December 14, 2023

Changes in Czech Immigration Law: Impact on Families with Adult or Almost Adult Children

Changes in Czech Immigration Law: Impact on Families with Adult or Almost Adult Children

As of July 1, 2023, significant amendments to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic have come into effect, bringing both benefits and challenges for various groups of foreigners in the country.


Long-term Residence for the purpose of Family Reunification


A significant change in the new Act on Residence of Foreigners is the exclusion of adult children of foreigners with a residence permit in Czech Republic from applying for a long-term residence permit for the purpose of family reunification. This measure aims to prevent the potential abuse of permits by foreigners who may not study or reside in the Czech Republic fully; i.e. for the whole period of granted residence permit. This creates new challenges for foreigners who would like to live in the Czech Republic with their children.


Examples of situations in life that may newly arise


Students Reaching the Age of 18 at Secondary School

The new law introduces complications for students of secondary schools, who reside in the Czech Republic for the purpose of family reunification. Once they turn 18, they lose the benefits of a family-related residence. Considering that the timing might collide which graduation from high school, it might become challenging to change their residence status to a university student or even employee. Upon finishing high school, students uncertain about admission to a Czech university face a period of time, when they are technically ineligible for almost any type of residence permit.

Duration of Residence Permits for minor children Under 18

For those applying for a residence permit for the purpose of family reunification just before the age of 18, the length of granted residence is uncertain and will depend on the Ministry’s methodology. The same applies to extensions of residence permits – in case these are submitted before the child turns 18, the residence can be granted only for the period until the 18th birthday, i.e., shorter than usual 2 years. Parents should be prepared for this situation and think of a different solution for their children’s purpose of stay.

Finishing School on residence permit for the purpose of Study

In the event that the High school students miss the final opportunity for an extension of their residence permit for the purpose of family reunification and they turn 18 before their residence permit expires, they are compelled to apply for a change of the purpose of residence to “study” for the remaining time of their high school studies. In this case, although obtaining a student residence permit is relatively certain, this change still imposes a heavy administrative burden on students studying only in secondary school, who will have to submit at least two new applications for a residence permit within two years.

Changing the purpose of stay and applying for permanent residence permit

For children, who completed 5 years of residence in the Czech Republic as family dependents, it is advisable to submit an application for permanent residence permit which will provide a strong residence status in the Czech Republic that is no longer bound to any purpose of stay. Those who do not meet the requirement of minimum length of residence and won’t continue with university studies either, should consider changing the purpose of residence to business (e.g. freelancers) or employment.


Seeking Professional Guidance


There are some other ways to obtain residence in the Czech Republic after the age of 18, but always depend on individual circumstances. If you are facing any of these issues or have further questions about the new legislation on the residence of foreigners in the Czech Republic, we recommend scheduling a consultation. Our immigration law experts can provide individualized and up-to-date information to address your specific situation and help resolve a newly distressing situation in your life.

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