The Difference between Visa and Non-visa Students
The citizens of the countries of the European Union and EFTA (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) can legally stay in the Czech Republic without a visa. However, if they stay longer than 30 days, they are legally obliged to register with the local authorities. For more information see the information below.
Citizens of Third Countries (all countries except for EU or EFTA members) are obliged to have a visa or resident permit for their legal stay. This applies also for students with visa or temporary resident permit valid in another EU/EFTA country, if they want to stay more than 90 days within a period of 180 days. Citizens of some countries (e.g. the USA, Canada, some Balkan countries) can stay up to 90 days within 180 days without a visa. For more information, please, see the information below.
Citizens of United Kingdom are also considered as Visa students!
EU or EFTA students are legally obliged to register with the police in the place of their residence on the territory of the EU within 30 days of their arrival in the country if their intended stay will be longer than 30 days (§ 93, Law no. 326/1999).
Students are required to report their presence to the appropriate Foreign Police Department:
130 51 Praha
Ulrichovo náměstí 810
501 01 Hradec Králové
Slovanská alej 26
326 00 Plzeň
+420 974 820 317-318
+420 974 521 849
+420 974 521 845
+420 974 324 669
This obligation does not apply if the person/company (including the halls of residence of Charles University) providing accommodation submits the registration forms on behalf of the citizen of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland.
Please see the after arrival duties and registration requirements on the website of Czech Ministry of Interior:
EU students are entitled (but not obliged) to apply for a Certificate of Temporary Residence at the Departments for Asylum and Migration Policy (Ministry of the Interior offices). Students who obtain this Certificate of Temporary Residence are issued with a special card (known as a European Card) which officially states a short-term Czech address and can therefore be used for many transactions in which official proof of Czech address is necessary (opening a bank account, purchase of a mobile phone on a contract, getting any temporary job, etc.). A short-term residence permit is issued for different periods of time depending on the purpose of the short-term residence. The application is processed without undue delay, within 30 days of initiating the process at the latest.
Please see the Temporary Residence Permit requirements on the website of Czech Ministry of Interior: http://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/temporary-residence.aspx
The holders of the Temporary Residence Permit enjoy bigger rights than the students who only have a simple registration of their address in the Czech Republic (see above). One of the benefits of this permit is that in a crisis such as the Coronavirus one of 2020 holders of this permit are allowed to cross the Czech Republic borders.
An Acceptance Letter in English and Czech will be issued for every student and sent on their home postal address before their arrival and registration at the host faculty.
Note please, according to the law if a student wants to undertake paid work of any kind, regular or casual, he or she must have a work permit.
Residents of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are treated in the same way as EU residents.
Students from non-EU and non-EFTA countries are considered third-countries citizens. For these students there are three most common legal statuses for the stay in the Czech Republic
- short-term stay (with or without visa) – up to 90 days within 180 day
- long-term visa or temporary residence permit – more then 90 – majority of student exchanges, the regular semester stay is always longer than 90 days
Please, note that even if you have a visa or resident permit you are legally obliged to register with the Police Foreign Department within 3 days of your arrival unless you are housed in the university hall of residence - in such case the Accommodation Office of the hall of residence will register you.
Each incoming student has to have a medical insurance and the respected officer will ask you for confirmation about the insurance before issuing the visa. For more information please look here:
For more general information for foreigners arriving to the Czech Republic look here: http://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/third-country-nationals-entering-the-czech-republic.aspx
The length of a short-term stay is considered as maximum of 90 days within any 180 days.
Third-country citizens have to apply for a short-term visa at the embassy. Please, read the instructions here:
Please, keep in mind that you have to apply for a short term visa 15 days before your planned arrival at the latest.
Citizens of some countries can stay on the territory of the Czech Republic up to 90 days thanks to the visa-free regime. The list of countries with visa free regime is available here:
If your home country is on the list, please, read carefully instructions in the note below the list.
If a third-country citizen has a valid visa or resident permit in another EU/EFTA member state (except for Ireland), he or she also can stay in the Czech Republic without visa for short-term stay (max. 90 days within 180 days!).
Third-country citizens who wish to stay longer than 90 days (regular semester stays always exceed 90 days!) have to apply for a long-term visa or long-term residence permit at the Embassy of the Czech Republic or for the long-term resident permit at the office of the Ministry of Interior in the Czech Republic.
The European Office of Charles University provides following documents required for long-term visa/residence permit administration:
1. Letter of Acceptance and Confirmation of Study Program (these documents confirm the purpose of stay)
2. Accommodation Agreement for Charles University hall of residence (valid as a proof of accommodation – we book a place at the dormitory for all of our visa students. If you wish to stay at private accommodation, let us know and send us a scan of your accommodation agreement which you´ll use for your visa/resident permit application);
3. Only for students coming with the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility scheme: the Confirmation of Funding.
We do not provide a proof of funds to students coming under Erasmus+ program, because we don´t provide the scholarship. We neither provide any official translations or any kind of documents regarding your funds if you don´t receive scholarship from Charles University. All of the instructions regarding proof of funds are here: https://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/proof-of-funds-for-the-purposes-of-a-long-term-visa.aspx Be aware that if the proof of funds must be issued by a recognized institution. The embassy might reject a proof of funds if it will be written in some foreign language which is not understandable for the officer. If you have doubts about the eligibility of your proof of funds, please ask at the respected embassy.
To learn more, please, read carefully the obligations for students from non-EU countries as presented on the Ministry of Interior website:
Please note, that it´s important to book an appointment at the respected embassy, consulate or office of the Ministry of Interior first. We strongly recommend you to book the appointment as soon as you´ll receive the above mentioned set of documents from Charles University. For more information how to book the appointment, please look at the web pages of the particular office (there might be different instructions for each embassy/consulate/office of Ministry of Interior).
The final decision on visa or resident permit should be done within 60 days after the submission of the visa/resident permit application.
Please note that you are eligible to apply at the embassy or consulate which belongs to the region of your permanent address or residence. Some countries doesn´t have Czech embassy at their territories and some Czech embassies doesn´t provide the visa service. In these cases you would have to apply at the embassy in a different country. For example the embassy in Vienna provides visa service for residents of more than 10 countries. In other countries (such as Turkey, Ukraine or USA) there is not only the Czech embassy, but also one or more consulates with a visa section. Each embassy and consulate provides visa service only for residents of particular regions of the respected country. If you are not sure to which embassy or consulate does your application belong to, ask at the embassy before applying for the appointment.
The list of respected embassies and consulates together with the specification of territories which belongs to the particular offices is available only in Czech language: https://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/informace_pro_cizince/legislativa/vyhlaska_o_uzemnich_obvodech.html
For long-term visa you have to apply at the embassy/consulate of the Czech Republic according to the information from previous section.
Please, read carefully the application instructions for the long-term visa here:
For long-term visa you can apply at the embassy/consulate of the Czech Republic, in some cases (explained bellow) at the office of Ministry of Interior at the territory of the Czech Republic.
Please, read carefully the instructions about resident permit applications here: https://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/third-country-nationals-long-term-residence.aspx?q=Y2hudW09Mg%3d%3d
Citizens of third-countries who have a residence permit valid in another EU member state for the purpose of studies (with the exception of Denmark and Ireland) are entitled to apply for a long-term residence permit on the territory of the Czech Republic.
In case you decide to apply for a resident permit at the territory of the Czech Republic, make sure that that:
- the resident permit for study purpose issued by another EU member state must be valid for the whole period of your proposed stay in the Czech Republic
- the respected officer at the Ministry of Interior will very likely search for the word “student” at your resident permit card issued by another EU member state. If the information about study purpose is not specifically mentioned on your official document, you might be asked for an alternative official document proving this fact from an official authority of state which issued your resident permit. A document issued by your home university might not be recognized by official authorities. If the word “student” is missing on the card and if you´ll not have any document confirming the fact that your resident permit was issued specifically for study purpose, your application at the Ministry of Interior might be rejected.
If you are eligible to apply for a long-term residence permit on the territory of Czech Republic, you should visit the special office of the Ministry of Interior. In Prague it´s an office at Hládkov, which is intended for students. More information about the office are here: https://frs.gov.cz/en/node/1348 For booking an appointment at Hládkov office use the on-line reservation system: https://frs.gov.cz/en
Standard medical treatment is obtainable free of charge. The health care costs are carried by the chosen Czech health insurance fund. To obtain treatment under the provisions of European regulations it is important to contact a medical institution (doctor, dentist, hospital), that has a contract with the public health insurance system (most of them have, but some institutions are purely private).
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), form E111 or Provisional certificate has to be submitted to the attending physician. If you do not have either of these documents, the physician can insist on cash payment.
In order for the doctor to ensure his or her own reimbursement from the contracting Czech health insurance fund, he or she will need to see your EHIC card, Provisional certificate, or E111 form, and will copy the information onto another specific internal form, known as "Potvrzení o nároku" (Certificate of entitlement). The doctor will also need to check your ID document (passport, ID card, drivers license).
The doctor will normally ask you to confirm your expected length of stay in the territory of the Czech Republic and will advise you to choose one of Czech contracting health insurance funds. You will confirm your choice and expected length of your stay by signature in above-mentioned "Potvrzení o nároku" (Certificate of entitlement).
If any medicines, laboratory tests, or any further examinations are prescribed, the doctor should give you an appropriate number of copies of "Potvrzení o nároku" (Certificate of entitlement). The copy should then be submitted to the pharmacy, laboratory or surgery.
Please bear in mind, that your European health card insurance (or with the E111 form and Provisional certificate) entitles you only to coverage of the costs of medical care in the Czech Republic and Czech doctors are instructed to try to ensure that you need not leave the country earlier than you planned as a result of medical problems.
Other kinds of medically related care, e.g. non-urgent treatment, or medically assisted transport home following serious illness or injury, are not covered, and for these eventualities we recommend you take out extra medical or commercial travel insurance with an insurance provider in your home country.
In case of medical need a temporary stay in the CR, visitors with the E 111, Provisional certificate or the EHIC can go to the doctor/dentist/hospital directly with this document. If you are staying in the CR for a relatively long period (1 semester) you may – if you wish – make a direct agreement with a Czech health insurance company, and register with it. As the registration document you will obtain "Potvrzení o registraci" (Certificate of Registration) which can be submitted to any doctor/dentist/at the hospital before getting treatment.
Standard dental care is generally covered by the health insurance system. As in other EU countries, however, some forms of non-essential (cosmetic) treatment or higher quality materials require extra payments. If you need treatment by a specialist, the general practitioner will refer you to one. In urgent cases visitors can go to a hospital with the E111/EHIC directly. In other cases the practitioner issues a recommendation for admission to hospital. Transport to the hospital is covered by the insurance system and is provided free of charge. In case of urgent medical transport or in case of treatment by a doctor from the emergency service it is also necessary to present your EHIC/E111 or Provisional certificate.
If the doctor decides to prescribe medicines, he or she will issue a prescription and should also give you a copy of "Potvrzení o nároku" (Certificate of entitlement) as mentioned before. For some medicines the patient must make some financial contribution while some groups of drugs are free for the patient.
In the Czech republic, non-prescription drugs and medicines are sold only in pharmacies. They are not available at supermarkets, as in many West European countries. Pharmacies may be recognised by the prominent green cross-displayed over the shop-front. Many have staff who can speak English or German, and are used to offering advice to tourists (especially in the city centres).
Health Funding in the Czech Republic
Standard medical treatment is obtainable free of charge. The health care costs are carried by the chosen Czech health insurance fund. There are compulsory prescription charges on some medications, materials and forms of dental treatment. These charges are not refundable.
If you (by mistake or for any other reason) pay cash for medical treatment that is covered by your home insurance company, you will have to apply for reimbursement at home since such costs are not refundable within the CR.
Students from outside non-EU countries are not covered by the EU’s E-111 form, and they therefore must have a valid international medical insurance plan, or they must expect to pay cash for all medical care.
In case of emergency or an accident use any hospital or health clinic.
If your medical problem isn't an emergency, Prague has several clinics that cater to English-speaking clients that can provide a network of services from basic examination to accompanying a patient to the hospital. Please note, however, that these are usually commercial operations that may charge a high fee.
If you need to visit a general practitioner, gynaecologist or dentist, you can go to one of the following health centres:
Městská poliklinika Praha / City Polyclinics Prague
Phone: +420 222 924 211
110 00 Praha 1
Nemocnice na Homolce Hospital (foreign pavilion)
Phone:+420 257 272 144,
+420 257 272 146
Praha 5, Roentgenova 2
Phone: +420 221 775 111
V Celnici 5, 110 00 Praha 1
(alternative entrance Na Poříčí 1040/10)
Metro line B, Station Náměstí Republiky
Tram Number 3, 5, 8, 9, 14, 22, 24
DC Mediscan - Chodov
Phone: +420 267 090 811 – 14
Šustova 1930, 148 00 Praha 11 – Chodov
(in the same building as Policlinics Jižní Město II)
Metro line C, Station Chodov
Bus Number 115, 118, 122, 177, 197 - station Chodov
Please note that three faculties of Charles University are located outside Prague:
- the Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove and the Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove
- and the Faculty of Medicine in Plzen
To find your bus or train connections inside the Czech Republic please visit: http://idos.datis.cdrail.cz
(the National Information System of the public line passenger transport timetables)
Arriving by Air
All international flights arrive at Prague Ruzyně Airport, approximately 20 km to the Northwest of the city centre. You can get into town either by catching a city bus (No. 119, 179 go to the airport) or by catching the airport shuttle service. All minibus shuttle services to the airport are run by a single private company called CEDAZ. You will see their white vans waiting outside the terminal. There is also a taxi service run by a company called Airport Cars FIX. There are four ways you can get from the airport to the dormitory:
Take a taxi. This is undoubtedly the most comfortable way to travel, but also the most expensive. Prices for a taxi journey from the airport into town range from Kč 120 – Kč 870, depending on your precise destination. You will find a price list for the service offered by Airport Cars FIX by the company's stand in the airport lounge. If you do decide to use a taxi, make sure you get a written estimate for the cost of your journey from the company in the airport lounge before you set out, since this reduces the chance of the driver trying to overcharge you.
Hire a city shuttle van to take you direct to the dormitory. This is charged at a flat rate of Kč 480 for 1-4 people, or Kč 960 for 5 or more people, and is generally cheaper than taking a taxi. However, it is also slower, since the van will have up to eight passengers, and will have to visit up to eight different addresses. Your address may be eighth in line. Write down the address of your dormitory to show to the shuttle driver since communication may be difficult if you do not speak Czech.
Take city bus No. 119 or the regular airport shuttle service to "Dejvická" metro station (green line A; by the Hotel Diplomat). Then, after you get to Dejvická, take a taxi. This reduces the length of the taxi journey. To take a city bus (or any other public transport) you will need to buy a transport ticket, and you must remember to validate the ticket by date-stamping it when you get on the bus/tram/metro. To take an airport shuttle, you pay approx. Kč 90 directly to the driver. Taxi fares in town are currently around Kč 25 per km.
Take city bus No. 100 – a special fast and frequent service - from the airport to the “Zličín” metro station (yellow line B), from where you can get to central Prague quickly.
Use public transport. Instructions here will vary widely depending on which dorm you have been assigned. Please see your accommodation voucher.
For general information on Prague Ruzyně airport, see the Czech Airport Authority website: www.csl.cz, which includes full details of transport to the airport by city bus, minibus and taxi (in English).
Arriving by Train or Bus
Most international trains arrive either at Prague Main Railway Station ("Hlavní nádraží") or at Holešovice Railway Station ("Nádraží Holešovice") to the north of the city. Both stations are interconnected with metro (red line C). International buses usually arrive at Florenc Bus Terminal (point of change: metro lines B and C) or at a bus station “Želivského” (metro line A).
In most cases you will get to Hradec Králové via Prague.
Arriving by Train
International trains (EC, IC) arrive at two railway stations in Prague:
The Main Railway Station ("Hlavní nádraží") is situated in the centre of Prague and it is also one of the metro stops (red line C). There are several direct trains departing for Hradec Králové every day from this railway station.
Holešovice Railway Station ("Nádraží Holešovice") that is linked with Main Railway Station by metro line C.
Arriving by Bus or Car
There are numerous buses linking Prague with Hradec Králové. Most of them depart from Florenc Bus Terminal (metro line C and B) every 30 to 60 minutes. The journey takes less than 2 hours.
If driving a car take the route No E67 (D11) from Prague to Hradec Králové (approx. 90 min). Note that the speed limits are 50 km/h in urban areas, 130 km/h on a highway and 90 km/h elsewhere. Once in Hradec Králové, follow the signs to Brno and turn left at the first crossing with traffic lights after crossing the bridge over the Labe river; then turn right after 20 meters and continue 150 meters to reach the Faculty of Pharmacy.
The Faculty of Medicine in Plzeň (UWB) is located in Pilsen (Plzeň), the largest city in West Bohemia and the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic. Pilsen lies about 78 km southwest of Prague and its international airport, and about 80 km from the German border. The easiest way to get to Pilsen is from Prague. If you decide to get to Pilsen by bus, there are links from Florenc Bus Terminal (metro line C and B) approximately twice an hour. You can also get to Pilsen by train that goes from Prague Main Railway Station ("Hlavní nádraží") every hour. All the connections take about 90 minutes.