Do I need a negative COVID-19 test in order to travel to the United States?
Yes. Beginning January 26, 2021 all air passengers ages two years and older arriving to the US from a foreign country must be tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This applies to all travelers, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. For additional information on testing requirements, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and review our Negative COVID-19 Testing Requirement FAQs.
I am traveling to the United States. Where can I get tested here in the Czech Republic?
The Czech Ministry of Health offers a map of testing sites including contact information here: https://koronavirus.mzcr.cz/seznam-odberovych-center/. Note, the website is only available in Czech.
I am a Czech spouse/child/parent of an American citizen. Can I travel to the United States at this time?
Spouses of U.S. citizens, under 21 children of U.S. citizens, and parents of U.S. citizen children who are under 21, are exempt from the travel restrictions in place. Spouses/children of U.S. lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) are also exempt. If you are going for a short trip and have a valid ESTA, we recommend traveling with a copy of the marriage certificate (or birth certificate), in order to prove your relationship to the U.S. citizen or green card holder. For more information on exceptions to the travel restrictions in place under current Presidential Proclamations, please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-coronavirus-2/
I am an American citizen and I want to visit Prague. When will the Czech Republic start letting Americans in?
Currently, American citizens cannot travel to the Czech Republic for tourism or business purposes unless they are immediate family members of Czech citizens or EU citizens residing in the Czech Republic. The Czech Ministry of the Interior is the Czech agency that administers admission of foreign citizens into the Czech Republic. The Ministry of the Interior’s COVID-19 website provides detailed information on who can enter the Czech Republic currently. Particularly useful are PDF charts on the website that list specific conditions for entry and are updated frequently. The Ministry of the Interior also provides answers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. U.S. Embassy Prague cannot provide clarifications or interpretation of the Czech government’s rules, so please contact the Czech Ministry of the Interior for advice or evaluation of your particular circumstances.
I cannot schedule a visa appointment but I already paid the visa processing fee. When does it expire? Can I have a refund?
The U.S. Mission to the Czech Republic understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations.
Are you accepting visa applications? When will you start accepting them?
U.S. Embassy Prague has resumed limited visa processing including: B-1, C-1, D, E-2, F-1, I, M-1, P, O and certain categories of H,L, and J visas. While U.S. Embassy Prague aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs. If you have an emergency and need to depart the United States in the next week or two, you can submit a request for an emergency visa appointment at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/cz/.
I had a visa appointment and it was cancelled. When can I have a visa interview? Can I get my visa fee back?
If your interview was cancelled, you now have the ability to reschedule your visa interview as long as you fall into one of the visa categories listed above and are not otherwise subject to any Presidential Proclamations. We are not offering visa fee refunds, but you may use your visa fee, the MRV fee, before December 31, 2021.
I have a valid visa or ESTA approval. Can I travel to the States?
If you have a valid ESTA or previously issued nonimmigrant visa, including B-1, E-2, I, P, O and some categories of H, L and J visas, you may be able to travel to the United States, pending additional clearance by U.S. Embassy Prague.
If you believe that you qualify for a national interest exception (business travelers providing a substantial economic benefit, academics, and persons traveling for certain humanitarian or medical reasons), you should write to PragueESTA@state.gov and provide the following information for each traveler:
- Full name (as it appears in your passport)
- Date of birth
- Description of the purpose of your proposed trip to the United States (including type of visa)
- Any documentation supporting your request (e.g., information regarding your proposed business visit, the nature of your humanitarian reasons, etc.)
- Copy of your valid visa or ESTA confirmation number
If the Embassy approves your national interest exception (NIE) request, you will be allowed to take only one trip to the United States, and you must travel within 30 days of the date of the approval. If you wish to travel again in the future, you will need to seek another NIE approval.
You may travel to the United States without following any additional procedures (other than a negative COVID-19 test, as outlined above) if you hold a valid visa in any of the following categories:
- Official visas: A, G, NATO
- Air/sea crew visas: C1/D, B1 (only if annotated “OCS” for seaman working on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States)
- Student visas: F (if holding a valid Form I-20) or M (if holding a valid Form I-20).
If you hold a valid visa of another category not listed above, you must follow additional procedures in order to be allowed to travel to the United States, as described below..
I was granted an NIE. What do I need to do at the airport?
Information on your NIE will be entered into applicable systems to authorize US travel. Arrive at the airport early. For all travelers: Please remember to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test (see above). If the airline has any questions on your travel eligibility, it should contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Regional Carrier Liaison Group (RCLG). You may contact the CBP Travel Coordination Center for formal and informal inquiries related to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) at email@example.com or at US phone number 1-877-227-5511.