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Moving to the Czech Repubich

The Czech Republic is an enticing destination for many people looking for a new home in Europe. Rich in tradition and cultural events, the country is welcoming to all.

Undoubtfully, it is a place where you'll find plenty of reasons to stay longer. Moving to the Czech Republic comes with many intricacies. Before you start organising the move to your new home, familiarise yourself with the essential details in our quick guide.

What languages are spoken in the Czech Republic?

The official and most widely spoken language in the republic is Czech. It is from the Slavic group and shares characteristics with the Polish, Croatian and Russian languages. Czech is strongly related to Slovak. This reflects in the ability of Czechs to easily understand and speak Slovak, and vice versa.

There are three main dialects in the country - Common Czech, Bohemian and Moravian. If you're heading to the capital and its suburbs, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the Common Czech, which is also the most spoken. In the eastern part of the country, Moravian dialect is mainly used, while Bohemian is increasingly rare.

Words without vowel letters are not a problem for Czechs and are quite common. In order to simplify the language, specific diacritics are used on top of the letters. They indicate the exact pronunciation and greatly facilitate spelling.

Speaking the local language would speed up your integration into the community. Until you master it, you can rely on English, German and Slovak - they are the most spoken foreign languages in the country.

New home when moving to the Czech Republic

Before taking the step towards moving to the Czech Republic, familiarise yourself with the property market. Finding a home in the larger cities is a challenge because of the ever-increasing interest. The most desirable relocation destinations in the Czech Republic are the capital Prague, Brno, Pilsen and Olomouc.

Search for accommodation on one of the many ad portals, social media, and groups. Searching for a property in English would make it easier, but this way you will mainly find listings for foreigners that are high priced and with not so good conditions. Take the time to explore portals in Czech to access better offers. Use a translator or a local friend to assist you in your search.

Consulting a real estate agent will make the process much easier, but be careful in your choice. Be sure to ask about the broker's brokerage fee and their terms of service. Be careful and check the status of the property with the city registry before making a deal. Make sure you understand everything in the lease.

For faster orientation among the many housing listings, you should know the general terms they are based on. These are "1+1"; "2+1" and "1+KK" (1+0). The first figure indicates the number of rooms in the dwelling. The second number denotes an extra room, which in most cases is a separate kitchen. "KK" is a small kitchen or kitchenette that is part of another room. "1+KK" or "1+0" are the most common descriptions for a studio with only one room, which also contains the kitchenette.

Finding new employment

The average monthly salary in the Czech Republic is 40 135 CZK (1 645 EUR). It varies greatly depending on the city and field of employment. Fewer and fewer Czech citizens define themselves as wealthy because of price changes and pay differentials relative to the position held. The cost of living in larger cities keeps rising. These indicators incline that you should research the job market well and carefully consider where exactly to move.

For European citizens, there is no need to get a work and residence permit. If you are moving to the Czech Republic from the UK or another third country for a longer period, you will need to obtain a visa or long-term residence permit accordingly. To be able to work legally in the country for more than 3 months, you will need an employment card (employee card) or a blue card. Get the one that matches the characteristics of the future position you would hold. Also, familiarise yourself with the legal requirements for business visas if you are going to freelance for another country.

The standard working week in the Czech Republic is 41.3 hours, slightly longer than the EU average. It is gradually declining and the government is considering options to adopt a formal 4-day working week without pay cuts. Many private companies are already implementing this, as well as work-from-home options for 1 or 2 days a week. With these changes, Czechs would have more time for family and enjoyable activities that would increase their quality of life.

Urban fragment with a bridge and a river in the Czech Republic

With kids in the Czech Republic

If you are moving to the Czech Republic with your children, you will be pleasantly surprised by the country's low crime rate. Prague is the best holiday destination for children throughout whole the Europe, and that's another sign that it's also a good place to raise them.

School attendance is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 15. If you are coming from the UK or another third country and want to enrol your child in school, you must present your residence permit. You have the right to request free Czech tuition for your children if they are young enough. After taking a language course, they can join state primary education. The latter is free for everyone.

More and more schools are incorporating specialised courses in Czech and creating a system to integrate older children more quickly into the public education system. If your children wish to continue studying in English or another language, you can enrol them in one of the many international schools. These are mainly located in and around Prague. Get acquainted with their admission requirements and teaching methods.

Higher education institutions in the country are world-renowned. The capital is one of the best student cities in the world. This is based on the level of education as well as the diverse opportunities that Prague provides. The numerous cultural attractions, interesting restaurants and pubs, accessible transport infrastructure and parks attract many students every year.

The Czech Republic and pets

To move to the Czech Republic with your pet cat, dog or ferret, it must have a valid passport, rabies vaccine and a microchip that meets ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 standards. The animal could also be allowed in the country if it has a legible identification tattoo.

Your pet must have a veterinary certificate stating that it is entering the Czech Republic for non-commercial purposes. It must arrive no later than 5 days after your entry into the country. If you violate this rule, the animal is considered to be coming for commercial purposes and different customs conditions apply. Investigate companies that provide animal transport services in the Czech Republic if you are unable to travel together. You need to register your dog with the local municipality within 15 days of your arrival.

Czechs love dogs and you can often see them not only in public parks, but also in cafes, pubs and restaurants. If you take your pet to a brasserie, it will become the centre of the party for the evening. Dogs are allowed on trams, buses and subways if they are in a bag, crate or on a leash. Public transport drivers may only refuse you entry if there is not enough space available. The country does not have a list of banned dog breeds.

If you are moving to the Czech Republic with a bird, rodent, fish or amphibian, read the list of endangered species (CITES) carefully. All exotic animals must have a health certificate, but rabies vaccination is not compulsory for all. Study the rules for entering the country thoroughly before undertaking a move.

Requirements for driving in the country

If you’re moving to the Czech Republic from another EU country, you are allowed to drive with your own licence. This also applies to citizens of Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. If you wish, you can replace your licence with a Czech one by providing the necessary documents, as proof of a 6-month stay in the country is among the most important ones.

People coming from the UK or other non-EU countries can use their licence for up to a year if they meet the standards of the Czech institutions. In case it doesn’t, you need to get an international driving licence or Czech equivalent. When you settle in the Czech Republic for a longer period and wish to use your driving licence for more than one year, you must replace your licence within three months of obtaining proof of permanent residence.

If you fail to replace your licence you will have to go through two stages of new driver training. You can hire an interpreter for the test part of the test if you don't speak Czech. After passing it, you will continue with practicing driving skills.

The Czech Republic has one of the densest rail networks in Europe. This, combined with a well-developed bus system, allow people to get around easily to every part of the country. Cycling is common and the majority choose this environmentally friendly method of getting around. In the Czech Republic there are many bicycle tours with a tourist orientation for exploring the country.

Health insurance 

The Czech Republic has a well-established health infrastructure of public and private hospitals, and health insurance is compulsory for everyone. To start your public health insurance, you need to register with one of seven health insurance companies.

If you move to the Czech Republic from another EU member state, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It will provide you with basic medical care when you need it. For specialised health services, you must join the public health insurance system.

If you're moving from the UK or another third country, you'll need to get comprehensive medical insurance with one of five expatriate insurance companies. This is the most suitable option for those who do not yet qualify for public insurance.

When you start working for a Czech company, your employer is obliged to provide you with health insurance for the period you will be in this position and this will help you become part of the public system.

It is important to know the time limits within which you can obtain medicines from local pharmacies. Prescriptions are valid within 14 days of issue. Prescribed medicines from emergency services are only valid for one day. Electronic prescriptions (eRecept) are common in the Czech Republic and are stored in a central repository (CÚER). Their validity is equivalent to paper ones. If you need a longer prescription validity period, you should contact the relevant doctor to extend it.

Nature and climate

Thanks to its central location, the country has a typically European continental climate.  It is characterised by cold and snowy winters and warm summers. You would be surprised by the natural landscapes, fairy-tale forests and majestic castles you will find on the outskirts of the larger cities.

The Czech Republic welcomes most tourists during the traditional European summer, which is a prerequisite for the organisation of numerous festivals and concerts. Explore the traditional cuisine and, if possible, don't refuse a beer when offered. Refusal is considered an insult to the national wealth of the Czechs.

The country is invariably interesting and provides much value to anyone choosing to live there. Planning a move to the Czech Republic would be much easier if you trust professionals. Consult our experienced team and we will prepare an offer for your move. Get in touch with us via our contact forms.

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