The Czech Republic is a very popular destination for teaching English abroad due to its' welcoming people, fascinating cultural heritage, and world famous beer. Another reason for its popularity is that unlike many other European countries such as Spain and Italy, it is possible for non-EU citizens to obtain a long-term work visa to teach legally in the country.
How do I apply for a work visa to teach English in the Czech Republic?
Most teachers enter the Czech Republic on a basic tourist visa that is valid for 90 days. Once in the country you can then begin the process of applying for a work visa. The most common route for teachers is to apply for a Zivnostensky List (Zivno), which is essentially a business license that allows you to work for any school in the country. You can lodge your application at a government zivnostensky office, although most teachers use a visa agency to organize things for them. The documents required for your application include:
- Completed application form
- Bank or credit card statement showing access to a minimum of $8,000 USD
- Housing contract as proof of long-term residency
- One year health insurance policy (can be bought in country)
- Criminal background check (contact your embassy in Prague for details on how to obtain this document)
What other work visa options are there?
The second option is a standard work permit that requires the employer to act as a sponsor and to lodge the application. As this can be expensive and requires extensive paperwork, many employers are reluctant to offer it. However, for those who are able to show a long-term commitment, it can still be a good option. To be eligible the teacher must be a university graduate who can supply an apostilled version of their diploma (obtained in home country), plus another translated into Czech.
Can I teach English in the Czech Republic without a work visa?
There are plenty of employers in the Czech Republic who are happy to employ teachers without a work visa. Although this is technically illegal, it is common practice and rarely causes problems for the teacher. However, for teachers who want to live and work in the Czech Republic for more than just a short visit, one of the above options is highly recommended.