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Amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners

Overview of the Changes from August 2, 2021

In this article we will give you basic information on the changes related to the Amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners. All the information is based on this document published by the Czech Ministry of the Interior.

1) EU citizens’ registration certificate

Starting from 2. 8. 2021, instead of the previous “confirmation of temporary residence”, EU citizens will be issued a “registration certificate”. It will be a document without biometric identifiers, valid for 10 years. EU nationals holding a confirmation of temporary residence issued before the amendment do not need to exchange it, as their document will automatically be regarded as a registration certificate until its expiry date. 

2) New administrative fees

Starting from August 2, 2021 an administrative fee of CZK 200 will be payable for the following applications:

  • application made by an EU citizen for a registration certificate (see above)
  • application for a temporary residence permit by a family member of an EU citizen
  • application for renewal of a residence card or renewal of a residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen 
  • application for a permanent residence permit for EU citizens and their family members 
  • application for a change in the residence document of an EU citizen or their family member

The administrative fees are paid using revenue stamps – it is impossible to pay the fee in cash or by card. 

3) Obligation to prove comprehensive health insurance cover 

Starting from 2.8.2021, foreign nationals entering the Czech Republic and staying in its territory for more than 90 days have an obligation to take out commercial comprehensive health insurance within 90 days of entering the Czech Republic. From 2.8.2021 to 2.8.2026, this insurance may be taken out exclusively with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s.

This obligation does not apply to foreign nationals covered by the Czech public health insurance system, or whose health care is covered under an international agreement, or who hold a valid EHIC and GHIC health insurance card. Also, this obligation does not apply to EU citizens and their “close family members” (this concept is explained below).

The obligation to take out a comprehensive commercial health insurance does not apply to foreign nationals who arrive in the Czech Republic by or on August 1, 2021. In this case a document on travel medical insurance covering only the necessary and urgent care will be sufficient. 

Foreign nationals who have been residing in the Czech Republic based on a long-term visa or long-term residence permit and who have purchased a travel medical insurance covering the necessary and urgent care, or who have purchased a comprehensive health insurance with a health insurance company other than Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. don’t need to change anything for now. The changes will apply to them only when they apply for renewal of their existing residence permit or in case they apply for a new residence permit. The same applies to foreign nationals who are so-called extended family members of a citizen of the European Union or the United Kingdom and who have already been granted or should be granted a temporary residence permit in accordance with the legal regulation valid until August 1, 2021.

If the application for a long-term visa or long-term residence permit is submitted to the Czech Republic’s representative office on or after 2.8.2021, the document on travel medical insurance must be submitted before the long-term visa (or long-term visa for the purpose of accepting residence permit) is indicated in the foreign national’s passport, as follows:

  1. a) covering the necessary and urgent care for the first 90 days of residence in the territory of the Czech Republic; for the remaining period of stay, they must also submit the document on comprehensive health insurance contracted with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. (It can also be purchased online),
  2. b) or, the foreign national may directly submit the document on comprehensive health insurance contracted with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. for the entire period of permitted stay in the territory of the Czech Republic (the insurance can be purchased online). The document on contracted comprehensive travel medical insurance with another insurance company in the Czech Republic may  only be submitted if the insurance contract was executed on August 1, 2021 at the latest.

The applications for a long-term visa [s. 33(1)(c)] or extension of the long-term visa, as well as applications for issuance or extension of a long-term residence permit submitted to the Ministry of the Interior in the territory of the Czech Republic on and after 2.8.2021 can only be accompanied with the following documents a proof of travel medical insurance: 

– insurance contract on comprehensive health insurance entered into with Pojišťovna VZP, a.s.

– insurance contract on comprehensive health insurance entered into with another insurance company active in the Czech Republic, yet only provided that the contract was executed on August 1, 2021 at the latest.

The same applies to foreign nationals who are so-called extended family members (this concept is explained below) of a citizen of the European Union or the United Kingdom and apply for a temporary residence permit from 2.8.2021.

4) Health insurance of a child born in the territory of the Czech Republic

Starting from 2. 8. 2021, a child born in the territory of the Czech Republic to a mother having a long-term residence permit is newly covered by public health insurance. However, such a child is insured under the public health insurance scheme only for a limited period, i.e., from the child’s birth until the end of the calendar month when such a child becomes 60 days old. The insurance contributions are paid by the child’s legal representative (usually the child’s parent). 

The health insurance company where the child’s mother is registered must be notified of the child’s birth within 8 days of the childbirth. If the child’s mother is not covered by public insurance in the territory of the Czech Republic, the childbirth must be reported to the father’s insurer. If the father does not have public insurance in the Czech Republic, the childbirth must be reported to VZP ČR.  

More detailed information is available on the website of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.

5) Family member of an EU citizen

Starting from 2. 8. 2021, the EU citizen family members are divided into “close family members” and  the so-called “extended family members”. The difference is specifically related to the Czech residence permit application requirements. 

A close family member of a citizen of the European Union is:

  • an EU citizen’s spouse 
  • parent, if it is an EU citizen under 21 years of age, who has such a child in actual custody
  • descendant under 21 years of age of an EU citizen or descendant of the spouse of an EU citizen 
  • descendant or ancestor of an EU citizen, or descendant or ancestor of the spouse of an EU citizen, who, as far as his/her basic needs are concerned, is dependent on support or other necessary  care provided by an EU citizen or his/her spouse or was dependent on support or other necessary care in the state of his/her origin or in the state where he/she had residence authorisation immediately before entering the Czech Republic. 
  • foreign national in one of the abovementioned relationships to a citizen of the Czech Republic having permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic.

After 2.8.2021, a close family member of an EU citizen applying for residence permit is still, as before, required to present a valid travel document, a photograph, a health insurance certificate, proof of accommodation, a document confirming that they are a family member of an EU citizen,  and if needed, a proof of an EU citizen’s authorised residence in the territory of the Czech Republic. 

An extended family member of a citizen of the European Union is:

  • a relative of a citizen of the European Union or of a citizen of the Czech Republic having permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic, who
  1. in his/her country of origin, is supported by the above citizen of the European Union or citizen of the Czech Republic,
  2. in his/her country of origin, is a member of the household of the above citizen of the European Union or citizen of the Czech Republic, or
  3. whose serious health condition requires the personal care of the above citizen of the European Union or citizen of the Czech Republic, or
  • is in a duly documented permanent partner relationship with a citizen of the European Union or citizen of the Czech Republic having permanent residence in the Czech Republic.

Effective from 2.8.2021, an extended family member of a citizen of the European Union applying for residence permit, apart from presenting a valid travel document, a photograph, a health insurance certificate, proof of accommodation, a document confirming that they are a family member of an EU citizen,  and, if needed, a proof of an EU citizen’s authorised residence in the territory of the Czech Republic, is also required to submit a document confirming the total monthly income of the family after reunification and proof of travel medical insurance covering comprehensive health care for the entire duration of the family member’s stay.

6) Exchanging documents for biometric ones

Effective from 2.8.2021, documents containing biometric identifiers will be issued to all citizens of third countries, i.e., also to family members of EU citizens. 

All nonbiometric documents will expire on 3.8.2023. The exchange of current permits for new documents is performed free of charge.

It is recommended that the extended family members of EU citizens (see above) apply for the exchange of their existing documents by 31.8.2022 at the latest, since only this way will they maintain their status as close family members.

7) Specific changes for Citizens of the United Kingdom 

The UK citizens who have a confirmation of temporary residence or a permanent residence permit in the territory of the Czech Republic are required to exchange their current residence authorisation documents for new biometric documents  by 31.8.2022. The same obligation applies to family members of UK citizens who have authorised temporary or permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic.

The UK citizens who prove that they had residence authorisation for the territory of the Czech Republic up to and including 31.12.2020 can still apply for a registration certificate in the Czech Republic, i.e., they will continue to be governed by the provisions of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals applying to EU citizens. Nevertheless, their registration certificate will be issued in the form of a biometric residence permit valid for 5 years.

If you have any questions related to the amendment, please book an appointment for our legal counseling at +420 252 543 846. We will be happy to help you :-).