Current conditions for entry into the Czech Republic and subsequent residence for citizens of Ukraine
In view of the current events in Ukraine, we have prepared a brief overview of important information regarding the legal residence of Ukrainian citizens in the Czech Republic. You will learn, what you need to do in case you want to help someone or employ them in the Czech Republic.
Entering the Czech Republic
As of 25 February, the ban on entry into the Czech Republic and all entry requirements resulting from the rules against the spread of covid-19 are lifted for persons at risk. Visa-free entry has also been enabled. Since both visa offices in Ukraine are closed and therefore it is not possible to apply for visa remotely, citizens of Ukraine are allowed to enter the Czech Republic visa-free, if they present a Ukrainian biometric passport.
Unfortunately, the Czech government is not able to guarantee that persons without a biometric passport will be allowed to enter the Schengen area, so we recommend bringing all documents that identify the person (including the birth certificate). It is then necessary to register with the Foreign Police Department within 3 days of arrival. A citizen of Ukraine can stay in the Czech Republic without visa for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. It is also necessary to ensure health insurance for the duration of the visa-free stay.
Special long-term visa
According to the Czech Interior Ministry, the best solution in the current situation is not to apply for asylum. It is quicker and more efficient to apply for a special long-stay visa, which is processed on the spot. In this context, the Ministry of the Interior has introduced extraordinary office hours for citizens of Ukraine, which are intended only for applicants for special long-stay visa. They can be found on the website: Kontakty - Ministerstvo vnitra České republiky (mvcr.cz).
To obtain a visa, it is necessary to bring the application form, a valid passport and a photograph (3.5 x 4.5 cm). It should be issued for a period of 4 months, with a maximum of 12 months, depending on the current situation in Ukraine.
When a person is granted a special long-stay visa, he or she automatically becomes a participant in the public health insurance system with full access to health care, with the insurance premiums paid by the Czech state. However, they need to go to a branch of any Czech public health insurance company within approximately 5 days and collect a confirmation of insurance.
If a citizen of Ukraine has been residing in the Czech Republic for some time and is now in a situation where his/her residence permit expires in less than 14 days and he/she cannot return to Ukraine due to the conflict, he/she can also apply for a special long-term visa. If he/she has a valid work permit, he/she can continue to work, otherwise they also need to obtain a work permit.
How to arrange a work permit
It is possible to work with special visa on condition that the local Labour Office issues a work permit.
Once the foreign national has obtained a special long-term visa, he or she can apply for a work permit at the respective regional branch of the Labour Office in the place, where the work is to be performed. The permit can be requested for up to two years with the possibility of renewal for another two years, even repeatedly. It is necessary to enter into an employment contract with the employer before applying, as it is one of the annexes to the application for a work permit.
All information for employers and foreigners in relation to the conflict in Ukraine can be found at: Foreign Employment (mpsv.cz).
Another option is to apply for an intra-corporate transfer card under a government programme in the Czech Republic. This is a type of long-term residence permit in the Czech Republic, where the purpose of the foreigner’s stay is to work in the position of a manager, specialist or employed trainee, to which the foreigner has been transferred.
Extension of residence
After 12 months, it is possible to extend the stay in the Czech Republic on the basis of a special long-term residence permit, which allows free access to the labour market and travel to other countries. Subsequently it is possible to change the purpose of the stay and apply for an employee card, for example.
A visa/residence permit for a standard purpose (family, business or blue card) can be extended through the standard extension process at the Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior. The extension request can be submitted 120 days in advance without a personal visit to the OAMP (Department of Asylum and Migration Policy).
If you have any questions about this issue or are currently dealing with it, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Author: Roman Burnus, Valérie Kovářová