Youth Mobility Visa for Canadians in the Czech Republic

7 Mar

(note: informative non-entertaining post)

My stay in Prague has been courtesy of a one-year Youth Mobility Visa (YMV) granted by the Czech Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.

Since there is relatively little information online about this visa, and apparently very few people who have heard of it, I've decided to write this post. It's been six months since I applied, so I'll try my best to remember most of the important details. Be aware that things may have changed, so verify anything you read here with the Czech embassy.

Application

Firstly, as far as visas go, the application is fairly simple. There is no criminal record check, health check, or guarantor required. It is valid for Canadian citizens up to age 35.

My situation was slightly different since I applied for it from Belgium. The lady at the embassy in Ottawa told me that I must apply from Canada, so I sent my application through my dad in Winnipeg. The embassy reserves a maximum of 60 days to process your visa application. Fortunately, it only took me 30 days in total to get my visa. Normally, it would be a bit faster but I made a mistake in my application.

The lady at the embassy in Ottawa told me (over the phone) to use the application form with the red-colored text. It can be found here, listed as "Application for Schengen Visa" :

http://www.mvcr.cz/clanek/zadost-o-udeleni-schengenskeho-viza.aspx

To complete the form, you'll need an index of country codes. They can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-3

You'll need to provide an address of where you'll be staying in the CR. I used the address of girlfriend's family, even though I didn't stay there. The visa application says you need to provide proof of transportation here and back OR proof that you have sufficient funds to buy such a ticket. I came here on a bus from Belgium, so I wasn't required to show any proof of a ticket going home. But I since I had sufficient cash, I sent a copy of my bank account balance + mastercard statement (showing credit limit) along with my application just to be safe.

The application must be sent with a money order in Canadian funds to cover the cost of application ($126 CAD when I applied). The application cost varies each month according to the exchange rates. I sent my application in July, but it didn't arrive in the hands of the embassy officials until August. At that point, the rate had changed to my disadvantage. I had to send them more cash to make up for this. This delayed my visa application about ten days, I'm guessing.

I did not need to get health insurance in the Czech Republic before I applied, or even after I got my visa. I only needed to sign a form promising that I would get health insurance upon entry into the Czech Republic. The Ottawa embassy recommended AXA Assistance health insurance for me, so I got that. There URL is here: http://www.axa-assistance.cz/Axa-Assistance.aspx . I haven't really used them yet so I can't review their services. They do have a few agents who speak English.

Upon Arrival

You are meant to to go to the Foreign Police office to register your address within three days of arrival. I did not do this since it took me about 2 weeks to find an apartment and I didn't want go to the foreign police more than once. So I compiled everything I needed and then went to the foreign police once, and only once, and now I'm good. It's quite possible the agent you get at the foreign police will not be familiar with the YMV. It went relatively fine for me, however. Here are some things to remember to bring to the office:

  1. proof of health insurance. Get this before you go, or you'll just have to go back later.
  2. an official piece of paper I got along with my visa that says I do not need a work permit (zitnosky's list) to work in the Czech Republic.
  3. a signed rental contract.
  4. a filled out "DOKLAD (POTVRZENÍ) O ZAJIŠTENÍ UBYTOVÁNÍ" form. This form is a proof of residency form you have to fill out and your landlord needs to sign. My girlfriend (Czech) was proactive and emailed the foreign police and asked what we needed. They emailed her this document. According to their email, the form you complete can be no older than 180 days, so there is no point in my providing you with the one I filled out. Contact them (in Czech if possible) to get a copy of this form.

Taxes

According to the principle (for the prevention) of double taxation (http://www.worldwide-tax.com/canada/canada_double_taxation_agreements.asp), I have to pay taxes here in the CR. I assume that after I file my taxes, I will get documentary proof. If the Canadian government asks me what I did for taxes in 2010, I will show them this proof. My employers (two) are currently taxing me at the lowest possible bracket.

Opinion

I think the Youth Mobility Visa is a winner. It's attractive to employers because you are work-ready. You do not need to get a Czech trade license ("živnostenský list"), which costs them money and time. I found a job before arriving, and started working the on the first day of my arrival without having even met my boss. Like any working-holiday scheme, this visa gives you the freedom you to choose your employer, instead of having to be tied down to a certain company because they sponsored your visa.

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13 Responses to “Youth Mobility Visa for Canadians in the Czech Republic”

  1. Stephanie 2012/02/22 at 8:15 pm #

    Hi,

    I have been wondering for a while, how were you able to make your application from Europe, if the Czech Embassy in Ottawa and Youth Mobility program requires that your application is made from Canadian ground?

    Because the Czech embassy requires that you send them your passport to Ottawa. Did you just sent your passport over the mail, and have it shipped back to you by mail once the visa was apposed inside? I mean.. don’t you need to enter the country with your visa? And how is it legal to be in Europe, abroad, without the possession of your canadian passport in hand?

    I’m a little bit confuse with all of this process, as I also wish to be granted for this program through Europe.. I am in Montreal at this moment, and cannot wait any longer before flying back to Prague (as I am fully eligible for this program once more).

    I already enjoyed for a whole year (studying and working) this YMV from 2010 to 2011, and it was GREAT time :)

    Thanks a lot for your help, and your post !!!
    Wishing to hear from you very soon,

    Greetings :)

  2. admin 2012/03/22 at 1:14 pm #

    Hey. Sorry I didn’t see your post earlier.

    1) I used my dad as a proxy. I sent my passport to my dad, and he sent it to the embassy. The embassy sent all my stuff back to my dad, who sent it back to Europe for me.
    Yes I was without a passport in Europe for several weeks, but I had a Belgian identification card, which was pretty legit. I went to Prague on a bus, without my passport (it was waiting for me in Prague). I just used my Belgian ID, since Belgium is part of the schengen. I dont think anyone on the bus asked me to show my passport, and there was no border check. If you’re flying from MTL, though, you’ll definitely need to be in possession of your passport.

    So.. I don’t fully understand your situation. You’ve already done a YMV once in the Czech Republic? Is that right? If so, I don’t think you can apply again.

    Anyway. All the best
    MB

  3. Trinity 2012/08/16 at 11:13 pm #

    Hi there
    I really enjoy reading your blog, especially because I am in the process of applying for a working holiday visa myself. Just wondering though, I am leaving in about 3 weeks to start a tefl course in Prague. If I mail the visa application to Ottawa ( I’m currently in Montreal) with my passport, can I receive my passport back before I leave so I can travel to Prague with it?? I saw on the website that u can provide a paid stamped envelope to get the passport back, but do you think it’s right away?
    Can I travel to Prague as a tourist and attend the course while the youth mobility visa is being processed?
    Sorry for the all the questions, you just seem to be quite informed about the whole process..
    Any help would be really appreciated
    Thanks

    Trinity

  4. mkusoda 2012/08/16 at 11:22 pm #

    yes you need to mail your passport to Ottawa to get the visa, which is basically a sticker they put in your passport. And, since your flying to Prague, you’ll need your passport to get into the country. So it sounds like you need to get your visa before you leave.

    you have 3 weeks. They reserve 30 days to process your applicaiton.
    I’d suggest applying ASAP then. you should be able to make it. I’d phone them and see what kind of turn-around time they expect and if any kind of rush is possible (doubt it)

  5. trinity 2012/08/19 at 4:07 am #

    thanks for the quick reply. I will try my hardest to have it all done in time. i wonder though if its possible to apply for it once i get to prague, and just do the process by mail the way you did (sans ID card, what do you think?
    Was it difficult for you to open a bank account, rent a flat?
    I would just love to hear the process, you know, like what you did first to last, how difficult things were, mistakes you’ve made.

    if you ever fel like sharing, I will be here with open ears !

    • mkusoda 2012/08/19 at 8:27 am #

      i would get it done before you come. it’s not good to be here as a foreigner without ID.
      i applied from belgium. but I had a Belgian ID card that I could use as identification (all students had to get this belgian ID). In prague,you won’t have an equivalent ID. Also, technically, the embassy doesn’t allow you to apply for the visa from overseas.

      re: getting settled. I have a czech girlfriend. she helped with everything.

  6. Trinity 2012/08/31 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi again, just have a question. When you went to see the foreign police, and you had to provide proof of health insurance, did the insurance have to cover the full time of the visa (full year) ? Or that wasn’t considered. Cus I was gonna get insured for 3 months now and buy some more insurance later if I decide to stay and my employer doesn’t provide any…what do you think?

    Thanks again

    • admin 2012/09/01 at 8:41 am #

      I needed insurance for the whole duration of my stay. I don’t think the 3 month idea will fly. Maybe you can ask the insurance company you choose if u can get a partial refund if you choose to leave. ?

      This year I have “Komplexi Zdravotni Pojisteni Cizincu” VZP health insurance. i got it from hamilton hudson in vinohrady. It’s a bit better than AXA because (many) doctors accept it. (so you don’t need to pay and then get reimbursed from your insurer later).

      Good luck.

  7. juliadiets.com 2016/03/21 at 4:12 pm #

    Sorry for one last question. I see someone above mentioned the Appendix 7 form, which I remember from past visa applications, but from what I can tell from all the guidance documents as well as comments here, this is outdated and not required anymore for Tier 5 applications? I m assuming from your instructions above that you didn t fill out an appendix 7 form?

    • Anonymous 2016/03/21 at 9:42 pm #

      This post is quite old, and I have no memory of the appendix 7 now.

  8. Kara 2016/08/30 at 11:47 pm #

    Hi, do you know if American residents can apply with a Canadian citizenship/passport?

    I have a cousin I can use as a proxy, but I’m not sure if they can check to see my permanent residency.

    Thanks!

  9. Sophie riding 2017/01/08 at 10:57 am #

    Hello,
    I have a youth mobility visa and am currently in Prague. I have a employment but the employer doesn’t know anything about the YMV and thinks I need zivno as well so they can pay me. Do you know of any documentation that states that the visa is enough? The embassy only provided me with the agreement but it’s not helpful in explaining that I don’t need a business license here.
    I’m also confused by the tax thing, sounds like I need to pay taxes in both countries because the system isn’t set up well enough for anyone to understand.
    The embassy in Ottawa and Prague have been pretty unhelpful actually.
    Thanks for any direction!!!

    • MK 2017/01/09 at 12:19 am #

      It’s been years since I lived in the CR, but, as per my post, I remember getting a document from the embassy stating that I did not need a trade license.

      I don’t think you’ll have to pay taxes in Canada. When you file your income taxes later in Canada (if you are still a resident for tax purposes — I wasn’t because I had been living abroad for 5 years), there’s is probably a place to indicate the country where you earned the money and the tax you paid. I imagine this would exempt you from paying taxes again, but this is just my guess.

      Sorry I could not be more helpful.
      MB

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