At the beginning of 2021, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union, which for many British citizens living in the Czech Republic brings several new restrictions and obligations. Forgetting about Brexit could mean deportation from the territory of the Czech Republic. If any of you have British citizenship, we encourage you to pay attention to the following content.
Stay in the Czech Republic
What obligations apply to British citizens depends primarily on whether he/she will come to the Czech Republic for the first time after December 31 (as a third-country national) or have previously stayed here and arrived in the Czech Republic as an EU citizen.
If British citizen has been a legal resident in the Czech Republic before December 31, the procedure depends on whether he holds a certificate of temporary or permanent residence. If none of these residence certificates is available, it is necessary to apply for it. A certificate of temporary residence permit is required if the British citizen has lived or intends to live in the Czech Republic for more than three months. On the contrary, it is possible to apply for a certificate of permanent residence permit if they have lived in the Czech Republic for at least five years (or two at a time if they are merged into an EU citizen). This will confirm that Briton’s stay in the Czech Republic before or during the transitional period of Brexit (which ends on December 31 this year) was legal. Thereafter, new biometric data must also be requested within one year of receipt of the confirmation. The Department of Asylum and Migration Policy should contact the foreigner himself and invite them to this procedure. Biometric data will be issued from the second half of 2021. After three to five years of permanent residence in the Czech Republic (including both the period before and after Brexit), British citizens can also apply for Czech citizenship, thus obtaining citizenship of the European Union.
Holders of a Residence Permit
If you already hold a certificate of temporary or permanent residence in the Czech Republic, you don’t have to apply for it again. According to the Ministry of the Interior, once you have the right to a residence permit in the Czech Republic, you cannot be stripped of it. A person who had a residence permit in the Czech Republic before January 1, 2021, does not have to worry about losing the permission because of Brexit. In the case of Britons who have a residence permit in the Czech Republic, however, they need to obtain new biometric data (the OAMP should contact them itself within the next year). After three to five years of permanent residence in the Czech Republic, you can also apply for Czech citizenship. In the case of Britons who had a residence permit here before January 1, as well as their family members, they may also continue to be employed here or may change employers. There will be no residence title for the British sent to the Czech Republic from January 1, and the Labor Office will therefore contact them, stating that it is necessary to apply for a work permit. The Ministry of the Interior recommends being active in this regard and submitting an application for a work permit to the relevant labour office before the end of the transitional period and not waiting for a call.
First Time in the Czech Republic
If you have not stayed in the Czech Republic for a long time until December 31, 2020 and you come here for the first time after the New Year, you cannot do it without applying for a long-term stay or visa, either for work, study, business, family reunification or others.
One of the last things to keep in mind is that after January 1, education acquired in Britain will be subject to the law on the acquisition of academic education and the law on the recognition of professional qualifications and other qualifications of nationals of the Member States of the European Union will no longer apply. Union and certain nationals of other States (Law on the recognition of professional qualifications).
New Insurance Cards
Due to Brexit, an obligation regarding insurance cards for British citizens is now necessary. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does not have to be valid from January 1, 2021. This does not directly concern employees, but, for example, their family members who live with them in the Czech Republic.
The British living in the Czech Republic permanently and those who are planning to move to the Czech Republic by December 31 this year will have lifelong rights to health care in the Czech Republic as they do now, which will apply as long as they are resident in the Czech Republic. This means that these people:
- will continue to receive state health care in the Czech Republic on the same basis as a Czech citizen
- will still be eligible for a Czech EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK
- however, there are many groups of people living and working in the EU who will have to register for the new European Civil Rights Card (CRA). This applies, for example to those applying for state pensions, students and others who are under the withdrawal agreement will continue to have access to healthcare.
Cases when you can currently apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC):
- if you receive a pension or support
- if you are family members of someone who is entitled to a pension or support
- if you are cross-border workers (ie people who work in one state and live in another) until December 31, 2020 if they continue to be cross-border workers in the host country
- if you are family members of someone considered to be a frontier worker
- if you are UK students studying in the EU until December 31, 2020
Is there anything you are unsure about? Do not hesitate to contact us or use our consultation service. For further information about Brexit follow our blog and subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss anything!
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