Czech residency for foreigners
Jitka Pechová of the Counselling Center for Refugees (Poradna pro uprchlíky) explains the laws covering foreigners living in the Czech Republic
Under this act, a foreigner is deemed to be a person other than a citizen of the Czech Republic (including European Union citizens).
(The Aliens Law does not apply to foreigners who have applied for asylum and to people who have been granted asylum in the Czech Republic (both these groups fall under the legal regime established on the basis of Act no. 325/1999 Coll., on Asylum), to foreign nationals staying in the Czech Republic under a special act providing for the temporary stays of foreign armed forces or to foreign nationals having applied for residence permit for the purpose of temporary protection or having been granted residence permit for the purpose of temporary protection.)
The governmental authorities of the Czech Republic exercising powers related to the residence of foreigners in the Czech Republic include the Foreigners' Police and the Border Police, the Czech Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the individual diplomatic and consular offices abroad.
Entry, Border Control
Foreigners may enter the Czech Republic at places designated as points of entry - specific locations along the border, international airports or, as the case may be, a train crossing an international border.
Upon crossing the Czech border, the foreigner must undergo border control, if required by the police. Exactly which documents a foreigner must present upon his/her entry to the Czech Republic depends both on the foreigner's nationality and on the length and purpose of his/her stay in the Czech Republic.
As a general rule, citizens of EU member states or other countries that have visa-free relations with the Czech Republic must present only their passport at border control. Foreigners who need a visa to enter the Czech Republic must, in addition, present proof that they have sufficient funds to pay for their stay in the Czech Republic (cash, bank account statement, international credit card or an invitation verified by the police), a certificate of health insurance that will be used to pay the costs of treatment related to an injury or sudden illness and confirmed accommodation.
If the Czech Republic is only a stop en route to another country, foreign nationals must also have a valid visa for their destination and proof that they have the means to continue their journey into that country.
The Aliens Law provides for two regimes of residence: temporary residence and permanent residence.
A foreigner may temporarily reside in the Czech Republic:
A short-term visa is:
A long-term visa under the Aliens Law is:
Citizens of the EU and citizens of other countries that have signed the necessary international treaties with the Czech Republic may reside in the Czech Republic without a visa, provided that the intended stay is temporary. Further special cases are provided for in the Czech legal rules and regulations (e.g. a foreigner serving a prison term in the Czech Republic, a pilot or another member of an international airlines crew, etc.).
Residence of a Foreigner Born in the Czech Republic
If a foreigner is born in the Czech Republic, their stay - for a period of up to 60 days following their birth - is considered temporary.
In this period, the parent must apply on the child's behalf for basically the same type of visa or residence permit, under which the parent him/herself is staying in the Czech Republic. This must be done in all cases, unless the infant leaves the Czech Republic within 60 days of his/her birth. If the application cannot be filed, for reasons beyond the parent's control (e.g. the mother's health condition of the mother after she has delivered the child), the parent must immediately report these reasons to the police, and file an application once these obstacles have been removed.
The following must be attached to the application: the infant's passport; if the infant does not have a passport, the parent's passport; the infant's birth certificate and a certificate of its health insurance or, as the case may be, a sworn statement of the parent that he/she will bear all the costs incurred in relation to the health care provided to the infant.
Reporting the Foreigner's Residence in the Czech Republic:
The following text explains the fundamental duties of a foreigner to report his or her residence in the Czech Republic.
Foreigners residing in the Czech Republic under a long-term residence visa or a residence visa issued for up to 90 days are required, within three days of entering the Czech Republic, to notify the police of the date their stay begins, where they'll be living during their stay and how long they'll be staying for.
Foreigners authorized to reside in the Czech Republic without a visa also have to notify police of the date their stay begins, where they'll be living during their stay and how long they'll be staying for. This can be done at the Foreigners' Police office closest to their residence, within 30 days of entering the Czech Republic - presuming, of course, that their stay is longer 30 days. (If the foreigner is living in a hotel or a hostel, it's the hotel or the hostel that must fulfill this duty.)
Should the foreigner's place of residence change during their stay, they must report this change to the local Foreigner's Police office.
The Duties of the Foreigner:
In addition to other obligations specified in the Aliens Law, the foreigner has, in particular, the following duties:
The following documents will be recognized as travel documents in various instances:
Some documents are issued by the Foreigners' Police only upon request:
An alien's passport will, if requested, be issued to a foreigner living in the Czech Republic on a residence permit who doesn't hold a valid travel document (passport). The foreigner must prove that he/she cannot get the passport in any other way. An alien's passport may also be issued to a minor (under 15 years of age) residing in the Czech Republic under a decision on substitute guardianship.
A travel identity card is issued if it's requested by a foreigner who does not hold a valid passport and is unable to get a passport in any other way.
The police will issue a travel identity card to a foreigner, without him/her applying for one, in the following cases:
The police will also issue a travel identity card to a foreigner not holding a valid passport and who has been legitimately deported from the Czech Republic.
The police may seize a foreigner's passport upon checking the foreigner. The police may do so only if the statutory conditions have been met - in particular, if the foreigner presents a passport that has not been issued in his/her name, or if a passport issued by the police is found to be invalid. If the police, upon checking the foreigner, seize his/her passport, they must provide the foreigner with a written confirmation. Having received the passport, the local police station must decide whether to keep or return the passport within 15 days.
An unedited version of this article was originally published on the Doma v České republice website.
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