#LifeInCzechia Have you relocated to the Czech Republic on the basis of your partnership or marriage? If so, you should know that your permit is dependent on your relationship with your partner or spouse. Therefore, your permit automatically becomes invalid In case of a breakup or a divorce. Which permits and visas does this involve? And what to do if this happens to you? Find out in the following article.
If you don’t report the end of your relationship, your case may even go to the courts.
Temporary residence permit of a family member of an EU citizen
If you’re “tying” yourself to your EU/Czech spouse or partner, you’re not alone, as this way of relocating to Czechia is very popular. It is also very beneficial as opposed to, for example, employee cards.
One of these advantages is that you have free access to the job market. In other words, you can apply for any kind of job in Czechia without worrying about acquiring extra permits.
Our tip: You can even apply for jobs before your application has been approved as this type of permit involves something called “fiction”.
Long-term residence permit/visa
You can also tie yourself to your partner through long-term permits, such as a long-term residence permit for the purpose of family reunification (code 95–98), a long-term residence permit for family purposes (code 17–20), and a long-term visa for family purposes. These are for all those of you who are reunifying with a family member who isn’t an EU/Czech citizen and has a valid permit here, e.g. employee card or blue card.
These three types of permits differ mainly in access to the job market:
- In the case of long-term visa for family purposes, you do NOT have free access to the job market. If you want to work, you have to apply for Work Permit at the Labour Office.
- In the case of long-term residence permit for family purposes, you do NOT have free access to the job market and you CANNOT acquire it. If you’d like to become employed by a Czech employer, you need to apply for a different kind of permit, e.g. employee card.
- In the case of a long-term residence permit for the purpose of family reunification, you have FREE ACCESS to the job market.
Are you breaking up or divorcing?
As you may have guessed, all types of these permits and visas tie to your relationship with your spouse or partner. Thus, if this relationship ends, your permit ceases to be valid. You will no longer be fulfilling the purpose of your residency and so you have to make steps to acquire a new residence permit or visa.
Good to know:
- If you have a temporary residence permit, it is important to know whether you’re a close or distant family member. If you’re a distant family member, it means that your permit ceases to be valid once you and your partner break up.
- If you’re a close family member, you are probably tied to your spouse. In that case, there are some cases in which you can keep your permit. For example, if your marriage lasted at least 3 years and the EU citizen had a valid residence permit in Czechia for at least one year.
When it comes to the long-term residence permit for the purposes of family reunification, your permit ceases to be valid when you divorce.
As a third-country citizen, you have the right to apply for a residence permit for another purpose, but ONLY if you’ve been living in Czechia for at least 2 years before the divorce and the marriage lasted at least 5 years. You can find the details on the MOI website. If you have children, it is a good idea to at this point tie yourself to them instead of your spouse.
Reporting all changes
In both cases, it is necessary to report your breakup or divorce to the MOI. You have to do this within 15 working days (if you’re a family member of an EU citizen) or within 3 working days (for the rest of you). Divorce becomes valid as of the date when it was written in court.
If you can’t figure out a different kind of residence permit, the MOI will send you a decision about the cancellation of the validity of your residence permit for the reason of not fulfilling the purpose of your stay. After this, you have to leave Czechia within the time frame given to you by the MOI.
“What if I simply don’t report it?”
Of course, if you don’t report a breakup, the authorities have no way of finding out. However, from our experience, it can still come out. Every foreigner must report all changes of state and address to the MOI, which means they can find out this way. Additionally, you can be visited by the foreign police who will want to verify that you are still living together.
If you lie about the state of your relationship, your case can go to the courts and you may endanger your stay in the Czech Republic. DO NOT RISK THIS.
Have you broken up or divorced and are in a need of a new residence permit? Are you unsure about your options? We’re here for you! Simply contact your local Foreigners office and one of our Expat & Immigration consultants will take care of your case.
2 thoughts on “The (Dis)Advantages of Relocating to Czechia Through Marriage or Partnership”
HI,I would like to know if you’re a temporary residence holder as a (distant family member ) but u stayed in the relationship for 5 years with ur partner and also eligible to apply for a permanent residence, My question is If you’re granted a permanent residence after 5 years of being a distant family member, will the permanent residence permit still tied to your partner? if u broke up it will cease like temporary residence?
Hi, thanks for your question! The permanent residence will not cease, it is not tied to your partner in this case. Just beware in case you have been studying here – 1 school year counts as half a year when speaking about residence permits (so if you have been staying and studying here for 5 years, it actually counts for 2,5 years of residence).