The Czech Ministry of Interior is proposing a new law requiring EU citizens to register if their stay in the Czech Republic exceeds 90 days. The new law aims to make the rules for foreign nationals staying in the country more transparent and easier to understand. The current law dates back to 1999 and has undergone numerous amendments in response to changes in European legislation, making it difficult to navigate.
The proposed changes will introduce a mandatory registration requirement for EU citizens staying in the country for more than 90 days, with subsequent registration in the resident register. Currently, they do not have to register anywhere.
According to the Ministry of Interior, significant shortcomings have become apparent in recent years, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many EU citizens were not registered and were unaware of their presence, with an estimated 200,000 people unaccounted for.
Unregistered residents pose a problem for municipalities, as they cannot collect fees from them or count their children in schools. To address this issue, the proposed law will create the “guarantor” institute, which will unify entities that can demonstrate the purpose of the stay, such as scientific institutions or employers. The institution guarantees that the foreign national has a sense for their stay.
Guarantors will still have certain obligations, such as informing the migration and asylum policy department of any changes. However, with the introduction of digitalization, they will be able to learn about the outcome of the residence permit process.
The Ministry of Interior plans to create a new electronic system to create foreign national accounts for all applicants and their guarantors. These accounts will allow applicants to submit documents online, such as contracts.
The creation of this electronic system will cost CZK 300 million and will be financed by the National Renewal Plan. EU resources will fund the preparation phase, while Czech sources will cover the system’s operation. The system will not replace physical branches; applicants must provide fingerprints and biometric data. Instead, the accounts will give foreign nationals an overview of what they have already submitted as part of the process. Guarantors will then be able to determine whether a visa has been granted.
The proposed changes aim to make the current law on foreign nationals’ stay in the Czech Republic more transparent, particularly for EU citizens. The new law will require EU citizens to register if they plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
The proposed law will also introduce the “guarantor” institute to unify entities that can demonstrate the purpose of the stay. Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior plans to create a new electronic system to create foreign national accounts for all applicants and their guarantors.