As of this year, there is a new legal obligation to attend an adaptation and integration course, also known as AIK.
This only applies to foreigners with their 1st long-term and permanent residence permits (not a long-term visa) issued from 1 Jan 2021 onwards. Please also note that you are obliged to take AIK in case you either extended your long-term visa to long-term residence (e.g. long-term visa with the purpose Family to long-term residence with the purpose Family reunification) or you changed the purpose of your stay (e.g. from long-term residence with the purpose Study to a dual employee card). They have a whole year from the moment they collect their residence permit to take the course.
WHAT is an ‘Adaptation and integration course’?
The main idea behind the course is to provide newcomers with crucial and up-to-date information necessary in order to settle down in the Czech Republic successfully: you’ll learn about key administrative procedures, rights and obligations of you as a foreign resident, useful – survival-of-the-fittest kind, really – tips, contact details to services and organisations, and some cultural insight, too.
All of this in 4 intensive hours – explained in Czech by experienced lecturers and consecutively translated into one of the selected world languages (English included) by professional interpreters. The courses are always organized by and usually take place at the regional integration centres for foreigners – in the South Moravian region by the Centre for foreigners in Brno.
Who is NOT obliged to attend?
The list of those obliged to take the course is rather long but, as it goes, the list of exceptions seems even longer. The most common examples of those who do NOT need to worry about this are:
- EU citizens and their family relatives
- NonEU citizens
- who collected their first permits before 1 January 2021,
- or have already attended the AIK course in the previous years,
- also those below 15 or 61+ when their residencies were officially granted by the Immigration authorities,
- and student visa or residence card holders,
- or holders of Investor and Intra-company transfer visas, Employee and Blue cards issued under the Highly Qualified Employee and Key and Scientific Personnel governmental programs
An exhaustive (literally) list of those bound by law and those exempt is available on the website of the Ministry of Interior.
So what should I DO NOW?
As the obligation of AIK courses has only entered into force very recently, the whole procedure is just at the beginning and the courses are not fully running yet. What is already known is that:
- one can register via the portal frs.gov.cz/,
- the price of the course is 1,500 CZK/ person (unless it is organised and sponsored at the employer’s premise),
- one can take the course anywhere in the Czech Republic,
- courses in the South Moravian region are expected to start in February – March 2021 at the earliest.
So don’t panic – now you know the essentials and we will keep you posted about the rest.