Overview of The Czech Republic
Formerly known as Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic is a landlocked eastern European country, primarily bordering Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Poland. Prague, its capital and largest city, and the center of the historical region of Bohemia, has for centuries stood as one of the most economically and culturally dominant cities in Eastern Europe. Today, Prague remains a top European travel destination, renowned for its picturesque and varied architecture, particularly its gothic castles, palaces, and churches. The city is dominated by Prague Castle, the 9th century complex of medieval structures, which at 70,000 square meters is also the world’s largest historic castle. A UNESCO Heritage Site, the castle overlooks the Vltava river and the famous Charles Bridge, providing magnificent views of the city and its sea of iconic orange-tile roofs. The Czech Republic today boasts a vibrant economy. A member of the European Union, it declined to adopt the Euro and instead uses its own currency-the Czech Koruna. Its population of 10.6 million speak Czech.
The Czech Republic signed the Schengen Agreement in 2003, becoming part of the Schengen area in 2007.
- Schengen visa eligibility for the Czech Republic includes third country nationals from the following states, who are excluded from visa-free to the Czech Republic/the Schengen area, and are therefore eligible to apply for a Schengen visa to the Czech Republic:
14. BURKINA FASO
19. CAPE VERDE
71. NORTH KOREA
20. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
74. PAPUA NEW GUINEA
25. COTE D’IVOIRE
27. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
79. SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
80. SAUDI ARABIA
29. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
82. SIERRA LEONE
32. EQUATORIAL GUINEA
84. SOUTH AFRICA
85. SOUTH SUDAN
86. SRI LANKA
- Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.
- Certain standard forms are available in a variety of languages. However, if your application contains materials written in a language other than Czech or English, they will likely need to be accompanied by an official translation into one of those languages. Applications for all Schengen visas to the Czech Republic will contain the following Basic Required Documents:
- Valid passport
- Passport sized photos
- Application form
- Fingerprints (biometric data)
- Travel medical insurance
- Visa Fee
- Materials related to your trip:
- Reason for visit
- Where you will stay (accommodation)
- How you will fund your trip (finances)
- Proof that you will leave the Czech Republic before your visa becomes invalid/expires. This is often in the form of a paid roundtrip plane ticket (proof of return).
Note: For more information on what to include in your application, including a detailed description of required materials, please see: Basic Required Documents. Please note that you may have to submit additional Czech Schengen visa supporting documents related to your specific purpose for travelling.
- The standard Czech Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 Euros. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees. To get a Schengen visa for the Czech Republic, you will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application-this is a separate cost from the visa fee. Please note that all fees are non-refundable in the case of visa rejection.
How to Apply: Steps
- Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling to the Czech Republic, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
- Step 2: Determine how many Entries to the Czech Republic/the Schengen area you need.
- Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
- Step 4: Schedule a Schengen visa appointment (if applicable).
- Depending on the location of the consulate/visa center you are applying through, you may have to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application. Alternatively, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours. Contact your consulate/visa center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
- Step 5: Fill out your application.
- Paper copies of Schengen visa forms are available at Czech Consulates. Alternatively, you can download and print out an online form, available here, in multiple languages. Complete this form on your computer and then print it out, or fill it out by hand after printing it (so long as you write with capitalized Latin letters). Submit this paper copy to whichever Czech Consulate/visa center you are applying through.
- Step 6: Pay the application fee.
- Step 7: Submit your Czech Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months).
- Different Czech consulates/visa centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through. When you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Children younger than 12 years are exempt from having their fingerprints collected. If you have previously submitted fingerprints (within the last 59 months), you likely will not need to resubmit them.
When to Apply
- Submit your application at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.
Where to Apply
- Applications for Schengen visas to the Czech Republic should be submitted in person at either a Czech Consulate/Embassy or a visa application center that has a relationship with the Czech Republic.
- In the event that there is more than 1 Czech mission in your area (such as an embassy in addition to a consulate), you should apply via the entity present in the consular district where you live.
- You should lodge your application for a Czech Schengen visa in the country where you legally reside/are a citizen.
- In countries where there is no Czech consular presence, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing Czech consular interests.
- The standard Czech Schengen visa processing time is 15 days, although it can take up to 45 days in certain cases.
If your visa was approved:
- Collect your visa and make sure the information it contains is valid and complete.
- If you cannot personally pick up your visa, you may designate another person to pick it up for you. Try to submit his or her name along with your application. If you do not, he or she will have to present a certified power of attorney in order to collect it for you.
If your visa was denied:
- If you receive a Schengen visa rejection Czech, you have the right to an appeal.
- Begin this process by picking up your standard issued-visa refusal form, which describes why your request was denied, and explains the detailed steps of the appeal process.
- If you choose to appeal, you must submit a formal request appealing the decision within 15 days of receiving your rejection. This appeal should:
- Be sent to the same Czech Consulate that refused your initial visa request.
- Be sent via mail or in person.
- Bear your original signature (or that of your designated legal representative).
- Declare in writing why you are appealing the rejection. Please note, your reason for challenging the initial decision cannot be predicated on new information-i.e. information you failed to provide on your original application.
- Be inclusive of the fee for a visa refusal appeal (60 Euros).
- Your appeal will be considered by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will render a decision within 60 days. The result of that decision will be made known to you by the consulate/visa center which issued the original refusal.
- If the Czech MA upholds your rejection, your final recourse is to request a judicial review of your rejection at the district court of the district in the Czech Republic where you would theoretically report your residency, in the event that you were granted a Schengen visa to the Czech Republic. The district in which you lodge your appeal must match the district where you originally intended to live, as stated in your original visa application.
Finally, once you obtain your Schengen Visa for the Czech Republic, please note the following:
- Your visa may be revoked if you do not notify the Czech Consulate/visa application center of any changes to your trip itinerary that occur after you have submitted your application.
- Being approved for a Czech visa does not guarantee you entry to either the Czech Republic or the general Schengen area-you can still be refused entry to both places upon arrival.
- Alternatively, you may have to show additional documents regarding your finances or accommodation in order to enter the Czech Republic/the Schengen area.