Coronavirus in Czechia: Changes in Arrivals of non-EU Citizens

Are you a student from a non-EU country and not sure if you will be allowed to enter the country for next semester starting in September 2020? Can you leave the Czech Republic for the summer holidays and come back? And what about those who are already back in their homeland? Once the COVID-19 pandemic spread into the Czech Republic, everything came to a halt and borders were closed so no one could get in or out without a good reason. And even then travelling was essentially impossible for a couple of weeks. Now there are updates regarding the arrivals of foreigners from non-EU countries and extensions of long-term residence permits.

Arrivals of foreigners

While the borders of the Czech Republic are now largely open to EU citizens, people from the third countries (that is non-EU countries) can’t get into the country as easily as the EU citizens. There is one new change that makes things easier, though: In order to be allowed into the Czech Republic, the foreigners who are not holders of a residence permit or visa can now use the bridging visa instead. This visa can be obtained at a Ministry of the Interior office only after submitting the application for the residence permit extension or when applying for an exchange of a long-term visa for the long-term residence. They need to make an appointment before the visit and produce a copy of their plane or train ticket.

Many of the foreigners studying here in the Czech Republic are leaving the country for the summer holiday. So the validity of the bridging visa has always been adapted to the holiday period which means that in most of the Ministry of the Interior’s offices it is issued for three months or more by default. However, if some office decides to issue labels for a shorter period, it most likely has the right to do so, because the length of validity of the bridging visa should correspond to the expected time of the administrative proceedings.

Those who are still abroad and have applied for the extension, but didn’t ask for the bridging visa to be stamped in their passport before leaving the Czech Republic and their residence permit has already expired, cannot return to the Czech Republic as they do not have either a valid residence permit card or a valid (bridging) visa in their passport. In that case, they have the option of applying for a DV/R type of visa, if the Czech embassy in their country is open.

If there is no open embassy in the foreign students’ country of origin, then it is not possible for them to return to the Czech Republic differently than by arriving with the bridging visa affixed in the Czech Republic before departure. 

 

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Long-term residence permits extensions

Expats from non-EU countries can now also extend their long-term residence permits via mail instead of having to do this in person. This means that they do not have to be present in the Czech Republic, and it only applies in case they don’t change the purpose of the type of their residence permit. Meaning that expats can’t exchange, for example, their visa for a long-term residence permit and so on.

Now, what can the Foreigners company do for you? When it comes to the residence permits extensions for foreigners from non-EU countries, they can simply grant one of our experts power of attorney. This expert will submit the application for you. It is likely, though, the extension won’t be approved by the end of August (or a different month depending on the date of applying for the extension) which might be a complication especially for foreign students. This means that the foreigner interested in having their residence permit extended will need to arrive during August (or a different month depending on the residence permit’s validity) to pick up the biometric card. Those students who will decide to go through the process with us will, therefore, have to arrive one month before the academic year starts, but this will also save them money on travelling.

In order to be allowed into the Czech Republic, the foreigners who are not holders of a residence permit or visa can now use the bridging visa instead.

An example: A student from Turkey needs to extend their long-term residence because it expires on August  31, 2020.

Scenario no. 1: Since the student doesn’t want to fly to the Czech Republic only to apply for its extension, they will contact us and grant one of our Expat & Immigration Consultants (ECs) a power of attorney. This EC will arrange everything for them, apply for the residence permit extension during July (the sooner we are contacted, the sooner our EC can put in the application), but it won’t be approved until the end of August. So they will arrive during August (they can stay as long as their residence permit is still valid) and they’ll wait until their application is approved. After that, they’ll do their biometrics here and pick up their new biometric card. They will already be staying here in the Czech Republic one month before the academic year starts but won’t have to spend so much money on travelling.

Scenario no. 2: The student doesn’t mind travelling, and so they’ll decide to submit their application in person while we only help them with their documentation. This means they will arrive in the Czech Republic before the expiry date of their residency permit to apply for the residence permit extension, get the bridging visa and return to Turkey. They won’t care when the application for their residence permit extension is approved. Instead, they’ll have to remember when the bridging visa expires and then return to the Czech Republic before the date of its expiry.

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Scenario no. 3: The student doesn’t want to go to the Czech Republic so early and prefers to stay in their country of origin. They will grant one of our ECs the power of attorney, and the EC will submit the application for them. For this to be feasible, it is necessary that the Czech Embassy in the student’s country of origin is already open, because once the original residency permit expires, the student will need a visa to be able to come to the Czech Republic when the application for extension is approved. The student will then have to apply for the DV/R visa (long-term visa for the purpose of collecting residence permit) at the Czech embassy. Once this is done, they’ll just arrive in the Czech Republic to finish the process.

So if you know, you need to have your residence permit extended don’t hesitate to contact us and save money and time!

If you don’t want to miss out on any important news, subscribe to our newsletter mapping the current coronavirus situation, and don’t forget to check this blog. To stay updated, you can also follow us on Facebook (where we live-stream on immigration topics on a regular basis) and on Instagram.

Source of the photo: Pixabay.com

Anna Minjaríková

Anna Minjaríková

Hello, readers! My job is to provide you with some interesting tips and useful information about all the things Czech. ♫ I'll be there for you! ♫

14 thoughts on “Coronavirus in Czechia: Changes in Arrivals of non-EU Citizens

  1. Hi Anna
    Hope you are doing well,
    I have completed five years of continuous stay in Czech republic. What are the current processing timelines for permanent residency application ? I know the theoretical timeline are 60 days from the date of application, but would like to know the practical timelines based on your experience so i can decide whether to apply for a bridging visa or apply for trvaly pobyt ?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Chitu,

      thank you very much for reaching out to us! We are all doing quite well and hope that so are you!

      As for your question: I recommend you write an email with the question and name of the Czech city you live in to info@foreigners.cz. My colleagues will soon get in touch with you with more details 🙂

      Kind regards,

      Anna

  2. What if I have a visa – work permit that is expiring on August 15th but I cannot yet travel as I am waiting for my daughter’s family reunification approval which we applied on 3rd Dec 2019 but still no feedback, how can I be assisted? Lucy from Kenya

    1. Hello Lucy,

      if the Czech Embassy in Kenya is already open, then the scenario no. 3 should apply to you (even if you’re not a student). However, I recommend you send an email with your question to info@foreigners.cz. My colleagues will contact you with more details as soon as possible 🙂

      Kind regards,

      Anna

  3. Hello. My visa is expiring on 6th September and i am currently not in Prague. I am Macedonian and I need to extend my visa this summer. If I want to extend the visa with your help, will I need to send you the documents by post or just by email?

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Natali,

      Thank you for reaching out to us! It is necessary for you to send us the documents via post since it’s always the original documents that are required for these purposes.

      Kind regards,

      Anna

  4. Hi Good morning, Student holding Valid student visa is planning to travel via connection flight from a EU member. If immigration officer asks, can the student show any reference document which says that students with residence visa is allowed to enter Prague? Will you please advise where we can find this ref document from the govt?

  5. Hi, I’m an international student I have a bridge visa and have applied for the long term visa. In July I left Czech Republicto travel to my home country.

    My bridge visa expires on October 31st and my university would start it’s classes on September 29th. I haven’t yet received any descision on my long term visa. Will I be allowed to enter Czech Republic if I travel in October? OR is there a specific rule for when I can enter the country depending on the expiration date.

    1. Hi Heba,

      as far as I know, it should be possible. However, I recommend you schedule a consultation or contact my colleagues at info@foreigners.cz. They’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.

      Kind regards,

      Anna

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