Reporting the place of residence of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic is associated with a number of issues. Who is obliged to report the place of residence after foreign nationals enter the Czech Republic? How to proceed with changing their address in the territory? What documents does the Ministry of the Interior accept? This time, we deal with the issue of accommodating foreign national from their perspective as well as from the perspective of accommodation providers.
The Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Czech Republic (Act No. 326/1999 Coll.) considers a proof of accommodation to be a requirement for most applications for a residence permit in the Czech Republic. These include applications for long-term visas as well as long-term residence, permanent residence and temporary residence certificates of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. This requirement also applies to initial applications for a residence permit filed by foreign nationals at Czech embassies abroad. Foreign nationals may find it relatively difficult to provide such a document, as they usually do not reside in the Czech Republic at that time. Complications may also arise with regard to finding a flat, concluding a lease agreement as well as collecting all necessary documents and verifying their acceptability. It is also important to note that at the time of the filing, a proof of accommodation should not be older than 180 days.
According to the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals, the following documents are considered a proof of accommodation: a document on ownership of a flat or house, a document on entitlement to use a flat or house or a written confirmation of an owner or authorised user of a flat or house.
As part of the application for a residence permit, the Ministry of the Interior accepts either a lease agreement or a proof (confirmation) of accommodation. When applying for long-term visas, long-term residence or permanent residence permits, a proof (confirmation) of accommodation must be accompanied by an officially certified signature of the accommodation provider; alternatively, the document may also be signed in the presence of an authorised employee of the Ministry of the Interior. A proof of accommodation does not have to be accompanied by an officially certified signature of the landlord when applying for a confirmation of temporary residence of an EU citizen or a permit for temporary residence of an EU citizen’s family member.
Registration from the perspective of foreign nationals
Third-country nationals are obliged to report their place of residence in the Czech Republic to the relevant Foreign Police department according to their place of residence in the Czech Republic within 3 working days after they enter the Czech Republic. If a foreign national arrives in the Czech Republic for the purpose of collecting a long-term or permanent residence permit, they can fulfil their reporting obligation within the same period at the relevant Asylum and Migration Policy Department, thus fulfilling their obligation to provide biometric data (it is usually necessary to arrange an appointment to do so).
The obligation to report the place of residence does not apply to foreign nationals who have fulfilled this obligation via a landlord as well as to persons under the age of 15, members of another state’s embassies or international government organisations accredited in the Czech Republic, their family members registered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or third-country nationals whose accommodation is provided by the Ministry of the Interior.
EU/EEA/Swiss nationals are obliged to report their place of residence to the police within 30 days after the date of the entry into the Czech Republic if their expected stay shall surpass 30 days. This obligation also applies to family members of EU nationals if they reside in the Czech Republic. However, even in this case, the obligation to report the place of residence to the police does not apply to foreign national who have fulfilled this obligation via a landlord.
Reporting of Changes
The Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals also defines another obligation of foreign nationals, i.e. to report a change in the place of residence in the Czech Republic. In general, foreign nationals are obliged to report their new address within 30 days after the date of the change if the expected length of stay shall surpass 30 days (with regard to holders of long-term visas and residence permits) or 180 days (with regard to holders of permanent residence permits and nationals of EU/EEA/Switzerland). If a foreign national fails to fulfil the obligation to report their place of residence, they commit an offence, and a fine of up to CZK 3,000 may be imposed as a result.
Characteristics of the property
A situation often occurs where a foreign national is quite content with the condition of a flat; they sign a lease agreement and only then do the problems arise with regard to the reporting of the place of residence to the Ministry of the Interior. It is necessary to realise that a signed agreement does not guarantee successful registration at a given address.
Before signing an agreement, we recommend checking:
- Intended use of the property, i.e. whether the property is suitable for living and does not represent a non-residential space, public services construction or a studio. In the case of a studio or similar space, the Ministry of the Interior will require additional documentation. The relevant housing construction department shall issue a statement on whether the property is suitable for accommodation. It can be assumed that the Ministry of the Interior will accept such a form of accommodation.
- The relationship between the tenant and the landlord – we often encounter a situation where there is a third party between the landlord and the tenant representing the landlord in the process of concluding an agreement. If a third party signs the agreement, it is necessary to prove the legal relationship between the landlord and the tenant as well.
- Type of ownership – personal or cooperative. In the case of cooperative flats, it is necessary to secure written consent of the cooperative with further lease/sublease of the housing unit and also verify in the cooperative’s statues whether it is possible to further lease cooperative flats and under what conditions. On this occasion, we also recommend verifying the authority to sign in the Register of Companies (oftentimes the signature of several members of the cooperative is required).
Registration from the accommodation provider’s perspective
In connection with accommodating foreign nationals, the role and responsibilities of accommodation providers are often emphasised insufficiently. According to the provisions of Section 99 (1) of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals, an accommodation provider is understood to be anyone who provides accommodation for remuneration or who accommodates more than 5 foreign nationals, except in cases where the foreign national and the provider can be considered as being in a close relationship.
The accommodation provider is obliged to report the accommodation of a foreign national (third-country national) to the police within 3 working days. The obligation to report the accommodation of a foreign national can be fulfilled either by filing a registration form or through remote access by filling in an electronic form using the UBYport internet portal. If this concerns an accommodation provider whose business activity includes the provision of accommodation, they report the accommodation of a foreign national through remote access.
Confirmation of the consent with the accommodation of a foreign national who files an application at a territorial branch of the Ministry of the Interior may be submitted electronically by the foreign national’s accommodation provider. The confirmation must be signed by a recognised electronic signature of the authorised person. Another possible procedure would be to send the documents through a data box of the accommodation provider.
We would be happy to provide you with more details concerning the accommodation of foreign nationals in the Czech Republic from the perspective of immigration; at the same time, we could discuss with you suitable solutions for obtaining a proof of accommodation for the purposes of initial application for a residence permit. If you are uncertain whether the Ministry of the Interior will recognise your lease agreement or proof of accommodation as a valid document, please contact us. We will make sure that the process of reporting the place of residence or changing an address will run smoothly and without any complications.