Czech Partnership Visa For Partners Of EU Citizens
Need assistance obtaining Czech temporary residency as a Partner or Family Member of an EU Citizen? Learn how to apply for the Czech Partnership Visa today.
Temporary Residency for Family Members of EU Citizens
Often, foreigners call it the “Czech Partnership Visa”. However, officially, the “Czech Partnership Visa” is a Residence Permit for Family Members of EU Citizens. It is not technically a visa. Some call it a “visa” because partners can obtain the permit without marriage. It can also apply to same-sex couples, as long as the relationship status meets certain conditions.
The residence permit can be temporary or permanent, granting the holder certain rights under EU legislation. When granted, these rights provide freedom of movement and residence within the territory of the member states.
In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) processes applications for residence permits of family members of EU citizens. For the MOI to approve an application, the applicant must prove their relationship meets the requirements to issue the document. If granted, permit holders gain a number of advantages over standard types of visas for third-country nationals.
But who exactly is considered a family member of an EU citizen? How do you apply for the permit? Read on and we’ll help. See who’s eligible and how to apply for the “Czech Partnership Visa”, the residence permit for family members of EU citizens.
Who is considered a family member of an EU citizen?
To begin, the MOI grants the same opportunity for unmarried non-EU partners of EU citizens as it does for spouses of EU citizens. This is according to Immigration Law 326/1999/Sb. It states the conditions for obtaining residency as a family member of an EU citizen.
Family of EU citizens are husband, wife or civil partner, children, parents, grandparents, or any other family members specified by law. If the relationship is not through marriage or a civil partnership, applicants must prove a “durable” relationship.
How did Brexit change the “Czech partnership visa”?
Paragraph 15a and 15b extend the opportunity to partners of UK citizens who obtained temporary residency before Brexit. This grants them the same rights as a family member of an EU citizen in the Czech Republic.
Let’s look closer at the conditions to apply. MOI can grant residence to an applicant if any of the requirements is fulfilled:
Spouses or civil partners of an EU citizen, or of a UK citizen with temporary residence;
Children (under 21 years of age) of an EU citizen, or of a UK citizen with temporary residence;
Non-EU children of an EU citizen, or of a UK citizen with temporary residence;
Partner in a permanent relationship with an EU citizen, or with a UK citizen with permanent residency (paragraphs 15a, 15b);
UK passport holder without the status of EU withdrawal and which fulfills one of the above conditions.
Other recent updates and new requirements
Other changes include updates on the requirements to obtain “family member” status. Since the 2nd of August 2021, requirements include a Proof of Funds. This requires the applicant to show sufficient income for living and housing expenses for the duration of their permit. The amount of funds is determined by the residency permit, with MOI calculating the minimum costs.
Another change relates to cases in which the applicant comes from countries that require a visa in the Czech Republic. In these cases, the non-EU partner must now obtain a short-term / entrance “partnership visa” from a Czech Embassy. Short-term visas from other Schengen countries are no longer acceptable.
Citizens of countries with a visa-free agreement do not need to obtain a short-term entrance visa. For example, if it’s somebody from the USA who has 90 days free travel in Schengen, a short-term visa is not required.
Finally, upgrading to permanent residency after 2 years as a partner of a Czech citizen is no longer possible. However, there is an exception for couples who married after obtaining the “family-member visa”. If they have been married for at least one year since the permit was issued, it’s still possible to upgrade the permit to permanent residence. In all other cases, applicants can only apply for permanent residency after 5 years in the permanent relationship.
The partnership visa validation period was changed from 5 years to 3 years after the Czech immigration law changed on 2.8.2021.
Advantages to residency as a partner of an EU Citizen
What are the advantages to this “family-member visa”? First, when approved, residence holders have the same rights as EU or Czech citizens. They have free access to the Czech labor market. This means they can simply sign a contract and begin work, without needing employer sponsorship or an employee card.
Other advantages include the following.
-An EU Family Member Visa is valid for 3 years for partners.
-Exchange this permit for permanent residency after 5 years.
-There is no need to pass the Czech Language Exam for permanent residency.
-No need for MOI adaptation and integration courses, which is now mandatory for third-country nationals.
Maximum period of partnership visa is 3 years.
How to change Czech Partnership Visa for long-term residence
What happens to the Czech residency permit if the relationship ends, or the partnership visa is canceled? Obviously, it can happen. Couples break up. If the relationship ends, the residency permit also ends with it. In this case, the permit holder must inform MOI about the conclusion of the relationship.
However, when this happens, it is still possible to change your current status to long-term residency. To do this, applicants must take the following steps.
Announce the change in status to MOI.
MOI cancels the residency permit and provides a departure sticker.
A letter stating the cancellation of the permit from MOI arrives, at which point you have 60 days to appeal.
Make an appeal for long-term residency under Paragraph 87f. The purpose of stay will be long-term residency and can be based on employment, studies, or business. As taxes and contributions are the responsibility of the employer, the Purpose of stay employment is suggested for a positive outcome.
Note: the appeal process should never be skipped! This is the most common mistake applicants make. They try to both cancel their partnership visa and start the residency application at the same time. This leads to MOI rejecting the application, as the applicant has no right to long-term residency without the partnership visa. It’s thus crucial to appeal (and have the 60 days of protection) to prevent becoming illegal during the process.
Have questions? Pexpats has answers!
Did this post answer all your questions? If not, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re expats just like you, and we know the hassles of Czech bureaucracy all too well. We can help you navigate not only the partnership visa but also any odds and ends that may come up along the way. In fact, to date, we’ve arranged over 700 partnership visas, and we can help you do the same.