Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements and Application Process

The Czech Republic is one of the European countries that has opened its doors to remote and skilled workers by offering a visa for digital nomads, known as the “Zivno” visa, commonly referred to as the Czech Freelance Visa.

The Živnostenské oprávnění is quite unique as it is technically not a visa per se, but a trade license, allowing digital nomads and freelancers from outside the EU to live and work in the Czech Republic for a year, with the possibility of renewal.

This visa, while not initially designed with the modern digital nomad in mind, has evolved into an informal yet popular gateway for non-EU citizens seeking to live and work in the Czech Republic

In this article, we delve into the Czech Freelance or “Zivno” Visa, unpacking its features, requirements, and costs, and navigating the step-by-step process, as well as other key information that will help you determine if the Czech Republic can be your next global address.

image of a town mostly in red/orange roof near body of water

What is the Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa?

The unique Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa, while not officially termed as such, refers to the utilization of the Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) combined with a long-term visa or residence permit for non-EU citizens wishing to live and work in the Czech Republic as freelancers or self-employed individuals.

This setup has become a popular route for digital nomads seeking to base themselves in the Czech Republic.

Here are the key details and relevant information for digital nomads considering this option:

  • Legal Framework: The arrangement involves obtaining a Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) and a long-term visa or residence permit. The trade license allows for freelance and business activities.
  • Visa Type: Long-term visa/residence permit for business purposes.
  • Duration: The visa can be issued for a duration of up to one year and is renewable.
  • Eligibility: Non-EU citizens who are freelancers, entrepreneurs, or self-employed individuals with a viable business plan relevant to the Czech market.

Application Requirements

  • Proof of Accommodation: Applicants must provide proof of accommodation for the duration of their stay.
  • Financial Means: Evidence of sufficient funds to cover living expenses throughout the stay, usually around CZK 220,000 (approximately EUR 8,500) for the first year.
  • Clean Criminal Record: A clean criminal record from the applicant’s home country and any country where they have lived for more than 6 months in the last 3 years.
  • Health Insurance: Comprehensive health insurance coverage for the entire stay.
  • Business Plan: A detailed business plan is often required to justify the need for the trade license and demonstrate the feasibility of the business or freelance activity in the Czech market.

Process and Timeline

  • The application process can be complex and time-consuming, often taking several months to complete. It typically involves initial application steps in the applicant’s home country, followed by further registration and paperwork upon arrival in the Czech Republic.
  • Applicants must first secure the trade license and then apply for the visa or residence permit. Assistance from a local Czech lawyer or visa agency is highly recommended to navigate the process.

The Benefits of the Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa

Image text showing benefits of The Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa

The Czech Republic offers a unique blend of benefits for digital nomads looking to make it their next remote work destination. Using the Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) combined with a long-term visa or residence permit, digital nomads can immerse themselves in the Czech lifestyle while legally working and living in the country.

Here are some detailed benefits and features that make the Czech Republic particularly enticing for digital nomads:

  • Rich Cultural Experience: The Czech Republic is steeped in history and culture, offering an enriching living experience. From the Gothic architecture of Prague to the quaint towns of Český Krumlov and Karlovy Vary, there’s a wealth of exploration and inspiration for anyone living there.
  • Central European Hub: Its central location in Europe makes the Czech Republic a great base for digital nomads looking to explore neighboring countries. Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia are just a short trip away, making weekend explorations or short breaks an easy addition to your lifestyle.
  • Affordable Cost of Living: Compared to other Western European countries, the Czech Republic offers a more affordable cost of living. This is especially beneficial for digital nomads managing their budgets, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.
  • Vibrant Expat and Digital Nomad Community: The Czech Republic, particularly Prague, has a thriving expat and digital nomad community. This provides a network for socializing, collaboration, and support, making the transition to a new country much easier.
  • High-Quality Infrastructure: The country boasts high-speed internet and modern amenities, essential for digital nomads. Co-working spaces, cafes, and libraries offer various environments for productive work sessions.
  • Prague’s Timeless Charm: The capital city, Prague, is known for its stunning architecture, with influences from various historical periods. It’s also famous for its astronomical clock, the third-oldest in the world and the oldest still in operation.
  • Beer Culture: The Czech Republic has a proud beer culture, holding the title for the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. Experiencing the local beer scene, including visiting traditional pubs and breweries, is a must.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The country is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic center of Prague, Český Krumlov, and the cultural landscape of Lednice-Valtice.
  • Public Transport: The Czech Republic has an efficient and affordable public transportation system, making it easy to explore both urban and rural areas without the need for a car.
  • Nature and Outdoor Activities: Beyond its urban centers, the Czech Republic offers beautiful natural landscapes, including national parks, mountains, and lakes, ideal for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities.

The Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa- Requirements, Application & Costs

Image text showing requirements for The Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa

Applying for the Czech Republic’s equivalent of a Digital Nomad Visa, which involves obtaining a Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) and a long-term residence permit for business, requires careful preparation and an understanding of the necessary documents and qualifications.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you’ll need to prepare for your application:

Requirements

  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Stay Duration: The visa can be issued for a duration of up to one year and is renewable, contingent upon meeting the renewal criteria.
  • Financial Requirements: Applicants must prove financial sufficiency to cover their stay. The specific amount can vary, but a general guideline is having access to at least CZK 220,000 (approximately EUR 8,500) for the first year to cover living expenses.
  • Passport: A valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for stamps and valid for at least 15 months from the date of applying for the visa.
  • Application Form: A completed and signed long-term visa application form.
  • Photographs: Two recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Evidence of arranged accommodation for at least the first year of your stay. This can be a rental agreement or a document confirming property ownership in the Czech Republic.
  • Trade License (Živnostenské oprávnění): Pre-approval or actual registration of the trade license is required. This involves submitting a detailed business plan and proving your qualifications for the proposed business activity.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or other financial documents showing you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay. The Czech Ministry of Interior generally requires proof of funds around CZK 220,000 for the first year.
  • Clean Criminal Record: A criminal history background check from your home country and any other country where you’ve lived for more than 6 months in the past 3 years, proving you have no criminal record.
  • Health Insurance: Comprehensive travel health insurance for the entire period of your stay. Once you receive your visa, you will need to get Czech public health insurance.
  • Proof of Professional Qualification: Depending on your field of work, you may need to provide evidence of your qualifications, such as university degrees, certificates, or references from previous employers.
  • Business Plan: A comprehensive business plan detailing your intended business activities in the Czech Republic, financial forecasts, and how your business will operate. This is crucial for the trade license application.
  • Visa Fee: Payment of the visa application fee, which varies depending on your nationality and the type of visa.

Special Considerations

  • Language: While not a formal requirement, having some proficiency in the Czech language can be beneficial, especially for dealing with local authorities and integrating into the community.
  • Renewal Requirements: To renew your visa or residence permit, you will need to demonstrate continued business activity, financial sufficiency, and legal accommodation.

It’s essential to start preparing these documents well in advance of your intended move date, as the process can be time-consuming.

concrete rare shape structure building near the bridge above body of water

Application Process

Embarking on your journey as a digital nomad in the Czech Republic involves a multi-step process, primarily centered around obtaining the Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) and a long-term visa or residence permit.

Step 1: Preliminary Research and Planning

  • Understand the Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria, required documents, and financial requirements detailed in previous responses.
  • Decide on Your Business or Freelance Activity: Have a clear idea of the work you’ll be doing, as this will be crucial for obtaining your trade license.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents

  • Compile all the documents listed previously, including your passport, proof of accommodation, financial proof, a clean criminal record, health insurance, and any necessary professional qualifications or diplomas.

Step 3: Apply for the Trade License (Živnostenské oprávnění)

  • Contact a Local Consultant: While it’s possible to navigate this process independently, many opt for the assistance of a legal professional or agency specializing in Czech business and immigration law.
  • Submission: The application for the trade license is submitted to the appropriate Trade Licensing Office in the Czech Republic. This cannot be done entirely online; however, initial consultations and document preparation can start remotely.
  • Fees: Expect to pay a fee for the trade license, which is relatively nominal.

Step 4: Long-Term Visa or Residence Permit Application

  • Prepare Your Application: Complete the long-term visa/residence permit application form, ensuring all information is accurate and all required documents are included.
  • Book an Appointment: Schedule an appointment at the Czech embassy or consulate in your home country or where you legally reside. Availability can vary, so do this well in advance.
  • Attend the Interview: You’ll likely need to attend an interview during which you’ll submit your application and documents.
  • Visa Fees: Pay the visa application fee at this stage. Fees can vary, so check the current rates on the official embassy or consulate website.

Step 5: Await Application Processing

  • Processing Time: The processing time can vary significantly, often taking several months. Use this time to continue your preparations for moving, such as researching living arrangements, networking with other expats, or studying the Czech language.

Step 6: Collect Your Visa

  • Once approved, you’ll be notified to collect your visa. Ensure to check if there are any additional steps required upon arrival in the Czech Republic, such as registering with the foreign police.

Step 7: Arrive in the Czech Republic and Finalize Your Setup

  • Register with the Foreign Police: Within a certain time frame after arrival (typically within 3 working days), register with the foreign police.
  • Activate Your Trade License: Follow any remaining steps to fully activate your trade license if not already completed.
  • Open a Bank Account: Consider opening a Czech bank account for your financial transactions within the country.

Key Details for Digital Nomads:

  • Remote Start: Much of the preliminary work, such as gathering documents and consulting with legal professionals, can be initiated remotely. However, the application for the trade license and the visa itself involves in-person submissions and interviews.
  • No Entirely Online Process: As of the last update, there isn’t a fully online process for obtaining the visa and trade license; physical presence is required for certain steps.
  • Planning and Timing: Given the complexities and processing times, start your application process well in advance of your intended move date.

Costs

Applying for the Czech Republic’s version of a Digital Nomad Visa, which involves obtaining a Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) and a long-term visa or residence permit, includes several costs that applicants should be aware of.

The process involves both fixed fees related to the visa and trade license application, as well as variable costs depending on individual circumstances, such as legal assistance, health insurance, and document translations.

Basic Costs

  • Trade License Fee: CZK 1,000 (approx. $45 USD)
  • Long-term Visa Application Fee: CZK 2,500 (approx. $112.5 USD)
  • Biometric Residence Permit Fee: CZK 2,500 (approx. $112.5 USD)

Other Costs

  • Average Health Insurance per Year: CZK 15,000 (approx. $675 USD)
  • Proof of Financial Means Requirement: Applicants must demonstrate access to at least CZK 220,000 (approx. $9,900 USD) for the first year.
  • Document Translations (per page average): CZK 350 (approx. $15.75 USD)
  • Criminal Record Check (average): CZK 550 (approx. $24.75 USD)
  • Professional Assistance (average): CZK 32,500 (approx. $1,462.5 USD)

Visa and trade license application fees are usually paid at the time of application submission. Payments can typically be made in cash or by credit card at Czech consulates or through the appointed processing centers. Check the specific payment options available at your local Czech embassy or consulate as these can vary.

Depending on the country, payments for document legalization or apostilles might be made through bank transfers, postal orders, or at government offices directly, with payment methods varying significantly by country.

It’s important to note that while some payments can be made online (like health insurance), many aspects of the application process, including fee payments, may require in-person attendance or payments through specific channels designated by the Czech authorities or service providers.

white windmill in the middle of the field surrounded by trees

Cost of Living in The Czech Republic

For digital nomads planning to work and live in the Czech Republic, understanding the cost of living is crucial for budgeting and planning your stay. Here are some approximate monthly expenses you can expect, listed in Czech crowns (CZK) and their equivalent in US dollars (USD), using an approximate conversion rate of 1 CZK = 0.045 USD:

Living Expenses

  • Monthly Rent (1-bedroom apartment in city center): CZK 20,000 (approx. $900 USD)
  • Monthly Public Transport Pass: CZK 550 (approx. $24.75 USD)
  • Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant: CZK 150 (approx. $6.75 USD)
  • Cappuccino in a Café: CZK 50 (approx. $2.25 USD)
  • Monthly Membership at a Coworking Space: CZK 4,000 (approx. $180 USD)
  • Monthly Groceries: CZK 4,000 (approx. $180 USD)
  • Fitness Club Membership (Monthly): CZK 800 (approx. $36 USD)
  • Cinema Ticket: CZK 200 (approx. $9 USD)

These figures provide a snapshot of the cost of living for digital nomads in the Czech Republic, highlighting the affordability of many everyday expenses compared to other Western European countries.

The Czech Republic offers a compelling mix of urban convenience, cultural richness, and access to leisure activities, making it an attractive option for digital nomads looking for a new base.

Keep in mind that costs can vary based on lifestyle choices, location within the country (with Prague generally being more expensive than smaller cities or towns), and personal preferences.

Digital nomads typically benefit from the vibrant expat and coworking communities in the Czech Republic, providing ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and socializing. ​

Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes

Government of The Czech Republic Official Website

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Atlys.com

iVisa.com

World Visa Guide

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Do I Need a Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa?

For digital nomads eyeing the Czech Republic as their next destination, understanding the necessity of a “Digital Nomad Visa” is crucial. Officially, the Czech Republic does not have a visa specifically labeled for digital nomads.

However, the Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) combined with a long-term visa or residence permit serves a similar purpose, allowing non-EU citizens to live and legally work as freelancers or entrepreneurs in the country. Deciding whether you need to pursue this option depends on your circumstances, including your nationality, intended stay duration, and work situation.

Pros of Staying in the Czech Republic as a Digital Nomad

  • Rich Cultural and Historical Landscape: The Czech Republic offers a vibrant cultural scene, steeped in history and tradition. Digital nomads can explore medieval towns, castles, and modern cities like Prague.
  • Central Location in Europe: Its location allows for easy travel to neighboring European countries, making it perfect for nomads looking to explore the continent.
  • Affordable Cost of Living: Compared to other Western European countries, the Czech Republic offers a more affordable lifestyle, including lower costs for housing, food, and transportation.
  • Vibrant Expat Community: There’s a strong, supportive network of expats and digital nomads, particularly in cities like Prague and Brno, facilitating networking and social activities.
  • Quality Infrastructure: High-speed internet and the availability of coworking spaces across the country support a productive working environment.

Cons of Staying in the Czech Republic as a Digital Nomad

  • Bureaucratic Process: Obtaining the necessary trade license and visa can be a complex and time-consuming process, requiring navigation through the Czech bureaucracy.
  • Language Barrier: While English is widely spoken, especially in larger cities and within the expat community, not knowing Czech can be a barrier in more rural areas and in dealing with official matters.
  • Seasonal Weather: The Czech Republic experiences a continental climate, with cold winters that might not appeal to everyone.

The Czech Republic presents an enticing mix of affordability, culture, and connectivity. The availability of coworking spaces, coupled with a robust expat community, makes it easy to find a balance between work and social life.

Cities like Prague and Brno are hubs for digital nomads, offering a cosmopolitan lifestyle with the charm of Eastern Europe.

However, potential nomads should be prepared for the administrative challenges of securing the necessary documentation to legally work and reside in the country. Additionally, embracing the local culture and possibly picking up a new language can enhance the experience significantly.

While the administrative hurdles cannot be overlooked, the benefits and quality of life on offer make it a worthwhile consideration for those looking to base themselves in Europe.

Best Places to Live or Explore In the Czech Republic for Digital Nomads

Image text of the best places to live or explore in Czech Republic

Prague

people walking in the street between buildings -czech republic digital nomad visa

The capital city, Prague, is a magnet for digital nomads, known for its breathtaking architecture, lively arts scene, and an abundance of coworking spaces. The city’s historical ambiance, combined with its modern infrastructure, makes it an inspiring place to work and live. Notable spots for digital nomads include:

  • K10 Coworking: Nestled in a stunning villa, this coworking space offers a tranquil environment for work.
  • Café Jen: Known for its cozy atmosphere and excellent coffee, it’s a great spot for informal meetings or solo work sessions.
  • Letná Park: With its panoramic views of the city and ample outdoor seating, it’s perfect for those looking for inspiration or a leisurely break.

Brno

people walking and sitting near the fountain in the middle of a park like street- czech republic digital nomad visa

Brno, the country’s second-largest city, is recognized for its youthful energy, fueled by a large student population. It boasts a thriving tech scene, making it attractive for tech-focused nomads. Key spots include:

  • Impact Hub Brno: Offers a dynamic workspace and regular networking events.
  • Soul Bistro: Ideal for healthy meals and coffee, with a relaxed vibe for working.
  • Lužánky Park: The largest park in Brno, it’s great for outdoor work sessions or unwinding after a long day.

Ostrava

aerial view of a river in between a community with buildings and green trees - czech republic digital nomad visa

Ostrava, in the eastern part of the country, offers an industrial charm combined with green spaces. It’s becoming known for its cultural festivals and growing digital community. For digital nomads, consider:

  • Lower Vítkovice: A cultural and creative hub set in a former industrial complex.
  • Café Daniel: A favorite among locals for its coffee and workspace.
  • Ostravice River Embankment: Ideal for walks or finding a quiet spot to work outdoors.

Pilsen

colorful buildings in front of the street with cars in front- czech republic digital nomad visa

Best known for its beer, Pilsen also boasts a vibrant cultural scene and historical sites. It’s less crowded than Prague, offering a more laid-back atmosphere. Spots of interest for nomads include:

  • DEPO2015: A creative space offering coworking areas and cultural events.
  • Papas Living Restaurant: Offers great food and a comfortable setting for working.
  • Pilsen Historical Underground: A unique place for exploration during downtime.

Český Krumlov

top view of the city with same looking houses with river in between and green trees- czech republic digital nomad visa

A smaller option, Český Krumlov, offers digital nomads a fairy-tale setting with its well-preserved medieval architecture and serene river landscapes. It’s perfect for those seeking inspiration and a slower pace of life. Noteworthy locations include:

  • Café Štrúdl: A charming spot for coffee and traditional Czech strudels, with Wi-Fi for work.
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum: For art lovers, this gallery offers a quiet place to work and be inspired.
  • Vltava River: Offers scenic spots along its banks for peaceful work sessions in nature.

Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa – Summary

The Czech Republic offers a host of opportunities (with some challenges) for digital nomads, making it a noteworthy destination for those looking to explore the heart of Europe while continuing their remote work.

While the country does not offer a “Digital Nomad Visa” in the strictest sense, the combination of the Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) and a long-term visa or residence permit serves as a practical alternative, enabling non-EU citizens to legally live and work in this vibrant country.

The benefits of choosing the Czech Republic are compelling: from its rich historical and cultural background, affordable cost of living, and excellent location for travel within Europe, to a thriving expat and digital nomad community that fosters both professional growth and personal connections.

However, prospective nomads should be prepared for the bureaucratic hurdles associated with obtaining the necessary permits, a process that can be time-consuming and requires meticulous preparation.

Additionally, the language barrier may pose a challenge for those not familiar with Czech, especially when navigating official procedures and integrating more fully into local life.

Despite these challenges, the Czech Republic as a destination for digital nomads is overwhelmingly positive and makes it a great choice for those willing to navigate the initial legalities and challenges.

Check out our other posts on finding amazing destinations and digital nomad visas;


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Czech Republic Digital Nomad Visa – FAQs

Does the Czech Republic have a Digital Nomad Visa?

While the Czech Republic doesn’t have a visa specifically labeled as a “Digital Nomad Visa,” it offers a comparable option through the Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) combined with a long-term visa or residence permit.

This setup allows non-EU citizens to legally live and work in the country as freelancers or self-employed individuals. It’s a popular choice among digital nomads for its flexibility and the opportunity to immerse oneself in Czech culture and society.

What is the Easiest Digital Nomad Visa in Europe?

The concept of “easiest” can vary based on individual circumstances, including nationality and the specific requirements of each visa program.

However, countries like Estonia have been widely recognized for their digital nomad visa programs, which are straightforward and explicitly designed for remote workers. Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa is celebrated for its clear application process and the country’s forward-thinking approach to digital innovation and remote work.

Is it Easy to get a Czech Republic Work Visa?

Obtaining a work visa for the Czech Republic, specifically for the purpose of freelancing or running a business as a digital nomad, involves navigating a bureaucratic process that includes obtaining a Živnostenské oprávnění (trade license) and meeting the requirements for a long-term visa or residence permit.

The process is manageable but requires thorough preparation and understanding of the required documents and financial proofs. Assistance from a legal professional or visa agency can significantly streamline the process.

Is the Czech Republic Easy to Immigrate to?

Immigrating to the Czech Republic involves various legal and bureaucratic procedures, which can vary in complexity depending on your country of origin, reason for immigration, and other personal circumstances.

For EU citizens, moving to the Czech Republic is relatively straightforward due to EU freedom of movement. Non-EU citizens may find the process more complex, especially when seeking to work or start a business.

The key to a smoother immigration process is preparation, including understanding visa requirements, securing employment or business licensing in advance, and possibly engaging with immigration professionals.

What are the Primary Benefits of Choosing the Czech Republic as a Digital Nomad Destination?

The Czech Republic offers a compelling blend of historical charm, a central European location, and a relatively low cost of living, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads.

The country boasts rich cultural experiences, from exploring ancient castles to enjoying vibrant city life in Prague or Brno. The presence of a robust expat and digital nomad community provides a supportive network for newcomers.

Additionally, the Czech Republic’s high-quality internet infrastructure and the availability of coworking spaces across its cities ensure that digital nomads can work efficiently and connect with like-minded individuals.

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