Amendments to the Law of the Czech Republic “On Foreigners” of August 2, 2021 for EU citizens, British citizens and family members of EU citizens
Czech laws for EU and UK citizens
New types of residence permit in the Czech Republic for EU citizens
From August 2021, when living in the Czech Republic, EU citizens are not issued a confirmation of a residence permit (Czech Potvrzení o přechodném pobytu), but a certificate of registration in the Czech Republic for EU citizens (Czech Osvědčení o registraci). As before, this is a document without biometric data with a validity period of 10 years. It’s just a leaflet in the passport. Previously issued confirmations continue to be valid until the date originally indicated on them.
By the way, it is worth recalling that EU citizens have exactly the same rights in any EU country as local residents. Even obtaining the above residence permit is not mandatory – it is a right, not an obligation of an EU citizen. But still, doing a residence permit at your place of residence can be useful if you want to confirm your length of residence in the future and obtain permanent residence or citizenship.
New fees in the Czech Republic for EU citizens and their family members
Historically, EU citizens and their family members did not pay for obtaining a residence permit and permanent residence. Now this unfortunate misunderstanding has been eliminated and they will be charged 200 crowns each.
British citizens in the Czech Republic
Adoption of a package of amendments to law 326/1999 Sb. was caused by Brexit and the subsequent change in the status of British citizens in the EU. Actually, Brexit was as mild as possible for the British living in the Czech Republic (and, accordingly, for the Czechs living in the UK) – they retained all pre-existing rights.
For British citizens, the new amendments only introduce them separately from EU citizens, and also require them to obtain a new residence permit card, already with biometric data. For, as I wrote above, all third-country nationals in the Czech Republic (now this is the UK) are required to have documents from the Ministry of Internal Affairs with biometric data.
Visa to the Czech Republic for family members of EU citizens
The laws of the Czech Republic for family members of EU citizens. Two types of family members of EU citizens for a Czech visa
From August 2, according to § 15a, the division of family members of EU citizens (including the Czech Republic) into relatives (clauses 1-2) and distant (clause 3) appears. Before that, a strange situation arose when it was enough to meet and live with an EU citizen in order to have the same rights to a residence permit and permanent residence as a wife.
Close family members are now considered to be a spouse, a parent of an EU citizen under 21 years of age, as well as a child, parent or parent of a spouse who needs daily care and maintenance.
Visa to the Czech Republic for cohabitants
In turn, distant family members are relatives (without specification) or members of the household in their country of origin, if they were dependents of an EU citizen there. This also includes partners of EU citizens who are not married to them, but only have a common household.
Moreover, earlier in the law of the Czech Republic, cohabitation was described as follows:
má s občanem Evropské unie trvalý partnerský vztah, který není manželstvím, a žije s ním ve společné domácnosti; při posuzování trvalosti partnerského vztahu se zohlední zejména povaha, pevnost a intenzita vztahu.
Freely translated: has a permanent partnership with a citizen of the European Union, which is not a marriage, and also lives with him in the same household; when considering the permanence of partnerships, the nature, strength and intensity of the relationship is assessed first of all.
Now cohabitation in the Czech Republic for obtaining a residence permit began to be indicated as follows:
má s občanem Evropské unie nebo se státním občanem České republiky přihlášeným k trvalému pobytu na území řádně doložený trvalý partnerský vztah
In translation: has a duly confirmed permanent partnership with a citizen of the European Union or a citizen of the Czech Republic with permanent residence in the country
It can be assumed that it will become more difficult to confirm your relationship in the Czech Republic in order to obtain a residence permit and permanent residence.
Residence permit in the Czech Republic for a family member of an EU citizen
As for the difference in rights, while it is minimal – I could only find a few noticeable differences:
to enter the Czech Republic, a close family member of an EU citizen can, as before, obtain a short-term visa at the border crossing, but a distant relative now needs to visit the Czech embassy to obtain a short-term visa for the initial entry into the Czech Republic.
Moreover, a short-term visa may be refused;
in order to obtain a residence permit in the Czech Republic for a family member of an EU citizen, a distant member must provide proof of sufficient household income, as well as commercial health insurance in the Czech Republic;
distant family members are no longer eligible for special rules for obtaining permanent residence (after 2 years in the country, of which at least 1 year in the status of a family member of an EU citizen).
Otherwise, the differences in rights are small – for example, a distant family member is obliged to leave the Czech Republic immediately after a decision is made to annul his permission, and for a close one, this obligation occurs when the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs comes into force.
On the card of a close family member, “Přechodný pobyt – RP” is indicated, and on the distant one – “Přechodný pobyt”.
Cohabitation in the Czech Republic and permanent residence
But the deprivation of the right of partners out of wedlock for permanent residence noticeably changes the situation. I remind you that previously it was possible to obtain permanent residence in the Czech Republic only by meeting and living with an EU citizen. And despite the fact that permanent residence, unlike a residence permit, a family member is not deprived even in the event of a divorce. A girl in the Czech Republic could, after a year of Czech language courses, meet and live with a Czech for another year, get permanent residence, but break up with him the next day – and she could not be deprived of permanent residence.
Issuance of strictly biometric documents to family members of EU citizens in the Czech Republic
Laws of the Czech Republic for family members. Under pressure from the EU, the Czech Republic is beginning to issue documents with biometric data to family members of EU citizens who themselves do not have EU citizenship. Before that, they had an ordinary paper “book”. The exchange of documents is carried out at the Ministry of Internal Affairs free of charge, close family members of an EU citizen must hand over their current certificates by August 3, 2023, and distant ones – by the end of August 2022.
It is worth saying that the identity cards of EU citizens from August 2, 2021 are changing the format, they begin to contain biometric data.
The reason is the anti-terrorist measures in the EU, the introduction of biometric documents in absolutely all niches of border control promises to increase security and complicate forgery.