While the free movement in the European Union has been already largely restored, lots of other countries remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a great complication for many people. In the Czech Republic, this poses a significant problem especially for those foreigners whose visa has expired after March 12 and who can stay in the country only until July 16 but at the same time cannot return to their country of origin.
How to proceed if your visa has expired
Foreign nationals whose visa has expired after March 12, have to leave the country by July 16, otherwise, they’ll be staying in the Czech Republic illegally. Those people who cannot for objective reasons yet return to their country of origin (for example the country’s borders are closed shut, the flights haven’t been resumed, and so on) might be, however, allowed to stay in the Czech Republic until the initial problem is resolved.
To be able to do so, they must report at a Foreign Police Office with evidence (such as a confirmation from the embassy that the country is still closed or that a plane will be sent for them at a certain date) or a ticket for the nearest possible date of the next flight by July 16. The Foreign Police will give them a so-called Departure order which is also issued for those foreigners who need to transit through different European countries (they need to leave the country within the next 24 hours).
Foreigners who will report after July 16 or not at all, will be staying in the Czech Republic illegally as mentioned in the previous paragraph. For this reason, it is highly advised that all foreigners in this situation report at the nearest Foreign Police Office as soon as possible to avoid problems with the police.
If you need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! By the way, let us know and get your residence permit as soon as possible to be safe in the future in case the pandemic returns. Having a residence permit is the best way of making sure you’ll be able to return to the Czech Republic even if the borders are closed again.
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Sources of the information: Ministry of the Interior (UPDATE, July 21: The document was removed from the Ministry’s website)
Source of the image: Unsplash.com