Since the Czech Republic has been part of the European Union and a Schengen member, it has had the same arrangements for foreign visitors as all the other E.U. countries. What that has meant is an entry policy designed for three different groups of visitor:
- citizens of the E.U.
- citizens of around 60 countries who at the moment don’t need to do anything before they arrive except have valid passports although their stay is restricted to 90 days;
- citizens of every other country that do need to apply for visas before they arrive in the Czech Republic or any other E.U. country.
The new Czech Republic ETIAS which has just been confirmed by the E.U. Commission will affect the second group and will mean they have to get an authorisation to travel before they arrive at an E.U. border post like an airport.
The Czech Republic is also part of the Schengen Agreement
The difference between the Schengen block and the E.U. tends to confuse a lot of people, especially those who have not visited Europe before. Basically, Schengen is a common agreement about who is allowed to visit and for how long they are allowed to visit. In fact, most, but not all of the countries which are part of Schengen are also E.U. member states, too. This means that countries like Norway, which is not in the E.U. but is part of Schengen has the same border and entry regulations as the Czech Republic, which is a member of both.
Is the Czech Republic a tourist destination?
Definitely. Of course, not all visitors to the Czech Republic are just there for a holiday. Some are family who have settled somewhere else in the world, while others are there for business or to meet government representatives or NGOs.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic is a destination all of its own and many visitors arrive there and see nowhere else in the country which is a pity because they are missing a lot. Prague is full of beautiful, historic architecture, much of it dating back to mediaeval times. Pilsen is also a city worth visiting, and not just for the beer it made famous!
The Czech Republic has a lot of lovely scenery, especially in the Taurus Mountain district and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and sightseeing. In fact, Czechs are enthusiastic hikers themselves and are often found all round the world doing what they can do at home.
Will I need a Czech Republic ETIAS visa waiver?
This depends on your nationality. Nothing is going to change until early 2020 because it will take the E.U. time to get all the infrastructure in place and that’s after getting every E.U. and Schengen country to agree to the new arrangements! You may need an ETIAS travel authorisation for the first time after it is deployed, for instance, if you hadn’t needed to up to now but are not a citizen of an E.U. country. For many people who have had to get visas up to now anyway, the situation will not change. To check if you need an ETIAS visa waiver, visit the ETIAS assessment on the homepage.