#ImmiUpdatesCzechia Are you a Ukrainian refugee? It’s 2023 and that means your Temporary Protection visa is about to expire. But no worries, this visa can now be extended until 31 March 2024 thanks to the new Lex Ukraine amendment. How and when to extend your visa? And how to find out which visa you have? Read on.
You can find all the information about your visa in the passport.
How to find out which visa you have?
If you’re not sure about which visa you have, all you need is to look into your passport. These are the different types:
- Original Temporary Protection visa – code D/DO/667, 668, 669
- Repetitively issued Temporary Protection visa – issued to refugees who lost their original visa (e.g. because they decided to leave the territory or they opted to return to Ukraine and then changed their mind) – code D/DO/767-769
- Extended Temporary Protection – will be issued to refugees who have had their visa the whole time and now are just extending its validity – code D/DO/867-869 – these TPs will be valid until 31 March 2024
- Extended or new Special Sufferance Visa (originally code D/VS/U), issued under a new code – D/SD/91.
Extending your Special Sufferance Visa
Special Sufference Visa (issued to refugees who didn’t get Temporary Protection or didn’t apply for it) are extended automatically from 1 January 2023.
Do you have a Special Sufferance Visa? You don’t have to go anywhere or deal with anything. The Labour Office, Social Security and Health Insurance Companies will also be notified automatically.
If you’d like a new label in your passport, you can apply for it. However, you’ll have to make an appointment with the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) office either by phone or via online system. Caution: make sure to apply for a regular appointment rather than for the “Temporary Protection” one as it does not apply to you.
Additionally, you can now travel repeatedly outside of the Czech borders with this visa.
Extending your Temporary Protection
If you have Temporary Protection (TP), you’ll have to extend it actively and within a deadline.
All holders of TP who want to extend it must register via a new information portal by 31 March 2023. This date also applies to holders of TP who applied to it in the early stages of the war and whose visa expired even before 31 March 2023 (those were automatically extended until that date).
The registration portal will be launched on 30 January 2023. Please don’t panic if the website crashes on the first day. There will be a lot of people attempting to register so it is very likely. If the website doesn’t work, try again in a few days.
Step-by-step process of applying for extension
1) Register via a special INFORMATION PORTAL under the Ministry of the Interior. It will be launched on 30 January 2023 and will be in both Czech and Ukrainian. You’ll need one email address per adult family member to register on the portal.
2) You will receive a confirmation email with a link to a special form. This form needs to be filled out and submitted by 31 March 2023.
3) Information you’ll need to fill out in the form includes – name, surname, date of birth, phone number, sex, and your Czech address. You’ll also need your travel document and the number of your original visa.
If you don’t have a passport, you don’t need to fill out this box – just tick the “I don’t have a passport” box instead.
If you have an old passport without biometrics, also tick the “I don’t have a passport box”.
If you have a new passport you haven’t yet reported to the MOI, fill out the old passport number. If you don’t remember the number, tick the “I don’t have a passport” box.
4) Verification of 18+ individuals – in this step you’ll be able to add children or other individuals. You’ll need to fill our their basic info and also specify the relationship between the two of you (this relationship will need to be verified at your appointment, e.g. with a birth certificate). You can add up to 9 individuals in this step. If your child is included in your passport, please include the passport number with their name.
5) Choice of date and time of your appointment at the MOI – the MOI will offer you the earliest available appointments based on the number of individuals you registered and your location.
6) The registration is now finished. You should get a confirmation email within 60 minutes of submitting the form. Make sure to carefully save this email. You should also print it out in case something happens to your inbox.
Appointment at the MOI
Your appointment has to take place by 30 September 2023. Only individuals over 18 years of age can pick up their new passport labels. You cannot pick up someone else’s label using the power of attorney.
Children below 18 do not have to be present at this appointment. However, it’s better if they come along as the MOI would like to take their biometrics at this opportunity.
What to bring to the appointment: your biometric passport and your Temporary Protection documentation (either label in your passport or any other papers or stamps you have), declaration of accommodation or lease agreement (if you brought it to the MOI before June 2022), and a document proving the relationship between yourself and your children (see your registration confirmation email).
If you can’t make it to the appointment in person, you can ask for an exception. If you need to do this, please call the MOI information number.
CAUTION: You may change your appointment only once until 48 hours before your date. However, we do not recommend doing so as you’re risking not being able to register on time. If that happened, your Temporary Protection will expire.
Good to know: If you register online by 31 March 2023, you can freely travel within the Schengen area until 30 September 2023. The Czech Republic will let the other countries know.
What if your Temporary Protection expires
If you don’t take care of your extension within the law-appointed deadline, your Temporary Protection will expire. This means, you’ll automatically lose access to the job market. This will also affect your family members and dependents.
You will also lose your public insurance as well as your right to be a person “with no taxable income”. You’ll have to purchase Comprehensive Insurance for Foreigners.
IF YOU DO NOT REGISTER BY 31 MARCH ONLINE AND DO NOT MAKE IT TO YOUR MOI APPOINTMENT BY 30 SEPTEMBER, YOUR TEMPORARY PROTECTION WILL EXPIRE.
Stay tuned for news and detailed information about the life of refugees in Czechia by following us on social media – Instagram, Facebook. You can also subscribe to our newsletter.
Celý vládní návrh zákona najdete ZDE. O vývoji situace vás budeme informovat na našem LinkedInu a v měsíčním HR newsletteru.