With the coronavirus pandemic, traveling between countries has become more complicated. When you add the official withdrawal of the UK from the EU in December 2020, you get a real mind-blowing mix of rules and conditions. However, despite the fact that the UK officially stepped out of the EU, the main priority is to protect the right of those who moved abroad for work or study. Read the following article to find out the latest updates on this issue.
As the agreements between the EU and the UK have been finally arranged, important information for interested citizens is being released. First of all, it is crucial to say that the rights remain the same for the UK citizens and their family members who resided in the Czech Republic before the end of the transition period (see the withdrawal agreement below) and will continue to live here thereafter as well. However, it is necessary to prove legal residence status in the Czech Republic.
The withdrawal agreement
The withdrawal agreement served for the time of the transition period until the end of 2020. It applied both to you and your family members and guaranteed the continuity of the same rights before the UK withdrawal from the EU. So, it was possible to continue to live, study, work, and travel freely between the UK and the EU. The withdrawal agreement involves both EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens who moved to one of the countries in the EU during the transition period.
As mentioned before, this document also applies to family members, such as current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and a person in an existing durable relationship. In practice, it means that members of your family living abroad are able to visit you for more than 3 months (90 days).
However, you, as a person who continues to live in the Czech Republic, would have to demonstrate that you lived here before January 1, 2021. This is where the permanent resident permit comes into place.
Temporary and permanent residence permit
As of January 31, 2021, UK citizens cannot be considered EU citizens. Moreover, the Withdrawal Agreement does not cover UK citizens coming to the Czech Republic after 31 December 2020. Yet, you have the right to live in the Czech Republic regardless of whether you’ve lived here before the beginning of 2021 (January 1) or not.
Those UK citizens, who have been long-term residents in the Czech Republic have 2 document options confirming their previous residence:
- Certificate of temporary residence (for citizens who intend to stay longer than 3 months)
- Permanent residence permit (for citizens residing in the Czech Republic for more than 5 years)
A permanent permit is free to obtain (under the condition that the applicant requests the document by himself) and it is valid for 10 years. In this period of time, you do not have to deal with any other documents.
The Ministry of the Interior states that a permanent residence permit can be requested even after the transition period (December 31, 2020), however, a longer examination process of these applications should be expected.
In regards to traveling between the UK and the Czech Republic, a permanent permit constitutes the most useful document. If you travel outside of the Czech Republic (and within the EU) and the length of your stay exceeds 90 days, you will be asked to give evidence of your residence in the Czech Republic before January 1, 2021 (before the transition period) upon your return to the country.
That is where a permanent permit comes in handy; with this document, you simply show it to the relevant offices to prove your residence in the Czech Republic.
That being said, bear in mind that the UK citizens might not be allowed to enter the Czech Republic due to the EU coordination on temporary travel restrictions from third countries to EU+, only justified cases may enter the Czech territory.
Newcomers of 2021
- UK citizens traveling to the Czech Republic after 31 December 2020 will fall into the third country citizens’ category.
- UK newcomers coming after the transition period (31 December 2020) will be allowed to travel to the EU visa-free for stays of 90 days and over according to the EU regulation no. 2018/1806.
- If newcomers (both expats and students) stay longer than 90 days, a standard national procedure for third-country national will come into effect (apply either for a long-term visa or long-term residence)
- family reunification is possible according to the standard rules for third-country nationals
To summarise this, if you want to travel between the Czech Republic and the UK, the document of permanent residence permit is sufficient. The most important benefit of this document is that you do not have to carry with you any other documents such as lease agreement, student confirmation letter, employment contract, etc. (don’t forget that you still need a valid passport).
The Ministry of the Interior urges UK citizens to pay attention to these other issues related to the stay in the Czech Republic, such as:
- Health insurance
- Job market access
- Social benefits
- Recognition of qualifications
- Financial issue
Also, there are different conditions for new expats and students coming to the Czech Republic after December 31, 2021. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. We are here to support you!