the real timeline here in 2015. If things have changed from 2013 I will make an effort to update the original postings to reflect this. As I arrived in the Schengen Zone on February 19th, I am on a bit of a timeline to pull this off by May 20th.
Useful information: The Ministry of the Interior website.
Canadian criminal record check: I applied at the Embassy in Prague on March 9th, it was ready for pickup on March 10th. You can get this in Canada before you come, but it is no faster, no cheaper and won’t be in Czech so you will need to pay to get it translated. Note that they are only open from 9:00 until 12:00 but you can make an appointment for afternoon if necessary. Cost: 1,000kc.
The criminal record check needs to be super-notarized by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minsterstvo zahranicnich veci) located at #5 Toskansky Palac, very close to the castle. It is often busy and I arrived at 13:00 to be the first in line when they opened at 13:30 – I was in and out in five minutes. Cost: 600kc (note, you will need to pay this by “kolek” which are financial payment stamps available at the post office – they won’t accept cash).
We aren’t done! Take your super-notarized Canadian criminal record check to a notary (there are Czech Points all over Prague) and have an official notarized copy made – you will need this copy for your Živnostenský list. Cost: 60kc.
Czech criminal record check: Because I lived here for two years, I needed to get a Czech criminal record check (rejstřík trestů) as well. There is a good explanation of this process on Prague.tv. The article says the wait will be long but I was in and out in five minutes and was able to pay the fee in cash, they didn’t need koleks. Cost: 100kc (not the 50kc stated in the article).
Housing document: You will need some proof of housing, a lease or doklad ubytovani. This document must be signed by the registered owners of the flat and notarized – they will check it to make sure they are the registered owners. It must be good for at least the duration of your visa plus the waiting period, so try to get one that is either open ended or at least good for one year. Cost: 60kc? Or zero if your landlord is nice like mine is.
Proof of funds: You need a document to prove you have at least 110,000kc available to you. I had my Canadian bank provide this proof of funds before I left Canada but note it can’t be more than three months old. You will need a card that can access this account. You will also need a certified translation, I had mine done at Grabmuller, if took three days. Cost: $20 (from my bank in Canada) plus 400kc for the translation.
Passport photos: Available at most photo shops or even photo booths in the metro. Cost: 100kc
Živnostenský approval letter: I won’t go into detail on this, please look at my previous postings for the how and why of the trade licence. Or, stop by the office in Prague 7, room 203, and get details about what you will need. They do speak English and are vey helpful. Cost: 1,000kc.
The initial visa appointment: Now, before, during or after this you will need to have made an appointment at a Czech Embassy somewhere. From Prague the most common are:
Berlin. I emailed them on March 16th, they replied to my email but asked me to call the embassy, and they could have fit me in as early as March 25th.
Bratislava. When I managed to get through to someone on March 17th they were booking appointments for the middle of June!
Vienna. This is where I have my appointment, I finally managed to contact them by phone on March 17th and was able to get an appointment for Aril 7th. This is the same embassy I used last time. Note: they wanted me to email them all of my documents including my zivnostensky list BEFORE they would give my an appointment, but I managed to convince them to make the appointment and then scanned and emailed things as I got them.
This is the end of part one, watch for an update after my visa appointment on April 7th.