This article about Long-Term Residence Permit with the purpose of family reunification is meant for those foreigners who live in the Czech Republic under a Long-Term Visa with the purpose of family reunification and want to extend their stay. In specific cases also for the ones who will be applying for the Family Reunification Residence Permit through Czech Embassy. Read on to find out more about the processes, documents needed, timelines and much more.
Lets start with the standard case – extension of your stay in the Czech Republic – and then get to the specific cases of when you can directly apply for Family Reunification – Long-Term Residence Permit through the Czech Embassy.
Extending your family reunification stay in the Czech Republic
If you are from outside of the EU, you live legally in the Czech Republic and you want to bring your family members (wife, husband, children) to Prague/Czech Republic, the first step is usually applying for a Long-Term Visa with the purpose of family reunification (click on the above link to read more about that topic).
The Family Reunification Visa can be given for up to one year. If you are staying longer than that and you want your family to stay with you as well, the next step for them is to apply for the Long-Term Residence Permit with the purpose of Family Reunification.
The Long-Term Residence Permit application can be submitted in the Czech Republic through the branch of the Ministry of the Interior responsible for the area of your residence (i.e. if you live in Prague, you have to go either to the MOI in Zukovskeho, Cigankova or Kolbenova, if you live in Brno, you go to Hnevkovskeho, etc.).
The Long-Term Residence application must be submitted before your Long-Term Visa expires.
The following documents are needed for the Family Reunification purpose of the Long-Term Residence Permit:
- application form
- passport and your Long-Term Family Reunification Visa
- 2 passport sized photos – sometimes the MOI requests only one photo or none at all but it is better to be prepared 🙂
- proof of accommodation
- proof of funds – you need to prove that your monthly income is high enough to support your family. This is mainly proved by the main applicant (i.e. the husband/wife who is employed in the Czech Republic) by showing his/her employment contract and salary slips, tax returns or other reliable proves of sufficient income.
- documents on the purpose of your stay – this usually meant the marriage or birth certificates. And yes, we know you have already submitted them for your Family Reunification Visa but you will need to submit them again 🙂
- Czech health insurance – you need to buy a private health insurance for the full validity of the long-term residence permit. We’ll tell you a bit more about that below.
- 2 500 CZK administrative fee – this must be paid in revenue stamps, not in cash, nor by card.
- additional documents – the MOI can request some additional documents such as your Criminal Check but they usually do not do that.
Once you have all the documents for the Family Reunification Long-Term Residence Permit ready, you can go submit them to the MOI responsible for your area of living. Depending on where you live, it might be better to book an appointment in advance. If you go to the MOI in Prague for example and have no appointment arranged, you can spend couple hours just waiting to be able to submit your application.
Once the Long-Term Residence Permit application is submitted, the MOI officially has up to 270 days to make the decision. If you are applying for the Residence Permit in the Czech Republic, it usually does not take that long, but it can, according to the law and depending on the MOI where you submit your application and also on the main applicant’ Residence Permit type.
The Long-Term Residence Permit with the purpose of Family Reunification can be given to you for up to two years. The actual validity depends mainly on two things:
- validity of the Long-Term Residence Permit of the main applicant – i.e. if the main applicant has the employee card valid for 2 years, the Family Reunification Residence Permit can be given for two years as well. If the main applicant has the employee card valid for one year only, the Family Reunification Residence Permit will also be given for one year only.
- health insurance – if you qualify for the two years long Family Reunification Residence Permit under the rule stated above (i.e. your husband/wife has his/her card valid for two years), you will only get the Residence Permit for two years if you show a health insurance valid for two years. If you for example only show the insurance for one year, validity of your Residence Permit will be shortened accordingly.
Once the Family Reunification Residence Permit is approved, you will need to book another appointment with the MOI and go submit your biometric data – fingerprints and digital photo. Be careful, it is not possible to reschedule the biometric appointment so make sure you can attend when booking it.
You will be able to collect the actual Residence Permit (a biometric card) say two three weeks after the biometrics.
Applying for the Family Reunification Long-Term Residence Permit through a Czech Embassy
As mentioned above, the standard way of doing this is to first apply for the Long-Term Visa with the Purpose of Family Reunification and then, when in the Czech Republic, for the Long-Term Residence Permit with the purpose of Family Reunification. In some cases, it is possible to apply for the Long-Term Residence Permit directly through the Czech Embassy in the country of your origin.
The advantage of doing that is that you get the Residence Permit for up to two years (instead of a one year visa) and that you might be allowed to work right after your arrival to the Czech Republic which is not possible under the Family Reunification Visa.
On the other hand, not everyone qualifies for that and even if you do, the approval process can take up to 270 days (the Long-Term Visa usually takes 60-90 days). So, you always need to think about what is better for you – to have your spouse/children here as soon as possible (in that case they should apply for the Long-Term Visa) or if you are willing to wait for them to get longer validity and maybe a right to work.
In any case, you can only apply for the Family Reunification Residence Permit through the Embassy if:
- the main applicant is a holder of an Employee Card and he/she has been residing in the Czech Republic for longer than 6 months
- the main applicant is an applicant for a Blue Card – in this case, you do not have to wait at all and you both can submit your applications at the same time
- the main applicant is a holder of any other Long-Term Residence Permit (i.e. student, business) and he/she has been residing in the Czech Republic for at least 15 months.
There are some other rules related to this but they are not that common so we are not mentioning them here. Get in touch with us if you have a specific situation not described above.
As for the process, and documents, everything will be basically the same (the same documents, timelines, etc.) with the difference that you will not be applying at the MOI in the Czech Republic but at the Czech Embassy in the country of your origin. Some nationalities can apply through other Czech Embassies – get in touch to find out which nationalities.
The main problem you can face when applying through the Czech Embassy is that appointments there might be hard to get and that you will need to send documents back and forth between the Czech Republic and the country of your origin.
In specific cases, the Embassy can also do an interview with you.
Once your Family Reunification Residence Permit is approved, you will most likely (depending on your nationality) need to go to the Embassy where you applied and get a short term visa. That will allow you to travel to the Czech Republic and finish the Residence Permit process here – go to the biometrics appointment, collect the card, etc. as described above.
We hope this article about the Family Reunification Long-Term Residence Permit was helpful to you 🙂 If you still have questions or you want us to take care of the whole process (we have done couple hundred successful cases already), contact us now through the form on the right or through the standard Contacts page.
Move To Prague – your experts in Family Reunification Residence Permits