EU residents moving to Czechia will be required to register with Interior Ministry, new draft law says

The government also plans to introduce a new electronic system in which applicants for residency can document their application.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 17.04.2023 14:32:00 (updated on 17.04.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Foreigners from EU countries arriving to Czechia will most likely be legally required to register with the Czech Interior Ministry if their stay exceeds 90 days, according to new government plans.

The state is also planning the introduction of a new electronic system that will facilitate communication with foreigners and – where applicable – their sponsors (such as employers or universities), reports. If approved, the new law will be implemented in January 2026.

At present, EU citizens with the intention of staying in Czechia for over 30 days must only register their place of stay with the Czech foreign police.

"Fundamental shortcomings [of the current law] have become apparent in recent years, most notably during Covid-19. A lot of EU citizens were not registered and we didn't know they were here…about 200,000 people were not registered"

Pavla Novotná, Director of the Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior

According to the Interior Ministry, unregistered residents are especially a problem for local municipalities, which are unable to collect fees from their residents. Requiring all EU citizens to register will also make it easier to count the de facto population of Czechia.

Employers will see visa status

The new proposal also envisages the creation of a so-called guarantor, or sponsor, online database. This will bring together all possible entities, such as educational institutions or workplaces, that prove the purpose of a citizen’s place of stay. This is intended for citizens of countries where a visa is needed to legally live in Czechia.

One significant change is that the guarantors will, under the new plans, have the ability to learn if a citizen’s visa has been accepted or rejected. 

A move online

Another feature of the new draft law is – as part of the government’s push for digitization – the creation of a new electronic system in which people seeking a residence permit or visa in Czechia will be able to track their application and document contracts and other paperwork online.

The Interior Ministry has also expressed tentative plans to prevent special, residence-application services from representing a large number of foreign clients. According to the new bill, only lawyers or non-profit organizations offering free legal services should provide the repeated representation of foreigners.

The plans to digitize parts of the residence-application process will cost an estimated CZK 300 million. 

With over 1 million foreign residents living in Czechia – and an estimated 300,000 of those from the EU – the changes will affect many people considering moving to the country in the future.

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