As of 2 August, changes to Czech immigration law came into effect (namely in Act No. 326/1999 Coll., on the residence of foreigners in the CR). What are the changes? Do they apply to you? Here is a quick overview by our consultants.
New family members of EU citizens and new conditions for the old ones
Who this concerns: Family members of EU citizens
A new category of “distant family member of an EU citizen” has been created. It includes, for example, people who are life partners, but are neither married (heterosexual couples) nor in a registered partnership (homosexual couples only). In addition, such a relationship must be very well documented. If you are applying for a residence permit as this distant family member, you have to provide proof of commercial health insurance (comprehensive health insurance with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s.) prepaid for the entire period of the planned stay.
All family members of EU citizens will now be issued a plastic biometric card, not a paper confirmation (similar to a passport) that they would use before.
Lastly, it will now cost 200 CZK to apply for a temporary residence permit and its extension, or for a permanent residence permit of a family member of an EU citizen (paid in the form of an administrative stamp – “kolková známka”).
Required change of your documents before August 2023
Who this concerns: NonEU family members of EU citizens
Family members of EU citizens who are not EU citizens themselves have to exchange their existing documents for new biometric documents. All non-biometric documents will expire on Aug 3, 2023! The exchange is free of charge.
If you fall into the new category of “distant family members”, we recommend you exchange your document by 31 August 2022, as this is the only way you will retain your status as a close family member.
To exchange your documents, you have to visit the Immigration office. You can now do so without a previous appointment, but we highly recommend you call (974 801 801) to schedule an appointment, or book it online (frs.gov.cz).
Who this also concerns: UK citizens!
If you are a UK citizen and have a valid temporary residence or permanent residence, you have to exchange your existing documents for new biometric documents. You must apply for a replacement document by 31 August 2022. The same obligation applies to family members of UK citizens who have temporary or permanent residence.
A new name for residence certificates
Who this concerns: EU citizens with a temporary residence certificate
This is just a small change in terminology and does not require any actions on your part. A temporary residence certificate (“Potvrzení o přechodném pobytu”) for EU citizens has been replaced by a new term “Osvědčení o registraci”, translated as a registration certificate. If you have a valid temporary residence certificate you do not need to do anything until it expires. Then you apply for an extension as usual.
Application for a registration certificate for EU citizens now costs 200 CZK, paid in the form of an administrative stamp (“kolková známka”). However, this does not change the fact that you can apply for registration by post – just remember to put an administrative stamp in an envelope.
Private health insurance now only with Pojišťovna VZP
Who this concerns: Foreigners who are obliged to pay for private health insurance and plan to stay in the CR for more than 90 days
Newly, you have to buy complex private health insurance exclusively with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. if you are entering a new contract. Those of you currently insured by other commercial health insurance companies (Uniqa, Slavia, Maxima etc.) can remain with them until the contract expires and then are obliged to sign a new contract with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s..
Also, if a child is born in the CR to a mother with a long-term residence permit, such child will be insured by public health insurance for a limited period of time – from the date of birth until the end of the calendar month in which he/she has reached 60 days of age. The public insurance for the child is paid by the child’s legal representative – mostly parents. Once the baby’s public health insurance expires, the parents are obliged get him/her complex private health insurance provided by Pojišťovna VZP, a.s..
We will write about the individual changes in more detail in the following articles – stay tuned! We also plan a seminar (also streamed online) with an immigration law expert Tomáš Petyovský in September – save the date 30 September.