The Czech government amended the law about foreigners living in Czechia, valid from 2 August 2021. These changes include for example the obligation to purchase comprehensive health insurance solely from the insurance company PVZP for the first five years of their stay, the renaming of a residence permit document for EU citizens, administration fees of 200 CZK for residence permits and their extensions, and new identification documents for third-country citizens containing biometric data.
Important new changes will be valid from 2 August.
From 2 August, every foreigner intending to stay in Czechia for longer than 90 days must purchase comprehensive health insurance within 90 days after his/her arrival. For the first 5 years, you can only purchase this insurance from PVZP (version Plus or Exclusive).
Who does NOT need to purchase this insurance:
- those covered by public health insurance
- those who have their healthcare covered by an international contract
- holders of the EHIC or GHIC card
Another change in foreigners’ health insurance in Czechia concerns children born in the Czech Republic to a mother with a long-term residence permit (e.g. employee card). Such a child is covered by public health insurance for a limited time only – until the end of the month in which the child reaches 60 days of their life. After this limit, parents must purchase comprehensive health insurance for the baby.
Residence permits for EU citizens to be renamed
The government has also changed the name of the residence permit for EU citizens. What was formerly known as a certificate of temporary residence will now be known as “osvědčení o registraci” (literally “a registration certificate” – we do not yet have an official English translation). The card will be equipped with biometric data and will look similar to the certificate of temporary residence you’re used to.
Those who have a valid certificate of temporary residence may keep using it until its expiration date and do not need to exchanged it before this date.
Immediate and extended family of an EU citizen
The law amendment now also differentiates between the immediate and extended family of an EU citizen.
Immediate family members are understood to be the:
- spouses (husband/wife)
- parents (if an EU citizen below 21 is being cared for by them)
- children below 21 or children of a spouse of an EU citizen below 21
- children or ancestors of a spouse (husband/wife) of an EU citizen (if the person is dependent on an EU citizen)
- foreigners who are tied in one of these ways to a Czech citizen
Extended family members are understood to be:
- relatives of an EU citizen or a Czech citizen with permanent residency in Czechia who are:
- recognised in their mother country as people being dependent on them
- from the same household as them
- suffering from serious health issues that require them to dependent on them
- in a lasting romantic partnership with them (needs to be proven)
Good to know about extended family members
From 2 August 2021, extended family members are obligated to attach a confirmation of a monthly income of the family after reunification as well as a confirmation about having comprehensive health insurance for the entire stay.
Administration fees of 200 CZK
There have also been some changes concerning administration fees foreigners in Czechia must pay to the state when applying for various residence permits and extensions. Newly, you will need to pay this fee of 200 CZK for your:
- application for a residence permit for EU citizens (now known as a registration certificate)
- application for a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen
- application for an extension of a residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen
- application for a permanent residence permit for EU citizen and a family member of an EU citizen
You can only pay these fees through a revenue stamp. The Ministry of the Interior WILL NOT be accepting cash or card payments.
New identification documents
From 2 August, all third-country citizens will be issued new identification documents containing biometric data. This includes family members of EU citizens.
Family members of EU citizens who are not EU citizens themselves are obligated to switch to these new documents by 3 August 2023. Exchanging these documents is free of charge.
If this family member is an extended family member, it is recommended he or she exchanges this document earlier – by 31 August 2022.
Information for British citizens
Citizens of the United Kingdom who have in the past been issued a certificate of temporary residence or permanent residence permit also need to exchange their documents for the new biometric documents – by 31 August 2022.
Their family members who hold temporary or permanent residence permits in Czechia in the past have to do the same. They should also exchange their documentation by 31 August 2022.
British citizens who can prove that they legally resided in Czechia before 31 December 2020 can continue applying for registration certificates (formerly known as certificates of temporary residence) as they are still to be taken as EU citizens in this context.
However, their registration certificate biometric document will be valid for 5 years.
Are you confused about all these changes? Would you like to apply for a residence permit in Czechia but aren’t sure how to go about it? Get in touch with us and we will take care of things for you. In the meantime, keep an eye on our blog and Twitter for updates concerning new immigration laws.