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Changes in Conditions for the Entry And Stay on the Territory of the Czech Republic from 2011

The latest amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals introduced numerous changes. A brief summary of these can be found here.

The legal regulation stipulating conditions for the entry and stay in the Territory of the Czech Republic is Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals (Act No. 326/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Territory of the Czech Republic and a Change to Some Acts, as amended). Its latest amendment introduced numerous changes.

I. Basic Information

On December 21, 2010 the Parliament of the Czech Republic passed amendment to the Act on Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Territory of the Czech Republic (Act No. 326/1999 Coll., as amended). It was published in the Collection of laws on December 30, 2010 under No. 427/2010, and came into force on January 1, 2011. 

The amendment introduced a number of important changes related to offices dealing with matters concerning stay of foreign nationals on the territory of the Czech Republic as well as conditions for the entry and stay on the Czech territory.

II. A change in the authority responsible for the decision on granting a long-term visa and a long-term/temporary residence permit

Since 2011 the Ministry of the Interior is newly responsible for the agenda of long-term stays and long-term visas. It has taken over this competence from the Foreign Police.

In practice, this means offices dealing with the issues associated with residence in the Territory of the Czech Republic are changed (they are not Foreign Police Departments any more, but new regional offices of the Department for Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior).

III. In what circumstances should a foreign national contact the new regional offices of the Ministry of the Interior (of the Department for Asylum and Migration Policy)?

  • An application for an extension to a long-stay visa (an application for such visa should continue to be filed at the relevant Czech embassy abroad)
  • An application for a long-stay visa for the purpose of leave to remain in the Territory and extension of validity of such a visa or length of stay on the basis of this visa
  • An application for a long-term residence permit or extension of its validity
  • An application for a certificate of temporary residence in the Territory (EU citizens)
  • An application for a temporary residence and for a residence card for a family member of EU citizen and its extension, respectively
  • An application for a permanent residence permit
  • Reporting a change in the place of residence in the Czech Republic (change shall be reported within 30 days after the change takes place):

o       holder of a long-stay visa or a long-term residence permit is obliged to report the change of his/her place of residence, provided the change of place of residence is expected to last for longer than 30 days

o        holder of a residence card of a EU citizen´s family member or of a EU citizen who was granted certificate of temporary residence or foreign national holding permanent residence permit is obliged to report the change of his/her place of residence, provided the change of place of residence is expected to last for longer than 180 days

  • Reporting other changes (e.g. change in surname, personal status, data in travel document, data in residence permit document) and reporting loss, destruction, theft or damage of residence permit documents
  • An application for a certificate of legitimacy to stay in the Territory (except for cases when the length of residence does not exceed 90 days and when the certificate is required by the registry office before getting married)

The Foreign Police remain to be competent for:

  • Reporting the place of residence in the Territory upon the arrival at the Czech Republic (the subsequent change of the place of residence, if the residence is based on a long-stay visa, long-term or permanent residence permit, should be reported to the regional offices of the Ministry of the Interior)
  • Extensions to stays in the Czech Republic on the basis of a short-term visa
  • Issuance of short-term residence certificates and, irrespective of the type of residence, certificates certifying a legitimate right of residence required by the registry office before getting married
  • The verification of an invitation
  • Checks on the legitimacy of the stay in the Territory

IV. Change in the offices dealing with residency of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic from 1 January 2011

Starting on 1 January 2011, the offices dealing with matters related to residency of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic will change. The change concerns the current offices of the Foreign Police as well as regional offices of the Ministry of the Interior (Department for Asylum and Migration Policy). Most matters related to the residency of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic will be newly dealt with by the Ministry of the Interior offices. At the same time, the catchment areas for individual offices will also change.

Newly, the Ministry of the Interior offices took over responsibility for a significant part of matters related to the residency of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic.

To learn more, see:  http://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/article/changes-in-conditions-for-the-entry-and-stay-on-the-territory-of-the-czech-republic-from-2011.aspx?q=Y2hudW09NQ%3d%3d

V. Changes in the proceedings for granting a long-term visa

An application for granting a long-term visa should be further submitted to a Czech embassy. It applies a foreign national can only submit the application at the embassy in his/her country of origin (in the state he/she is a citizen of, or which has issued his/her travel document, or in the state where the foreign national has a permitted long-term or permanent residence). Exceptions to this obligation are stipulated by the Regulation of the Ministry of the Interior.

An embassy is entitled to request from the foreign national to arrange the term for filling the application for a long-term visa in advance.

An applicant for a long-term visa is obliged to undergo an interview if the embassy calls him/her to it. In the case a foreign national is applying for a long-term visa for the purpose of conducting business, he/she must always attend the interview.

Newly, the Ministry of the Interior decides on granting a long-term visa which, in case of denying the application, shall inform the foreign national in writing about the reasons for non-granting the long-term visa. The foreign national is entitled to request new assessment of reasons for non-granting the visa within 15 days upon delivery of the information about non-granting the long-term visa.

ATTENTION! The term of validity of a long-term visa is shortened. A long-term visa will be newly issued for the maximum period of 6 months. If the purpose of the foreign national´s residence in the Territory requires a stay exceeding 6 months, the foreign national is obliged to submit an application for a long-term residence not earlier than 90 days and not later than 14 days before the long-term visa validity expiration. The foreign national shall submit such application at a regional office of the Ministry of the Interior.

VI. New conditions for submitting an application for long-term/permanent residence

To submit an application form for a residence permit (both long-term, and permanent), a foreign national is obliged to attend in person a regional office of the Ministry of the Interior.

New form of residence permit cards (long-term and permanent residence)

Since May 2011 citizens of third countries (not applicable to EU citizens and their family members) will be issued residence permit cards with biometric data. The previously issued residence permit cards remain to be valid for the period of validity specified therein.

If a foreign national submitted an application for granting a permit to long-term or permanent residence at an embassy and the application was satisfied, he/she is obliged to attend in person the determined regional office of the Ministry of the Interior for taking biometric data (face image and fingerprints) within 3 business days upon the entry into the Territory.

If a foreign national submitted such application during his/her stay in the Territory of the Czech Republic, he/she will be called to taking biometric data by the Ministry of the Interior.

After taking biometric data and making the residence permit card the foreign national will be called to take over the card by the Ministry of the Interior.

If a foreign national fails to take over the long-term residence permit card within the stipulated term, the proceeding will be stopped!

If a foreign national fails to take over the permanent residence permit card within the stipulated term, he/she can be imposed on a fine up to CZK 10,000.00!

 

VII. New requirements for the proof of travel health insurance

In the case a foreign national asks for granting a long-term visa or issuing a long-term residence permit abroad and submitting a proof of travel health insurance is required, such insurance must cover costs associated with necessary and urgent health care, including the costs associated with transportation, including mortal remains in the event of death, and such insurance must not exclude providing an insurance payment in the case of accident caused by a wilful act, negligence or contributory negligence of the insured, even as a result of drinking alcohol, taking narcotics or psychotropic drugs by the insured. The amount of the insurance payment limit must be at least EUR 60,000.00.

If a foreign national submits the application abroad, the travel health insurance can be taken out not only at an insurance company authorized to provide such insurance in the Territory of the Czech Republic, but also at an insurance company which is entitled to provide such insurance in the other member states of the European Union and/or in a state which is bound by the Treaty on the European Economic Area (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway), or in a state where the foreign national is a citizen or where he/she has a permitted residence. In such cases, the foreign national is obliged to submit an officially authenticated translation of the insurance policy and general insurance terms and conditions to Czech together with the proof of travel health insurance. Upon request, he/she shall also submit a proof of the payment of insurance premium for the whole term of required stay in the Territory.

In the case the foreign national has already stayed in the Territory and asks for extending the term of residence for a long-term visa or issuing a long-term residence permit in the Territory or extending the validity of such permit, submitting a proof of travel health insurance is required to the application which can only be taken out at an insurance company authorized to provide such insurance in the Territory of the Czech Republic and it must be taken out in the scope of complex healthcare.

A foreign national is not required to submit a proof of travel health insurance if he/she is a participant in the public health insurance or if the payment of costs of healthcare is paid on the basis of an international treaty, or if the foreign national proves that healthcare is paid in a different manner (i.e. on the basis of a written undertaking of a legal entity if the foreign national´s stay in the Territory of the Czech Republic is beneficial for the development of spiritual values, protection of human rights and/or other humanitarian values, protection of the environment, cultural monuments and traditions, the development of science, education, sport or on the basis of a written undertaking of a state authority and/or on the basis of an undertaking contained in an invitation authenticated by the Police).

 

 

VIII. New requirements for proving securing funds for the stay

In the case a foreign national is obliged to submit a proof of securing funds for the stay in the Territory in the required amount to the application for granting a long-term visa or issuing a long-term residence permit, he/she must prove it by any of the following documents:

  • a bank account statement maintained in the name of the foreign national of which it is obvious that the foreign national can make use of these funds during his/her stay in the Territory of the Czech Republic,
  • any other document on financial security (e.g. an invitation authenticated by the Police),
  • a valid internationally recognized payment card which the foreign national will be obliged, upon request, to supplement with a bank account statement maintained in the name of the foreign national of which it is obvious that the foreign national can make use of these funds during his/her stay in the Territory of the Czech Republic.

To prove financial funds for permanent residence, a foreign national is obliged to submit a proof of which it is obvious that his/her income is regular. At the same time, it shall apply that a monthly income of the foreign national and his/her family members residing in the Territory is not lower than the sum of subsistence minimum of these commonly assessed people and costs of housing. The foreign national´s income can especially be proven by a confirmation of an employer of the amount of average net monthly earning, or the income tax return of natural persons, if income from business is concerned. If the income cannot be proven by any other trustworthy manner, account statements on the account kept in a bank for the previous 6 months can be submitted as a proof of securing funds for permanent residence of which it follows that the foreign national has the required amount of income.

 

IX. Changes in the stay for the purpose of conducting business

A residence permit for the purpose of a profit-making activity in the Territory of the Czech Republic will only be issued to foreign nationals for the purpose of "employment" or "conducting business" (i.e. a residence permit is not issued for the purpose of “participation in a legal entity” any more).

An application for residence permit for the purpose of conducting business shall be submitted not only by a foreign national willing to conduct business in the Czech Republic as a self-employed person, but newly also by a foreign national willing to stay in the Territory as a statutory body or a member of the statutory body of a trade company or a coop.

An applicant for granting a long-term visa for the purpose of conducting business is always obliged to attend an interview at the embassy.

In the case a foreign national intends to change his/her previous purpose of stay to the purpose of conducting business, he/she can ask for such change if he/she legally stays in the Territory for the period of at least 2 years.

A foreign national must submit the following documents to the application for issuing/extending the long-term residence permit for the purpose of conducting business:

  • a proof of the entry in the relevant register, list or records (e.g. the Trade Licensing Office or Commercial Register);
  • a document proving that his/her monthly income and the income of people assessed together with him/her is not lower than the sum of the minimum subsistence and costs of housing;
  • if he/she is a self-employed person: a confirmation of relevant authorities proving he/she has no tax arrears and social security insurance and contribution to the state employment policy arrears;
  • if he/she stays in the Czech Republic as a statutory body or a member of the statutory body of a trade company or a coop: a confirmation that such company/coop has no tax arrears and social security insurance and contribution to the state employment policy arrears;
  • upon request, an income tax payment assessment.

 

IX. New residential institute for the purpose of performing employment requiring high qualification - “blue card”

The amendment to the Act introduces a new residential institute intended for the stay associated with the performance of a highly qualified employment. The blue card entitles a foreign national to reside and at the same time to be employed, i.e. the foreign national will not need a separate work permit.

Elements to the application for the blue card and its issue

An application for issuing the blue card can be submitted by a foreign national if he/she intends to stay in the Territory for the period exceeding 3 months and he/she will be employed at a job position requiring high qualification which can be filled with a foreign national who is not a citizen of the European Union pursuant to the Employment Act.

High qualification means a duly completed university education or higher professional education which has lasted for at least 3 years.

An application for issuing the blue card shall be submitted by a foreign national at the embassy or, in selected cases, also at the Ministry of the Interior in the Territory.

The foreign national is obliged to submit an employment contract agreed at least for the period of one year and documents proving his/her high qualification to the application for issuing the blue card.

One of the conditions for issuing the blue card is a wage criterion - the employment contract must contain gross monthly or yearly wage at least at the rate of 1.5 multiple of the gross average annual wage (which is declared by an announcement of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs once a year).

The blue card is issued with the term of validity 3 months longer than the term for which the employment contract has been concluded, however for the maximum period of 2 years. The blue card can be extended.

A change to the employer or job classification of a blue card holder during the first two years of stay in the Territory is subject to the approval of the Ministry of the Interior.

A blue card holder will be allowed to obtain permanent residence/the status of a long-term staying resident in the European Communities after 5 years of the stay in the Territory of the EU member states, whereas he/she must stay as a blue card holder in the Territory of the Czech Republic for the last 2 years. The blue card stays from various EU member states are included in the period of 5 years.

A blue card holder and his/her family members will be allowed to reunify the family with no minimum period of the previous stay in the Territory Republic, i.e. immediately.

To learn more, see: http://portal.mpsv.cz/sz/zahr_zam