Can I get a work visa to teach English in the Czech Republic?

There are many reasons why the Czech Republic is a very popular destination for teaching English abroad including its warm and friendly people, a fascinating cultural heritage, and some of the best beer in the world. One other crucial factor for many teachers is that it is possible for non-EU citizens to obtain a long-term work visa, which is not always the case in some other parts of Europe.

How do I apply for a work visa to teach English in the Czech Republic?

The most common method is to enter the Czech Republic on a standard 90 day tourist visa and then start the application process from within the country. Most teachers apply for a Zivnostensky List (Zivno), which is essentially a business license that permits you to work for any school you choose. The application can be made at a government zivnostensky office in person or you can use a local visa agency to organize things for you. The documents required for your application include:

- Completed application form

- Bank or credit card statement showing access to a minimum of $8,000 US

- 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?

Another option that some teachers go for is a standard work permit that requires your employer to lodge the application acting as your sponsor. However, this route can prove to be expensive and time consuming so many employers will not offer you their assistance unless you can prove you are committed to their school in the long-term. This option requires a university degree that will need to be apostilled in your home country and a copy translated into Czech.

Can I teach English in the Czech Republic without a work visa?

A third option is to simply work without any form of official work permit. Although this is technically illegal, there are plenty of employers who are happy to allow it which means it is common practice and rarely a cause of problems for the teacher or employer. However, if you plan on staying in the Czech Republic for more than just a short time, one of the previous options is highly recommended.