For the past two years, over 15,000 people have registered for the courses. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, Dec 6 (BD) – For almost two years now, most foreign residents of the Czech Republic from non-EU countries have been obliged to complete the adaptation and integration course “Welcome to the Czech Republic.” During the past year, almost 1,000 courses were held, with over 15,000 participants. 

It is possible to take the course at 18 Centres for the Support of Integration of Foreigners, which operate in all regions of the Czech Republic, or at another designated location, such as a place of employment. Participation in the course is subject to a fee. Failure to attend the course may result in a fine of up to CZK 10,000.

The obligation to attend the course generally applies to foreigners from third countries (outside the EU) who have been issued a long-term residence permit in the Czech Republic as of 1 January 2021, as well as those who have been issued a permanent residence permit after that date without the condition of prior residence in the territory. The course must be completed within one year of receiving the residence permit. Some exemptions apply, such as those under 15 or over 61 years old. 

A condition for successful completion is participation in the entire course, at the end of which the participant will receive a certificate of completion. Participation in the course at public centres costs CZK 1,500, but if the cost is covered by an employer, for example, it is CZK 800 per person.

The methodology of the courses was designed by the non-profit organisation Slovo 21, z.s. The aim is primarily to acquaint foreigners with their rights and obligations arising from their stay in the Czech Republic and to inform them where they can access further information or assistance. The course is always led by a certified lecturer and an interpreter who introduce course attendees to a range of topics, from basic information about the Czech Republic, including education, housing, and residence legislation, to cultural customs and traditions.

According to the course centres, the majority of participants evaluated the course positively. The courses with the greatest interest were those interpreted into Ukrainian and Russian, followed by English. Courses were also available in a number of other languages, including Vietnamese, Mongolian, Serbian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Japanese, Thai, and Hindi.

For more information on who is obliged to undergo the adaptation and integration course, see the official website.

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