Trade / Long-term D-Visa (Business Visa)

Business Visa for 3rd-Country Nationals

If you are not an EU-citizen with a 'Schengen passport' you will have to apply for a Business Visa if you want to have a trade license business in Czech Republic unless you have a permanent residence permit, or a (temporary) residence permit based on marriage / relationship / partnership or a visa for employment / student purposes (provided that the job / studying will still remain the main purpose of stay).

It is not possible to apply for the Visa inside Czech Republic. You will have to apply at the embassy in the country of origin unless you are US citizens or certain other national that is entitled to apply at an embassy outside their home country.

No need for a work permit

With a Business Visa you do not need a Work Permit. A Work Permit you only need if you have a Work Visa (for a job as employee). A freelancer with a trade license is not an employee.

Applying for a permanent Residence Permit

It is not possible to get a permanent Residence Permit right away. One must have a valid visa or residence permit for a total of 5 years in order to apply for the permanent Residence Permit, not sooner.

3rd-Country National without D-Visa or residence permit:

You must apply for the Business Visa with as 'purpose of stay' the trade license (živnostenský list). Since you are still outside the Schengen-zone you should apply for a combined C+D Visa, which allows you to travel the first 90 days in the Schengen-zone, using your short-term C-Visa, and after the 90 days you are allowed to stay up to 12 months on your long-term D-Visa. (It used to be 12 months, then it was a few years 6 months, now it is back to 12 months)

Requirements for a D-Visa for Business purposes

  • extract of the criminal record + apostille stamp / super legalized from your home country, not older than 90 days *,
  • proof of at least 110.000 CZK for living expenses for the duration of your stay (bank statements),
  • Proof of Residence in Czech Republic; rental contract + owner's permission (we have a template),
  • Health Insurance by a Czech insurance company,
  • Proof from the živnostenský úřad that you are entitled to get a trade license (we provide it)

Note I: US citizens can use an afidavit from the US embassy or a sworn statement instead of a US criminal extract (nowadays, actually 2: state and federal) for the trade license registration, other nationalities can not.

For many people, especially the 110.000 CZK is a problem, but if you are not able to show that you have enough money for living expenses in Czech Republic or do not have proof of residence (or a fake proof) your Visa application will be rejected.

Business Visa details as described on the website of the Ministry of Interior (external link)

Addresses and Telephone numbers of Foreign Embassies

For contact information of foreign embassies click here: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (external link)

3rd-Country National with Visa-Free Entry:

Some people, come here on a Tourist Visa or have a Visa-Free Entry (American citizens and a few others), and want to change this Visa into a Business Visa. There are six issues with this:
  • A 'Visa-Free Entry' is not a visa, so it is not possible to extend or 'upgrade' to a Business D-Visa in Czech Republic, you need to apply for a Business Visa from scratch outside Czech Republic,
  • it is not possible to change the purpose of stay from 'tourist' into 'business', you need to apply again for a Business Visa from scratch,
  • it is not possible to apply for a temporary C or Bridge Visa while waiting for the longterm Business Visa. Only when extending a (Business) Visa a bridge Visa can be applied for if the old Visa expires before the Extension is ready.
  • The D-Visa application has to be made outside Czech Republic. You will have to apply the embassy in the country of origin (except for US citizens and a few other nationalities who can travel to Bratislava, Berlin, Vienna or another embassy outside their home country).
  • Processing the Visa application will take up to 3 months, so it can happen your tourist stay / visa free entry will end before your Business Visa is ready, and in that case you are staying illegally in the Schengen-zone. Some stay in a country outside the Schengen zone (UK, Croatia etc), to stop the 'Schengen-clock' while waiting for the visa.
  • Staying longer in Czech Republic than the the tourist visa / or the visa free entry-while waiting for the D-Visa- is officially not allowed, you may risk getting a Business Visa refusal because of this.
Having said the above, and especially this is valid for US Citizens, as long as the Business Visa is applied for while the visa-free entry is still valid, but the visa-free entry expires while waiting for the Business Visa, hardly ever there is a problem, and the Business Visa is granted (despite this officially being impossible).

3rd-Country National with D-Visa, changing purpose of stay:

If you have already a D-Visa for employment or student purposes, then it is possible to change the purpose of stay into 'Business', provided that:
  • you have had a visa for at least 5 (FIVE!) years,
  • and there is at least 60 days left on the original visa on the moment of filing the extension,
  • and you comply to all the requirements of the Business Visa.
For this, it is not necessary to go abroad. This can be done at the Ministry of Interior in Prague. Do not wait for the last moment and start well in time. A couple of hickups, and your old Visa expires, meaning that you cannot extend it anymore and you will have to apply from scratch for a Business Visa at an embassy abroad (including 3-4 months of waiting for approval)

We offer help with this process - contact us for details.

IMPORTANT - 2 Critical steps after receiving the Visa at the Embassy:

After receiving at the Embassy the visa sticker in your passport, you can enter Czech Republic. You have to report within 3 days after arrival to the Foreign Police in order to get a red stamp with your residence address in your passport.

After getting the red stamp, you have to report within 3 days to the tradelicense office, and show your passport with this stamp. If you come later or not at all, the tradelicense will automatically be de-registered and you will have to start the process for the tradelicense all over again (!)

Therefore, we recommend to come to us the same day the police stamped your passport, and we will take care of the trade license office. Once you are reported at the tradelicense office, it will issue a tradelicense with ICO number (so you can start to invoice) and we can continue registrations at the tax office and social office on your behalf (see next page).

IMPORTANT: the Trade License needs to be renewed every time you renew your visa

3rd-Country Nationals that have a Visa or Temporary Residence Permit need to renew their trade license registration every time before the old visa / residence permit expires. If the tradelicense is not renewed before the old visa / residence permit expires, you can start from scratch again - so do not let it expire!

The Business Visa Extension is a long, complicated process that requires more and different documents than the original Business Visa application. Hire someone to do this for you, because it is absolutely incomprehensible, frustrating and mindboggling, especially if you do not speak czech.

We advise to start the visa entension and trade license renewal process 2 months before the expiration date of the visa / residence permit because it is quite complicated, and a lot of papers from the authorities are required. An application for visa- or residence permit renewal can be filed earliest 3 months and latest 14 days before expiration of the old visa / residence permit, so contact us in time! 

Requests from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Far-East, Asia, Africa, South-America etc.

Unfortunately the Ministry of Interior has become very strict for 3rd-country nationals from a non-western country. In practise, getting a Business Visa on basis of a Trade License can be quite challenging.

Getting a Business Visa on basis of an s.r.o. company has only a marginally higher success rate, contrary to popular belief.

As with all visa applications, a good preparation, provinding all requested documents will increase your chances. Hoewever, the decision is to the embassy personnel and ultimately the foreign police. As a visa application depends on the person, no two cases are the same.

As of 09/03/2018, we only offer Visa services to selected individuals

Due to the fact that the majority of people wanting a business visa are not real entrepreneurs and have no real intention / plan / finances / knowledge / experience / willingness to learn how to set up & create a business in Czech Republic, failure rate because of these factors is well above average.

Over 80% of the SROs formed in order to get a business visa will not take off and consequently is left for dead.

An estimated 30% of trade license applicants is not able to get or extend the business visa - mainly because of 3 reasons: 1) the embassy is not convinced of their story, 2) not being able to generate enough income, and 3) not following up on instructions.

Very few people understand the complexity and many steps in business visa application and extension. Even if executed correctly, they can take many months to complete and require active preparation & participation of the applicant. Ultimately the decision for granting is with the Foreign Police or Ministry of Interior, which can not be influenced except by proper documentation and complying to the requirements. There are no shortcuts.

Instead of taking own responsibility, usually the visa agent / accountant / consultant / Foreign Police gets the blame. We have been in this business over a decade. Yet some people think they know better 'I read on the Internet...' 'my friend has the same situation...' 'my lawyer....' 'No, YOU said back then...' 'YOU were supposed to take care of my visa'. Without exception this escalates into: 'Your services SUCK, 'I want a REFUND', 'This is a SCAM', posting crazy reviews etc. etc. We're tired of this behaviour. If that person would just have listened to our advice, complied to the rules and followed our instructions, they most likely would not have ended up in that situation.

Because of the above, we will only provide Visa services to certain selected individuals.

We welcome EU citizens, and Expats who are already residing in Czech Republic or with a real intent to set up a business / as self-employed person and the willingness to pay for and listen to an expert and heed the advice.

Thank you for understanding.