Foreigners seeking residence in the Czech Republic may soon need to take a Czech culture class

A mandatory integration course may become part of the Czech residency process from 2021 according to the Czech Ministry of the Interior

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 28.08.2020 11:19 (updated on 28.08.2020)

Foreigners in the Czech Republic seeking long-term or permanent residence would need to take a mandatory integration course from next year under a new decree from the Czech Ministry of the Interior, according to information posted by Česká justice.

The new decree, which would amend the country’s Act on the Residence of Foreigners, still needs to be approved by the Ministry of the Interior; currently, it is in the comment phase. Should it pass, it will take effect from January 1, 2021.

Presumably, the course would be required for those seeking long-term or permanent residence as part of the application process, similar to the language test permanent residents are required to pass.

Exceptions to the integration course requirement would include those applying for long-term residence on the basis of study, investment, asylum, employees who have transferred to the Czech Republic, and holders of a special permit from the Ministry of the Interior.

The integration course would be four hours long, and cost 1,500 CZK, paid for by the applicant. Up to 30 people would participate in each course, which “may” be translated into nine languages.

A lot would be covered in those four hours. Straight from the decree, topics in the integration course would include:

  • “Basic information about the Czech Republic;
  • Basic aspects of the functioning of companies;
  • Rights and obligations of foreigners;
  • The education system in the Czech Republic;
  • Nostrification;
  • Exams in Czech, employment of foreigners, business, and healthcare;
  • Health insurance and housing;
  • The process for change of residence, prevention of negative phenomena, practical aspects of coexistence and communication in society;
  • Addressing everyday issues and intercultural competence (following a screening of the film “Welcome to the Czech Republic”)
  • The values ​​of society in the Czech Republic and the EU,
  • Human rights, culture and traditions, holidays and celebrations, gender equality, and the prevention of domestic violence.”

That film screening may or may not be something like this little number released by the Ministry of the Interior earlier this year:

TEACHER PROFILES

The Ministry of the Interior estimates that 25,000 foreigners would take the course each year.

That would result in revenue from course fees in the neighborhood of 35 million CZK yearly, while the running costs of organizing the classes, certifying the teachers, etc., would cost an estimated eight million CZK per year.

The Ministry has been offering a similar integration course since 2012, but on a voluntary basis.