In the last couple of weeks, we have released articles about changes regarding the coronavirus pandemic. As changes are constantly being made to the gradual lifting of the previously introduced restrictions, it is difficult to stay up to date with the most recent news, which is why we made this summary in which you’ll find all the important information plus some other news.
Who can now arrive in the Czech Republic?
From May 11, family members of Czech or EU citizens can enter the country even if they don’t have a residence permit. Instead, they must submit the following documents:
- Their own ID card
- A copy of identification card of the Czech citizen or a copy of temporary or permanent residence permit of the EU citizen, on which the family members reunite
OR (if the relative doesn’t have a residence permit in Czechia) one of the following documents:
- Original lease agreement
- A document from the foreign police proving that the relative they’re asking to be reunified with has been living in the Czech Republic (if the lease agreement can’t be submitted; however, keep in mind that this may differ depending on the particular city)
AND any of the following documents:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage or registered partnership certificate
- Other documents proving family relation (in case of dependent grandparents)
- Document proving the dependency on nutrition or necessary care (e.g. comprehensive medical report of the state of the foreign patient, bank statements of EU citizen proving the transfer of financial resources for basic needs)
Please, keep in mind that this only applies to:
- children below the age of 21
- parents of children below the age of 21
- parents, grandparents or descendants dependent on sustenance or other necessary
care provided by a Czech or EU citizen
It is not only the family members of Czech and EU citizens who can enter the country. Non-EU citizens with a valid visa or a residence permit can also arrive in the Czech Republic. If they don’t produce the negative test for COVID-19 within the next 72 hours, they’ll have to undergo a mandatory 14-days quarantine and won’t be allowed to use the public transportation (more on that topic later in this article).
Third-country nationals who have resided in the Czech Republic before and want to return can enter the country if they have one of the following documents:
- long-term visa
- long-term or permanent residence permit
- temporary residence permit (only for family members of CZ/EU citizens) valid before March 12, 2020
From May 18, family members of third-country nationals can also enter the Czech Republic. In order to be allowed into the country they need:
- long-term visa in order to receive the residence authorization (D/VR)
- long-term family visa valid after 12. 03. 2020
This, however, only applies to spouses and children below the age of 18!
People entering the country for the first time can arrive only if they produce a negative test for COVID-19 upon their arrival.
The government’s decision on letting EU citizens return to the Czech Republic without having a residence permit still remains in place. To be allowed into the country they need an ID card, purchase contract or lease or sublease agreement, plus one additional valid document proving the reason for their arrival into the country.
This document can be:
- confirmation of study in the Czech Republic
- confirmation of employment in the Czech Republic for the duration of more than 90 days (this doesn’t have to be a work contract, a document issued by the employer especially for the purpose of getting back to the Czech Republic can also serve as evidence)
- Czech trade license/business owner or a similar certificate
People who can’t provide their purpose of stay can instead produce a health insurance card issued by a Czech health insurance company.
Another important news is that all foreigners will be allowed to stay in the Czech Republic until July 17 even if their visa or residence permit expires during the state of emergency. These people won’t have to contact the Czech foreign police to have their visas or residence permits extended.
This does not mean, however, that their visas and residence permits will be prolonged automatically. Those expats who intend to stay in the country even after July 17 and need assistance with the extension process can contact us here.
This, however, doesn’t include the employee and blue card holders – these people need to apply for their residence permits to be extended in time.
More detailed information on this topic can be found in this article.
Business trips of up to 72 hours are now also allowed.
If you finish your job in the Czech Republic during the current state of emergency or 60 days before that (before March 13) and you are changing the employer we have good news for you. Newly, you have 60 days from the end of the state of emergency (May 17 currently) to find a new job that will allow you to notify a change of employer at MOI office. Find more details here (UPDATE, May 20: The document was removed from the Ministry’s website).
COVID-19 tests for self payers
Those who need to produce a negative test for COVID-19 to be allowed to enter the country or just want to know whether they’re healthy can get tested even if they’re not experiencing any symptoms related to the coronavirus. In this case, they will, however, need to pay for the test themselves – the cost depends on each hospital or clinic and type of the test (the cost can be1 674 CZK max. as the government recently decided).
Those interested in returning to the country can avoid the mandatory 14-days quarantine by either producing a negative test upon their arrival or by undergoing this test in 72 hours from their arrival. If they don’t produce a negative test for COVID-19 upon their arrival, or get tested in the Czech Republic within the next 72 hours, not only they’ll be quarantined for 14 days, they also won’t be allowed to use public transportation, trains, and taxi services.
Czech embassies and consulates accepting visa applications again
As you might know, accepting new visa applications was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – for that reason, it was not possible to apply for a visa and new applicants were immediately rejected. On May 11 the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Czech diplomatic offices in 20 countries have resumed accepting applications for visas and temporary stays, which may be granted for work (seasonal workers or people employed here via Ministry of Industry and Trade’s program) or family reunification at 28 Czech embassies and consulates across the world. List of all countries and embassies that started accepting new applications again and other details can be found on the Ministry’s website.
Wearing face masks will be no longer mandatory
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Czech Republic became one of the main promoters of using face masks. Since the situation keeps developing favorably, wearing face masks outdoors will no longer be mandatory from May 25. It will, however, be still mandatory to wear them when using public transport, shopping, or staying in indoor areas in general. People living in the Czech Republic have had to use them since March 18.
What might change in the near future?
While the pandemic situation in the Czech Republic is gradually getting better, experts warn that with the countermeasures and restrictions being lifted it is also possible that the numbers of newly infected people will start growing again. The Czech government has already announced that if the reproduction number crosses 1, it will react by slowing down easing the previously introduced restrictions, which also includes reopening borders with the neighboring countries and traveling in general. Not only that: there is also a chance that the coronavirus might return in fall, hitting possibly even harder. For this reason, we recommend you use the time you have now and apply for a residence permit as soon as possible because it could be your only chance for being able to travel to and from the Czech Republic in this case. If you would like our professional assistance, feel free to contact us here!
If you don’t want to miss out on any important news, subscribe to our daily 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 Instagram.
Oh, and one last important thing: Our offices in Brno, Prague, Olomouc, Pilsen, and Hradec Králové are open again. Let us know and get your residence permit as soon as possible!
Sources of the information: Ministry of the Interior, document I and II (UPDATE, June 1: The documents were removed from the Ministry’s website)
Sources of the photos: Pexels.com and Pixabay.com
Updated on May 19, according to the latest news