Information on visa procedure for non-EU students
Students from EU countries
Students from the EU (plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) are exempt from student visa requirements.
Students from countries outside the EU
Once you have been accepted for studies, you will have to turn to the local Czech embassy or consulate: the Czech Republic, like most other countries, requires foreign students studying in the country to have a student visa.
The applicants have the following options:
- a 90-day visa for the purpose of study (long-term one)
- long-term residence permit for the purpose of study
- long-term visa for "other" purposes (other educational activities – only in justified cases, with the options listed under 1) and 2) being used most often)
If an applicant intends to study in the Czech Republic for a period longer that three months with his or her study falling into one of the categories listed by Section 64 concerning the stays of foreign nationals (see oblique text below), he or she may directly apply for a long stay permit, that is, with no need to apply for a long-term visa. In this situation (study duration exceeding three months), the applicant has an option of either applying for a long-term visa (granted for a maximum of 6 months) or a long-term residence permit.
However, if the applicant's type of study does not fall into any of the categories stipulated by said Section 64, such as the study of a non-accredited university course, the applicant may only apply for a long-term visa (other purposes).
Study as defined by Section 64 of Act no. 326/1999 Coll. concerning the stay of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic Territory (hereinafter the Territory)
1) For the purposes of this Act, studies include:
a) studies at a secondary school, tertiary technical school, and conservatoire listed in the register of schools and educational institutions, studies of an accredited degree programme at a higher education institution,
b) language training or preparatory course for an accredited degree programme at a university offered by a university, language training or preparatory course organized as part of an EU programme or under an international agreement;
c) study stay on a scholarship based on international agreements currently in force signed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, a current scholarship programme of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, an EU scholarship programme, or as decided by the Government of the Czech Republic,
d) practical training offered to a foreign national to obtain practical experience and/or theoretical background with this training taking place during the period of the foreign national's studies at the hosting university or within 5 years after completion of the foreign national's university studies and being organized or coordinated by a Czech university, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, a legal entity accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for this particular purpose, a legal entity with a registered office within the Territory or a legal entity with a registered office without the Territory having an organisational unit within the Territory,
e) practical training and voluntary service of youth aged 18 to 25 for a foreign national to obtain practical experience and/or theoretical background as carried out in a Czech hosting organisation within an EU programme, project, or initiative and organized or coordinated by a legal entity accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for this purpose having the registered office within the Territory or by a legal entity with a registered office without the Territory having an organisational unit within the Territory, and
f) exchanges of experience and study stays of persons in charge of education and human resource development, provided that such activities are carried out as part of an EU programme or initiative or based on an international agreement.
Based on a declaration by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) will consider 6 month to year-long study programmes, that are "compiled" with parts of accredited study programmes by most Czech public and private universities for their foreign partner schools, to be "studies" according to §64/1/a of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals. However, the MOI will require that the confirmation of enrollment issued by the school contain a statement that the student will be entered in the Register of Students ("matrikastudentů").