What is Brexit?
Brexit is the name for the process of UK withdrawal from the EU. A referendum was held in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2016, in which the British voted in favour of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU by a 51.9% majority (17.2 million votes). Following the result of this referendum, the UK government formally announced on March 29, 2017, its intention to withdraw from the EU, thus initiating the withdrawal process in accordance with Art. 50 of the EU Treaty (TEU).
The UK officially withdrew from the European Union on January 31, 2020, starting the transition period, which will last until the end of 2020. The transition period is intended to ensure that the key political and economic links between the UK and the EU were not severed abruptly. The transition period also provides the time needed to negotiate a future relationship.
How will Brexit affect me?
From February 1, 2020, when the transitional period began, until December 31, 2020, British citizens will be treated as EU citizens. Under the right to free movement and residence, British citizens and their family members will have the same legal status as if the UK was still a member of the EU.
Even after the end of the transitional period, British citizens and their family members who resided in the Czech Republic during the transitional period will be in a comparable situation in terms of their residence rights as they are currently as EU citizens.
British citizens who have never resided in the Czech Republic before or during the transitional period will be considered as third-country nationals from January 1, 2021, and will be subject to the rights, obligations and types of proceedings as other third-country nationals without the right to free movement.
How to stay legally in the Czech Republic after the transition period?
If you are resident in the Czech Republic before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.
The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, for reasons for legal certainty, timesaving and avoidance of possible more complicated administrative procedures in the future, strongly urges those who want to continue their residency at the territory of the Czech Republic after December 31, 2020, to:
If you stay or intend to stay in the country for more than three months
- Apply for a Certificate of Temporary Residence
- for further information visit https://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/eu‐citizens‐and‐their‐family‐members.aspx
If you have lived in the country for more than five years
- Apply for a Permanent Residence Permit
- for further information visit https://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/eu‐citizens‐and‐their‐family‐members‐permanent‐residence.aspx
The deadline for application for either temporary or permanent residence permit is December 31, 2020.
You must register your stay with the Czech Foreign Police first. You will need this confirmation of your registration with the Foreign Police when you apply for Czech residency status.
Currently, the Ministry of the Interior issues a certificate of temporary residence to British citizens who apply for it, without examining the applicant’s status (i.e. whether it is a worker, student, family member, posted worker, inactive person, etc.). Anyone who resides in the Czech Republic as of December 31, 2020, and sufficiently proves it (e.g. by an employment contract, lease contract, confirmation of school attendance), will receive a certificate of temporary residence. This certificate will differ from other certificates of temporary residence of EU citizens in that it will clearly identify the entitled person as a person covered by the withdrawal agreement (the document will be marked with a red stamp “EU Withdrawal Agreement”).
According to the Ministry of the Interior, once the right to reside in the Czech Republic is acquired in accordance with Article 13 of the WA, it is virtually impossible to lose it (unless the person ceases to be a British citizen or family member of a British citizen or unless he or she seriously violates public order or public security). Even in case of loss of permanent residence (e.g. due to long absence from the territory for many years), you do not lose the rights arising from the WA and you can reapply for temporary residence in the Czech Republic in accordance with the WA because it still applies that you resided in a Member State before the end transitional period.
How to stay in the Czech Republic after 2020?
In order to have a right to stay in the Czech Republic after 2020, you have to submit an application for temporary, a long-term or permanent residence permit as a third-country national. That means that in 2021, the process of obtaining a residence permit will be more complicated.
Further information about the types of long-term visa and residence permits can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Passports and travel
Before January 1, 2021
The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on December 31, 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.
Check your passport is valid for travel. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You can also apply for or renew your British passport from the Czech Republic.
After January 1, 2021
From January 1, 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to the Czech Republic, and you are in the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.
As a non-EEA national, different border control will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries.
From January 1, 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for short stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.
To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements for a long-term visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.
What else do I need to know?
UK citizens employed in the Czech Republic before the end of the transitional period may continue to work without a work permit and they may also terminate and start another employment relationship with another employer without the need to obtain a work permit.
UK citizens with residence status in the Czech Republic may change their status. A change from one category to another is to be considered a change of status: student, employee, self-employed person, economically inactive person. In case you acquired the rights from the WA and change your status from January 1, 2021, to an employee, you will not be obliged to have a work permit.
If you are living in the Czech Republic or move here permanently before December 31, 2020, you will have life-long healthcare rights in the Czech Republic as you do now, provided you remain legally resident.
If your UK employer has sent you to the Czech Republic temporarily, your access to healthcare is different. Find out how to access healthcare as a posted worker.
British citizens arriving at the Czech Republic after the Brexit date will be in a position of third-country nationals, their access to healthcare will be limited and they will be obliged to be covered by private (travel) health insurance.
State healthcare: S1
If you have a registered S1 form and are living in the Czech Republic before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from January 1, 2021, if you are either:
- receiving a UK State Pension
- receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
- a frontier worker who lives in the Czech Republic and commutes to work in the UK
Read more on using an S1 form in the Czech Republic to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.
If you’re a UK student in the Czech Republic or have a registered S1 you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC. This EHIC will remain valid from 1 January 2021. Apply now for a new UK EHIC.
If you work in the Czech Republic, you have the same tax rights and duties as Czech citizens.
The UK has a double taxation agreement with the Czech Republic to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries (Convention between the Government of the Czech and the Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains, 89/1992 Sb.) that still remains in force and effect. Brexit will have no impact on the existence of this particular Convention – its provisions have to be followed as in the situation when the UK is a member state of the EU.
The exchange of a driving licence is necessary when you will be allowed to stay in the Czech Republic for a longer period than 1 year or, you have obtained a permanent residence permit. UK citizens shall apply for the Czech driving licence within three months from obtaining a residence permit. However, the exchange will only be possible if the UK driving licence is compliant with the driving licence requirements laid down in the Conventions on Road Traffic (Geneva 1949, Vienna 1968). These requirements are met by photocard licences.
However, driving licences – paper model, do not comply with international conventions and cannot be accepted for exchange. If you want to obtain a Czech driving licence, you would have to undertake training at a driving school and pass an examination of professional competence to drive motor vehicles and then apply for a driving licence. This obligation applies in the Czech Republic for all countries other than member states of the EU.
Ministry of Interior:
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:
- Implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in the areas of residence, employment and social security
- Living in the Czech Republic – Guidance
- E-mail updates on residency in the Czech Republic
- Guidance on accessing healthcare in the Czech Republic
- Finding an English-speaking doctor in the Czech Republic
- Checking your prescriptions are legal in the Czech Republic
- British Embassy Prague on Facebook and Twitter
- Relevant information regarding the future partnership between the EU and UK
- Taskforce for relations with the UK
- Brexit preparedness
- Guidance on customs
- Q&A on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
Brexitinfo – Czech Government Office’s website dedicated to Brexit: