Frequently Asked Questions
30.03.2010 / 11:57
BEFORE FILING VISA APPLICATION
What types of visas are there?
On the most basic level, we distinguish between (1) Schengen (short-term) visas and (2) long-term visas. The time period for processing applications for both of these types of visas and the extent of the required supporting documents is different in both instances. Individual chapters in this segment are dedicated to both of these categories of visas according to purpose of stay.
Do I need a visa?
You do not need a visa for short-term stays if you fall into one of the categories listed in the Chapter Temporary Stay in the Czech Republic/Schengen Area without a Visa.
Where will I find out if I need a Schengen (short-term) visa?
Refer to chapters List of States Whose Citizens Are Required to Have Visa, List of States Whose Citizens Are Exempt from Visa Requirement, or Temporary Stay in the Czech Republic/Schengen Area without Visa.
Where can I file visa application?
Visa applications are being filed at diplomatic missions, not on the territory of the Czech Republic. In certain locations, primarily where there is a high number of visa applications, visa applications can be filed also via an external service provider (“outsourcing”) or via a travel agency. Further information will be provided by a diplomatic mission, at which you intend to submit your visa application. Nationals of certain countries can file an application only in the state of which they are a citizen, which issued their travel document, or in which they reside on a long-term/permanent basis – see chapter Local competency of diplomatic missions in processing applications for visas and residence permits.
Where can I obtain contact to a diplomatic mission (consular section)?
For a list of diplomatic missions of the Czech Republic, click here.
What do I need to prepare before filing visa application?
- form, which is available at the diplomatic mission or electronically here;
- travel document;
- supporting documents – for more information, see chapters on short-term and long-term visa;
- fee for filing a visa application – for a price list, click here.
Where can I obtain more information on visa-related matters?
Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks to provide extensive information on its web site. Further information can be provided by the diplomatic mission. General information can be provided by the Department of Consular Policy and Methodology of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, either by phone (224 182 481), or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How much in advance should I file visa application?
Schengen (short-term) visa
Application for a Schengen (short-term) visa can be filed within 3 months of the planned trip. It is recommended not to file a visa application later than 15 days before the trip, as it cannot be otherwise guaranteed it will be reviewed in time. In most cases, visa applications are processed within 15 days. In individual cases, the review period can be extended up to 30 days and in exceptional cases up to 60 days. Holders of multiple Schengen (short-term) visa can file a visa application before this visa has expired, provided it has been valid for at least 6 months.
Allow several months for processing of a long-term visa applications and file a long-term visa application sufficiently in advance. The legal period, during which the Alien Police must review the application, depends on the purpose of stay:
2 months: study, research
3-4 months: employment, entrepreneurship, participation in a legal entity, family unification, others
FILING VISA APPLICATION
What do I need to submit upon filing visa application?
The nature of supporting documents depends on the type of visa for which the application is filed. The basic requirements, which generally need to accompany visa application, are the following:
· form – filled out completely and legibly;
· travel document – valid in all Schengen states and more than 3 months after the intended departure;
· proof of accommodation (hotel voucher, confirmation of accommodation provider);
· proof of financial means (bank statement, internationally accepted credit card, receipts, cash);
· proof of means for return (normally an airplane/other transportation ticket reservation).
It is further required to substantiate the purpose of stay, for example by the following documents:
· invitation letter;
· confirmation of study, employment, travel agency documents, confirmation of medical or spa treatment and other.
Consular officer can accept the visa application only if it is “admissible,” i.e. if (1) it is filed less than 3 months before the planned trip or before the expiry of a multiple Schengen (short-term) visa issued for at least 6 months; (2) filled out form, travel document and photograph are submitted; and (3) fee for filing the visa application is paid.
How can I arrange for official Invitation?
Form of the official Invitation and its authorization will be provided by the Alien Police. Alien Police will also provide information about the procedure and the fee. For further information, see the web site of the Ministry of the Interior.
When do I submit travel health insurance?
Travel health insurance is submitted before the visa is issued, i.e. in case the visa application has been reviewed positively. Nevertheless, it is recommended to submit the travel health insurance already upon submitting the visa application.
If I travel to more than one Schengen state, where do I submit visa application?
Submit the visa application at the diplomatic mission of that state, in which the only or the main purpose of your trip is located. If the main purpose of the trip cannot be determined, submit the visa application at the diplomatic mission of that state, where you will stay the longest. Only if this formula cannot be used, submit the visa application at the diplomatic mission of that state, through which you will enter the Schengen area – i.e. at the diplomatic mission of that state, which you will visit first.
Do I need to submit visa application in person?
Yes. Personal appearance upon submitting visa application is mandatory.
Can I submit visa application by mail?
No. It is mandatory to submit visa application in person.
Can I submit visa application through travel agency?
Yes. You can submit visa application through a travel agency, provided it has been accredited by the diplomatic mission. More information will be provided by the diplomatic mission, which will review your visa application.
What is the fee?
Fee is paid for submitting visa application, regardless the outcome. General fee for a Schengen (short-term) visa is 60 Euro. Where facilitation agreement exists, general fee is 35 Euro. It can be paid either in Euro or in local currency. Fee for submitting a long-term visa application is 2.500 CZK or different based on reciprocity. Some categories of applicants file visa application free of charge, such as children up to the age of six, family members of EU citizens, students in certain programs, and others. For a price list, click here.
Visa form is provided free of charge.
What does the stamp in the passport that I receive upon submitting the application mean?
The stamp indicated that your application had been assessed as admissible; the stamps has no legal consequences.
After being granted a visa, am I automatically entitled to enter the Schengen area?
No. The visa does not allow you to enter the Schengen area automatically. The holders of the visa have to prove that they fulfill the conditions of Article 5 of the Schengen Borders Code
OUTCOME OF VISA REVIEW PROCESS
What is the time period to process visa application?
Schengen (short-term) visa
Application for a Schengen (short-term) visa can be filed within 3 months of the planned trip. It is recommended not to file a visa application later than 15 days before the trip, as it cannot be otherwise guaranteed it will be reviewed in time. In most cases, visa applications are processed within 15 days. In individual cases, the review period can be extended up to 30 days and in exceptional cases up to 60 days.
Allow several months for processing of long-term visa applications and file a long-term visa application sufficiently in advance. The legal period, during which the Alien Police must review the application, depends on the purpose of stay:
2 months: study, research
3-4 months: employment, entrepreneurship, participation in a legal entity, family unification
How do I find out if I have obtained the visa?
Information about the outcome of the visa review is provided by the diplomatic mission, at which you have filed the visa application. Information can only be given to the applicant or to a person, which the applicant has provided with a powers of attorney. Information cannot be given to any other person. Ask the consular officer upon filing the visa application how you will be informed about the visa review outcome – if the diplomatic mission will contact you, or if you should contact the diplomatic mission, when and how.
Where can I pick up the visa?
Visa should be picked up at the diplomatic mission, at which the visa application has been filed.
Do I need to pick up the visa in person?
Generally, it is the applicant who picks up the visa. However, it can also be picked up by another person based on powers of attorney or any other authorization.
VISA REFUSAL AND APPEAL PROCEDURE
How will I be informed about the visa refusal?
You will receive a written form that informs the applicant about the refusal and its reasons. It also states the conditions for lodging an appeal.
Can I appeal visa refusal?
Decision about visa refusal can be appealed. The request for an appeal must be submitted within 15 days of the receipt of visa refusal, generally through a diplomatic mission, at which the visa application has been filed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will review the request in 30 days from the receipt of the appeal. Information on the outcome of the review is sent through a diplomatic mission.
Family members of the EU nationals can subsequently appeal to the court. They can lodge an appeal to the Municipal Court in Prague. The appeal to the court should be in writing, mailed to: Městský soud v Praze, Hybernská 18, 111 21 Praha 1, Czech Republic within 30 days from the Ministry information receipt. For more information for the family members of the EU citizens, click here
Can I file new visa application after visa refusal?
Yes. You can file a new visa application at any time, including appealing immediately after the previous one has been refused.
What can I do if my travel document with a long-term visa or long-term/permanent residency permit has expired?
In case you are a holder of a long-term visa or long-term/permanent residency permit and your travel document has expired, has been lost or stolen, you can request that the diplomatic mission, at which the visa has been issued, transfers the visa into a new travel document.
Submit the following:
· newly issued travel document;
· old travel document with the visa sticker (not mandatory).
How and where can I request visa extension?
Should a situation compelling you to extend your stay arise, you can request visa extension through the Alien Police. Visa can be extended only in exceptional cases. For further information, see the web site of the Ministry of the Interior.
Can I stay with Czech national visa in the Schengen area/EU?
Only Schengen visa provides you with an access to the Schengen area. If the territorial validity of the Schengen visa has been restricted, or if the visa has been issued only for the Czech Republic, than the visa provides you with an access only to those states indicated in the visa sticker or only to the Czech Republic.
I have already spent 90 days in the Czech Republic/Schengen area. Do I need to leave and for how long?
According to a “90/180 rule,” an alien can stay in the Czech Republic/Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days (3 months) within a half-year, counting from the first day of entry. After a 90 days long stay, it is necessary to travel out of the Czech Republic/Schengen area. You can return only in the next half-year. This rule does not pertain to aliens who: (1) are citizens of those countries with which the Czech Republic has concluded a bilateral visa free agreement before its entry into the EU (further information here); (2) stayed in the Czech Republic/Schengen area based on a Schengen visa and their subsequent stay will be based on a Czech national visa (these visas are issued only in exceptional cases); (3) apply for a Temporary residence permit for an EU citizen family member or long-term residency permit following a long-term visa inside the Czech Republic.