Arrival and obligations after entering the territory of the Czech Republic and the connection with the new law "Lex Ukraine". We have summarized the basic instructions for staying in the Czech Republic.
The information provided in this article is up to date as of 02 May 2022, 12:00.
Стаття доступна українською мовою.
How can I enter the territory of the Czech Republic?
It is possible to enter the territory of the Czech Republic on the basis of visa-free regime. You must present a Ukrainian biometric passport to enter, but if you do not have a biometric passport, it is advised to bring all other available documents proving your identity. It is also necessary to arrange health insurance for at least the first few weeks for necessary and urgent care. As of 25 February 2022, restrictions and obligations related to covid-19 do not apply to citizens of Ukraine. The maximum length of visa-free stay is 90 days in a period of 180 days.
At present, both foreign missions of the Czech Republic in Ukraine (in Kiev and Lviv) are closed, and therefore it is not possible to apply for any visa or residence permit from Ukraine. Immigration Government Programs for Ukraine have also been temporarily suspended. Holders of Ukrainian passport cannot even apply for any type of visa or residence permit in a country other than Ukraine, unless they hold a long-term or permanent residence permit in that country. It is also not possible to apply for a standard visa or residence permit from the territory of the Czech Republic.
My application has been approved – what should I do?
If your application for a residence permit has been approved, but it has not been possible to issue a DV / R visa at the Czech embassy in Ukraine, we recommend that you travel to the Czech Republic on a visa-free basis and complete the immigration process directly in the Czech Republic. If your visa application has been approved but it has not been possible to issue a visa at the Czech Embassy in Ukraine, please contact the website of the Czech foreign mission or the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out which other embassy in another country will issue a visa.
What are my obligations after arrival in the Czech Republic?
Registration with the Foreign Police of the Czech Republic is mandatory within 3 days after arrival in the Czech Republic. Bring your travel document or all other documents proving your identification and proof of health insurance to register. If you have a proof of future accommodation address in the Czech Republic, bring it as well. After registration on the spot, you will immediately receive a registration confirmation with the stamp of the FP CR. The obligation to register also applies to foreigners who arrive in the Czech Republic on the basis of a visa sticker. As from 2 May 2022, it is mandatory to report the change of address in the Czech Republic within 3 days from the occurrence of the change.
How do I legalize my residence in the Czech Republic?
Since 22 March 2022, the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic (Immigration office) and the Police of the Czech Republic (Foreign Police) issues to refugees at the Regional Assistance Centers for Aid to Refugees a residence permit for the purpose of temporary protection. See our Lex Ukraine article for more information.
Citizens of Ukraine residing in the Czech Republic on the basis of an exit visa / standard visa / residence permit, which would expire in the next 14 days and cannot be extended, or who are distant family members, are issued on the basis of a personal request since 22 March 2022 by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic (Immigration office) a leave to remain visa.
The requirements are:
- application form;
- duty stamps in the amount of CZK 300;
- photograph (3.5 x 4.5 cm);
- a valid travel document or other identification document (it will be returned immediately after the application is submitted – if not provided, the processing of the application and the issue of a visa on the spot cannot be guaranteed);
- documents proving the existence of an obstacle that prevents leaving the territory of the Czech Republic.
How will I be insured in the Czech Republic?
The foreigner with granted temporary protection is, within the period of 30 days before the day of the visa issuance and subsequently thereafter, considered to be a participant of the public health insurance system. A person who is granted the visa must visit a VZP branch and pick up an insurance certificate. In the event that the individual needs urgent care before obtaining the certificate, we recommend presenting at least a valid travel document and the visa to the medical facility. See our Lex Ukraine article for more information.
The foreigner who was issued since 22 March 2022 a leave to remain visa is not a participant of the public health insurance system and must arrange his/her own insurance or apply to enter the public health insurance system.
What are assistance centers?
The Regional Assistance Centers for Aid to Refugees from war in Ukraine are gradually starting operations across the Czech Republic. All the above tasks can be performed in one place:
- registration with the Foreign Police,
- application for a temporary protection visa at the Immigration office,
- arrangement of health insurance with VZP.
Interpreters are available on site to help people go through all the stations. The Assistance Center also provides minor treatments or contact with the relevant hospital via the Czech Red Cross, and offers housing options. The list of Assistance Centers is available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
Can I work in the Czech Republic?
For the purposes of employment, a foreigner who has been granted the temporary protection visa is considered to be a holder of permanent residence permit (i.e. has free access to the labor market pursuant to § 98 of the Law on Employment) and may become a job seeker. See our Lex Ukraine article for more information.
Foreigners not covered by Lex Ukraine cannot work without a work permit issued by the local labor office. It is possible to apply for a work permit on the basis of a vacant position announced by a Czech employer (no labor market test is performed) and on the basis of a concluded employment contract.
An application for a work permit should include:
- application form;
- duty stamps in the amount of CZK 500;
- valid travel document (will be returned immediately upon application submission);
- employment contract, agreement on working activity or future agreement concluded with Czech employer in original;
- a document certifying professional competence for the performance of the required employment (if required) in original and translated to the Czech language;
- announcement of the vacant position (filled in by the employer);
- extract from the Commercial Register of the Czech employer.
Employers who would like to employ Ukrainian refugees can contact the local branch of the Labour Office and request a pre-selection of suitable candidates. There is no plan to set up a publicly available database of all Ukrainian applicants due to personal data protection reasons.
Will I be able to extend my standard visa / residence permit in the Czech Republic?
Yes, it is possible to extend the visa / residence permit for standard purpose (e.g. blue card, employee card, family visa, entrepreneurship visa) following a standard extension process at the Immigration office. It is possible to submit the application for extension 120 days prior to the expiration date without presence at the Immigration office.
What if I have an EU relative living in the Czech Republic?
It is possible to apply for a temporary residence permit as a close or distant family member of an EU national within standard application immigration process.