Czech Republic: Immigration Bulletin - Electronic Visa Appointment System
Czech authorities undertook steps to improve visa application system at various consulates, and therefore started the implementation of VISAPOINT, a web-based visa appointment system.
It was introduced at the Czech Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam in January 2009 with other consulates added in May, June and July. It is operated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allowing foreigners to register online for a face to face appointment with the nearest Czech Embassy in case of applying for a green card or a visa for a stay of over 90 days in the Czech Republic.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to continuously expand the list of consulates the system will be accessible for and eventually add every country to it; they were not however able to announce by when they are hoping to achieve this. Currently, Czech Embassies of the following countries are in Visapoint: Albania - Tirana, Belarus - Minsk, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Sarajevo, China - Beijing and Shanghai, Georgia - Tbilisi, Kazakhstan - Astana, Macedonia - Skopje, Moldova - Kishinev, Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar, Serbia - Belgrade, Thailand - Bangkok, Turkey - Ankara and Istanbul, Ukraine - Donetsk, Kiev and Lvov, Uzbekistan - Tashkent and Vietnam - Hanoi. According to our sources, the embassy in Russia - Moscow is next to be added to this list.
The primary objective of introducing the system was to guarantee fair and equal access alongside convenience to any and every foreign nationals wishing to apply as well as to improve the effectiveness and fluency of the visa application process. It also eliminates long calls to make a reservation and queuing in line in front of the embassy to get in.
Registration is free of charge, but can only be done with a valid e-mail address and by properly filling out the required form. Meaning, only Latin characters can be used for completion and all fields marked with a red star need to be answered. To register, one must visit VISAPOINT and provide necessary information.
The system also allows third party registration; therefore host parties or acquaintances can submit requests for applicants. After submission, an e-mail will be sent to the contact e-mail address provided in the form with the confirmation of the appointment. It is very important to re-confirm this appointment after receiving the electronic letter.
Although the procedure itself has become much faster and smoother, a visa application registration solely does not grant an actual visa. Submitting applications still must be done in person based on proper online registration.
If one made an appointment through Visapoint, but is not able to make it to the meeting, there is a possibility to reschedule or cancel it online at least seven days prior to the set date. Group appointments are not an option, each applicant is supposed to schedule their own meeting and only one appointment at a time. Embassies also reserve the right to change the date and time of reserved meetings.
The Ministry is planning to make changes in Visapoint in the future, so all applications could be registered through the system, including visa applications for a stay of up to 90 days.
The system is not glitch free and ready to use yet, therefore the authorities continue to work on improvements.