Yes, the Czech Republic stands out among European countries by offering a feasible pathway for non-EU citizens to acquire a long-term work visa for teaching English. Initially, most people enter the Czech Republic on a tourist visa, typically valid for up to 90 days. During this period, they can transition and apply for a work visa, allowing them to teach English legally.
This ease of visa accessibility, combined with the country's rich cultural heritage, friendly locals, and renowned beer, makes the Czech Republic a top destination for English educators abroad.
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To apply for a work visa to teach English in the Czech Republic, follow these steps:
- Initial Entry: Enter the Czech Republic on a tourist visa, valid for 90 days.
- Zivnostensky List (Zivno) Application: This is the preferred method for teachers, acting as a business license allowing you to work at any school. Although you can apply directly at a government zivnostensky office, many teachers opt for the assistance of a visa agency to streamline the process.
- Gather Essential Documents: Before submitting your application, ensure you have:
- A completed application form.
- A bank or credit card statement demonstrating access to at least $8,000 USD.
- A housing contract confirming your long-term residency.
- A one-year health insurance policy (available for purchase within the country).
- A criminal background check (reach out to your embassy in Prague for acquisition details).
By following these steps, you will be well-prepared to legally teach English in the Czech Republic.
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.
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.