The last step before becoming a Czech citizen is getting a permanent residence status. It is crucial especially for foreigners from so-called third countries, i.e. outside of the EU. It allows foreigners to join the public health insurance system at any point and take advantage of the Czech welfare system to the same level as Czech citizens. For both nonEU and EU nationals, it is a necessary step for becoming a citizen and obtaining a Czech passport.
The new BEC Guide – Immigration: Residence Permits provides information about the process of application for “trvalý pobyt” for all three groups: EU and EFTA citizens, their family members and third countries’ nationals. In the guide, you can find about what documents have to be submitted with your application, where to request it and the rights and responsibilities you have once you gain a permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
Permanent residence is available for individuals who stay in the Czech Republic continuously for longer than 5 years. Family members (who are otherwise third-country nationals) are eligible to request permanent residence after 2 years of a continuous stay in the Czech Republic and when being a family member of a Czech or EU/EFTA citizen for at least one year.
The permanent residence status comes with a set of rights and obligations. A foreigner from outside of EU doesn’t need a work permit to start working at any position and when unemployed, may receive social benefits when looking for a new job. The most important advantage is the right to access the public health insurance system even if not employed and be covered for any health troubles with no limit.
Remember that the right comes with an obligation: when being a permanent resident, one has to pay the health insurance at all time, even if not staying in the country (unless it is more than six months and you can present your health insurance from another country). Finally, a Czech permanent resident has the right to apply for Czech citizenship.
Read more and download all guidelines and list of necessary documentation in this guide: Residence Permits