After a lengthy process of discussion whether to make the Czech language exam for foreigners coming to the country and applying for a residence permit or citizenship stricter, the Ministry of Education decided to increase the necessary Czech language level from A1 to A2. Expats coming to the Czech Republic for a long time will therefore need to have a higher knowledge of the Czech language.

Expats coming from non-EU countries will have to pass this exam if they want to apply for a permanent residence permit or Czech citizenship. The residence permit brings many advantages to its owners, such as social benefits or the suffrage and other rights equivalent to the rights of Czech citizens. However, it will be crucial to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Czech language to acquire those benefits. 

The currently required standard came into effect 12 years ago, but the Ministry of Education suggested that the current level of the exam is insufficient for expats’ independent communication already in 2015. New requirements for the Czech language should help foreigners coming to the Czech Republic to integrate more easily into the society, communicate and orient themselves in the rights and obligations of the Czech government system without the need of an interpreter. 

Nevertheless, this decision was determined by one condition; the availability of language courses which should help expats with the preparation for the exam. These courses are provided by integration centers which, since the last year, have had financial support from the state. The integration centers are located in every region, so expats have easy access to them. 

What are the new requirements?

Before, the ability to compose simple sentences or short messages, such as job applications, was sufficient for passing the exam. The new requirements for passing the exam are the understanding of short texts and their meaning, both in written and oral form. Moreover, applicants will have to pass a short interview about the ‘known facts’, and they will have to demonstrate that they can write short texts as well. Therefore, it is obvious that the emphasis will be put on the oral skills of the examinee. This stage of the Czech language is roughly equivalent to the advanced level. The exams will be supervised by 200 trained and experienced teachers.

In the past, there were many cases of people attempting to cheat their way through the exam. The Ministry of Education is taking all the necessary steps to prevent this; the whole system will undergo automatization and particular exams will also become anonymous. 

What should you know about the exam:

  • No mobile phone or dictionary is allowed
  • Discussing the questions and correct answers won’t be tolerated
  • The questions will be randomly drawn
  • Passing the exam will be certificated 
  • Failing the exam will result in its repetition (both oral and written form)
  • The repetition of the exam is possible only 3 times a year
  • Only the first try is for free

The stricter Czech language exam applies only to those expats, who are planning to apply for a permanent residence permit. Those who have already applied or will apply in the nearest future will undergo the exam with current easier requirements – level A1 of Czech language. As was mentioned before, obtaining the residence permit requires proof of passing the Czech language exam (certificate) and a permanent residence permit (for citizens residing in the Czech Republic for at least 5 years.)  If you need help with your application for the residence permit, you can contact us, Foreigners, via email info@foreigners.cz or visit their website

Sources: novinky.cz, lidovky.cz, advokatnidenik.cz 

Foreigners

Foreigners

Foreigners.cz agency helps foreign/international students and expats in the Czech Republic to relocate and live here.
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