I have been granted permanent residency in the Czech Republic

Certificate of Permanent Residence © Ricky Yates

As I wrote in my earlier blog post entitled, ‘Czech bureaucracy – yet again‘, on Monday 30th October 2017, I submitted my application for permanent residency in the Czech Republic at the offices of the Czech Ministry of the Interior (MOI) in Ústí nad Labem. I was informed then, that the authorities now had up to sixty days to consider my application before coming to a decision. Once a decision was made, I would receive a phone call, summoning me back to the MOI office.

Last Friday morning, exactly forty days after submitting my application, my phone rang. It was from a number unknown to my phone and the caller spoke in Czech. Fortunately, the one word I did understand in the caller’s first sentence was, ‘Ústí’. ‘Ministry of the Interior’ I said in English, and received a clear ‘Ano‘ in reply. The caller’s next sentence included ‘Pondelí nebo úterý‘ which I understood correctly as telling me to come to the MOI office once more on Monday or Tuesday of the following week.


Certificate of Permanent Residence © Ricky Yates

Therefore on Monday 11th December, I drove to Ústí nad Labem, arriving at the MOI offices just before 10.00, following a struggle to find a legal place to park. After receiving the phone call on the previous Friday, I had promptly phoned Barbora from the voluntary ‘Centre for Integration‘ and she had assured me that on Monday morning, she would be at the same desk where I had first met her, and would be happy to help me once again. Her smiling face greeted me, as soon as I put my head around the door!

Barbora donned her coat, and we headed out the door and around the corner, back into the same building, to reach the section that deals with EU nationals. We pressed the button for a numbered ticket which was 516. As the electronic display board showed 505 as the most recent number to be called, together with the number of people in the waiting room, I knew I was going to be waiting for some time. So Barbora headed back to her normal station, telling me to call her on her mobile once it became closer to the time when I would be summoned.

Fortunately, I had come prepared for a long wait. Having received my new ‘Church Book & Desk Diary’ for 2018, the previous evening – thank you Paul Shorten 🙂 , I spent the first hour of my waiting time, transferring into it, all those things in the forward planner of the 2017 edition. It certainly occupied the time!

When 515 was called, I rang Barbora and, within a few minutes of her arrival, 516 appeared on the electronic display board, summoning us to counter 11. My heart sank when I saw that we had to deal with the same very officious lady I’d had on my first visit on 23rd October. But this time she was far more amenable, probably helped by it being Monday morning rather than late Monday afternoon 😉

After Barbora had explained in Czech, that I was responding to a phone call the previous Friday, telling me to return to the MOI office, the lady found me on her computer system and then got my file out of the cupboard. I was presented with an A4 sheet, duly signed and stamped, declaring that I have been granted, ‘Permanent Residency’. I was then required to surrender my forty day old certificate of ‘Temporary Residence’ for which I received an official receipt.

Having confirmed, amongst much laughter, that the address of my home is Stará Oleška 44 – the laughter being because ‘forty-four’ is so difficult to pronounce in Czech – I end up nearly spitting my teeth out when trying to say it; the lady then proceeded to produce my ‘Permanent residence card for a European Union citizen’ that you see in the photographs at the head of this post.

It is a passport style document which includes one of the photographs I submitted with my application. It has both my British passport number and my Czech Rodné císlo, and declares my registered address as being Stará Oleška 44. Most importantly, it declares that I have Trivalý pobyt – Permanent residence. Interestingly, I have Trivalý pobyt – Ostatní – Permanent residence – Other 🙂 I presume this is because I am retired.

This document is now valid for the next ten years. However, I was firmly told that I must inform the MOI if, in the future, I change my address or obtain a new passport. Echoes of my previous misdemeanour 😉

As well as securing my status, having this document will be a great asset in my future dealings with Czech officialdom. Changing the registered address of the ‘Carly’ and then renewing my driving licence in February 2018, are two tasks that lie ahead. But I did enjoy producing it as my ID for the first time today, when recovering a letter from the Post Office in Markvartice that I needed to sign for.

Finally, whilst I do have issues with Czech bureaucracy, there is one very positive comment with which I want to finish this post. For the issue of my ‘Permanent residence card for a European Union citizen’, I was charged absolutely nothing. It stands in stark contrast to the £128.00 I had to pay to obtain my new British passport eighteen months ago.

12 comments to I have been granted permanent residency in the Czech Republic

  • This is fantastic news Ricky! Good plan, well executed, as they say. Gives the rest of us currently stuck on this politically miserable rock some hope for the future…presumably you are now covered for health-care in Spain too?

    • Ricky

      I’m very pleased with the eventual outcome, finally overcoming the previous obstacles 🙂 However, I am still at the mercy of Mrs Mayhem, Bumbling Boris & their cohorts, with regard to the future beyond March 2019 🙁

      Health insurance here is dependent on receiving my Czech state pension for which I applied on 26th June but for which I am still waiting. I am assured that I can reclaim the health costs for which I’ve paid since 30th April, once the Czech Social Security system finally kicks into gear. My tax accountant has chased them more than once, at my request. However they did forward the UK part of my claim onto the UK Department of Work & Pensions as on 25th October, over seven months of UK state pension appeared in my bank account 🙂 I’ve since been receiving further payments every four weeks. Once the Czech pension bit is resolved, then my health insurance will cover me throughout the EU under reciprocal health care arrangements.

  • Pauleen Bang

    Sounds good, especially the cost. Did they say anything about whether it would still be valid after Brexit? I have had permanent residence in Denmark for 25 years, but am still not sure how much that would be worth if Brexit goes ahead.
    All the best for a blessed Christmas

    • Ricky

      It is good, for the reasons I explain in my penultimate paragraph. And the fact that my passport-style ‘Permanent residence card’ was issued at no cost to me, is quite amazing.

      Nothing was said about validity post-Brexit because nobody knows. I don’t trust a word from the current incompetent UK government. Last Friday they announced that certain things had been agreed with the EU & then, over the weekend, David Davies was busy contradicting what had been said 🙁 Both the Czech Republic & the UK allow for dual citizenship so I may apply for Czech citizenship in due course. Whilst I want to improve my Czech language skills, being over 65 will mean I do not have to pass a language test 🙂

      Thank you for your best wishes for Christmas which are reciprocated. It will be the first Christmas in 28 years when I will not be working!

  • Congrats on your permanent residency! I had to smile a little at the misfortune that you live at #44 and have to say this number all the time 😉 But I’m sure your new housing situation will, in turn, be lucky in other ways. I have to pay 2000kc every two years for a new card as a non-EU national…. and the kicker is, I have to give back my old card anyway, so it’s like paying to rent it.

    • Ricky

      Thank you for the congratulations, Cynthia. Yes – living at house number 44 has been a source of amusement amongst both English-speaking expats here & Czechs. The only consolation is that it isn’t 444 🙂

      Whilst I knew than non-EU citizens living & working here, were usually granted a visa for two years, I didn’t realise you had to pay CZK 2000 for it. I guess many employers, such as international schools, meet the cost but, as you are self-employed, it has to come out of your pocket 🙁

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Ricky: Hearty congratulations on obtaining permanent residency in Czech Republic. The reference to your address being 44 with the difficulty in pronunciation brings a smile. When Elaine was tutoring a young Czech student, he attempted to teach my wife how to pronounce 44 in Czech. She could never manage it.

    Elaine and I wish to wish both you and Sybyle(sp) a blessed Christmas. “Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift” as Paul wrote under inspiration in II Corinthians 9:15. Are you going to be in Stara Oleska for Christmas? Are there any signs: Christmas decorations etc. in your village? Any snow as yet?

    • Ricky

      Thank you Bob, for the congratulations and thank you for your understanding regarding the difficulty in saying 44 in Czech. Elaine has my complete sympathy! As I said in reply to Cynthia, the only consolation is that it isn’t 444 🙂

      Thank you too, for your kind wishes for Christmas which are reciprocated.

      To answer your questions: As this will be the first Christmas in 28 years when I will not be working, at their invitation, I’ll be spending Christmas staying with my son & daughter-in-law in Nottingham, UK and meeting my granddaughter for the first time. I’ll be back in Stará Oleška for the New Year. Many houses in the village have been decorated with Christmas lights. And yes, we have snow, about which there will be a blog post with photos, very shortly. It is snowing yet again, as I write!

  • Sean Mccann

    Your Permanence,
    Congratulations on successfully negotiating another bureaucratic minefield! 😉 If we ever get to live in the Czech Republic (a dream of ours) we’ll be sure to avoid the number four like the plague. Best wishes for Christmas and health and happiness in 2018.
    God bless, Sean.

    • Ricky

      Thank you for the congratulations, Sean. You certainly would be very wise to avoid four, forty-four & four-hundred & forty-four 😀 Thank you for your best wishes for Christmas & the New Year which are reciprocated.

  • Michal

    Always a pleasure to find a foreigner who likes our country and chooses to live here. The countryside near the northern border is indeed beautiful. A small tip. You can avoid “?” and say “?tyrycet ?tyry”. Works too and even some Czechs speak that way 🙂
    Sorry for the bureaucracy. It’s improving but still not fast and friendly enough. Happy New Year in CZ

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Michal, for your kind words! The surrounding countryside where I now live, is indeed beautiful. It is one of the reasons for buying the house & living here.

      Thank you too, for trying to help me with pronouncing forty-four in Czech. Unfortunately, you’ve run foul of an ongoing problem with my blog set-up. It cannot cope with some Czech diacritics & instead, renders them as question marks, as has happened here.

      Many Czech people have sympathised with me, regarding my various experiences of Czech bureaucracy over the nine years I’ve now lived here. As you say, it has improved a little but there is still a long way to go before it becomes user-friendly 😉 Wishing you a Happy New Year!