Czech residency for EU citizens

Jitka Pechová of the Counselling Center for Refugees (Poradna pro uprchlíky) explains the Czech Republic's relaxed new residency rules for European Union citizens

Residence of EU citizens and their families in the Czech Republic

The residence of EU citizens in the Czech Republic is governed by rules different from those governing the residence of foreigners from other countries. The following text contains some basic information on permanent or temporary residence permits and on the procedures that must be completed to acquire these permits.

The residence of EU citizens and their families in the Czech Republic is governed by special provisions of the Aliens Law. Under the law, the members of an EU citizen's family are defined as his/her husband or wife, children under 21 years of age and other dependent direct relatives (children, parents), and the EU citizen's spouse's dependent relatives. Applications for a residence permit are filed either at a Czech diplomatic mission or at the local office of the Foreigners' Police.

Temporary Residence Permit

EU citizens may apply for a temporary residence permit if they intend to stay in the Czech Republic for more than three months. The following must be attached to the application: a copy of the applicant's passport, a photograph, a document certifying the stay's purpose, certificate of health insurance policy, and a sworn statement that the applicant will not claim social benefits during his/her stay in the Czech Republic (unless the purpose of his/her stay is employment or business).

A member of the EU citizen's family may apply for a temporary residence permit under similar conditions if the EU citizen has already filed his/her application or if he/she resides in the Czech Republic under a temporary residence permit.

Permanent Residence Permit

EU citizens will be granted a permanent residence permits by the police upon the citizen’s application, in cases stipulated by the law. The permit will be issued, in particular, if the EU citizen:

  • is employed in the Czech Republic and stays here for more than three uninterrupted years

  • exercises the powers of a legal entity’s corporate body in the Czech Republic

  • does business in the Czech Republic

  • has reached retirement age and had carried out any of the activities listed above at least 12 months before he/she filed the permanent residence permit application

    The law also provides for other, specific cases allowing EU citizens to apply for a permanent residence permit.

    The following must be attached to the application: a copy of the applicant's passport, a certificate confirming that all the statutory conditions for granting the permanent residence permit have been met, and a photograph of the applicant.

    The police will issue a permanent residence permit to the EU citizen's relative upon the relative’s request, provided that the application has been filed by his/her relative – an EU citizen, or by a surviving relative of an EU citizen having been employed in the Czech Republic, having exercised the powers of a legal entity's corporate body or having done business in the Czech Republic, on the condition that all other statutory conditions have been met.

    Validity of Residence Permit Certificates

    Temporary residence permit certificates are issued for various periods of validity depending on the reason they are issued. The period can range from several months (the minimum period) to five years (employment, business). The validity of the permit may be repeatedly extended.

    Permanent residence permit certificates are issued for a period of ten years; the validity of these permits may be, again, repeatedly extended.

    Generally, the validity period of residence permit certificates issued to family members corresponds to the validity period of permits already issued to an EU citizen holding a residence permit certificate.

    This article was originally published on the Doma v České republice website.

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