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Rowan Legal: Advice to Ukrainians in Czech Republic

Rowan Legal: Advice to Ukrainians in Czech Republic

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This review was prepared for Ukrainian refugees by the law firm ROWAN Legal upon request and in coordination with the international legal network Multilaw and Ukrainian law firm Arzinger. The review is as of March 11, 2022, will be updated as relevant, also Ukrainian translations will be added. The review is not a legal advice and is for informational purposes only. For updates, please follow www.multilaw.com and/or www.arzinger.ua

Цей огляд був підготований для українських біженців юридичною фірмою ROWAN Legal

на запит та під координацією міжнародної юридичної мережі Multilaw та української юридичної фірми Арцінгер. Огляд підготований станом на 11 березня 2022 року та буде оновлюватись відповідно, також будуть додаватись українські переклади. Цей огляд не є юридичною консультацією і має лише інформаційний характер. Слідкуйте, будь ласка за оновленнями на www.multilaw.com та/або www.arzinger.ua

(1)   Entering the country

1.1. Is any mandatory quarantine applied for UA citizens? If yes, please provide details (duration, where to stay, who pays for the stay, any exceptions)?

No, there is no mandatory quarantine for incoming UA citizens.

1.2. Is any visa required for UA citizen to enter the country? If yes, how UA citizen may obtain it under the circumstances?

Ukrainian citizens are allowed to travel to the Czech Republic without visa and can legally stay in Czechia for maximum of 90 days during any 180-day period (it is just necessary to make a registration with Foreign Police and arrange a commercial health insurance) – during this period Ukrainian citizens are not covered by Czech national health insurance. Before their legal stay in the Czech Republic expires, Ukrainian citizens need to apply for a special type of long-stay visa. The extended visa is valid for one year and should be granted right after the application is submitted. Ukrainian citizens with this special type of visa are covered by Czech national health insurance.

1.3. Is entry without passport allowed?

It is not guaranteed that citizens without biometric passport will be allowed to cross the border with other EU member state, since Czechia borders with other EU states it is presumed that UA citizens will be checked in country that borders with UA and based on this check will be allowed to enter the EU.

1.4. Shall UA citizen apply for any special status (refugee etc.) right after entering the country, or this can be done later? If yes, what is the further deadline to apply for special status?

Same as in par. 1.2 applies. Citizens can stay freely in Czechia without visa for no longer than 90 days during any 180-day period. After (or during) 90 days citizen shall apply for special long-stay visa that is valid for 1 year.

UA citizens without special long-stay visa shall arrange a commercial health insurance.

UA citizens shall make a registration with Czech Police right after entering the state. Kids under 15yo are exempted from this obligation.

(2)   Stay in the country

2.1. For how long UA citizen may stay in the country if entered based on visa-free regime without any additional formalities?

For up to 90 days during any 180-day period.

2.2. Are temporary residency permits available for UA citizens?

Yes, in a form of special type of long-stay visa for stay longer than 90 days but not longer than 1 year.

2.3. Are permanent residency permits available for UA citizens?

Yes, but no special regime applies to UA citizens. The application process lasts up to 60 days.

2.4. Is refugee status available for UA citizens?

Yes, but no special regime applies to UA citizens.

2.5. Is there any other status except tourism, temporary/permanent residency permit, refugee available for UA citizens? If yes, please briefly describe the options.

No 

(3)   If UA citizen entered the country based on no visa regime, or based on tourist visa

3.1. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country?

Paragraph 2.1 applies.

3.2. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay?

Citizens need to arrange health insurance (can be done online)

UA citizens shall register with Czech Police as soon as they enter the Czech Republic (kids under 15yo are exempted from this obligation).

After 90 days (or at any time during) foreigners shall apply for special visa that should be granted right after the application is submitted. Based on this special long-stay visa UA foreigners can issue a work permit.

3.3. Is employment allowed?

No, UA citizens need to obtain special long-stay visa along with an employment permit.

3.4. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state?

No, UA citizens need to issue health insurance in advance (can be done online).

3.5. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay?

No tax obligations are applicable for incoming UA citizens.

3.6. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there?

This depends on in which country does the UA citizen works. If the employer sits within the EU country, the double taxation treaty is applicable.

3.7. Is it possible to open and use banking account?

Yes

ČSOB bank (recommended): To open and use banking account, foreigners need to visit the branch of nearest bank and bring some type of proof of identity (e.g., passport, ID, or driving license). Nothing else is needed.

KB bank: To open and use banking account foreigners need to visit the branch of nearest bank and bring 2 documents. The main document shall be passport and additional document shall be ID, birth certificate or documents obtained while crossing border from UA (border guide).

3.8. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source?

Upper limit of cash deposit (in KB bank) is 15 000 EUR or equivalent in foreign currency. Above this amount the foreigner can be asked what the cash source is. That can be proven by an affidavit or other evidence can be asked by a bank worker.

Please note, that physical transfers of cash to and from the EU in excess of €10,000 must be reported to customs administration.

3.9. Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long?

UA driving license is accepted, however if UA citizen has long-term visa for period exceeding 1 year, the citizen is obliged to apply for replacement of the UA driving license at any municipal office with extended jurisdiction within 3 months after the legal effect of the permanent or long-term residence permit.  

3.10. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)?

Foreigner may operate the car for maximum of 90 days without any action. After 90 days foreigner must register the car for road use in the Czech Republic (foreigner must submit documents such as technical certificate – both full and short versions, vehicle registration form, insurance card, proof of vehicle acquisition, protocol of registration check). No exceptions are applied to UA situation. Vehicle must not be older than 8 years and must comply with EURO 6 standard.

Vehicle can be registered with any municipal office with extended jurisdiction.

3.11. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country?

The car can be sold but it must be registered for road use in the Czech Republic (car must have Czech license plate). See paragraph 3.10.

3.12. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo? At what terms kindergartens are available?

Kids under 15 yo are exempted from obligation of registration with Czech Police after crossing the Czech borders.

Czech Republic has compulsory schooling system for kids that are permitted for stay in Czechia for longer than 90 days and reach the age of five.

UA kids enjoy same benefits as residents of Czech Republic, therefore if UA citizens obtained visa for stay longer than 90 days (special long-stay visa) and the kid reaches the age of five, they are obliged to sign the kids to compulsory schooling. Kindergartens for kids under 5yo are not mandatory, however are available. Applications for school year 2022/2023 are open from May 2nd to May 16th 2022. More info can be found here.

3.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo? At what terms schools are available?

Czech Republic has 2 level schooling system. Elementary school is for kids that reach age of six and lasts 9 years. Elementary school is mandatory. After elementary school kids usually go to secondary / high school which lasts 4 years. Secondary / high school is not compulsory.

Czech Republic has compulsory schooling system for kids that are permitted for stay in Czechia for longer than 90 days and reach the age of five.

UA kids enjoy same benefits as residents of Czech Republic, therefore if UA citizens obtained visa for stay longer than 90 days (special long-stay visa) and the kid reaches the age of five, they are obliged to sign the kids to compulsory schooling. Please note that it is not possible to transfer from a foreign vocational/high school to a Czech one. Applicant needs to start school from the beginning.

3.14. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo? At what terms universities are available?

No regulations are applied. Each student must check the details with desired university.

Some universities have set up scholarship programmes for UA students. More info can be found here.

3.15. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age?

No

3.16. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons?

No

3.17. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe.

The Refugee Facilities Management offers the following services:

Social counselling

Legal advice

Czech language courses

Interpreting services

Sociocultural courses

Internet workplace and library

Community workers

Educational, cultural and social events

Local integration courses

3.18.  Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers.

No, UA foreigners must apply for special long-stay visa.

3.19. Any other important information.

(4)   If UA citizen entered the country aiming to get temporary residency permit

4.1. When and where UA citizen shall apply to obtain a temporary residency permit? Please briefly describe main steps required and respective timelines.

UA citizen shall apply for special type of long-stay visa within (or any time during) 90 days after arriving the Czech Republic. This special type of long-stay visa allows citizen to obtain temporary residency permit and is issued for 1 year. It doubles as a standard residency permit. This is the easiest way to be granted residence in the Czech Republic. Applicant needs to visit any OAMV office and bring passport type photography, passport and must fill special form available here. The special type of long-stay visa should be issued the same day.  

UA citizen who has relatives in Czech Republic may apply for standard temporary residency permit. Applicant would need to submit application to OAMV office and must provide with passport or id, 1 passport type photography, proof of health insurance, proof of accommodation and proof of link to a family member who is EU citizen. This is however not recommended for its long issuing process.

Assuming the temporary residency permit is granted:

4.2. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country?

If UA citizen holds special type of long-stay visa, this visa is valid for 1 year.

If citizen applied for standard temporary residency permit, then there is no upper limit. After 5 years of continuous stay foreigners may apply for permanent residency.

4.3. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay?

Incoming foreigners shall apply for special long-stay visa at any Ministry of Interior office OAMV (more details about OAMV – Immigration department of the Ministry of Interior can be found on mvcr.cz or +420 974 801 802). When applying for special visa, UA citizens are required to submit relevant form, together with a valid passport and additional passport photography. This must be done in person by an applicant.

4.4. Is employment allowed?

Yes, in order to enter into an employment relationship UA foreigners must hold special long-stay visa and obtain an employment permit.

In order to get an employment permit UA foreigner must find vacancy through special database of vacancies, contact potential employer, sign an employment contract, visit the nearest branch of Czech Employment Office and apply for employment permit. This process takes up to 30 days. UA citizen may start working no sooner then after the employment permit is granted. Whole process is free of charge.

Czech government is currently working on a bill that will automatically grant foreigners, who would apply for special type of visa for stay over 90 days, work permit. Holders of a special visa will be able to enter into basic employment relationships for their own subsistence without having to apply for an employment permit, therefore UA citizens would not have to visit the Czech Employment Office.

4.5. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state? Is it covered for kids and other dependent relatives?

Yes, it is covered by the hosting state for maximum period of duration of special long-stay visa – 12 months.

4.6. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay?

See paragraph 3.5.

4.7. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there?

See paragraph 3.6.

4.8. Is it possible to open and use banking account?

Yes, for details see paragraph 3.7

4.9. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source?

For details see paragraph 3.8

4.10. Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long?

For details see paragraph 3.9

4.11. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)?

For details see paragraph 3.10

4.12. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country?

For details see paragraph 3.11

4.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo whose parent obtained the temporary residency permit? At what terms kindergartens are available?

Kids under 15yo do not have to accompany their parents when applying for a special long-stay visa. To apply for special long-stay visa parents must submit at least passport or birth certificate of kid.

The presence of foreigners under the age of 15 does not have to be reported to the Czech Police.

For information about kindergarten please see paragraph 3.12.

4.14. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo whose parent obtained the temporary residency permit? At what terms schools are available?

Kids under 15yo do not have to accompany their parents when applying for a special temporary visa. To apply for special temporary visa parents must submit at least passport or birth certificate of kid.

The presence of foreigners under the age of 15 does not have to be reported to the Czech Police.

For information about schools please see paragraph 3.13

4.15. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo whose parent obtained the temporary residency permit? At what terms universities are available?

Please see paragraph 3.14

4.16. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age?

No

4.17. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons?

No

4.18. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe.

For details see paragraph 3.17.

4.19. Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers.

Czech Employment Office offers one time emergency contribution for UA citizens who obtained special long-stay visa. In order to obtain this contribution, UA citizen must be holder of special long-stay visa, must visit the nearest branch of Czech Employment Office and fill in a special form. Each person must fill one application.

Kids under 6yo are eligible for 1970 CZK of one-time contribution.

Kids between 6yo and 15yo are eligible for 2420 CZK of one-time contribution.

Kids from 15yo to 26yo are eligible for 2770 CZK of one-time contribution.

Persons older than 26yo are eligible for 2490 CZK of one-time contribution.

4.20. Are there any restrictions to leave the country?

No

4.21. Any other important information.

(5)   If UA citizen entered the country aiming to get permanent residency permit

5.1. When and where UA citizen shall apply to obtain a permanent residency permit? Please briefly describe main steps required and respective timelines.

  •         UA citizen can apply for permanent residency after 5 years of standard temporary residency.
  •         Permanent residency permit is issued by Ministry of Interior to which the UA citizen must submit the application for permanent residency.
  •         The process should take no longer than 60 days if the application is submitted in the Czech Republic.

Assuming the permanent residency permit is granted:

5.2. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country?

Indefinite

5.3. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay?

UA citizen must apply for permanent residency permit to Ministry of Interior. All submitted documents shall be in Czech language or officially translated.

UA citizen must pass Czech language test

5.4. Is employment allowed?

Yes

5.5. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state? Is it covered for kids and other dependent relatives?

If UA citizen is employed, then healthcare is covered. Healthcare of students and retired people is covered by a state.

5.6. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay?

See paragraph 3.5.

5.7. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there?

See paragraph 3.6.

5.8. Is it possible to open and use banking account?

Yes

5.9. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source?

See paragraph 3.8.

5.10. Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long?

Permanent residency can be obtained after 5 years of stay in the Czech Republic, therefore UA driving license would not be at this point accepted.

For details see paragraph 3.9.

5.11. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)?

See paragraph 3.10.

5.12. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country?

See paragraph 3.11.

5.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo whose parent obtained the permanent residency permit? At what terms kindergartens are available?

See paragraph 3.12.

5.14. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo whose parent obtained the permanent residency permit? At what terms schools are available?

See paragraph 3.13.

5.15. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo whose parent obtained the permanent residency permit? At what terms universities are available?

See paragraph 3.14.

5.16. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age?

No

5.17. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons?

No

5.18. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe.

Permanent residency can be obtained after 5 years of stay in the Czech Republic, therefore at this point no.

5.19. Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers.

See paragraph 4.19

5.20. Are there any restrictions to leave the country?

No

5.21.  Any other important information.

(6)   If UA citizen entered the country aiming to get refugee status

6.1. When and where UA citizen shall apply to obtain a refugee status? Please briefly describe main steps required and respective timelines.

Refugee status, according to Czech law, means that Czech Republic grants the refugee international protection for political or other reasons.

This process is not recommended by Czech authorities at the moment because due to the current situation it is inappropriately time consuming.

UA citizen shall visit International Protection Department, Ministry of the Interior right after coming to Czech Republic and apply for refugee status by filling special forms (that can be found here).

Refugee status (asylum) may (but also may not) be granted to foreign nationals who is persecuted for exercising political rights and freedom, has legitimate fear of being persecuted and may also be granted for humanitarian reasons.

The refugee status may be granted within 6 months, this period can be however extended.

Assuming the refugee status is granted:

6.2. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country?

The refugee status is granted for the necessary period of time – there is therefore no upper limit.

6.3. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay?

Foreigner who wishes to apply for refugee status needs to register with International Protection Department, Ministry of the Interior.

Within 8 days after obtaining the refugee status the citizen is obliged to register with health insurance company.

6.4. Is employment allowed?

Yes, with no additional obligations.

6.5. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state? Is it covered for kids and other dependent relatives?

If UA citizen is employed, then healthcare is covered. Healthcare of students and retired people is covered by a state. If otherwise, UA citizen needs to issue commercial health insurance.

6.6. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay?

See paragraph 3.5.

6.7. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there?

See paragraph 3.6.

6.8. Is it possible to open and use banking account?

See paragraph 3.7.

6.9. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source?

See paragraph 3.8.

6.10.  Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long?

See paragraph 3.9.

6.11. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)?

See paragraph 3.10.

6.12. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country?

See paragraph 3.11.

6.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo? At what terms kindergartens are available?

See paragraph 3.12.

6.14. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo? At what terms schools are available?

See paragraph 3.13.

6.15. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo? At what terms universities are available?

See paragraph 3.14.

6.16. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age?

No

6.17. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons?

No

6.18. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe.

For details, please see paragraph 3.17.

6.19. Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers.

For details, please see paragraph 4.19.

6.20. Are there any limitations to leave the country?

No

6.21. Any other important information.

(7)   Language issues

7.1. What languages can be used for communication in your country?

The official language in Czech Republic is Czech language, however many official offices are prepared to communicate in English language. For most of Czech people it is also not a problem to understand Slovak language. Ministry of Interior has set up information line in the Czech and Ukrainian language (+420 974 801 802).

(8)   Upcoming or expected legislative changes

8.1. Do you expect any major changes to the relevant legislation?

Czech government proposed draft of bill (Lex UA) which responds to the current situation.

Lex UA would ease process of getting special long-stay visa to UA citizens.

If UA citizen applies for refugee status, the process of getting refugee status would be temporary suspended for the duration of special long-stay visa.

Healthcare of new-born baby would be covered by a state for up to 60 days after the birth.  

Healthcare for UA citizens would be covered by a state once UA citizen crosses Czech borders.

UA citizen who obtained special long-stay visa would not need to apply for an employment permit.

UA citizens who entered Czech Republic after 24.2.2022 and who obtained special long-stay visa are eligible for contribution of 5 000 CZK (in special cases contribution of 15 000 CZK may be granted)

Please note that the Lex UA is in a draft stage, therefore changes can be made.

Lex UA should be passed and applicable within days.

(9)   Local help resources

9.1. Please provide links and brief descriptions to any local helpful resources.

Main information source of Ministry of Interior.

Main information source of Czech Employment Office

Information website of Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.

In case of any questions, UA citizens should contact hotline established by the Ministry of Interior (+420 974 801 802).

Unlike any other news items in CEELM, these are published as received with no other edits than outlined in this editorial note.