Many foreigners who settle in the Czech Republic eventually start a family and become parents. But of course, having a baby is not the same in every country and there are further steps you need to take if you become a parent abroad. Are you about to be a new mum or dad in Czechia but you’re feeling confused about how everything works? In this special article, we’ll touch on all the important parts from pregnancy and birth to the baby’s residential status and health insurance.
If one of the baby’s parents is a Czech citizen, the baby automatically becomes one too.
Getting through pregnancy safe and sound
If you’re a foreigner in the Czech Republic and you or your partner become pregnant, it’s good to know your rights and obligations. That way, you can make sure everything goes smoothly and – most importantly – without any stress.
If you’re the one who’s pregnant, remember that there is no law telling you that you have to announce it to your employer. As Aperio – a non-profit center for pregnancy and parenthood – explain on their website, announcing your pregnancy to your boss is completely up to you. Just remember that until you’ve announced your pregnancy at work, you can’t use any of the protections and benefits that are guaranteed to pregnant women in the workplace. These include for example no overtime and no night shifts.
Giving birth without stress
If everything goes smoothly, you have the freedom of choice about where to give birth. You can go to a hospital, a birth house (community center), or have your baby at home. All of these options guarantee access to health care (if you have public health insurance or your private health insurance covers it).
You also have the right to have your partner present at birth (WITHOUT paying a fee) and you can choose your birth attendant (doula) as the main provider of your health care during your pregnancy, birth, and the time after.
Once your baby’s born, the hospital/birth center/health professional will notify the local birth register. They will issue the baby’s birth certificate.
If one of the official parents of the baby is a Czech citizen, your child will automatically get Czech citizenship. Your baby might also have a right to dual citizenship depending on your/your partner’s origin country’s rules.
If your child is born a citizen of another country (e.g. your origin country), make sure to contact your embassy in the Czech Republic and apply for his/her passport or have him/her written into your passport.
If you and your partner aren’t married, make sure to declare the other parent on the baby’s birth certificate in the registry office or in court, so all of the above goes smoothly.
Baby’s residential status
If neither of you is a Czech citizen, but at least one of you is an EU citizen, you don’t need to apply for residency for your baby. However, it is better to apply for it if you’re planning on living in Czechia.
If neither of you is a Czech citizen and you’re both from third (non-EU) countries, however, you must apply for the baby’s residence. You will apply at the Foreign Police if you’re here on a short-term visa and at the Ministry of the Interior if you’re here on a long-term visa or residence permit.
This must be done within 60 days after the baby’s birth. The baby’s residential status will copy the residential status of one of his/her parents. E.g. if both parents are here on a long-term residence permit, the baby needs to apply for the same.
You get to choose which of the parents’ visa/residency to apply for. Make sure it is the one more beneficial for the baby (e.g. if one of you has permanent residency, it makes sense to choose it for the baby as it is the best type of residency after citizenship).
When applying for residency for your baby (either at the Foreign Police or the Ministry of the Interior), one of the parents needs to be present in person. You need to pay a fee stamp, and bring the baby’s birth certificate, the baby’s passport (of yours, if the baby has been written in), and (if necessary) confirmation of health insurance (more on this below).
Baby’s first health insurance
If one of the parents of your baby is a Czech citizen or if one of you has permanent residency, your baby automatically “inherits” this residency. Therefore, he/she becomes covered by public health insurance. Similarly, if one of the baby’s parents is an EU citizen employed (or self-employed) in the Czech Republic, the baby is also covered.
In other cases, the baby will need to be covered by private health insurance:
- If your baby inherits a short-term or long-term visa, you need to purchase travel health insurance for them (or an honorable declaration that you’ll cover the baby’s health costs).
- If your baby inherits your long-term residence permit, you need to purchase comprehensive health insurance for them.
You have to purchase (travel of comprehensive) insurance for the baby once you’ve been released from the hospital. You will need it to apply for the baby’s residency.
From August 2021, if you’re in Czechia on a long-term residence permit (e.g. employee card), your baby is covered by public health insurance until the end of the month in which he/she reaches 60 days of life. You have to notify the insurance company within 8 days of the baby’s life. And once the limit of 60 days has been reached, you need to have purchased comprehensive health insurance for your baby.
NOTE: There are more exceptions – some countries may have a bi-lateral contract with Czechia regarding a baby’s insurance. Make sure to call your embassy and double-check what the conditions are for your specific country before you purchase anything.
Are you about to have a baby in the Czech Republic, but you’re feeling lost in all the rules? Not sure how to apply for your offspring’s residence permit? We’re here for you! Contact your local Foreigners office and we’ll help you with everything.