Some Visa agencies (ahem) will charge you hundreds of dollars up front, but keep you in the dark about all the associated costs of getting your Visa and Živno that you have to pay throughout the process.
In this post, we’ll go over all the financial responsibilities, costs and fees of getting a Visa and a Živno, so you’re never caught off guard.
Because you’ll be working as a freelancer, the company will not deduct any social security or health care costs out of your paycheck. That’s why Zivno employees get paid more in general.
You will have to pay social security and health insurance on your own, and that adds up to about $205 per month.
COSTS & FEES
These are the fees and costs that everyone has to pay, whether you hire a visa service or sign up for the Dream Prague Visa course.
You’ll have to get your bank letter translated. That costs about $22 per page, so try to get a one page letter. What is a bank letter and why do I need one? CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO HERE.
The Criminal Background Affidavit at the US embassy (once you arrive in Prague) costs $50, and about $3 dollars for the certified copy. It’s still cheaper than doing it back home in the US. And we show you how to get that in this course.
Your trade license, or your Zivno is what allows you to legally work her in Czech Republic and that costs 1000 czk, about $45 .
When you submit your application at your interview at the Czech Embassy, the government will charge you 2500 czk application fee, or about $115.
You’ll have to pay travel costs to travel to Czech embassy to apply: those vary, depending on where you go (Prague to Vienna by bus costs about 600Kc or $25 roundtrip vs. Prague to Stockholm which can cost anywhere from $150-250.
You can take an overnight bus and return the same day, or you you can stay in a hostel, and that will run you anywhere from $50-100.
Don’t forget, you’ll have to return to that same embassy to pick up your visa once it’s approved. There’s no fee to pick up, but you have to factor in your travel costs again. Or, you can have it delivered to you by a courier service like DHL or if you have a friend applying at the same embassy, one of you can go and split those travel costs.
How much does a visa agency charge?
If you want to hire someone to help you apply for your visa, there are agencies you can hire. They charge a minimum 6000 czk, sometimes even up to 10,000Kc, and that’s on top of the mandatory fees we’ve already listed!
Agencies often split up their costs to make it hard to see how much you actually pay. They might have a fee for helping you with your visa, and a different fee for applying for your Živno, and a fee for registration at the social and finance office, at the end of the process.
So what will a visa agency actually do for you?
Some claim to do everything for you by power of attorney, but that’s actually just not possible. You have to do many of these steps yourself.
If you’re interested in the step-by-step process of getting a visa, we’ve got a video for you right here.
Let’s look briefly at the process summary and see what the $270-450 visa agency fee will get you, and what you have to do for yourself, even if you pay them:
You have to get your bank letter from your bank at home.
You have to find a flat, and make sure that the majority owner of that flat agrees to sign some documents for you.
A visa agency will send your bank letter to a translator. In the Dream Prague Visa course, we connect with you with a certified translator so you can get it done yourself.
You have to go to the American Embassy to get your criminal background affidavit.
A visa agency will schedule you an appointment at the Czech embassy to apply, but be forewarned, they often have a lot of clients at the same time. So when they look for visa appointments, they will end up placing you wherever they can. That means some people go to Berlin, some to Warsaw, some to Stockholm, etc. It’s a balancing act for the agency to get enough appointments and get their clients ready on time, which means you likely will not get a choice of what city you go to. If you arrange the appointment yourself, it’ll be easier for you to get the appointment because you are just looking for one for yourself, not for 20 clients. In the DreamPrague Visa Course, we’ll show you how to book your own appointment.
A visa agency will go to the Zivno office for you to apply for your preliminary trade license and pick it up the following week. In our course, we show you how to do that, and give you written instructions in Czech for you to give to the clerk, so nothing gets lost in translation. If you still want someone to go for you, we can do that too, but it will only cost you around $30.
You have to be present at your interview at the Czech embassy.
You have to buy short term health insurance, and we show you how to do that online.
You have to travel back to the Czech embassy to pick up your visa. If you have a friend who’s been approved from the same embassy, one of you can pick up both visas and split the cost, or you can send a courier service to pick it up.
You have to check in with the foreign police 3 days after you pick up your visa.
A visa agency will take your visa into the Zivno office to apply for your final zivno, or trade license, but this is super easy, and you can totally do it yourself. We’ll show you how.
A visa agency will register you at the financial offices and social offices, but we’ll give you those documents, show you how to fill them out, and show you where to mail them—no office visits required.
You have to register for Czech Health Insurance.
Do I have to pay a visa agency, on top of those costs and fees?
Do you really want to pay a visa service hundreds of dollars, when most of the steps you have to do yourselves, and the others we can show you exactly how to do on your own?
At Dream Prague, we have five years of experience working in visa agencies, helping hundreds of clients just like you get their visas. We knew there had to be a cheaper way. We knew that most of the value of hiring a visa agency is that they know and understand the process. It’s not magic, and it doesn’t have to be confusing.
In fact, we’ve simplified and packaged it just for you.
Introducing the Dream Prague Visa Course, a do-it-yourself video course that takes you through the process, without all the mystery, and at a fraction of the price of visa consultants and agencies.
Our course covers the entire process in step-by-step videos, giving you a step or two to take each week, until you’re legal to live and work in the Czech Republic. You’ll get tips on finding a flat, advice for your application interview, all the application forms and we’ll show you how to fill them out. You’ll get access to our FAQs, based on helping hundreds of real people—we know the typical questions and we have prepared you for everything that could happen. If something comes up, you can always ask us in the comments section for help.
And you’ll get our Visa Course Companion Guide, with
A weekly checklist of steps you need to take towards your goal
Maps to relevant offices and embassies
Examples of every document you’ll receive so you’re not stuck translating them
Czech phrases you can say or show an office clerk who doesn’t speak English
You’ll get this all for $50—1/6 of the price most visa agencies.
And, if you sign up while you’re still in the United States the course will be 20% cheaper because you won’t have to pay European Value Added Tax.
Is the Dream Prague online visa course right for me?
That depends! You probably should pay a visa agency a few hundred dollars if:
You have extra money to spend, and you don’t mind throwing money at a problem to (hopefully?) make it go away.
You’re not comfortable meeting deadlines on your own.
If you’ve already been in the Schengen zone for over 30 days, you might not have time to start the process as we’ve laid it out.
You want to save money.
You don’t want to pay a service hundreds of dollars just to keep you in the dark about a process that you really should understand. After all, nobody cares more about your visa than you.
You can be responsible for important documents and doing things on time
You don’t mind spending a couple hours a week completing a step towards your goal….
Then the Dream Prague visa course is right for you!
Moving to a new continent can be overwhelming, but your visa process doesn’t have to be. You’ve made it this far. Let Dream Prague help you take the next few steps.