Are you from a country outside of the EU but you have a girlfriend/boyfriend from an EU country? You can then get a five year residence permit allowing you to work, run business or do nothing. What conditions do you need to meet? How difficult is it to get this “partnership visa”? What are all the benefits of the Temporary Residency? Find out everything in the article below!
Partnership visa is actually not a visa
The name “partnership visa” comes from the fact that to obtain it, a couple does not need to be married. It is ok to be “just” dating each other. That also applies to same-sex couples.
The real name of this commonly known partnership visa is a Temporary Residence Permit for a family member of an EU citizen. If done properly, it can bring it’s applicant plenty of benefits, comparing to standard types of visa for third country nationals.
Main benefits of the Temporary Residence Permit
Let us list the main benefits below, along with short description of each of the benefits:
- The Temporary Residence Permit is the only type of residence permit that can be applied for in the Czech Republic – if you are coming from a non-EU country, you know that the first visa must be always applied for through a Czech Embassy in the country of your origin or in the country where you hold a long-term or permanent residence permit. Only some nationalities have the exception that they are allowed to apply through any Czech Embassy in the world. The first application still must be done through some Czech Embassy though. The “partnership visa” is the only type of residence permit where even the first application can (must) be submitted in the Czech Republic.
- You will be legal during the whole approval process – even though the official approval time of the Temporary Residency is 60 days, it often takes much longer (up to a year in not that extreme cases). No need to worry though! If you submitted the application legally (read below), you will be allowed to legally stay in the Czech Republic until the decision is made. Once you submit the application, you will be issued a bridging visa which allows you to stay until the decision is made.
- You can work – this is the main advantage for most applicants. From the moment you SUBMIT the application (not when you get it approved), you will be granted a free entry to the Czech Labour Market which in simple words means that you will be easily employable by Czech employers – basically as easily as EU citizens.
- It is usually given for five years – standard visa for people from non-EU countries is initially given for a year. If you get an employee card, you can get the residency for two years. The Temporary Residence Permit (“partnership visa”) is usually given for five years. That means five years of no hassle with extensions! 🙂
- No marriage needed – simple rule applies for two non-EU citizens if one of them wants to get a family reunification visa – you need to be married. If you are not married, getting a “family visa” is almost impossible. Not a problem for the Temporary Residence Permit though! Even “dating” each other counts.
- Same-sex couples respected – are you a same-sex couple? Not a problem, the Temporary Residence Permit is open to any types of relationships, even gay or lesbian ones.
How to qualify for the “Partnership visa”?
The immigration law says that a family member of an EU citizen is a person who: “is in a permanent partner relationship with an EU citizen, which is not a marriage and with whom he lives in a common household; when assessing the durability of the relationship, especially the nature, strength and intensity of the relationship will be taken into consideration”. Let us explain what it means in simple words based on our experience with hundreds of cases below.
- you must be in a strong relationship – that can mean many things but from our experience mainly the following – you should know each other’s families, you should share your costs, you should plan your future together.
- you should be dating for at least about a year – well, no law says that you must be in relationship for at least a year. You will hardly define “permanent partner relationship” as a relationship lasting for three months though. So the one year line is based on our experience. We have successfully applied with couples dating for less than a year but one year is staying on the safe side.
- you must live in the same apartment – we do not need to mention the obvious reason for this requirement (that “permanent partners” usually live together), the main practical reason is that part of the approval process is a visit from the Foreign Police.
- you must have evidence – even if you were together for ten years, you might not qualify for the “partnership visa” if you had no proves of your relationship. So prepare to share plenty of photos, statements of family, friends, and many more documents.
How and where to apply for the Temporary Residence Permit?
As mentioned above, the application must be submitted in the Czech Republic. The authority where you submit the application is the Ministry of the Interior. You should submit the application at the branch of the MOI responsible for the place where you live (i.e. if you live in Prague 2, you should submit the application to the MOI in Prague 4 – Cigankova).
You must submit the application during a legal stay in the Czech Republic!! That means that nationalities who have the exception of spending up to 90 days in Schengen space without the need of getting a visa, must submit the Temporary Residence application within the 90 days, not after when/if they are already overstaying the 90 days. People who must have a visa to even visit the Czech Republic, must submit the Temporary Residence application within the validity of their short-term visa. If the application is submitted during a time you were not supposed to be in the Czech Republic, your application can be denied based on that fact.
The following documents are needed for the Temporary Residence Permit (Partnership visa):
- application form (click to download)
- 2 passport sized photos
- proof of accommodation
- “proves of love” – photos, statements, joint bank accounts, lease agreements, etc.
- Czech medical insurance
And that is basically it 🙂 The success of the application though depends on the amount of “proves of love” you submit and on the quality of them. We strongly recommend you to contact us and use our expertise to get your documents perfectly prepared.
When you submit the application, you should get a bridging visa into your passport. This bridging visa allows you to stay legally in the Czech Republic (and even travel). You should also get a confirmation about submitting the application, which basically allows you to work.
The official approval time of the Temporary Residence Permit (“partnership visa”) is 60 days but it usually takes longer. You should expect three to four months, up to a year in some cases.
Couple things can happen during the approval process:
- Foreign Police visit to your flat – that will happen for sure. They come unexpected to prove that you are a real couple and not someone faking it. Note – we do not recommend faking relationships. If the MOI finds that out, both applicants can get in big trouble including deportation!
- Additional interview – if your relationship is short or the MOI has some doubts about it’s intensity for example, they can invite you for an additional interview to find out of you are a real couple or not.
- Request of additional documents – if some document was incorrect (does not happen if you use our services) or if you submitted small amount of “proves of love” (does not happen with our help either :)), the MOI can request some additional documents from you.
Once your application is approved, you need to go collect it to the same branch of the Ministry of the Interior as where you applied for it. The actual Temporary Residence Permit of a family member of an EU citizen is issued in a form of a blue booklet (very much looking as a blue passport) and is usually valid for five years. It allows you to stay here, work here, run here a business, study or anything else you wanna do.
Please just mind that even though you do not have to renew the residence permit that often, you still need to keep the MOI updated. So if you change your address, your passport, your name, etc. you must report those changes to the MOI within a limited amount of time (i.e. new passport within 3 days, new accommodation within 30 days, etc.).
We hope this article was helpful to you but please get in touch through the contact form on the right or through the contacts page if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to help you get the legal!
Jan and Daria on behalf of whole Move To Prague team
Side note, even though the “partnership visa” is not a correct term and we do not like using it, it is commonly used among foreigners and using the “partnership visa” in the above article helped your search engine find us so.. Sorry not sorry for that 🙂