Advances in technology, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, have lead to an increasing number of people adhering to the digital nomad lifestyle. There are many benefits to becoming a digital nomad: flexible working hours, freedom of choice when it comes to selecting the projects you’d like to work on and, most importantly, the ability to work from virtually any place in the world. In a recent post, we interviewed one of our members who told us about his life as a digital nomad and highlighted some of these advantages.
However, being a digital nomad can be a headache when you have to deal with visas and other permits to be able to stay in a foreign country for a longer period. But here’s the good news: there are a few countries that have introduced Digital Nomad Visas which allow freelancers and remote workers to stay in their territories for several months. And the Czech Republic is one of them! In this post, we’ll explain how to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in the Czech Republic.
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What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
In a nutshell, digital nomad visas lie somewhere between work visas and tourist visas. While work visas are usually difficult to obtain, the application process for a digital nomad visa is often simpler. And, as opposed to tourist visas, which are typically valid for no more than 90 days, visas for digital nomads allow longer stays. Another difference with tourist visas is that holders of digital nomad visas are allowed to work, as long as they do it remotely and independently.
That said, it is technically also possible to work when you’re on a tourist visa on the condition that you do so independently and remotely and are not employed by a local company. So if you don’t intend to stay in a country for longer than 3 months, a tourist visa could be more than enough. So we recommend digital nomad visas for those individuals who wish to stay in a territory for longer than what a regular tourist visa would allow.
Each country has their own requirements to be eligible for digital nomad visas, but here we will only address the case of the Czech Republic.
How to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in the Czech Republic (Zivno)?
Before we move on to explain how to apply, we would like to clarify that the digital nomad visa is commonly referred as a Zivno (Zivnostenske opravneni). That is, a trade license that allows you to stay and work in the Czech Republic as a freelancer.
What documents do I need?
Here’s a list of the requirements to be eligible:
- A completed application form;
- A passport from your home country with a validity exceeding your intended stay by at least 3 months and issued within the last 10 years. On top of that, it must also have at least 2 blank pages;
- Two passport photographs;
- Proof of funds – minimum 124.500 CZK (around $5,700). You’ll need to submit (1) a bank statement and (2) a notarized copy of your credit or debit card valid for at least the length of your stay in the Czech Republic. Your name must appear as the credit card holder;
- Proof of the purpose of your stay, including the trade license (Zivno);
- Proof of accommodation for at least one year.
- Criminal records from your country of origin and from any other countries where you have lived for at least 6 months in the past 3 years;
- Travel medical insurance. Only once your visa is approved.
Note that all these documents must be submitted in Czech, so you might need to hire a legal translator in some cases.
Apart from all the documents listed above, you will also need to pay the visa application fee. You can check how much it costs on the website of the Czech Embassy in your country of origin. For example, here you can find how much it costs at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington D.C.
Unfortunately, the application cannot be submitted in the Czech Republic and has to be processed through a Czech Embassy abroad (i.e. you cannot come to the Czech Republic on a tourist visa for 90 days and then apply once you’re here). In most cases, you’ll need to apply in your country of origin, but there are some exceptions. Here you can find the full list of nationalities that can apply at any Embassy of the Czech Republic around the world, and not just their home country’s.
Now that you know where to apply and submit all the documents listed above, the next step is to pass an immigration interview. It is usually held at the Embassy and you’ll be asked about your work intentions, accommodation, education and other Czech-related questions.
The visa processing time can take from 90 to 120 days running from the moment that the Embassy receives the fully completed application. Once it’s approved, you’ll need to collect it from the Embassy (this is also when you’ll need to prove that you have purchased health insurance) and you’d be all set! You will only need to activate it and start working and enjoying the Czech life 🙂
10 reasons to live in Prague as a digital nomad
While the Czech Republic has many interesting cities, Prague is usually the first choice for digital nomads and expats. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Prague’s old town seems as if it was taken out of a fairy tale, but less touristy neighbourhoods are also very charming and offer a wide range of leisure activities.
- Living in Prague is quite cheap. According to Nomad List, digital nomads’ expenses amount to roughly $2,000/month, in contrast with Paris or London’s $4,000/month!!!
- It’s one of the safest cities to live in Europe.
- There’s lots of fun stuff to do and every weekend there’s a different festival or event taking place in Prague!
- You can survive even if you don’t speak a word of Czech. The number of expats living in Prague has rocketed in the past few decades and Czechs are getting more used to speaking English these days.
- The Czech Republic has a good reputation for its amazing beer (which is also very cheap!).
- Since it’s very centrally located, you can easily travel around Europe from Prague – whether it is by bus, train or plane.
- Hiking lovers will find endless possibilities around Prague.
- It’s one of the most pet-friendly cities across Europe!
- You can work from Locus Workspace, a coworking space with members from more than 20 different nationalities. You’ll certainly build some valuable connections who will make your settling down in the city much easier!
We hope this post answered all your questions on how to become a digital nomad in the Czech Republic. But, most importantly, we hope that we encouraged you to give it a shot and come work & live in Prague or any other Czech city. Remember that there’s a community of digital nomads waiting for you at Locus Workspace!