Types of Residency in Czech republic

If a foreigner decides to live in the Czech Republic for a certain period of time, he/she will be assigned one of the types of residency depending on his/her origin and the purpose and duration of his/her stay. The type of residence is very important from many points of view – especially if you want to work in the Czech Republic, buy real estate or take out a mortgage.

Each bank in the Czech Republic has a completely different approach to foreigners, and only accepts selected combinations of type of residence, country of origin, source of income, etc.  The advantage is that it is usually possible to find a bank that can provide a mortgage. The disadvantage, however, is that the selection of a suitable bank for foreigners is a very complicated discipline in which a large number of factors play a role. One of the most important ones, on which the others depend, is the type of residence.

So let’s take a look at what types of residency exist in the Czech Republic and what impact they have on obtaining a mortgage.

EU vs. non-EU

The first thing to do is to divide nationals into two categories – EU (and Schengen) citizens and non-EU citizens. Both groups are subject to very different rules.

EU citizens

EU citizens can reside in the Czech Republic without restrictions. After 5 years of continuous residence, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. At the same time, if you are a family member of an EU national (and you are not), you are entitled to apply for temporary residence.

Generally speaking, EU nationals find it easier to get a mortgage than non-EU nationals. Banks do not usually differentiate between clients by citizenship, which makes the whole process much easier.

At the same time, it is possible for certain clients to obtain a mortgage in a foreign currency, for example in euros, or even a mortgage on a property in another EU country.

No residency

Obtaining a mortgage in the Czech Republic is possible even without any type of residence in the Czech Republic. However, beware that not every bank is willing to accept such financing. It always depends on the source of income (employment/business, Czech Republic/abroad), currency of income, profession, type of property financed and other parameters.

Temporary residency

Transitional residence can be obtained by a citizen of any country if he/she is related to an EU citizen. Transitional residence is usually granted either for 5 years or for an indefinite period. Unfortunately, banks treat citizens with temporary residence much more strictly than those with permanent residence.

Permanent residency

Citizenship of an EU member state combined with permanent residence in the Czech Republic is the best option a client can have here after Czech citizenship. From the bank’s point of view, you are as reliable as a Czech citizen and are therefore evaluated on similar parameters – amount, source and currency of income, type of property, current liabilities, etc.

Non-EU third-country nationals

People who are not EU citizens face a somewhat more challenging situation. Obtaining a visa and permanent residence becomes more difficult, as does buying a property or getting a mortgage. Where banks are relatively benevolent towards EU applicants, complications arise for 3rd country nationals. Citizenship, type and length of residence, occupation and currency of income are just some of the factors that play a major role in whether or not you get a mortgage.

Citizens from non-Schengen countries basically have three options for residency in the Czech Republic. These are:

A long-term visa

If you are planning to stay in the country for more than 90 days in a row, it is necessary to apply for a long-term visa. This is normally issued for a stay of up to one year, with the possibility of repeated extensions. To obtain a visa, you typically need to provide proof of the purpose of your stay, such as study, business, employment or family reunification.

From the point of view of the mortgage applicant, this is the most difficult financing option. The bank is very strict about country of origin, source of income, qualifications and type of occupation. Even so, it is possible to obtain a mortgage after a special individual assessment – you just have to choose the right bank and be very precise with your documentation.

Example: 34 year old IT engineer with Canadian citizenship. He is living in the Czech Republic on a long-term visa, so he does not have a long-term residence permit. After an individual assessment, we were able to arrange a mortgage for an apartment in Prague.

Long-term residence (employee card)

Although it is possible to extend a long-term visa, it is preferable to apply for a long-term residence permit in case of a longer planned stay. This permit has a longer validity and is normally issued for two years. It is also decided in an administrative procedure, which in practice means that you have all the rights of a party to the procedure, including appeals. In contrast, there is no legal right to be granted a long-stay visa and there is no right of appeal if your application is refused.

The long-term residence permit for employment purposes is now replaced by an employment card. This combines a residence permit with a specific work permit and is normally issued for two years with the possibility of renewal.

Long-term residence is a better option than long-term visas. After going through the whole process of obtaining it, the bank perceives you as a much more reliable client, and there are usually at least two or three banks that are willing to negotiate for the loan. This is even for clients whose countries may be perceived as risky from an AML law perspective.

Example: our client, 37 years old, a citizen of Iran. He is a long-term resident of the Czech Republic and is engaged in international trade. Although it took a lot of effort to arrange the loan, we helped him obtain a mortgage in the required amount.

Permanent residency

It is usually possible to apply for a permanent residence permit after five years of continuous residence in the Czech Republic, in some cases even earlier.

Once you have been granted permanent residence, there is usually no problem in obtaining a mortgage. Although the bank does not look at you in the same way as a Czech client, most of them are willing to grant the loan. Still, you really need to make sure you choose a bank – each one takes a different approach to country of origin, work history, type of occupation, marital status, etc.

How can we help you?

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are able to perform a detailed analysis of our clients’ situation so that they know what their options are regarding the acquisition of a mortgage or business loan. At the same time, we are able to arrange all translation, legal, official and real estate services so that our client does not have any worries with the processing of their plan. If you are considering using our services, we offer an initial consultation of your situation or plan free of charge.

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