Read our summary of the most significant changes in the Act on Residence of Foreigners, valid from 1. 7. 2023.
The issuance of blue cards
A blue card may be newly issued for a maximum period of 3 years instead of 2 years. That also applies to extensions of the card.
Change of employer or work position for a blue card holder
Another change related to blue cards is that there is no longer an obligation to ask for the approval of the Ministry of the Interior when changing employers or working positions. Previously, a person holding a blue card for less than 2 years had to request an approval from the Ministry of the Interior. Now, all blue card holders are only obliged to notify such changes. The notification must be made within 3 days of the change.
A blue card holder also needs to inform the Ministry of the Interior of the end of employment. Unemployment may take up to 90 days (or 180 days in cases of holding the blue card more than 2 years).
A new working position still must be registered in the labor office, however, a test of the labour market is no longer necessary.
Requirements for a blue card application
Applications for a blue card should be submitted with a future employment contract or a standard employment contract. For either case, the contract term must be longer than 6 months. Previously, only employment contracts with a validity of at least 1 year were allowed to be submitted.
Blue card applications filed in another EU member state
If the applicant is a blue card holder in another EU member state, there is no need to submit a criminal clearance certificate issued by the country of the origin or by a country where the applicant has been living during the previous 3 years, for a period totalling at least 6 months.
If a person obtaining a blue card has been living in a different EU country for the previous 2+ years, there is no need to submit evidence of university-level qualification to the Czech embassy.
Permanent residence permit
Filing an application for a permanent residence
A person staying in the country on the basis of a “fiction of stay” may not apply for a permanent residence permit anymore.
“Fiction of stay” indicates that the foreigner’s stay is legal, however, they have not been issued a new biometric card yet.
Only after receiving a valid biometric card can a person apply for permanent residence.
- EU citizens and their family members,
- persons applying for a permanent residence permit for the purpose of living with a parent who has a permanent residence permit.
A foreigner can submit an application for a permanent residence permit only in case they have not been away from the Czech Republic for longer than 18 months in the last 5 years.
Expiry of a long-term visa and of a residence permit for the purpose of tolerance
A long-term visa for the purpose of tolerance will expire no later than the day on which its holder leaves the Schengen area. There are exceptions for holders of such a visa connected to the armed conflict in Ukraine. In this case, the long-term visa does not expire by leaving the country.
Single-entry visa over 90 days – for the purpose of collecting a residence permit (DV/R)
Holders of a single-entry visa over 90 days – for the purpose of collecting a residence permit – (DV/R) should now be registered at the Ministry of the Interior office within 30 days (previously 3 days).
Changes in administrative fees
The new fee for reissuing a damaged, lost, nonfunctional or stolen card is CZK 2 500 (instead of CZK 4 000).
Criminal clearance certificate from foreign countries
It is newly required to submit a criminal clearance certificate from all countries where the applicant has been living for 6 months IN TOTAL within the last 3 years, rather than only continuously for 6 months.
Long-term visa for the purpose of seasonal employment
A long-term visa for the purpose of seasonal employment is now issued for 9 months instead of 6.
Long-term residence permit for family reunion
It is no longer possible to apply for a long-term residence permit for a mature (over 18) dependent child. It is also not possible to apply for an extension of the permit for this group of foreigners.
Dependants over 18 can change the purpose of their permit to a student or an employee card.
For any other categories of people, the application rules remain the same (for instance a minor child of an employee card holder).
Applying from an embassy
Some embassies are now eligible to give appointments for application submission based on a random election (lottery).
It is now possible to apply for a Czech residence permit / long-term visa in a country other than the applicant’s home country, but only in case of having a long-term / permanent residence permit and living there for longer than 2 years. Proof of residence is required to submit the application.
Example: A German residence permit holder of 3 years can now apply for a residence permit in the Czech Republic and in Dresden, Germany. If a foreigner of the same permit has only held the permit for 1,5 years, they should wait for another 6 months before applying in Dresden; otherwise, they should submit the application in their home country. Previously, a permit granted for 2 years was sufficient for this occasion.
This new rule does not harm nationals who have the exception from the local jurisdiction.
Please note that all European residence permit holders can apply for a Czech residence permit only at the Czech Embassy in Dresden.