Do I need a visa to enter Prague and stay for a week?

With the exception of a brief stay in Bermuda, I’ve never traveled internationally before. I didn’t have a passport for Bermuda because I was too young.

I thought that all I needed for my trip to Prague was a valid passport, but my roommate has planted the seed of doubt.

I have a valid passport. I always thought the visa was the stamp you got upon entrance of the country. My roommate is talking about going to Ghana and mentioned how he needed to get a passport **and **a visa. Some quick wiki-fu hasn’t conclusively answered the question, so I thought I’d tap the vast depths of the Dope.

My flight is in a week and I’m staying for a week, so if there’s any more bureaucratic paperwork I need to do, I think I’m pretty well screwed. Any insight would be appreciated.

The Czech Republic is not a member of the US Visa Waiver Program, which means you may need a visa. The best way to research this stuff is to look at the State Department website.

…And it looks like you’re in luck:

You won’t need a visa if you’re only there for a week, provided you are a “British, Australian, USA, Canadian, Japanese, EU national,” according to here:

As others have said, no. I want to add you are going to LOVE Prague, but the coffee sucks.

A visa is a stamp that you generaly need to get at an Embassy of the foreign country before you travel. While US citizens can travel visa-free to many places, a few countries do require visas… Syria, Turkmenistan and China to name a few. Other places like Yemen, Turkey and Cambodia (among others) issue a visa on arrival for a fee of $20-$100 for US passport holders.

US citizens do not need a visa for anywhere in Europe for up to 90 days in nearly all cases. I think the Ukraine was the last place that required a visa, but that requirement was droppped recently AFAIK.

You absolutely do NOT need a visa for a stay of 90 days in the Czech Republic. I am in Prague as I type this and I have only my US passport and no Czech tourist visa… just the free entry stamp I got at the border.

FWIW: US Citizens need a visa for Russia, plus an invitation letter from a recognized tourist agency in Russia…but this is getting off track.

I tend to think of Russia as the border of Europe… most of it is in Asia and while the population is shifted to the European side, for me it is different from Europe. That, and getting a Russian visa is a ton of red tape!

I went to Prague for a few days last summer (met up with Mr. Neville after he went to the IAU meeting where they voted on whether Pluto is a planet), and didn’t need a visa.

Sorry for the hijack - but what happens if you enter a country that has a 90day limit with out a visa and stay past 90 days?

Usually they will fine you per day past the 90 day limit. That’s what happened when I stayed too long in Thailand.

Speaking from personal experience, you either go on a day trip from Prague to Germany or Poland every three months or so and get your passport restamped when you come back, or you duck in an alley anytime you see the cops coming the other way. In a pinch, marry a local.

I went to Czech recentally. They didn’t even look inside the passports.

On Jan 1 the Czech Rep will join the Schengen agrement which includes most of the countries in Western Europe. The rule in this block is 90 days out of 180 so if you stay 90 days, you must then leave the Schengen area for 90 days before returning. If you stay 60 days, then you are allowed 30 more within the next 120 days etc.

They are getting stricter and you could be deported if caught over the limit. It would be really bad to have an “Administrative Removal” stamp in your passport and a 5 year ban on travelling to Europe. Don’t overstay.

(The reason I brought up Russia is because you brought up the Ukraine) Anyway I’m going to Russia tomorrow!! :slight_smile:

Perry International is a company that expedites passports and visas. They have a pretty good list of which countries require visa’s for travel to them. Right now, I’m waiting for them to get my visa for Tanzania. I’ve been told that it is possible to get the visa once you arrive at your destination, but I’d rather spend the $20 here and not risk problems while on my vacation. Also, there is the possibility that an airlines may not let you board without the proper visa.

Thanks, guys. Nice to know I’m all set for the trip.