European visa waiver for Czech Republic
Czechoslovakia was divided into the separate states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on 1st of January 1993. It is a landlocked country in Central Europe and shares 1,881 km’s of the border with Poland, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia. The Czech Republic is divided into Bohemia to the west and Moravia to the east.
The Czech Republic has an estimated population of 10.6 million people and is strategically located astride some of Europe’s oldest land routes. It is one of the 22 European Union states that are also part of the Schengen zone. The Czech Republic recovered well from the European and global financial crises, with an unemployment rate among the lowest in the EU, hovering around 3%.
The Czech Republic is deeply integrated into EU production and trade networks. The auto industry is the country’s biggest industry, accounting for about 24% of domestic manufacturing. The EU accounts for about 80% of Czech exports, making it their largest trading partner.
After World War I the foundation for an independent state of Czechs and Slovaks was cast, and the Czechoslovak Republic was among the ten most developed countries worldwide. Hitler’s Germany ended twenty years of prosperous democracy and after World War II, its limited democracy terminated with the Communist takeover in February 1948. Human rights were suppressed, and private property was expropriated. In November 1989 the Czechoslovak people overthrew the Communist regime to become a republic.
The successful makings of a market economy began with the Czech Republic joining the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development-OECD in 1994, NATO in 1999 and EU in 2004.
About Czech Republic
Timezone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Languages: Czech 95.4%, Slovak 1.6%, Other 3%
Travel in Czech Republic
Prague is the most visited city in the Czech Republic but venturing further afield will introduce castles, beautiful mountains, ancient ruins, medieval towns, and world-class wineries. While Moravia has the vineyards and wine, Plzeň is the birthplace of pilsner beer. Pilsner Urquell Brewery has been in operation and home to what may be the world’s best beer since 1842. České Budějovice is the home of Budweiser beer and where it has been brewed since the 13th century.
Hiking trails in the country’s scenic nature is as much an option as walking the cobblestone streets, visiting museums, and appreciating the gothic, Baroque, art nouveau and communist architecture in the towns and cities, punctuated by stops in the local pubs.
Most of the lakes found in the Czech Republic are man-made, the largest of which is Lake Rozmberk, with the Lipno Dam nestled just north of the Austrian border. Whitewater rafting is a tourist attraction, and the country’s many rivers come from three major systems. The or Elbe River flows north into Germany and its tributary, the Moldau, is the longest river in the country. The Oder River flows north to Poland, and the Morava River flows southward through the eastern Czech Republic.
ETIAS in Czech Republic
Since the Czech Republic is both an EU and a Schengen country, EU citizens and nationals from those countries benefitting from the visa-waiver agreement do not need a visa to enter this country. Czech nationals are likewise free to travel and live in the Schengen zone.
With the implementation of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in 2021, nationals outside of the EU who currently enjoy the benefits of the visa liberation policy will need this pre-authorisation to enter Europe. This includes Australian nationals.
Terrorism and uncontrolled immigration spurred the EU Commission to propose this authorisation as a security measure to safeguard the security of those living and travelling in the Schengen zone. Travellers who do not need visas and who are not members of the EU or Schengen states will apply online for pre-authorisation to enter the European countries, using ETIAS.
A small fee is payable upon application, and authorisation will be electronically granted within minutes. The authorisation is valid for three years or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first.
Australia and Czech Republic
Australia and the Czech Republic share ideals on international policy as well as strong people-to-people links. Two modern-day waves of Czechs immigrating to Australia occurred after the communist takeover in 1948 and again in 1968 following Soviet occupation. Approximately 24,500 Australians are of Czech ancestry.
Bilateral relations between the two countries include a bilateral Social Security Agreement, an agreement establishing counterpart Work and Holiday arrangements for their youth, an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, the Double Taxation Agreement and the Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and the Transfer of Nuclear Material. AUSTRAC and its Czech counterpart also have an agreement to share financial intelligence between law entities.
Trade between Australia and the Czech Republic amounts to close to a billion Australian dollars. Wool is certainly the largest export from Australia to the Czech Republic. The majority of the 700 million Australian dollars in imports from the Czech Republic to Australia are from passenger vehicles. Czech investment in Australia is almost a fifth of Australian investment stock in the Czech Republic which is over 200 million Australian dollars.
Australian nationals currently enter the Czech Republic for tourist or business purposes without a visa for stays of up to 90 days. When ETIAS is implemented, Australians will need ETIAS pre-authorisation to enter the Czech Republic. A Schengen visa will only be a requirement for visits in excess of 90 days.