Foreign Police registration in Prague

I have dual citizenship (Finnish and Australian). I recently registered with the Foreign Police here in Prague, and also applied for a temporary residence permit for my partner (an Australian citizen). I found it difficult to get an accurate list of which documents were necessary for the application, so I wrote up my experience here in the hope that it will help other people in the same situation.

Disclaimer: this is only my personal experience. Your situation may be different!

Required documents

We entered the Czech Republic on 90 day tourist visas in January 2008. In March 2008 we went to the office of the Foreign Police in Prague and submitted our application for temporary residency. Here is a list of what I assembled:

  • A short note (written in Czech) explaining when we entered the country, our situation, and what we were applying for. This isn’t a formal requirement but it helps immeasurably if your spoken Czech is weak.
  • Housing and EU form (see below for notes).
  • Original copy of my work contract.
  • Photocopy of my EU passport.
  • Original of my Australian marriage certificate, with an Apostille stamp.
  • Certified translation into Czech of my Australian marriage certificate.
  • One passport size photo.

My wife, as an Australian citizen provided:

  • Photocopy of her Australian passport.
  • Photocopy of VZP pregnancy health insurance card (she was 6 months pregnant when entering the Czech Republic).
  • One passport size photo.

Notes

Once we had the right forms and documents together, the actual application process was straightforward. Total time spent in the office (waiting and submitting the application) was under an hour (but make sure you pick the right ticket from the machine at the door!). Some companies here play on the fear that all expats have regarding Czech bureaucracy, and I’ve heard of people paying hundreds of dollars to have an agency submit the paperwork for you. If you are an EU citizen or the family member of an EU citizen then these agencies are not necessary.

Useful links

Information about Residency for Citizens of the European Union and Their Family Members in the Czech Republic.

Advice for living in the Czech Republic.

Application forms. Scroll down to Cizinci (foreigners). An EU citizen applying for temporary residence of his/her family needs two forms:

  • Doklad (potvrzení) o zajištění ubytování: declaration of living arrangements. An actual rental contract is not needed, instead this form has to be signed by your landlord. If your landlord is not the technical owner of the property (e.g. you live in a housing co-op or your landlord is sub-letting) then the legal owner (such as the co-op) must also stamp and sign this form. Each person who is applying for temporary residency needs their own form.
  • Žádost pro občany Evropské unie a jejich rodinné příslušníky: Application for the European union citizens and their family members. This is a purple form. I have heard of applications being rejected because they were printed on a black and white printer, so it’s best to get an original from their office, just in case.

Addendum 1

Be warned that picking up your residence permit can take a long time. We picked up ours and the process took a bit over 5 (five) hours. Around 4 hours was spent in a queue, simply waiting, and the last hour or so was spent waiting for the actual permit to be printed. Bizarrely they don’t actually print your residence permit until you turn up to collect it. This wastes everyone’s time.

The Foreign Police here in Prague could solve the problem of huge waiting times using some fairly basic techniques (book appointments for people, accept online applications, use temp staff to deal with busier periods, provide basic and correct information in English). In the mean time, take a good book.

Addendum 2

I accidentally deleted a reader’s question on how long it took for the Foreign Police to prepare our permits. The answer: the Foreign Police never sent anything saying that our permits were ready to be picked up, we were just told to come back two weeks after making the initial application.

Addendum 3

I’ve recently heard that people have had to wait anything up to 3 months to pick up their residence permits, so take my advice here with a grain of salt.

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