Summary of key changes for expats

This blog post presents essential updates that may affect expats from 1st of July 2023.

1.Foreigners Reservation System web moved to a new Information portal for foreigners

From July 1, 2023 the online booking service for making appointments at the Asylum and Migration Policy Department offices will be transferred to the new Information Portal for Foreigners. User accounts which were created in the Foreigners Reservation System will be deleted.  If you do not yet have an account on the new Information Portal for Foreigners and you wish to make an online appointment at an Asylum and Migration Policy Department offices, you must create a new user account. 

2. Duty of Family Members of EU Citizens to Apply for a Replacement of a Residence Permit Card 

Family members of EU citizens who are third country nationals have an obligation to apply for a replacement of their residence permit card, which is in the form of a paper booklet, for a biometric card. The validity of resident permit cards which are in the form of a paper booklet expires on 3rd August 2023. By then, one must apply for a replacement for a biometric card, which is free of charge. 

The replacement of the card does not apply to: 

  • family members of EU citizens, who already have a biometric card (plastic card), or 
  • citizens of an EU member state, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland

You have to replace your card if you: 

  • are a family member of an EU citizen, 
  • are a third country national, 
  • are holding a card in the form of a paper booklet. 

For more information, please see the Information Portal for Foreigners. 

3. Amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals – summary of the main changes:

Criminal record: 

  • Applicants seeking a visa, or any form of stay are now obligated to provide an extract from the criminal record of each country they have resided in if it was for a total of 6 months spread out over time (not necessarily consecutively). For instance, if the applicant stayed in France for 1 month in 2021 and then for 5 months in 2023, they must provide a criminal record extract from France with an authorised translation to Czech.  

Employee card:

Blue card:

The issuance of bluecards: 

  • Application can be submitted by a person who has been granted asylum, a subsidiary protection, a visa for the purpose of seasonal employment in the Czech Republic or a person who is a family member of an EU citizen.
  • Blue card may be newly issued for a maximum period of 3 years. That applies also to extensions of a Blue card.

Approval of the Ministry of the Interior to a Change of Employer or Work Position:

  • Blue Card holder is no longer obliged to ask for the approval of the Ministry of the Interior, when changing employer or working position. It also applies to cases, where the Blue Card holder has been staying in the Czech Republic on the basis of the Blue Card for less than 2 years.
  • Blue Card holders are obliged only to notify such changes. The notification must be made within 3 days of the change.
  • A new working position, which a Blue Card holder wants to be employed at, must be continuously registered in the Central Register of Available Vacancies which may be offered to Blue Card Holders.

Requirements for a Blue Card Application: 

  • An application may be newly lodged also on basis of submission of a Pre-Employment Contract. A Work Contract submission remains relevant too. In both cases, an entry into a 6-months period of employment will be sufficient.

Blue Card Holders from other EU Member State:

  • If the applicant is a Blue Card holder in another EU Member State, they do not need to submit a document equivalent to an Extract from the Criminal Record of the Czech Republic, issued by the country of their origin, or by a country where they have been living during the previous 3 years, for a period totalling at least 6 months.   
  • If they prove that, before filing the application, they had been working on the basis of a Blue Card in the previous 2 years, they do not have to submit evidence of a university-level qualification.

Single-entry visa over 90 days – for the purpose of collecting a residence permit (DV/R):

  • For the holders of Single-entry visa over 90 days – for the purpose of collecting a residence permit (DV/R) is now accepted registering at the Ministry of the Interior office within 30 days. 

Filing an Application for a Permanent Residence:

  • A person staying in the country merely on the basis of an “Interim Visa“, may not apply for a Permanent Residence Permit. It means, that they cannot apply for it during the time that their Residence Permit is no longer valid, however it is deemed to be valid until such time as a final decision has been made. 

Exemptions are as follows: 

  • EU citizens and their family members, 
  • persons applying for a permanent-residence permit for the purpose of living with a parent who has a permanent residence permit (acc. to § 66 section 1, letter d) of the Law). 

Expiry of a Long-term Visa and of a Residence Permit granted for the Purpose of Leave to Remain:

  • long-term visa for the purpose of Leave to Remain will expire, in compliance with the Amendment, no sooner than the day on which its holder leaves the Shengen Area
  • A long-term residence permit for the purpose of Leave to Remain will expire, in compliance with the Amendment, no sooner than the day on which its holder leaves the Shengen Area.

Exemptions are as follows: 

In the foregoing cases, the long-term visa does not expire by leaving the country. 

Permanent Residence after an Unsuccessful Proceedings for the Granting of International Protection:

  • Applicants who have not succeeded in the Proceedings to Be Granted International Protection, cannot acquire a Permanent Residence Permit, by having lived in the country for 4 years. 

Changes in Administrative Fees:

  • For an overview of Administrative Fees, see here.

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