The Government of the Czech Republic declared state of emergency on the whole territory of the Czech Republic for 30 days as of as of 13th March 2020 from 14:00 followed by nationwide quarantine announced from March 16th 0:00 until March 24th 6:00. Preventive measures and restrictions were introduced in order to stop spreading of the SARS CoV-2 virus aka coronavirus and many of them affect life of expats living and working on the territory of the Czech Republic. We prepared list of questions that we receive most frequently now.
- My residence permit is expiring soon, what should I do?
In case you are applying for an extension of a residence permit (i.e. you have the same purpose, you just need to extend the permit), you can send it by registered post. However, if due to current situation you are not able to submit it by post, as long as you were staying in CZ legally as of March 12th, your legal stay will be extended for the duration of the state of emergency. You are obliged to file the application within 5 business days from the day the state of emergency is ended.
- I need to change purpose of stay and apply for a new residence permit; can I send it by post?
In case you need to change purpose of stay (e.g. from studies to employment), you need to file it in person. This is currently not possible during the state of emergency. You are allowed to stay in CZ based on your current visa/residence permit and once the state of emergency is lifted, you should file the application in person in a MOI office within 5 business days.
EDIT (March 24, 2020): According to information published on MOI webpage, it is possible to submit such application by post in case your residence permit or deadline to file application is expiring during the state of emergency. In case you are submitting application for a long-term residence, such application will be considered as if it was submitted in person.
In case you plan to file an application for permanent residence, you can wait until the state of emergency ends, as there is no deadline to file such an application. Other option valid for the duration of the state of emergency is to file it by post; in that case please note that you will be called by the MOI to additionally come in person after the state of emergency ends (above mentioned does not apply to applications for a permanent residence permit of a baby born in CZ, please see question no. 11).
For all applications filed by post: please, don’t forget to send also administrative fee – stamps (kolky). All documents submitted with the application must be send in original or notarised copy, only passport and document proving relationship (e.g. birth and marriage certificate) can be sent as regular copies (not notarised) – MOI will check the original of this document on your appointment for biometric card. MOI requires that you send copies of all pages of your passport.
- I plan to change job/employer, what should I do?
You can submit the notification by registered post, however please note that you must notify the change of employer at least 30 days in advance and provide all necessary paperwork. In case you don’t have all documents ready the notification won’t be considered at all.
EDIT (March 21, 2020): If you are a holder of employee card for work in CZ, you can now (from March 20, 2020 until the end of the state of emergency) change your employer or your job position without the necessity to fulfill the condition of 6 month previous employment in CZ. You are still obliged to report the change to the Ministry of the Interior and provide all paperwork.
Also, if your new employer is implementing crisis measures or assisting in implementing them during the state of emergency, it is sufficient to notify the change on the day of commencement of work. You don’t have to wait until you receive notice on the fulfillment of conditions, as the conditions are considered to be fulfilled solely by your notice. Please note that in such case, you have to provide also a statement of your new employer describing its involvement in the implementation of crisis measures (e.g. activities in the field of health care, production of protective equipment, etc.). The above applies similarly if you a blue card holder.
- My friend/family member visited me and their short-term (Schengen) visa will expire in a couple of days, can they stay in CZ?
Yes, their stay is considered as extended for the duration of the state of emergency as long as their visa was valid as of March 12th. They are also allowed to leave, however they won’t be allowed to re-enter for the duration of the state of emergency even if they still had extra days left in the short-term (Schengen) visa. The same applies for nationals who came based on visa-free regime (e.g. USA nationals).
- My wife is supposed to file an application for a visa at a Czech Embassy, is her appointment valid?
Unfortunately, if her visa/residence permit application appointment was supposed to take place during the state of emergency, she can’t submit the application. We recommend contacting the Embassy and rescheduling the appointment. Also short-term visa (Schengen) applications cannot be submitted now either.
- I am an EU national and never applied for a residence permit, can I stay in CZ?
Yes, as an EU national your stay in CZ is legal even without a residence permit. However, in case you leave CZ, you won’t be allowed to re-enter for the duration of the state of emergency.
- Is my appointment at the MOI valid?
All appointments are cancelled. You can visit the MOI office only based on a new appointment and only in case you need to make one of the following applications:
– issuance of bridging label (but only with a valid plane/train/bus ticket, reservation will not be accepted)
– registration upon arrival
– issuance of biometric cards.
You can make an appointment by phone or electronically at https://frs.gov.cz
- I submitted an application for extension of my residence permit a month ago and I need a bridging label to leave CZ now. Can I go to a MOI office without an appointment?
In general, if you have visa/residence permit for stay longer than 90 days, you are not allowed to leave CZ. However, if you fall under specific exceptions and/or you were allowed to travel, you can go to a MOI office without an appointment and obtain bridging label. The MOI office hours are limited only to Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 am to 12 pm (but only with a valid plane/train/bus ticket, reservation will not be accepted).
- I got a letter from the MOI where they ask me to provide some additional documents for my application; can I go to the MOI office and deliver it?
No, you can only send it by post (registered post is recommended so you have a proof of sending). In case you are not able to collect such documents due to reasons connected to current state of emergency, we strongly recommend you to request extension of the deadline provided by the MOI. Such request should be submitted by registered post.
- I got a refusal letter and the 15 days appeal deadline is expiring soon, can I extend it?
Unfortunately not; state of emergency does not automatically extend appeal deadlines and you have to file the appeal within the given period.
- My baby was born a couple weeks ago in CZ and I am supposed to register him/her at the MOI office, can I go to the MOI office?
No, MOI offices are operating in a limited regime and you cannot make an appointment for this task. You are obliged to register birth of your child and apply for visa/residence permit within 60 days from his/her birth – in case you cannot do it due to reasons connected to the current state of emergency, the deadline is considered to be extended. We however recommend you to send a written request (by registered post) for extension of this deadline explaining why you cannot come and to make the registration and application as soon as the state of emergency is lifted.
EDIT (March 24, 2020): According to information published on MOI webpage, it is possible to submit such application by post in case the 60 days deadline to file this application is expiring during the state of emergency. Such application will be considered as if it was submitted in person. Please, don’t forget to send also administrative fee – stamps (kolky).
- I planned to leave CZ so I terminated my lease agreement, can I now stay in the flat?
This depends very much on your lease contract and/or agreement with your landlord. We recommend you to contact the landlord and see if you can extend the contract. Other option is to book a hotel; hotels are not allowed to provide accommodation in the period from March 16th until March 24th, however an exception to this rule applies to foreigners until they leave CZ and foreigners with work permit.
- I was supposed to go to a doctor for a preventive check before I start my new job and they cancelled my appointment, can I start to work in a new job without the doctor’s approval?
If your job is supposed to start during the state of emergency, you can substitute doctor’s approval with your affidavit (you can download template of this affidavit here).
If you are in a situation that is not described above or you have an additional question, please contact us on email@example.com and we will try to answer you as soon as possible.
Stay safe. Your EXPATLEGAL team