Starting January 1, 2011 an amendment to the Act on Foreign Nationals’ Residency in the Czech Republic came into force.
Summary below presents key changes introduced by the new law. At this stage, the authorities are not able to confirm how the changes are to work in practice, therefore initial inconsistency and confusion is foreseen as the officials implement new requirements.
Long-term visa application
- Long-term visas are now issued for the validity of 6 months by the Ministry of Interior. Previously visas were issued by the Foreign Police for a period of one year.
- Since January first, foreign nationals applying for a long-term visa for the purpose of conducting business will need to attend an interview in person at the embassy of application.
- Upon arrival to the Czech Republic the visa must be registered within three business days. Previously it was possible to arrange registration on behalf of the foreigner but based on the new law visa holder must register in person.
Long-term and permanent residence permits application
- Personal presence is also required from foreigners applying for either a long-term or permanent residence permit.
- Starting May 2011, citizens of third countries (not applicable to EU citizens and their family members) will be issued residence permit cards with biometric data.
Proof of securing accommodation
- Long-term visa and long-term or permanent residence permit applicants must provide proof that they have secured accommodation for their stay in the Czech Republic. Now it is required to provide officially notarized confirmation with signature of person who is the owner of the respective flat/house or owner’s authorized representative.
- In addition, the new law requires the floor area of an accommodation to be at least 8 m2 for a single person, and 12.6 m2 for two people. For each additional person 5 m2 are added to the floor area.
Proof of travel health insurance
- Long-term visa and long-term residence permit applicants must secure health insurance before applying for their respective permits. From January 1, new conditions have been added and the health insurance must cover costs of necessary and urgent health care, including costs of transportation in the event of death. Insurance must also cover the cost of accident caused by a willful act, negligence, even as a result of consumption of alcohol or drugs.
- The amount of the insurance payment limit must be at least 60,000.00 EUR. This amount is double of what was previously required.
- In case the foreigner submits the application abroad, the travel health insurance can be provided by a company which is entitled to provide such insurance in other member countries of the European Union, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway or in a state where the foreign national is a citizen. In such case a certified translation in the Czech language of the insurance contracts and policy conditions must be provided along with original and payment confirmation for the whole duration of stay in the Czech territory.
Blue card for highly qualified foreigners
- A highly qualified professional from non-EU countries intending to stay in the Czech Republic for a period longer than three months may now apply for a blue card. The card has a minimum validity of three months and maximum period of 2 years. The blue card can be extended.
- In order to qualify for blue card, foreigner must provide a proof of duly completed university education or higher professional education.
Changes in administrative expulsion
- Administrative expulsion is issued to a foreign national who stays on the territory of the Czech Republic without valid authorization. As opposed to previous law which only affected stay on the territory of the Czech Republic, administrative expulsion is now valid for the entire territory of the European Union, therefore the ban on entry is to cover all EU countries. However, it does not apply to the citizens of the European Union and their family members.
- Foreigners who hold a residence permit in another member state of the European Union but stay in the Czech Republic without the appropriate Czech authorization are now not issued administrative expulsion, but a decision. This decision does not contain a ban on future entry into the republic but obligates the foreigner to leave the country within a specified time.
In order to inform foreigners of the upcoming changes the Czech government has created a website which is populated on an on-going basis as more information becomes available to the public.
Our articles are for informational purposes only. Should you have any further questions regarding matters related to immigration into the Czech Republic, please feel free to contact our office.
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