Getting a Residence Permit Now More Complicated For “Distant” Family Members, Unmarried Couples

Are you planning on coming to Czechia on a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen? Unfortunately, with the recent immigration law amendment, this has become more complicated. It is now necessary to distinguish between so-called “close” and “distant” family members. And distant family members will have to adhere to tougher conditions to get this residence permit.


The unification of unmarried couples has become more complicated.

The unification of unmarried couples has become more complicated.


Close v. distant family members

A temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen is a popular way of getting to Czechia. This is because getting this permit includes many benefits as opposed to e.g. an employee card.

However, from August 2021, it is necessary to distinguish between “close” and “distant” family members due to the new immigration law amendment

The close family members category now only includes spouses (married and registered couples) and children under 21 years of age. It also includes parents, but only if the Czech/EU citizen provably needs them to take care of him/her

Nothing has changed when it comes to this category. 

However, things are now different for the so-called distant family members category, which now covers all of the other “extended” family members, including siblings, parents, grandparents, etc. More importantly, this category now also includes unmarried couples.

This kind of residence permit is now issued for 3 years only.


Unification now more difficult

Conditions for getting ​​a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen have become tougher for distant family members. Those applying for one have to adhere to one of the following:

  • Be registered as “unprovided for”/”without means” in the origin country or share a household with the EU citizen in Czechia (not necessarily physically, but you have to provably share financial responsibilities, bills, etc.)
  • Caring for you must be urgent rather than it being a long-term issue and once you arrive to Czechia, the EU citizen must provably take care of you.
  • You have to be in a long-lasting romantic partnership (more on this below)


Unmarried couples 

Are you in a romantic relationship with an EU citizen and wish to apply for a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen? Then it is indeed necessary to prove that you are in a long-lasting romantic partnership with your girlfriend/boyfriend. 

How? You need to submit a so-called CV to the Ministry of the Interior, in which you explain your situation and also ask the authority to do an interview with you.

As has already been mentioned, if you’re in a long-distance relationship and don’t live under one roof, it is necessary to prove in the CV that you “share a household” in a metaphorical way – e.g. by demonstrating that you share financial responsibilities, have a dog together, share a car, etc.


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Sufficient funds and health insurance

When it comes to distant family members, it is also necessary to prove that you will have sufficient regular income after unification for 3 prior months.

If you’re coming to Czechia with the intention of getting a job. You can also submit your work contract (which includes information about wages) and then apply for a 3-month extension (to be able to adhere to that 3-month condition).

You also need to submit confirmation of health insurance for the entire duration of your stay

OUR TIP: It is much cheaper and more advantageous to first become a participant in public health insurance. You can do that by coming to Czechia on an employee card.


What else has changed for “distant” family members

  • If your application is denied, you no longer have a protective time limit to leave the Czech Republic. You have to leave right away.
  • You can no longer apply for a permanent residence permit after 2 years already
  • You can no longer apply for entry visas at the border (e.g. at the airport)
  • You can no longer apply for a temporary residence permit as a part of your exit order, short-term visa, or Schengen visa (if you want to come to the Czech Republic on a Schengen visa anyway, you will have to present evidence about your relationship already when you apply for this visa)

Interested in applying for a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen? Are you unsure about which conditions apply to you? Fear not, because we are here to make things clear and help you every step of the way

Contact your local Foreigners office and explain your situation. We will do our best to make sure that you can unify with your partner in the Czech Republic.

Article sources: Laws for people, MOI, EU Parliament directive, MFA
Photo source: RODNAE productions, Pexels

Tereza Walsbergerová

Hello! I'm Tereza and I'm a wordsmith and literature nerd from Brno. Although I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, I know all too well from my time living in Texas what it's like to be a "stranger in a strange land." I am excited to share all kinds of information with y'all!

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