Due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the government of the Czech Republic announced certain measures to simplify the post-arrival process for Ukrainian citizens who have been forced to leave their country. An overview of process for new arrivals from Ukraine to legalise their stay in the Czech Republic is summarized below
The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic recently published a report that by 31 December 2021, almost 200,000 Ukrainian nationals were registered for a legal stay in the Czech Republic.1 There is an assumption that for many Ukrainian nationals fleeing he conflict, the Czech Republic may be their final destination.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Companies with Ukrainian workers will want to be aware of the simplified rules for foreign nationals to stay in the Czech Republic.
How to Legalize the Stay in the Czech Republic
There are several ways Ukrainian nationals can enter the Czech Republic.
1. Visa-free Regime
As Ukraine is on the list of visa-free countries, its citizens can enter the Czech Republic with their biometric passports. It is expected that even those who do not hold a biometric passport or any passport (e.g., minors) or those who have already exceeded their visa-free stay, i.e., 90 days within any 180-day period, should be allowed to enter the Czech Republic. As the visa-free regime allows individuals to spend 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa or residence permit and since it is not possible to predict for how long the conflict will last, Ukrainian individuals can apply for the special type of long-term visa right after their arrival. The application must be submitted in person at the Ministry of Interior, Department of Asylum and Migrant Policy, and the special long-term visa may be issued there within the same day. With this kind of long-term visa, the individual can apply for a work permit at the relevant Czech Labour Office, which would entitle the individual to work in a job position for which the individual signed an employment contract. An individual without a valid visa / residence permit and work permit cannot currently carry out work in the Czech Republic. Giving Ukrainians free access to the Czech labour market is currently under consideration.
Each individual must arrange for travel medical insurance valid in the Czech Republic, which can be purchased online, and must register at the relevant Foreign Police Office unless it was already completed by an accommodation provider (e.g., hotel). If the special long-term visa is issued, the individual is automatically enrolled to the public health insurance scheme in the Czech Republic.
2. Short-Term Visa
If a Ukrainian national holds a short-term visa that cannot be extended and is expiring within the 14-day period, the individual can apply for the same type of special long-term visa as Ukrainians arriving based on the visa-free regime. Therefore, the legal stay of the individual in the Czech Republic may be extended.
3. Long-Term Visa and Long-Term Residence Permit
If a Ukrainian national applied for the long-term residence permit at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ukraine, the procedure can be finalised in the territory of the Czech Republic since the Czech representative offices in Ukraine are closed. However, if the individual applied for the long-term visa, the visa collection will most probably need to be completed at the dedicated representative office in Ukraine. More details should be provided by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Lviv / Kiev.
Effective 25 February 2022, Ukrainian nationals can enter the territory of the Czech Republic without any special COVID-19 restrictions.
The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic is actively working to simplify the post-arrival / visa process for Ukrainian nationals.2 The situation is rapidly changing and thus the above information may change. If you require assistance, you may contact your local qualified immigration counsel or a member of the KPMG Immigration or GMS team (see the Contact Us section).
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Czech Republic.
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